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Posted by Sam Limbert on 07/05/2012

Finishing the series of blog posts looking at the Arsenal squad, I’m going to rate, and in some cases slate, the Arsenal players for their performances over the last ten months. To say it’s been an eventful season for Arsenal would be a massive understatement, so I’m sure there will be plenty of disagreement with my ratings, so feel free to comment at the end of the blog. In my first blog post of the day following yesterday’s events surrounding our captain, it’s time to rate the strikers.

9. Ju-Young Park

One on those rushed through the checkout during Arsene Wenger’s trolley dash at the end of the summer transfer window, Ju-Young Park hasn’t really made his mark on Arsenal Football Club. The Korean captain was cheap, and did score an excellent goal against Bolton in the Carling Cup, but he just wasn’t given the chance to prove himself for the first team. That was partly down to the form and fitness of Robin van Persie, but also because I don’t think Wenger trusted him to lead the line. Undoubtedly a strange signing.

Season Rating: 2/10

10. Robin van Persie

On the pitch, no-one can doubt how good Robin van Persie was last season. Arsenal fans always maintained that if we could get a full season out of the Dutchman, he’d score a lot of goals. He did that, and led the team well as the club captain. There were matches where he dragged us out of a hole and it seemed like we’d found a captain that was able to unite the dressing room. The contract issue was always looming over his head, and his superb season now feels soured by Robin’s statement yesterday on his official website. There will be another blog later today about our captain’s remarkable burning of the bridge to the fans; a bridge that had looked so strong during the season.

Season Rating: 9/10

12. Thierry Henry

Forgive me, but considering he only played for the club for six weeks of the season, Thierry Henry is going to get an inappropriately high rating. That is because he’s Thierry Henry.

The night he returned against Leeds was one of the most beautiful moments seen at the Emirates. It brought grown men to tears and made younger fans who couldn’t really remember the great man realise why he is revered by everyone who loves the club. Despite the best efforts of the dubious goals panel, I still count the deflected goal against Blackburn as his, and then he won the match for us at Sunderland.

He arrived back at the club when we were going through a difficult time in the season, and put the feel good factor back into the fans. I personally felt like everything would be ok again because Thierry Henry was back. On the pitch, he didn’t too much apart from score those crucial goals. Off the pitch, I think he made a real difference to the team as they were able to feed off the bit of momentum that came from Thierry’s return, and were able to use it as a catalyst to catch Tottenham. There was always a small chance his legacy at the club would have been slightly tarnished, however he only enhanced his legendary status. Given we might have another striker problem; see you at the same time next season Thierry?

Season Rating: 7/10

29. Marouane Chamakh

We’re fortunate that Robin van Persie’s injury curse didn’t striker last season, because Marouane Chamakh didn’t strike fear into opponents when he played. The fact we re-signed an ageing Thierry Henry said a lot about Arsene Wenger’s confidence in our number two striker. Chamakh was clearly low on confidence during the season, but he never looked like gaining any when he did get a game. I won’t be surprised to see him leave the club this summer because he hasn’t fired in the last 18 months after the good start to his Arsenal career.

Season Rating: 2/10

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Posted by umar musa on 07/05/2012

nice one, vp should hv been given 10/10 he was our messiah last seaaon anoda messiah will emerge coming season inha Allah. Good luck Robin

Posted by henri on 07/05/2012

Well said Umar Musa! I think Thierry should have got 8/10, the extra point being for his undying love for the club.
I cant wait for your blog later today, I hope it goes along the lines....IF HE WANTS TO GO LET HIM GO!

Posted by Dchow on 07/05/2012

Sam: May I suggest that you do a write up on the future of Arsenal in the likelihood that we will be loosing RVP. This is a much concerned subject to Arsenal fans and we would like to use your blog to air our views?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Just starting an RvP blog. Will post later.

Posted by Tyler on 07/05/2012

Remember when we had Cesc, Nasri & RVP? Man, how good would Arsenal be if everyone had actually stayed?? The only reason Arsenal haven't won trophies is because people keep leaving. If they would stay, they would win trophies.

Posted by mustafa on 07/05/2012

I agree with your ratings of Park and Chamakh, but van persie should get 10/10 and The King(just because he is Thiery Henry) should get 10/10. I would give Henry 10/10 even if he played only one game, the Leeds game. LONG LIVE THE KING.

Posted by Nick Christie on 07/05/2012

I remain incredibly bummed out that Arsene broke ranks with Bendtner. Yes, Bendtner's crazy, and yes, he's not as good as he says he is, but come on: He's miles better than Chamakh and Park and could have easily been a quality centre forward either by himself with RVP rested but especially with RVP behind him.

Without him, we had no striker to come on and win games, we had to play Ramsey far too much, and we nearly always looked impotent when RVP was rested. To pay money for a 26-year-old back-up (and wages to him and Chamakh) rather than utilize Bentner or give higher salaries to RVP or Nasri defies logic. So amazing that we finished top-3 with only one striker on OUR WHOLE SQUAD... we got incredibly lucky that RVP was so good and also durable.

Posted by Patrick on 07/05/2012

To Tyler:
We didn't win anything with Cesc, Nasri, and RVP on the team. There might have been reasons for that, but the fact is, we didn't. Who's to say we would have this year?
It's time to let the next generation step up! I am so excited for this coming year. It's going to be great!

Posted by Boniface83 on 07/06/2012

No one is interested with this editorial after yesterday stunner strike from the main man. i was looking forward to this section sure it would use wonderful adjectives to praaise YOU-KNOW-WHO but after washing his underlinen in public and slapping Wenger in the face- wenger,the man who stood by him in his injury ravaged career,giving him self-belief,what was dat about? To hell with loyalty in modern day soccer? RVP stooped low. fabregas can come back to applause but not rvp. such loyalty paid back? I hope he breaks that leg of his. Am sorry am annoyed. Good luck to the new Captain Verminator who is bound to lift the long awaited trophies a la Tony Adams.

Posted by Nelson Zimbo on 07/06/2012

RvP should get a 10/10, i do not think he could have done better than what he did and neither could anyone been better than RvP. You rarely came across players who can carry the team the way he did especially when you consider that he carried it to 3rd position. For this past season, RvP was Arsenal and Arsenal was RvP.

Posted by Passclop on 07/07/2012

Garbage Sam.
Stuck on a couple of subs strikers.

Posted by Leon on 07/09/2012

It´s plain stupid to rate RVP 9/10.

Posted by Tony Hairston on 07/12/2012

Our injury prone wunderkind had a healthy and productive season and now he is too good for us. This was predictable. Once he started making noises about not signing a new contract we should have sold while still close to the top of the market. That would have allowed us to bring in someone younger with a similiar skill set even if we had to overpay. In fact it might be useful to overpay once or twice and get exactly what we want. It would have made us a talent retention force again. We need to flex financial muscle occassionally or we will continue to lose our best, and not at market value.

I want Cavani, oh do I want Cavani and a take no prisoners DM. We might also consider moving Walcott upfront and buying a winger.

So, sell all the marginals. Take their salary and what we can get for them and buy at the luxe counter, Arsene.

Posted by ugochukwu nwagod on 07/19/2012

I would have agreed wit ur rating of vp but 4 his recent undignified act dat betrayed his acclaimed love and loyalty 2 arsenal. lets sell him and buy m'villa, lopez & tiote. up gonners!

Posted by SIWA on 07/24/2012

i think if RVP wants to move , we should respect his decision and since he has given a lot for the club its only fair to give him a well deserved farewell ..and give the youngsters a chance to step up to the challenge.

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David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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