The Premier Leagues finest striker of last season Robin van Persie of Manchester United was unable to manage a single shot on target against rivals Liverpool. In this post I will be analysing his performance and suggesting why he was unable to do so.
This post is part of a series that began here. As a Manchester United supporter and keen football analyst I have decided enough is enough, and would finally like to find out what the problem with our front four is. A front four which has the likes of Rooney, Mata and RvP. All world class players, yet somehow could not manage a single shot on target. In this series I will be focussing on what went wrong vs Liverpool. A game that promised so much yet delivered so little.
Robin Was In The Wrong Place
Above is an Action Areas map of RVP vs Liverpool. What is immediately visible from the look on the map is that he spent far too much of the game playing out in the wider areas. He spent about 43% of his game time out wide! As a CF who is most effective around the box he simply wasted 43% of his game time. I understand that he would have to track back etc but as he was playing as part of a front two with Rooney his primary position should have been right up top.
Unfortunately he was only able to spend about 40% of his game time in the opposition half. This is simply not his own fault, it was a combination of poor build up play from other players in the front four (which we will discuss in future posts) as well as being over run in midfield (read about hat here).
A statistic that very much speaks for itself was that Robin van Persie only managed to get 4 attempts on goal. To add insult to injury NONE of the attempts were on target! In fact 3/4 were blocked by Liverpool players and the other one was off target. Admittedly the missed header was quite a difficult header as the cross was not the best. However as a world class CF, in big games such as this you have to make half-chances count.
As a result our primary goal threat, was no goal threat, through out the 90 minutes. He was unable to showcase his finishing prowess when it really mattered. Credit the Liverpool defense who stuck to their guns, and took RVP’s battering shots. They might not have left a dent on the scoreline but I am sure they left one on the Liverpool defenders.
The ‘Isolated’ One
Robin van Persie has ball at feet and is inside the Liverpool box however there is no Manchester United player offering him any support what so ever! Note Rooney and Mata towards the bottom of the screen. Where Mata is standing Rooney had just take a free kick. Last time I checked it only took one player to take a free kick so why are two of them there?
The worst thing is Rooney and Mata are making no serious efforts to go up and support play. Rooney our supposed no.10 is far away from the position of the no.10 and Mata our free roaming player is just probably ‘roaming about’. They should be busting a gut to get into the box and support play. I will get onto this point in more detail as I discuss Mata and Rooney’s performances vs Liverpool.
After this passage of play has withered out due to RvP taking a shot, which is unsuccessful, Liverpool are again on the front foot as they attack. There was no chemistry between our front 4, a common problem which needs to be rectified immediately!
To conclude RvP had a bad game, undoubtedly! However was he the core of our problems? No. Who it was, we will be getting onto late onto this series!
Lack of support from the trio who play behind him is the reason in his dip of form recently. With support last season he showed he was one of the best in the business upfront however this season he is showing what cutting off the supply roots can do for a striker even of his stature.
That concludes it for Robin Van Persie vs Liverpool. Who would you like to see analysed next? To keep up to date with new posts and additions to this series, which will be made tomorrow, please subscribe to my blog.
This was part 2 of a 3 Part series.