Posted on Monday, 28th May 2012 by Iain Culverhouse
Much has been said about Robin van Persie this season – will he stay or will he go?
There is no doubting that this season the 28-year-old has been in the form of his life.
‘It’s clear how important he’s been for us with the goals he’s scored, he’s one of the best strikers in the world. He’s a massive part of the dressing room. I don’t know [if he will stay] but I hope he does.’
This season there has been nobody in the Premier League better than Van Persie, this is evident after he walked away with the Premier League Golden Boot, PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards. In addition, He was also named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
Having taken this into account, is he irreplaceable to Arsenal? The media believe so, the opposing fans believe so, and even some Arsenal players believe so, but for me he isn’t irreplaceable, and here’s why.
There is no doubting his talent. This season the Dutchman has been his best since joining the club and this has been largely down to him being able to miraculously avoid injury, which brings me onto the reason I think he is replaceable.
On average, over the eight years at the club, RVP has played 35.5 games a year (the lowest being 20 in 2009/10 season) and the most being 47 (this season). Now 35.5 games a season seems, on paper, to be pretty good, but when you take into account Thierry Henry, who in his eight seasons at Arsenal, averaged a total of 48 games, or Dennis Bergkamp, who, despite not travelling abroad, still managed an average of 38 games a season (in his last eight seasons at Arsenal).
If we look at goals compared to Thierry Henry it looks even worse, with the Frenchman averaging 31 goals a season, while Van Persie averaging just 12.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Robin is a fantastic player, I really do. However, to say he is irreplaceable is an overstatement, especially considering who it has been said about in the past. Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Patrick Vieria, Tony Adams, David Seaman and Patrick Vieira are just some names of players who the tag of ‘irreplaceable’ has been given over the years, yet here we are with Robin and once again the opposing fans are saying ‘if it wasn’t for him you’d be relegated’.
The fact is our great club survived with the departures of all the abovementioned great names. We have stayed in the Champions League every year without these players at the club and we will do so regardless of if Van Persie leaves or stays.
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