By Chris Wright
Robin Van Persie (who, if memory serves, has never whined at an official before himself) has lambasted both Chelsea and Barcelona for ‘always bitching’ to referees in order to co-erce decisions out of them during games, rather than just knuckling down and winning trophies the Arsenal way.
Speaking to the imaginatively titled Dutch TV station ‘Dutch TV’, Van Persie said:
“People who are watching the game on television and fans really do not want to see these kind of things.
“If you want to witness a lot of complaints, you should just go the bakery or something (eh?). There’s always people nagging there as well.
“Chelsea players are always bitching against the referees. I really cannot understand that. Just shut the f*** up and focus on playing football.”
The Dutch rollocker then turned his sight on Barca:
“They [Barca players] always go up to referees in an attempt to get an opponent booked. They are trying to screw colleagues! That really annoys me.
“The Barcelona players nag about everything that happens on the pitch. I was disappointed with that.”
Of course, RVP is 100% right to flag this kind of thing up, but in reality they’re all about as bad as each other – in fact, the referee mithering and gamesmanship seems to get more prevalent the higher up the footballing ladder you go. I guess desperation can take many forms.
As a point of interest, Chelsea indeed finished top of this year’s Premier League Fair Play table, 46 points ahead of Arsenal – who came in eighth.
UPDATE: RVP has denied ever making the comments in question, and that he still loves both his Chelsea and Barcelona brethren very, very much:
“These reports falsely suggest that I recently made negative comments about Spanish and Chelsea players, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I haven’t done an interview with [Dutch TV] or any other outlet in recent weeks and I’ve certainly not been rude as the comments suggest.
“I respect my colleagues of Spain and Chelsea and look forward to playing against them for many years to come.
“I sincerely hope that all football fans worldwide don’t take these misleading reports seriously.”
Oops, too late.