Tag Archive: Robin Van Persie


By Laurie Fitzgerald

After a truly great summer of sport dominated our attention, it almost feels like the new football season has snuck up on without anyone realising.

But it’s easy to forget after the past few weeks of witnessing our Olympic heroes inspire a nation that last season’s Premier League campaign will be etched into the memory of every football fan for many years to come.

A title race that came down to the last kick of the season (literally) a battle for the Champions League places that had more twists and turns than a Carlos Tevez transfer saga, and a relegation battle that had supporters of several clubs biting their nails for several months on end.

Now, the new season gets underway today with either plenty of change or plenty of uncertainty dominating the thoughts of clubs ready for the next long journey ahead.     Continue reading

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

On Sunday night, the Professional Football Association revealed the recipients of their numerous annual awards as the Premier League season draws ever nearer to its conclusion.

Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie received the PFA Player of the Year after his 27 league goals have helped keep the Gunners on course for a Champions League spot.

Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker was awarded the PFY Young Player of the Year following his impressive displays at for Harry Redknapp’s side.

Also announced was the PFA team of the year, where the best players in their respective positions are recognised for their efforts throughout the campaign.

As always, this has drawn plenty of debate from football lovers as to those that deserve to be in the XI, and those that have been unfairly ignored for their performances over the past nine months.     Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez
Yesterday the shortlist of players who are in with a chance of winning the PFA Player of the year were revealed, the lucky six include three Manchester City players in Sergio Aguero, David Silva and goalkeeper Joe Hart, the other nominees are the Premier League’s top two scorers Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie who has scored against every club besides Man City and Fulham. Manchester United Wayne Rooney and finally Tottenham’s midfield destroyer Scott Parker.
Shortly after the nominations many were questioning the shortlist especially the inclusion of Tottenham man Scott Parker. Unfortunately for Parker he plays a role which is not often appreciated by fans but even aside from that I don’t think his nomination is justified.
Parker to his credit played very well for the first half of the season when Tottenham were a breath of fresh air in the Premier League with their style, however it wasn’t only Parker who was good in that spell Gareth Bale at spells was unplayable, Adebayor was a constant menace either through his goal scoring ability or as a provider of goals.      Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez
With 2011 coming to an end with most clubs only having a single fixture left or having already completed their duties in 2011 we look back to the stand out moments in 2011 and to see what yours are no matter how big or small.

The joy of this topic is it will be different for everyone and can span from a Champions League memory to one in the lowest of levels of Football.

For the sake of this article I will look back to my top 4 memories of the year. These are in no particular order but are all moments that have touched my heart, made my chuckle or just made me celebrate like a mad man.
  Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

Most Football fans will be aware that yesterdays fixture vs Everton saw Arsenal mark their 125th anniversary as a Football club, the club have been through various stages during that time and looked to commemorate as many as possible prior to yesterdays kick off.

The main attractions and the ones that will make the news are the guard of honour given by club legends from all eras who had been introduced to the crowd, of course the statues and Thierry Henry’s tearful speech and the North Bank holding up signs to display the number 125.

However there were many other mementos that may not reach a wider audience than those at the Emirates, that match ball was brought on by the great grand children of one of the original founders of Arsenal Football club, the coin toss to decide kick off was performed using a sixpence as the original founders of the club all put in a sixpence to buy a football.

There was also a nice touch at half time with a presentation made to a staff member ofNottinghamForestas they donated a red and white kit to Arsenal which as you all know is the colours Arsenal still play in to this day.

After all the ceremonies were over and the fans chanted their songs for the likes of Ian Wright, Thierry Henry, Bob Wilson, Robert Pires and Rocky Rocastle their was still a game to be played and three valuable Premier League points up for grabs. 

 This has never been a website where you come to read match reports as frankly they can be found anywhere and are a dime a dozen as the saying goes, I am not going to break tradition in writing a match report as by the time you have read this you will of seen the highlights anyway.

The game was won by a piece of individual brilliance from current talisman Robin Van Persie ( who on a side not had quite a poor game) but the most fitting thing about this result was the score line, if ever one score line was written into Arsenal history it would be One-Nil to the Arsenal.

 The whole day show just how much pride there really is in the Football club and also the talent that’s been through the doors in the clubs rich history, as I eluded to earlier three statues were erected outside of the Emirates stadium to commemorate club legends, the figures chosen were Thierry Henry, Herbert Chapman and Tony Adams, there was many debates amongst fans as to who the legends and in all honesty 20 statues may have not been enough.

Who could argue with the likes of Arsene Wenger, George Graham, Pat Rice, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp to name just a few having a statue in their honour, I’ve been lucky enough to see these people involved with my club, yesterday brought home what a true honour it has been to be a fan of this wonderful club and the beautiful game.

As a proud Gooner and footballer lover I joyfully say here’s to the next 125 years.

What are your memories of the club? Do you think the celebrations were fitting for a 125th anniversary? Who would you of had a statue of outside the ground?

If you ar eon Twitter please follow us @sfts1

By Tony Alvarez
Earlier in the week the shortlist of 23 players who are in contention to win the coverted Ballon D’or or the world player of the year award to you and me were announced.
Amongst the shortlist were many of the usual contenders Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and a whole host of other Spanish based players, the players who ply their trade in the Premier League on the shortlist were Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Nani Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero Liverpool’s Uruguayan hot shot Luis Saurez and former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas (mentioned due to him being at Arsenal for most of the calendar year.) 

What makes the Ballon D’or different from other awards apart from its prestige is the fact it is judged on calendar year so from Jan 1st 2011 to Dec 31st 2011 this is so voters can take into account any international tournament there may have been during the year.
You will notice from the title of my article that its about the omission of one man from the 22 man shortlist, Robin Van Persie, I know I am an Arsenal fan but I don’t believe I’m being biased when I say in this calendar year he has been in the top 10 players in the world so to not be on a 22 man shortlist is ludicrous.
His goals to game ratio speaks for itself in the league in 2011 he has scored 29 goals from 28 appearances, only 5 men have ever scored 30 goals in the Premier League in a calendar year before fitness permitting Van Persie has 8 games to add his name to the list, not only is the record great but he has performed at every level, he is not only notching against the lesser sides, he has hit the back of the net at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and least we forget scored a pivotal goal in a victory against the eventual Champions League winners.
Not only has he consistently performed home and away whilst leading by example and captaining Arsenal he has also been on form with his international side a criticism which is often labelled at many of the nominees on the shortlist.

In the current season Van Persie has scored four goals in four international fixtures, these may have been against some weak competition but all the major nations will come up against weaker nations, they still have to be punished.

I am not for one minute saying that Van Persie is a better player than him but on goals per game record in 2011 Van Persie is second ahead of many people’s favourite to receive the award Lionel Messi, Van Persie’s record is bettered only by that of Cristiano Ronaldo.

How can the second best striker in Europe who is plying his trade in arguably the best league in Europe if not the second best be omitted, he has scored more goals than most others led his side and to be frank he does not have the quality of players along side him that other nominee’s have.

There are many people who can feel hard done by to not be on the shortlist includingManchesterCity’s David Silva but it can be argued he has not performed for the whole year and just since August.

There is obviously no way the shortlist will be changed but I feel Van Persie has been dealt a huge disservice in over looking him, as an Arsenal fan and a Football fan I hope he makes them take notice of his ability’s and keeps scoring from now until the date the player of the year is announced to make a mockery of the system.

What are your thoughts? Should Van Persie of been included in the shortlist? Where would you place him in terms of Worlds best player this year? Was Van Persie overlooked because Arsenal are no longer a glamorous side? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

If you are on Twitter please follow us @SFTS1

By Tony Alvarez

 Today sees Arsenal and Tottenham meet atWhite Hart Lanefor the firstNorth Londonderby of the 2011-2012 season and for the first time in recent memory Tottenham go in to the game as favourites for the victory, it pains me to say it as an Arsenal fan but the odds are justified.

Tottenham have played 5 games in the Premier League this term due to their opening day fixture against Everton being postponed due to the riots at the time, from the 5 fixtures Tottenham have gained 9 points and sit 7th in the league in a very tight table.

Arsenal on the other hand have played 6 fixtures and have only picked up 7 points which leaves them in 13th place.

Despite the gap between the sides in the League table the simplest of maths will tell you that should Arsenal pick up the three points in today’s fixture they will leapfrog their fierce rivals.

Tottenham had a poor start to the campaign losing to Manchester United away before suffering a heavy defeat to Manchester City at White Hart Lane, but since then everything has gone well for Harry Redknapps men, loan signing Emmanuel Adebayor has become eligible to play and Tottenham haven’t looked back beating Wolves, destroying Liverpool and picking up the three points at Wigan.

Arsenal have looked like a side void of confidence after losing key players in the Summer and then suffering a frankly embarrassing defeat at Manchester United, a battling win at Swansea seemed to put Arsenal back on track before suffering another set back away to relegation candidates Blackburn, since then Arsenal have looked to of found some form with a confidence boosting win over Bolton Wanderers and a Champions League victory over Greek side Olympiakos despite starting without around 6 first team regulars.

Ex Arsenal man Adebayor has hit the ground running in a Spurs shirt scoring 3 goals in 3 games and there is no doubt that the Togolese man will be more than up for the battle tomorrow which Arsenal fans will know is dangerous.

There is no doubting Adebayors ability and when he is truly up for it he can be one of the most dangerous strikers in the game and due to the bad feeling form the fans when he left Arsenal, Adebayor will certainly be “up for it” come kick off.

Many Arsenal fans will tell you that Tottenham seem to raise there game more for the North London derby and it seems like the derby means more to them, this as well as home advantage and the fact that they are simply playing the better Football at the moment sees many agreeing with the bookies suggestion that Tottenham will win this fixture.

As much as it hurts to say it Tottenham are rightly favourites and should be thinking of nothing less than a victory but I would also not rule Arsenal out, you do not need me to tell you about the performances that Arsenal can produce and often when nothing is expected of them and with players of the quality of Robin Van Persie in the line up you can never write them off.

I would not be surprised if this fixture ended as a draw but that might just be my pride saying that and my heart ruling my head, Arsenal’s defence is notoriously shaky and Tottenham are not clean sheet merchants themselves, my hypothetical money is going on a 2-2 draw with both Adebayor and Van Persie to find the net, my real money is… staying in my pocket.

What are your thoughts? Who will go home with the 3 points from the North London derby? What is your score line prediction? How much of an impact will Emmanuel Adebayor have? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

Following Shouts From the Stands recent articles looking into various awards and who we believe the candidates are and who we would pick as winners of those awards it is now the turn of our team of the season

This is going to be chosen on whos done more for their club rather than who is the better player as we don’t want to see the same old players popping up all the time.

Goal keeper-

For us this was a toss up between Edwin Van Der Sar and Ben Foster, there can be no argument that Van Der Sar has been more steady and has made less errors but in this team we will opt for Ben Foster, without some of his stunning performances this season Birmingham would be in deep trouble and possibly already relegated, so whilst Van Der Sar has been remarkable this term as have many others Foster is the man for our team.

Right Back-

This was a tough one for us as no one has been outstanding; we narrowed it down to Micah Richards and Bacary Sagna. Whilst Sagna has not been at his best this season he has still been the best right back in the Premier League, Richards has been back to his best form of a couple of seasons ago and is on this list because he has given City the have lacked in recent years and thus had a big impact on his side, his strength and aerial ability make him a solid defender and his pace and power make him a threatening attacking option. For our team due to the impact he has had on his club we will select Micah Richards.

Centre backs-

For me there are two stand out candidates for these two slots in our side and those are Nemanja Vidic who I personally believe is favourite to win player of the year and Vincent Kompany who has really shown the Premier League what he can do this term at the heart of the Man City defence. I personally cannot see anyone who has come close to these two Gallas has performed well in his first season in a Spurs shirt but he has not been a rock who a defence can be formed around unlike Kompany and Vidic.

Left back-

Again this was between the candidate who has probably performed best this term Patrice Evra and a candidate who has performed above all expectation Newcastle’s Jose Enrique.

Evra has not been up to his usual standards this season but has been far and away the best left back in the Premier League.

Jose Enrique’s performances this term have seen him linked with a whole host of clubs in European Football which will not please Newcastle fans, however due to him being a dependable option both defensively and bombing forward, Jose Enrique is our selected left back.

Right winger-

For me there was only one real option for this position. Despite his shock omission from the Player of the Year shortlist Nani has been stunning this term.

He has helped him self to 9 premier league goals and leads the assists table.

He has offered more to Man United’s attacking line up than any other and if they win the title he will have had a big hand in the triumph for this reason we will select Nani.

 

Centre Midfielders-

This was some what a tough call for us, as I decided to go with a 4-4-2 formation you generally need a defensive midfielder and a more offensive minded one unless there is an outstanding candidate who is a box to box midfielder this season although Joey Barton has been good I don’t think he’s done enough to make It into this side.

Although Samir Nasri has played in various positions he has been at his devastating best performing centrally or coming from the middle with a sort of free role after starting from the left hand side his performances have been recognised by the PFA as he has been shortlisted for the top prize and is selected as one of our central midfielders.

My candidates for the more defensive minded midfielder both came from clubs who were not challenging for honours, Chiek Tiote has been a colossus in his debut season in the Premier League and has been the ideal partner to allow Kevin Nolan to roam forward and find the net.

Scott Parker has commanded the West Ham midfield and the rest of his side in the dressing room at times if reports are to be believed, he has scored goals, made goal saving tackles, provided assist and generally kept his side flowing. Without him West Ham would be relegated already. His form has also been recognized by the PFA as he is nominated for the player of the year award.

For me Parker just shades Tiote as he also has goals and assists in his locker.

Left Midfielder

This was a tough decision for me as the two candidates are in completely contrasting situations. Matt Jarvis is struggling at the wrong end of the table to try and make sure his Wolves side can secure a Premiership future.

The other candidate I had in mind Gareth Bale has pushed his side to a Champions League quarter final and has helped Tottenham completely change the way they play and added a real dynamic dimension to the Spurs side, he is feared World wide now due to his performances this season, which is why he just shades Matt Jarvis and Gareth Bale is selected as our left winger.

Strikers-

It would be all too easy to select the players who top the scoring charts which would mean Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez would be our strike force, however for me Berbatov has not been impressive this term he has found the back of the net but you would not call him a shining light.

On the other hand Carlos Tevez has led the line for City and everything attacking City do comes through Tevez, despite the numerous millions spent on attacking talent Tevez is still their main man and again his efforts have been recognised by the PFA for these reasons Carlos Tevez is one half of our strike force.

The second striker was a really tough one for me to decide, for me since the start of 2011 Robin Van Persie has been the best player in the Premier League. His goals and creative ability have added a lot to Arsenals play and leaves fans wondering what if he had been fit all season.

The other candidate has also only played half a season. Andy Carroll was magnificent and helped give Newcastle a solid base to build upon in their first season back in the Premier League. The formidable target man has seen himself rise from a Championship player to an England international and the record British signing in the space of 10 months.

However since his move to Liverpool he has not hit the back of the net and his side are less dependant on him which makes him less valuable for this particular selection so whilst it may be my Arsenal tinted glasses on I am going to select Robin Van Persie

Our final 11:

Ben Foster

Micah Richards   Nemanja Vidic   Vincent Kompany Jose Enrqiue

Nani         Scott Parker      Samir Nasri    Gareth Bale

Carlos Tevez   Robin Van Persie

What do you think of this selection? What would your side be and why? Have I made any glaring errors in this line up? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

By Tony Alvarez

Another day another footballing controversy- The FA have announced that subject to appeal Wayne Rooney will serve a 2 match ban for “using offensive language” during his sides 4-2 victory at Upton Park on Saturday.

The title of this article is very deliberate because although he has been given the suspension for using offensive language I would be shocked if every player on the pitch did not swear in one language or another at some point during that football match Rooney was just stupid enough to do it in front of a camera.

I understand emotions were high he had just completed his hat trick and in doing that potentially won a game for his club and possibly proved a lot of doubters over his form this season wrong.

Should United choose to not appeal the ban handed to Rooney he will miss the fixtures at home to Fulham and the Manchester Derby FA cup Semi final.

Thankfully for them due to Fulham’s recent form a ban for Rooney should not damage the clubs title challenge too much, also its not as if United lack cover, with both Hernandez and Berbatov out scoring Rooney this term you would not imagine they will struggle to put the ball in the back of the net although his energy and creativity will be tough to replace.

The bigger miss will be for the game against City at Wembley, City notoriously defend deeply and as a tight unit against the bigger sides a spark of magic beat them at Old Trafford and United were unable to break down their rivals at Eastlands. This is where Rooney’s vision and passing ability could be a huge loss.

As the FA generally judge any appeal against a ban as frivolous thus gaining the appealer an extra game ban I doubt Rooney will appeal at the risk of being suspended for an extra fixture (Newcastle away) unless they decide to overturn the ban which would be highly unlikely as it was not a ban received from a red card but something the FA decided themselves Rooney will miss the Semi final against City anyway so no point in appealing.

Back to the question in hand should the ban of been received? As mentioned above everyone swears in a Football match fans, players and dare I say it officials, the argument I have heard is that he is a role model to young people so should not be seen to be behaving in such a manor, however up and done the country parents will have watched Football with their kids and swore. In most cases to a young boy growing up no one is more of a role model than their father.

I am all for camping down on abusing officials and other players but Rooney’s language was not aimed at anyone so there for as it can be seen as foul language but it certainly was not abusive.

I can certainly see why he was banned but I do sympathise with him some what, if a player was banned for 2 games every time he was caught swearing then there would be a suspension every week, as an Arsenal fan I remember Robin Van Persie scoring at Eastlands a few years ago and quite clearly swearing into the crowd in his celebration. It was caught on camera but not directly into the camera…..this seems to of been Rooney’s downfall.

What are your thoughts? Does Rooney deserve a ban? Should United consider an appeal? Will Rooney be greatly missed should he miss these two fixtures? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

By Tony Alvarez

Only in the FA cup can you start following by Torquay United at home to Carlisle United and fin yourself previewing the fixture that has been the biggest in English Football over the past 15 years. Manchester United vs. Arsenal.

 Both team are coming off the back of major set backs and United will be looking to get one over on the side who currently look like the only real challengers to them snatching the Premier League title back from Chelsea.

 United currently look somewhat shaky after suffering back to back defeats against champions Chelsea and bitter rivals Liverpool, the Liverpool game was filled with talking points none more so than United’s media black out following the defeat but the club are expected to talk to the club this weekend.

Another incident in that game was Jamie Carragher’s horror tackle on Nani which has ruled the winger out of Saturdays fixture with Arsenal, I personally believe this is a massive blow for the Red Devils as without him and long term absentee I feel they lack creative spark although veteran Ryan Giggs is always capable of producing some magic as Arsenal an FA cup fans will know all too well.

United are however boosted by the return of Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic who missed the Liverpool game through suspension, he adds a lot more steel to their backline and for me is the best centre back in the World.

United are not the only ones suffering, Arsenal saw their Champions League dreams ruined in somewhat controversial fashion in midweek at the hands of Barcelona, although the Gunners were outclassed they had to play over 30 minutes with 10 men due to Robin Van Persie’s ridiculous sending off, which would presumably leave their team extremely fatigued for their visit to Old Trafford.

They are also without skipper and influential play maker Cesc Fabregas due to a reoccurrence of a hamstring injury he picked up at Stoke a few weeks back.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has however vowed to field the strongest possible side from the players he has available which hopefully sets us up for a cracking cup tie at Old Trafford.

United overcame non league side Crawley Town 1-0 in the previous round in a fixture that was not as comfortable as the Manchester outfit would of planned.

Arsenal also had problems in round 5 needing a reply to see off league one side Leyton Orient.

My prediction for this fixture would be a score draw as I said above I don’t think much of United’s creative side without Nani and Valencia but Arsenals defence is very shaky As neither side will want a replay the game is more likely to be settled by the odd goal and despite me being an Arsenal fan if I had to name the odd goal winner it would be United due to Fabregas’s absence and the return of Vidic.

  Who do you think will progress? Is there and major reason for this? Will the winner of this go on to list the famous trophy? Is Vidic the best centre back in the World? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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