Not content to simply score on goalkeepers at a near Ro-Messian rate, Robin van Persie seems to have made it his mission to break them down mentally, as well. Even if they happen to be his international teammates.
Throughout Arsenal's match against Newcastle on Monday, Van Persie, who scored an equalizer seconds after Hatem Ben Arfa put the Magpies up 1-0 in the 14th minute, verbally prodded goalkeeper Tim Krul. The two Netherlands teammates eventually had to be separated and were both shown yellow cards after Thomas Vermaelen scored the winner deep into stoppage time (video of the spat here). At the final whistle, the other players kept them apart, though Van Persie still got his taunts across and the two resumed their scuffle in the tunnel.
Jamie Sanderson of the Young Guns Blog explained the reason for it all via Twitter:
Krul and van Persie row in tunnel. RVP accused Krul of time wasting in 1st half, then said 'time waste now' after Vermaelen winner. Naughty.
Yes, scoring is so easy for Robin and filled him with so much confidence that he has the time to come up with snappy quips for his opponents. If Krul makes the Dutch team for Euro 2012, trying to have team meals at the hotel that aren't totally awkward could prove to be Van Persie's greatest challenge yet.