The North Londoners are having difficulty hitting the target since the loss of the Dutchman, Back of the Net's John Foster explains exactly why...
After a thorough but ultimately fruitless search of club property, Arsenal Football Club have today accused Robin van Persie of taking all their shooting boots with him when he left the club.
The Gunners have begun their Premier League campaign with 0-0 draws against both Sunderland and Stoke City, games which saw the Gunners criticised for fielding two strikers (Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski) who were quite clearly not wearing shooting boots.
But a sweep of the Emirates Stadium, the teamÃ¢ÂÂs training ground at London Colney, and Steve BouldÃ¢ÂÂs mumÃ¢ÂÂs garage, have failed to turn up any evidence of ArsenalÃ¢ÂÂs stash of boots, leading figures within the club to point the finger at former terrace hero Van Persie.
Ã¢ÂÂWe looked everywhere, and all we found were some spare corner flags, Oleg LuzhnyÃ¢ÂÂs unfinished novel, and Andy Linighan, who had been sleeping in my mumÃ¢ÂÂs garage,Ã¢ÂÂ Bould told reporters.
Ã¢ÂÂI even called Pat Rice in Las Vegas, but he couldnÃ¢ÂÂt say where they might be,Ã¢ÂÂ he continued. Ã¢ÂÂThough he couldnÃ¢ÂÂt really say anything, to be fair. He sounded like he'd been enjoying all the sights and sounds of Sin City, if you see what I mean. Plus the strippers were being really noisy, but I digress.Ã¢ÂÂ
After studying footage of Manchester UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs 3-2 win over Fulham last weekend, which saw Van Persie notch his first goal for his new club, Bould is increasingly convinced that the 29-year old Dutch ace took the boots with him to Old Trafford.
Ã¢ÂÂWe definitely had them last season,Ã¢ÂÂ said Bould. Ã¢ÂÂAs captain, Robin was in charge of looking after them. And now RobinÃ¢ÂÂs gone, and so have all our boots. HeÃ¢ÂÂs probably given a pair to Phil Jones as a laugh.
Ã¢ÂÂAll we have left is a single size thirteen left boot which only fits Abou Diaby, and heÃ¢ÂÂs right-footed, and a midfielder, and injured, and heÃ¢ÂÂs Abou Diaby, so why am I even talking about him?Ã¢ÂÂ
Van Persie is typical of modern players in favouring a lightweight pair of shooting boots, though some prefer to use an old-style shooting cap. Gone are the days of Matthew Le Tissier and his shooting pipe-and-slippers combo, let alone Duncan Ferguson, whose suit of shooting armour, though effective, left him relatively immobile.
Arsenal legend Cliff Bastin is believed by many to have used a shooting rifle to aid his deadliness inside the penalty area, and took to the field with his Ã¢ÂÂlucky bayonetÃ¢ÂÂ tucked into his knee-socks. But, in reality, this was just a normal rifle which Bastin would use to intimidate and occasionally maim opposing defenders.
Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
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