Despite being knocked out in the group stages, Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger has insisted that Robin Van Persie has been the best striker at Euro 2012.
Van Persie scored just one goal in the tournament as the Netherlands lost all three games and finished bottom of Group B.
The Gunners captain received widespread criticism for squandering a number of chances in the defeats to Denmark, Germany and Portugal after such a phenomenal season with his club.
The Dutchman finished as the Premier League’s top scorer with 30 goals at the end of the campaign and was named as the PFA Player of the Year as well as the Football Writer’s Player of the Year.
However, Wenger, who is determined to keep the striker at the Emirates Stadium, believes that Van Persie was a better option in attack than teammate Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and even went as far as saying that he has been the best forward at Euro 2012.
“Robin van Persie deserves more credit in Holland than he gets. I think he was still the best striker at the ,” Wenger told De Telegraaf.
“I watched all his games. If you look at the runs he made, his , 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 , he is an exceptional player.
“He did not have to prove himself here. I can understand he wanted to prove he can goals for Holland. That is an obvious ambition because he is so intense, he loves the game so much.”
While Wenger might possibly be kidding himself a bit, one man who isn’t is the Brazil coach Mano Menezes.
The Samba boss has revealed to the world what all Arsenal fans have known for some time, and that is that Andre Santos is incapable of defending.
And having managed the player for one season at Corinthians, Menezes knows all too well about Santos’ desire to attack.
“The issue surrounding Andre Santos is a tactical one,” Menezes told ESPN Brazil.
“He made my remaining hair become grey when we were at Corinthians. Why? Because he is tactically irresponsible.
“We can’t afford that kind of tactical risk in the national team.”
The 29-year-old has not represented his country since last summer’s Copa America and his absence shows no sign of abating.