Arsenal’s Van Persie was the best striker at Euro 2012, says Wenger
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger defends Robin van Persie after seeing the striker widely criticised for his displays at Euro 2012
Arsene Wenger has described Robin van Persie as the “best striker” at Euro 2012, despite the Arsenal captain receiving criticism during a disappointing tournament for Holland.
The 28-year-old scored his only goal in Poland and Ukraine in his country’s 2-1 loss to Germany in the group stage but Van Persie failed to convert a total of seven chances in their other defeats by Denmark and Portugal.
The Gunners skipper netted 30 goals in 38 Premier League appearances last season, helping Wenger’s side finish in third place and secure their participation in the Champions League next season.
And Wenger has rebuffed the criticism directed at Van Persie for his international displays and insisted the striker was a better option up front for the Dutch than Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
“Robin van Persie deserves more credit in Holland than he gets. I think he was still the best striker at the European championship,” Wenger told De Telegraaf.
“I watched all his games. If you look at the runs he made, his passing, everything really, was very good.
“He did not take some of his chances but that was down to tiredness. Robin is a class above other strikers. A class above [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar.
“Robin is not just a great striker or a great player, he is an exceptional player.
“He did not have to prove himself here. I can understand he wanted to prove he can score goals for Holland. That is an obvious ambition because he is so intense, he loves the game so much.”