Football

Dutch national coach Danny Blind angry at Van Persie's lack of game time

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When Robin van Persie signed for Fenerbahce this summer from Manchester United, it was lauded by many as a huge coup for Turkish football.

Fener fans flocked to the airport to welcome him and thousands more were present at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium for his unveiling.

The Dutchman is arguably one of the biggest signings in Super Lig history, on a par with Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba for celebrity appeal. 

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Huge expectation and anticipation in Turkey

More than two months have passed since his fanfare welcome in Turkey and it hasn't exactly gone the way he had hoped. Skeptics would argue that he signed a deal with Fenerbahce for money - with few clubs able to match his reported £240,000 per week earnings at the Istanbul giants.

However, it is clear that van Persie saw it as a footballing opportunity. Fener finished second in the league last year and after a huge investment drive this summer, many have tipped them to reclaim the Super Lig title off bitter rivals Galatasaray. It is a project that the Dutch captain had obviously bought into and one that had inspired him. 

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When he moved to Turkey, it is fair to say that the player himself, and the fans, all believed he would be a key cog in the Fener machine.

A proven goalscorer at the very highest level with Arsenal, Man United and the Dutch national team, it would have been ridiculous to sign a player of van Persie's calibre as a back-up option, right?

Wrong. It appears that manager Vitor Pereira considers the Dutchman as a reserve striker, playing second fiddle to their other summer signing, last season's Super Lig top scorer, ex-Bursaspor frontman Fernandão. 

Out of favour

With the Portuguese coach adopting a 4-2-3-1 formation, there is only space in the side for one centre forward and at present, it is Fernandão who has got the nod.

Van Persie himself voiced his frustration a few weeks back after affirming that he was fully fit and it was simply the coach's decision to start him on the bench. In spite of the lack of faith placed in him, the Dutch captain has shown his class on a number of occasions and scored a total of three Super Lig goals from three starts and four substitute appearances. 

Van Persie was once again left on the bench at the weekend as Fenerbahce stuttered to a 2-2 home draw against minnows Akhisarspor. It is hardly a surprise that the ex-Man United striker cut a frustrated figure again on the bench for Fener, not even celebrating the two goals, both from his rival Fernandão.

Danny Blind frustrated

The latest person to voice his concern about his playing time has been Dutch national coach Danny Blind, who said, as reported in goal.com, "For van Persie and for us this is not the most ideal situation".

The Netherlands' talisman needs match practice if he is to perform for his country and at the moment he is not being able to get sharp enough to produce performances we all know he is capable of.

It remains to be seen what the near future holds for the Dutchman, but at 32 he doesn't have a long time left at the highest level and he can't afford to spend time on the bench as is the case at Fenerbahce at the moment.

Is Robin van Persie still good enough to command a place in the Fenerbahce starting line-up? Have your say in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Robin Van Persie
Football

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