Home > Football > Key Men in South Africa: Arjen Robben

Key Men in South Africa: Arjen Robben

I was thinking recently about the Dutch team as a complete unit. 

There are weaknesses.  But then name a country that has none: only Spain perhaps is near the goal of a perfectly balanced and even side. 

This reality forces us to really examine our sides if we want to gauge any upcoming success.  So let’s talk Oranje then.  There are holes in the defence and there are holes in the midfield.  Up front there are more pegs than holes and the difficulty is fitting the right peg in the … well you get the slightly overcomplicated idea. 

Arjen Robben represents the best aspects of Dutch attacking power rolled into a single individual.  He has pace on the wing and he can certainly cross a ball. 

His most important trait though is his combination of pace and his ability to cut inside on his marker and shot at goal.  Robben enjoyed muted success at both Chelsea and Real Madrid.  The confounding point is his talent has never been in doubt.  Instead he has often been likened to some type of fine dinner china in the hands of a child.  Fragile.  He’s definitely found a vein of strength though and has been the most significant acquisition by Bayern Munich this year.  He has single-handedly kept Bayern in the hunt for the Champions League and the Bundesliga.

It’s hard to imagine a more critical member of the squad.  Sneijder looks to be a crucial cog in the machine but Sneijder requires a lethal finisher to be the tip to his blade.  Robben is hilt, blade, tip, and sheath.  He can provide that single piece of attacking devastation from within himself. 

Sneijder and Robben combined below against France to score one of the most remarkable goals I’ve ever seen. 

The pass from Sneijder is key but ultimately Robben’s pace, dribbling ability and accurate left foot are what create the goal.  Scintillating stuff.  The Oranje can’t rely on their world renowned defence to carry them to glory.  As meager as they were in qualifying they will most certainly rely on the attacking storm they can create to overwhelm their opponents.

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