The Short Fuse's season review continues with the captain, top scorer and the man with an all around awesome season, Robin van Persie.
Van Persie won the PFA Player of the Year Award, the FWA Player of the Year Award, finished as the Golden Boot winner and apparently single-handedly finished in third place, which is impressive, seeing as he can't play centre back or goalkeeper. Good stuff, media! He had 37 goals in 48 games, and is now 8th on the all-time scorers charts, with 132 goals for Arsenal.
Aidan: There's not much to say about Robin van Persie that hasn't already been said. We've gone over the tactical implications of his awesome season, the off-field stuff with his captaincy and bringing together a better team spirit, and the general awesomeness of his 2011, and the beginning of 2012, though, he understandably slowed down his goalscoring run. We've always known he has superb technical ability, but a combination of lots of injuries and inconsistency (Youth? Injuries? Who knows) meant that van Persie was a scorer of great goals, not a great scorer of goals. But boy has he become the latter. It's been a pleasure to watch the last two seasons for van Persie, knowing that even though he came to Arsenal at age 22, he's a product of Arsenal, and of Arsene Wenger. He's followed in the footsteps of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry; he's embraced their playing style, and he's brought some of it to his own game (though, thankfully, he's not afraid of flying). Now I just hope he follows in the footsteps of Dennis Bergkamp and retires at Arsenal, because, let's face it, he's proven himself to be one of the best strikers in movement. The technique, the movement, the finishing, the creative play too; it's just all there, and we all want it to be at the Emirates for years to come. So, please stay Robin.
Paul: For years, I (and millions of other people) kept referring to Robin van Persie by his full legal name, When He's Healthy Robin van Persie. I usually referred to him like that when defending why Arsenal kept him around - when he's healthy, I'd say, you'll see the best of him and you will be in awe. Well, guess what? He was healthy this year, and he laid waste to the Premier League and unequivocally showed everyone what all the fuss has been about. "He scores when he wants" is the trite chant, but it's also true; he also passes where he wants, runs where he should, and when he's in top gear he's breathtaking to watch. This was the most impressive season I've seen from a player - not just an Arsenal player, but any player in the Premier League - in years. His sample size is still small enough that I'm not going to start comparing him to Bergkamp or Henry just yet; another healthy year or two like this, though, and he's right there in that conversation.
Ted: Ever since the goal against Charlton way back in 2006, I've been basically thinking that Robin van Persie is the best. The problem is, he just kept breaking for the next four years, and never could get a head of steam going. Well, starting in January 2011, he got a pretty good head of steam going, and he scored something like 743 goals since that time. Really, as an attacker, there's not a ton more you want from a guy: his movement is superb, his passing is excellent, his right foot is pretty good, and his left foot is stonking. His balance is unreal. He's strong enough. His technique is imperious. He clearly got tired at the end of the year, but when your other striking options are a theoretical particle yet unknown to physics and an out-of-form Marouane Chamakh, the red zone beckons. RvP scored timely, seriously difficult goals this year over and over. Easy A.
Thomas: Robin van Persie gave Arsenal everything he had this year, and it was enough. There's not a lot to say about him as a scorer that hasn't already been said - 30 league goals, crucial late winners, the golden boot - he's just so awesome. Since I've been a watch-every-game Arsenal fan I've longed to have a player who terrifies the opposition, who looks like he can score every time he touches the ball. A whole Robin van Persie is that player. He wasn't as otherworldly as the year closed out, since he had to play every game (due to being the only competent striker on the roster), but he was the best player in the league even with that drop so I really don't care. Robin van Persie is the best.