BotN: Van Persie accused of stealing Arsenal's shooting boots

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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 team’s training ground at London Colney, and Steve Bould’s mum’s garage, have failed to turn up any evidence of Arsenal’s stash of boots, leading figures within the club to point the finger at former terrace hero Van Persie.

“We looked everywhere, and all we found were some spare corner flags, Oleg Luzhny’s unfinished novel, and Andy Linighan, who had been sleeping in my mum’s garage,” Bould told reporters.

“I even called Pat Rice in Las Vegas, but he couldn’t say where they might be,” he continued. “Though he couldn’t 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.”

After studying footage of Manchester United’s 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.

“We definitely had them last season,” said Bould. “As captain, Robin was in charge of looking after them. And now Robin’s gone, and so have all our boots. He’s probably given a pair to Phil Jones as a laugh.

“All we have left is a single size thirteen left boot which only fits Abou Diaby, and he’s right-footed, and a midfielder, and injured, and he’s Abou Diaby, so why am I even talking about him?”

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 “lucky bayonet” 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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