Arsenal Opinion: Robin Van Persie's Top 20 Goals for Arsenal Football Club
Robin van Persie is a technically proficient striker who has made a name for himself in the Red half of North London. He’s a player blessed with an amazing technique, an eye for a pass and clinical finishing ability.
He started his career as a winger, but Arsene Wenger decided to give him a more central role after signing him from Feyernoord in 2004. He thrived well as a supporting striker to Thierry Henry and they combined well for a number of seasons before King Henry’s departure to Barcelona in the start of the 2007-08 campaign.
Arsene Wenger has groomed many great strikers and their exit always paved the way for another to emerge as the next best thing. Henry, Nwankwo Kanu and Dennis Bergkamp ruled the frontline for Arsene Wenger’s Red and White army for a couple of seasons before the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Eduardo stole the show.
Van Persie has always been around, but injuries blighted the early part of his Arsenal career so he never had the chance to fulfill his potential. Since the start of 2011, the striker has stayed fit and this has been to the detriment of many clubs playing against Arsenal as the Flying Dutchman has gone on to smash 34 goals in 38 games this calendar year.
Van Persie has played 246 games for Arsenal and he has scored an impressive 108 goals, so picking out the best 20 hasn’t been an easy task, but just enjoy the article because all the goals in this list are simply amazing.
20. The Match Clincher Against Sunderland (The Emirates, 11/12 Season, 2-1)
When the chips were down, captain Van-tastic stepped up to coolly slot a free kick past Sunderland’s Mignolet.
19. The stunning goal against Aston villa (Highbury, 05/06 season, 5-0)
Arsenal ran riot against Aston Villa in the season that will be remembered for their exploits in the Champions League. Van Persie did well to save the ball from going out while closed down by Aston Villa’s goalie Thomas Sorensen, who was on the ground.
The Dutch forward used his quick feet to skip past the keeper like he wasn’t there before slamming the ball in from a tight angle.
18. The Turn and Twister Against Blackburn (The Emirates, 2006/07 Season, 6-2)
In a winter night were Arsenal was simply brilliant, Van Persie received the ball on the right before being closed by a defender wearing the White and Blue colors of the Lancashire-based outfit. Van Persie went left, right, left and right again before teeing the ball to his left foot.
The rest, as they say, was history…
17. The Clinical Finish Against Watford (Vicarage Road, 06/07 Season, 2-1)
Van Persie received the ball on the right edge of the box and was quickly closed down by a Watford defender, but the intelligent forward moved away from the bloke before slotting the ball past Charlton’s goalie to win the game for Arsenal.
16. The Roof Buster Against Steaua Bucharest (Steaua, 07/08 Season, 1-0)
In what proved to be a hardly-fought encounter, Alex Hleb fed Emmanuel Adebayor, who bulldozered his way to the byline. His cutback evaded Fabregas but not Van Persie, who hammered a left-foot shot high into the net.
15. The Rocket of a Free Kick Against Sunderland (The Emirates, 07/08 Season,3-2
When Sunderland visited the Emirates in the 2006-07 campaign, van Persie had a free kick at the edge of the box.
After the referee’s antics that involved setting up a wall, van Persie smashed in a rocket past a hapless Craig Gordon who didn’t know what hit him.
14. The Scissors Kick Against Wolves (The Emirates, 10/11 Season, 2-0)
Cesc Fabregas failed to build on his amazing 2009-10 campaign due to his injury woes, but he did well in the tie against Wolves. Fabregas sent in a carefully weighted cross for van Persie and with the ball below the striker, he did well to attempt a scissors kick that went past the goalie.
13. The Match Clincher Against Chelsea (Stamford Bridge, 11/12 Season)
In one of the most open games in Premier League history, van Persie stole the show with a marvelous hat trick, but his final goal will be fondly remembered as it drove the nail in Chelsea’s coffin.
A quick counter-attack from the back saw Rosicky feed Alex Song who in turn slotted a pass to Mikel Arteta. Arteta gave the captain the ball and van Persie obliged by slamming the ball past an unimpressive Petr Cech.
12. The Close Finish Against Birmingham City (The Emirates, 08/09 Season)
In a season that brought out the best in Joe Hart, Birmingham visited the Emirates with the hope of snatching a draw, but van Persie and co. had other ideas.
Van Persie received a poor pass that was slightly behind him, but he used his good technique to get the ball under control before slotting it past Hart.
11. The Brilliant Free Kick Against Everton (The Emirates, 06/07 Season, 2-1)
Van Persie was faced with a free kick at the edge of the area when Arsenal hosted Everton. He moved towards the ball, stopped a bit before curling it past Tim Howard, who was inches away from hitting his head on the post.
10. The Sleek Goal Against Liverpool (The Emirates, 08/09 Season, 1-1)
Van Persie showed great control to bring the ball to his right before smashing it past Pepe Reina.
9. The Scissors Kick Against Birmingham City (Wembley, 10/11 Season, 1-2)
Jack Wilshere cracked the bar with a sumptuous volley with Foster well beaten. Arshavin picked up the ball and made space for a teasing cross from the right which van Persie expertly hooked into the far corner of the net.
He got injured in the process.
8. The Curler Against Sparta Prague (Highbury, 05/06 Season, 3-0)
In a day where the technical Dutch king (Bergkamp) and his crown prince (van Persie) played together in the Champions League, Sparta Prague where on the end of brilliant football by the hosts wearing that landmark Maroon and White outfit.
On the edge of the area, Bergkamp sent a carefully guided pass to van Persie who had a few touches before curling the ball past the hapless Sparta goalie.
7. The Belter Against Fulham (Craven Cottage, 06/07 Season, 1-2)
Fulham beat Arsenal in this tie to secure their first win against the Gunners since 1966 or so, but the only Arsenal goal came from a brilliant van Persie free kick from some distance out. Antti Niemi had no chance in Hell.
6. The Superb Carling Cup Free Kick Against Wigan (Highbury, 05/06 Season, 2-1)
In a season where Arsenal was firing on all cylinders, Arsene Wenger’s side had to overcome a 1-0 deficit in the Carling Cup semifinal against Wigan Athletic.
Van Persie was faced with a dead-ball opportunity on the right-hand side and slammed his free kick past the goalie who didn’t even move a muscle.
5. The 180 Degree Finish Against Internazionale (The Emirates, 06/07 Season 2-1)
Arsenal graced their state-of-the-art stadium for the first time and launched it with the Prestigious Emirates Cup. Van Persie moved with the ball in the box before attempting the famous Marseille Roulette in an 180-degree manner before smashing the ball past Julio Cesar with his right boot.
3. The Finish from an Impossible Angle Against Barcelona (The Emirates, 10-11)
16th February, 2011.
Certainly a day that I will tell my kids about in the future after witnessing the Emperors of modern football lose at the Emirates.
Gael Clichy overlapped well but saw that there was a little opening for Van Persie. He played a clever chip to the striker’s path. The intelligent Dutch noticed that Victor Valdes left a very minute gap on his near post so he lashed a shot from an impossible angle that beat him on his near post.
2. The Superb Curler Against Blackburn (Highbury, 05/06 Season, 3-0)
Van Persie received the ball on the right-hand side and was closed down by Robbie Savage and another bloke, but he did well to evade both players to move in on the right edge of the box. Savage cannily put a foot in to put van Persie off balance, but it didn’t faze the forward as he curled the ball superbly past Brad Friedel.
1. The Shaolin Super Kick Against Charlton (The Valley, 06/07 Season)
In my lifetime, I’ve seen a boatload of goals, but I can’t recall many goals better than van Persie’s unbelievable strike against Charlton in the Valley. African Cult hero, Farmer Emmanuel Eboue moved with the ball on the right before swinging a deep cross that went well over the box to the other side only to be smashed in mid-air by a Shaolin monk called van Persie.
The way I arranged the list of goals might not be the same with yours, but we can both agree that van Persie is not just a great goal scorer but a scorer of great goals.
Here’s to Robin van Persie.
A true Arsenal legend.