"He is very intelligent and talented but most of all he is passionate about the game"--Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger talking about Robin Van Persie in 2009.
Robin Van Persie's £2.75 million move from Eredivisie side Feyenoord to Arsenal in 2004 did not attract much attention. Eight years later, the news of his departure from Arsenal, confirmed by the player himself on his website, has attracted worldwide attention.
Under the tutelage of Wenger, van Persie was molded from a left winger to one of the most lethal strikers the world over.
For example, during the 2011 calendar year Van Persie scored 35 goals which was just one short of Alan Shearer's record of 36. In doing so he almost single handedly helped Arsenal to a credible third place finish, a feat that was unthinkable just six months previously.
During the 2010-11 season he became the first Premier league player to score in nine consecutive away games, a feat that has not been equaled or surpassed.
"A train to nowhere that we are riding. We're riding over and over again. A train to nowhere.
And we are gliding. A way that never may happen again. A train to nowhere".
These lyrics of the catchy tune 'Train to nowhere' by Bad Boys Blue are reminiscent of Arsenal football club.
It has now been seven long years since an Arsenal Captain lifted a trophy. To be precise there has been no trophy in Arsenal's cabinet since 21st May 2005.
So where is the problem? Maybe we can get an idea from the line up of the team that played that sunny day at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and compare it to the team that played on the last day of this past season when Arsenal barely crossed the finish line against a determined West Brom team at the Hawthornes.
At Cardiff the Master Jens Lehmann was in goal. His back four were Lauren, Kolo Toure, Phillipe Senderos and Ashley Cole. Midfield was spearheaded by Patrick Vieira ably supported by Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Robert Pires. Reyes and Bergkamp headed the attack.
When pundits and analysts sat down to analyze and predict the fortunes of various teams prior to the onset of Euro 2012 many agreed that the Germans, Dutch and Spanish would be the top contenders for the trophy.
The Portugese were also highly rated save for the caveat that they normally failed to go all the way in major tournaments. The Italians and French were also expected to give as good as they got.
Few, if any, gave the English the chance of winning the trophy.
Well things have changed slightly. The English have been un-spectacular at this edition of the Henri Delaunay tournament in the group stages but they have also been very effective, dogged and persistent a trait rarely seen in English teams in the recent past.
At 2-1 many would have written off the English against a vibrant Swedish side in the group stages but they came back to win against all odds. Against Ukraine some would have expected them to flounder but they scored the all important opening goal and hang on to win. They defended well against the French and generally gave a good account of themselves in the opening game.
When Brendan Rodgers joined Liverpool as its coach his assured manner and confidence in his football philosophy went down well with the club's fans.
He was quoted as saying: 'I want to see great attacking football with creativity and imagination with relentless pressing of the ball'.
Great attacking football has been missing for quite a while at Liverpool and Rodgers will need to rebuild if his mantra is to become a reality. The four players below possess the necessary skills and expertise to make a significant difference at Liverpool.
1. CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN
At the tender age of 20, Christian Eriksen, a Danish player currently playing for Ajax has drawn many admirers the world over. The youngster already has over 25 full international caps to his name and was named the Dutch football talent of the year and Danish football player of the year in 2011.
England's second game in Euro 2012 pitted them against the Swedes in Kiev. On paper it looked like an exciting matchup. On the pitch it turned out to be a cracker of a match.
In the first game the English were out thought and outplayed by the French and were most certainly the happier of the two teams with the eventual 1-1 result. Roy Hodgson, seeking to make a statement of intent in this crucial match made one change to the team, Andy Carroll replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the first eleven.
Hodgson adopted a 4-4-2 formation to accommodate Carroll who played along Danny Welbeck upfront with James Milner and Ashley Young providing the width. The introduction of Andy Carroll would later prove to be an astute decision.
The game was scrappy in the initial minutes with both teams trying to find their feet on a damp pitch.