Having Always Battled Injuries And Baldness, Age Is Just A Number For Arjen Robben
At 33 years of age, Bayern Munich must surely be contemplating how they’ll ever manage to replace Arjen Robben on the right wing. Robben gives the impression of having been around this game forever, and with good reason. The 2017-18 campaign will mark his 18th as a professional. The fact that he’s been bald for the majority of them and is permanently recovering from/suffering a muscle injury only adds to his distinguished agedness.
Anyway, Robben is the rare kind of player that absolutely necessitates expending two defenders on marking him, but even then, there’s no stopping le cut. As you can see from the first three goals in the above video, there’s simply no answer for Robben on his left foot.
However, show him onto his right, and he’ll treat you to goals like the top two. He’s a whirlwind of weird on that right flank, shuttling at defenders with his bony appendages flailing at his sides like a man trying to navigate the pitch-black of an unknown kitchen.
However, it’s somewhat shocking to learn that Robben started 21 Bundesliga matches for Bayern last season, the most he’s ever managed at the club since arriving in 2009. What’s more, his output last season was extremely close to what he managed in 2009-10, when he was named the Footballer of the Year in Germany, and 2013-14, when he finished fourth in FIFA Ballon d’Or voting.
This is just to say that Robben shows no signs — apart from the Robben norm — of wearing down. Perhaps Bayern aren’t actively seeking a replacement for Robben because the club realizes his departure will mean a marked shift in approach at the club.
Robin and Franck Ribery are both approaching the tail end of their careers, and the two have combined to give the Bavarians the most feared wing duo on the planet for eight years, resulting in six Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals and one Champions League victory.
There are no replicas of the two on the planet, and Bayern will have to eventually move forward with a whole new game plan.