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Pro Soccer Talk’s Premier League Player of the Week – Robin Van Persie

Aug 20, 2013, 1:02 PM EDT

Swansea City v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

Tough call on Player of the Week for the opening fixtures of the Barclays Premier League.

A lot of players were quite impressive – Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck for Manchester United, Fernandinho, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero for Manchester City, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturrdige for Liverpool, Frank Lampard and Oscar for Chelsea . . . the list goes on.

But one man sticks out and despite it being the popular choice, it also feels like the right choice.

Robin Van Persie. The Dutchman has us running out of adjectives he’s so talented.

For his first seven seasons at Arsenal, RVP was defined by one thing: injuries. When he did manage to play, his quality was obvious. But in those first seven years, from 2004-2011, he failed to play more 28 matches in a single season. Naturally, the talk was always about what if.

What if Van Persie got healthy?

What if he could be a consistent starter?

What if he managed a full season at 100%?

Then finally, in 2011-12, we got our answer as RVP appeared in all 38 Premier League matches (starting all but one of them) and scored 30 goals. It was clear, right then and there, that Van Persie deserved to be in the conversation of who is the best pure striker on the planet.

Manchester United didn’t hesitate, pouncing on the Dutchman who was looking for the one thing he desired when arriving at the Emirates in the summer of 2004 – a Premier League title. After bagging 26 goals last season on the way to hoisting the championship trophy in May, Van Persie finally had his title along with the praise from entire footballing world.

And yet just two months later, the majority of pundits were back questioning Manchester United. Doubters, myself included, suggested that the spending of Manchester City and Chelsea had put those clubs in the lead for the 2013-14 title. Implied within that doubt was the issue of whether Van Persie, now aged 30, could duplicate his extraordinary form of the last two seasons.

On Saturday, Van Persie (and all of Manchester United for that matter) silenced the doubters. Oh yes, there will be a title race in 2013-14 and the Red Devils have just as good of a chance at winning it as City and Chelsea.

As for the race for Golden Boot, well, Van Persie has set forth his intent to make a run at that as well. The Dutchman’s brace in the driving rain at the Liberty Stadium was something to behold. An incredible leaping side volley that put cement into the boots of Swansea defender Ashley Williams was followed by a net-popping rifle of a goal in the second half.

This man can do it all, my friends. And we look forward to watching the Robin Van Persie Show each and every week from now through May 11, 2014.

  1. landomcfc - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Of course, should have known NBC would also be favoring Manchester United like everyone always does. RvP was good but nothing extraordinary. POTW was probably Jesus Navas, who was all over the pitch creating chance after chance and was involved in all 4 of Manchester City’s goals. Or also Kevin Nolan for West Ham who also created chance after chance and was a HUGE menace for the newcomer’s Cardiff! RvP is a finisher and he did the job he was supposed to do. Navas and Nolan are players who went above and beyond and are TRUE POTW! By the way, great coverage NBC, you really have showed Fox Soccer how to truly cover the EPL.

    • mafemani - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      While I agree those players you mentioned shouldnt be overlooked, I do think that RVP deserves it. If you watched United game, there was nothing in it for United until RVP showed his class. For me he was the difference. His running off the ball caused a lot of problems the few times United went forward in the early stages. If you watched the highlights of his overall contribution, you would have noticed he did a lot of defending even during the first half. He covered for Valencia at times. United was very poor, the scoreline is deceiving. Welbeck did well but was careless at times, so I dont think because of his 2 goals he should be on the candidates list.

      • landomcfc - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        You are right mafemani, and as an avid City supporter for all my life, I may being a bit biased haha. RvP is an astounding player and he will be a MOTM candidate everytime he steps on the pitch.

  2. mafemani - Aug 20, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Why are all the names mentioned here as candidates only those players who scored? Are you going to look for goals to find the player of the week? Thats not how soccer goes. I am not saying RVP didnt deserve it, but there is a lot of players who didnt score but made better contributions than the scorers. There are those who do the dirty work.

    • NowWaitJustAMinute - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Agreed. Some keepers stole the show. In particular, Begovic for keeping Stoke in the game (11 saves I think). Mignolet for preserving the win with his double save. Both guys should at least be on the list.

      Also, Dzeko was good not great for City. Same with Aguero though his finish was sublime. Fernandinho was all over the place but often not in control. Just saying I’m not sure they belong on the short list.

      • landomcfc - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        Totally agree, both keepers you mentioned were fantastic! And even Brad Guzan in goal for Villa had a bit of a slow start, but ended up making some fantastic saves late in the match that could have put Arsenal back in it!

  3. Brian - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Van Persie. What a daring choice.

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