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September Player of the Month

Once again, September has been something of a mixed month for Arsenal and, as such, the choices for Player of the Month are hardly multitudinous. Since coming back from suspension, Alex Song has enjoyed a solid month in front of the defence. Like Ramsey, I think he has benefited from having an assured player like Arteta beside him- who has also enjoyed a good September. He has ably filled in at centre half too.

Bacary Sagna`s freakish consistency makes him a contender pretty much every month, that consistency will be brought into even sharper focus now that he is sadly unavailable for the next 3 months. As with last month, Wojciech Szczesny is unlucky not to walk away with the overall prize. Home victories over Swansea and Bolton owed no small part to bright, alert reaction stops made by the Pole in the opening minutes of both games. Szczesny is Schmeichel-esque in his approach to one on ones. He has also developed the happy knack of being able to make that one critical save a game that Arsenal keepers are sometimes called to make.

But my September Player of the Month treads a well worn path. Since beginning the Player of the Month articles back in August 2007, this player has picked the gong up seven times and won Player of the Season twice. Lord Dennis alone knows what that figure would be with a slightly improved fitness record. Our captain and, clearly, our sole talisman, Robin van Persie. In September he reached 100 Arsenal career goals. He has 25 goals in 29 appearances in 2011. With Fabregas now having sloped off over the horizon home, you could argue that van Persie has endured a reduced service this season. However, at the beginning of the month, I saw a statistic (which I can`t quite place now) that van Persie had had more unsuccessful shots at goal than any other Premier League player.

That statistic will probably surprise you. Not only due to Robin`s quality, but because that troubling accuracy did not manifest itself into his self confidence. He simply carried on doing what he was doing, safe in the knowledge that his quality would prevail in the end. (We all know of his unerring love affair with the woodwork). Van Persie tends to begin seasons slowly anyway. Last season, he effectively started in December and didn`t get scoring until January. The season before, it took him four matches to notch his first of the season.

But van Persie is a player who, fittingly for a captain, a player that approaches every single game in exactly the same fashion. Against Borussia Dortmund he was somewhat starved of service, spending much of the game tracking back to help his wingers in defending against the Dortmund onslaught. He had one chance in the entire game. He took it with aplomb. Van Persie is capable of such a variety of goals. Against Dortmund, Walcott put him through on goal. On his wrong foot and with little time to act, he just put his foot through it and concentrated on scoring.

Yet compare that with the unyielding subtlety of his second against Bolton and his 100th for Arsenal. Walcott`s ball in was hit with pace, van Persie was facing away from goal. Despite the split second he had to make the decision on how to finish, he knew the pace was already on the ball; it just needed a nudge in the right direction. So that`s all he did. Turned his boot on it. It was a beautiful finish. This isn`t a criticism of the club`s other strikers, but nobody else at Arsenal would`ve finished like that. Few other Premiership strikers would have. It`s instinct combined with brains. To borrow a coaching cliché, you don`t teach that.

His first in the same game saw him catch Jaaskelainen off his guard with his poise and balance in the penalty area. Robin has a good instinct for surprising a goalkeeper when he strikes a ball. Ask Victor Valdes. He can catch a keeper by surprise, it`s something he does time and again. What was notable in the Bolton home fixture too was his willingness to argue with every member of the Bolton back four on his lonesome when, frankly, they were acting like a pack of douches. It`s the sort of fist pumping people have been demanding from an Arsenal captain for some time.

At Blackburn, even though he didn`t score (the second away game of 2011 he failed to do so), his peach of a cross found the head of Marouane Chamakh to set up something of a finale in an ill fated game. Having written articles of this ilk for van Persie so many times, it`s difficult to know what else to say. Which area of his game to appraise. All I would ask is that you try and find one person who would deny that he is our best player. His increasing maturity, particularly over the last 3-4 years, has moulded him into the world`s finest striker in my opinion. It`s been a pleasure watching him grow up in an Arsenal shirt. I hope we get to see him grow old in one too. LD.

August- Thomas Vermaelen

Follow me on twitter @LittleDutchVA




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 6 2011

Time: 10:33PM

Your Comments

got to be that Koscielny - he looks the dogs doodahs- get Squillaci alongside him and it'll be like Adams and Bould all over again.
Spurnik
Why does vital arsenal go silent when they're losing?
Guyver
It can't be the Defence thats for sure, the Midfield is leaderless & RVP is all Celine Dion (all by himself). Has to be Szczesny, without him you guys would be bottom the league. Im not being flippant, tbh Im shocked so goodness knows how you lot are feeling ?

It is lovely tho to watch Arsene squirm ! Still he isn't 1 of the greatest Managers by fluke, he & you guys will be back in the mix soon & when you are we'll be ready to pull the rug from under you again ! TTID COYS
True Spurs Supporter
"Why does vital arsenal go silent when they're losing?" 13 articles posted in the last 48 hours.
Little Dutch
But how many people are contributing to these articles? exactly! The members for vital arsenal become less active the more Arsenal go into decline. You should write a new article on how your player of the month Van Persie, has not ruled out a move away from your club.. Man city have..
Guyver
It's harder to leave a comment on all 13 articles at once, Guyver. I can just about get away with spending 3 hours a day at work writing posts that no-one wants to read, but I can't stretch to a whole day.
damiano_tommassi
Probably because we don't want to post on article 'littered' with spuddies comments.....
LondonGooner
Actually, if you check the forums, the amount of responses goes up enormously when we're not playing well. Compare the amount of comments on the Bolton match report (won 3-0) to the Spurs one, which we lost. There wouldn't be much interest in a van Persie article of that ilk, it would be a rehash of facts everybody already knows. Geezer with time on his contract says, "I'll see." Not particularly newsworthy, unless you're a tabloid with pressure to fill pages and to create controversy where none exists. As far as the site goes, I focus more on the quality of posts than the quantity. Most contributors here are capable of making good points clearly. Vital Spurs is a bit more tabloid for my liking, lots of "firsts!" and "we're gonna win the league, of no ***** me, now we're gonna get relegated."
Little Dutch
---Vital Spurs is a bit more tabloid for my liking, lots of "firsts!" and "we're gonna win the league, of no ***** me, now we're gonna get relegated."--- Perfectly summed up.
LondonGooner
It's complaints vs compliments. I many walsk of life, it's much more common for people to voice their opinions when they're hacked-off than when they're happy.
damiano_tommassi
We've never said you're going to get relegated LD. ;)
Crissybwoy
The sp*rs site is a bear pit of inbred neanderthal knuckledragging grunts. Even after their win against us there they are, tearing strips off another, insults flying, homophobic guff slung everywhere. Embarrassment to the network.
nikolaijns
It's called passion nikolaijns. You should work some up, sometime.
Crissybwoy
I think I'll stick with my initial views thanks, it's far closer to the truth than some misguided attempt to label it 'passion'
nikolaijns
Heh..perfectly put Niko..
Sajit
Obviously some of you have very high opinions of yourselves.. I know it was LONG ago, but there was a time when Arsenal were actually superior to us, and I recall many of your well cultured members coming over to VitalSpurs for the sole purpose of trolling. In fact the only reason im here is because I wondered where all your trolls have gone, was shocked to find how inactive this place is compared to a couple years ago for example. And yes, the "im 1st game" some people play is silly and the banter can go OTT, but these things are inevitable when you have such a large variety of members (various ages, backgrounds ect) and have articles that regularly top 300 posts. Now im SURE when Arsenal start performing well again, VitalAsenal will be back to its vibrant best.. which says alot about some of you guys doesnt it! Wheres the passion lads, wheres the support? And niko, how do you know what VS is like unless you are a regular lurker. 1 of your guilty pleasures eh? lol
Guyver
Thing is guyver the Arsenal trolls you talk of we hardly see if ever see here, that's the thing with trolls they're more obsessed with the club they troll over than the one they purport to support (Hi tony!) So to ask us where our trolls have gone? why would we know? unless we read all the sites on vital which I for one never do, only other clubs I sometimes go on are the chavs and you lot. Arsenal have a huge number of blogs and sites and noone here is saying it's one of the busier ones but we like it and the regulars have been rocked up here for nuff seasons. I think one of the reasons vital seems quieter for some clubs (ours included) is the split between the front page and the forums, were the forums to go then we'd likely see a surge on the front page comments. But in all honesty it doesn't seem massively quieter here due to our shoite form.
nikolaijns
I feel privileged that you have an anti-Spurs banner on this site, it deflects well from your own short-comings as a team and a club. Focus more on your own club and less on abusing other teams, you should clean up your own back-yard before you go knocking on your neighbours door. I'm only on here because I saw nikolaijns comment to Cape Town Spur, about 'shooting blicks' to quote him the other day. What a disgraceful thing to say, even if it was a joke, yet he thinks he's Billy-big-********* saying that other people lack class etc. Must be lonely on your pedestal, yet you come across as being a terrible human-being. Your comment was far, far worse than being an "inbred neanderthal knuckledragging grunt". Far worse. You're a joke.
Crissybwoy
Which means that you are here obsessing over and stalking a joke, sorry to break it to you but that's even more tragic.
nikolaijns
Get bent you racist ****. Taking the moral high-ground when you're a parasite. Run out of bananas to throw onto the pitch already?
Crissybwoy
Anyone who read your remark would be of no doubt as to who is 'tragic' around here.
Crissybwoy
HAHAHA, I just got it.......absolutely genius. I now realise you were only joking about shooting black people, sorry if I took it the wrong way, I hold responsibility for myself approaching it with totally the wrong perspective. I truly forgot how much of a comedy gold-mine that subject is, my sincere apologies if I offended you though nikolaijns. I've suddenly realised that what you wrote is by far and away the funniest thing ever written by a mammal with opposable thumbs. A clever person though, originally I thought that what you said was completely ridiculous, however I now realise that it was a cheeky gag and should have been taken in the 'jokey', anecdotal context that it was meant in.
Crissybwoy
By god you're thick hissybwoy, and more than a little disturbed like so many sp*rs fans that have trodden the boards here over the years. Ok I'll spell it out for you although you obviously like waving that flag on top of the molehill you've just conquered and named mount sillymanjiro. What I was doing to cape town spur was giving him a ball squeeze over his countries abhorrent history yeah, so ******** what? Apartheid aint dead there and only a fool thinks the segregation and hatred is no longer. You don't have to scratch far underneath the surface of most saffas to find pretty shocking ingrained endemic beliefs. That's the point I was making, although it obviously flew so far over your fragile little mind. Stick to visualising me giving handjobs to Wenger - you found your level there. Kissymwah x
nikolaijns
Hook. Line. Sinker. For your reference, Cape Town Spur is from North London.
Crissybwoy
Oh you, you're such a wag! Is this where you are also revealed as someone who isn't a tedious little stalking weirdo?
nikolaijns
 

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