Arsenal are no one-man team – that's for sure

Written by Ross Anderson


Arsenal would be a ‘mid-table Premier League Club’ if it wasn’t for Robin van Persie’s recent heroics, apparently. That’s what all the critics are telling us at the moment, how the Dutchman is carrying us and how we would be in the bottom half of the league if he was injured.

It’s such a lazy argument. For starters, I’m pretty sure 3/4’s of Robin’s goals this season have been relatively simple finishes. And the argument to that would be nobody else at Arsenal would get themselves in those positions, and that’s probably right, but credit must be given to the creators – players like Gervinho and Walcott who have put a lot of goals on van Persie’s plate this term (see below).

The problem with this notion is that it’s totally correct, but it goes for any big club in football. Do you honestly think Barcelona would be the same team without Lionel Messi? He created and scored 77 goals for the Catalan Club last season. SEVENTY-SEVEN! Real Madrid would also struggle to fill the gap of Ronaldo’s 100 goals in 105 games since he’s been there. My point is that ANY big club would feel the affects of losing their best player, and Arsenal are no different.

The reliance of Robin in this past month or so has been mostly down to the team trying to get used to each other. We haven’t had a settled side and our start to the season hasn’t exactly helped matters either. But he’s taken extra responsibility after being given the captain’s armband, and he deserves enormous credit for how he’s grown into that role – not that he hadn’t grown up already – but it seems like to have matured and settled him even more.

Let’s also not forget two massive players on the sidelines at the moment – Wilshere and Sagna’s contributions to this team cannot be underestimated. I would say those two were our most consistent performers last season – and that was partly down to staying fit for most of the 2010/2011 campaign.
Their absence have meant players like Jenkinson – who shouldn’t have even been introduced to this level so early in his career, and Ramsey – who probably never thought he’d be playing as regularly as he only just returned from injury at the start of the year – have had to step up. It’s been a bit of a baptism of fire so far for Carl but he’s gradually shown why Arsene has paid around £1m for him in the summer. And as for Aaron, he’s been poor on occasions this season but what I love about him is he never hides, and his work-rate is incredible. He has also shown glimpses of how good he will become, particularly last weekend at Stamford Bridge.

As I mentioned earlier, Gervinho and Walcott have slowly but surely struck up an understanding with Robin, which has led to the Dutchman finishing off many of their clever passes/crosses. They have all-in-all assisted 7 of RVP’s 12 goals this season, showing everyone just how important they are to this team too.

Not to mention a certain Frenchman who was plying his trade in the second tear of French footall a couple of years ago: Laurent Koscielny. What a stalwart he’s been this season, filling in for Vermaelen and coping with quite a few defensive changes around him. I’ve also lost count of how many match-winning saves that madman Szczesny has made already this season. Oh and Alex Song, he’s been equally as crucial, not just defensively, but creatively also.

So if that’s a one man team, John Terry’s not a racist.

For more Arsenal-related opinions and stats, follow me on Twitter @RossArsenal.

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15 Comments on "Arsenal are no one-man team – that's for sure"

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If Robin Van Persie made us a one man team, lets start with Robin upfront, and leave the rest on the bench because obviously, he doesn’t need the assists. Keep up the good writing.

gooner dave

stats speak for himself. vital player but so is rooney for united. needs to sign new deal asap!


Seems as though Arsenal just attracts critics. No matter what people will say this our that about the team. Against West Brom the commentaor was going on how Arsenal weren’t even playing this well, almost implying that we were lucky. Dominating a game means your doing something right, but I agree with this article. However if RVP were to go down injured it would seriously cost us points. But Song, Kos, and others are just as important.


Excellent article.That has been my arguement too,we are not the only club that has one player in particular that is their linchpin and scores most of their goals etc? Suarez and Liverpool for instance.Roy Hodgeson said a lot of complimentary things about our `team`…yes,the team,not just RVP then….some `two bob` journo`s still come out with the same boring crap…`one man team` ect.What do we have to do to make them change the record?


i dont mean to be rude but how long did it u take u to rite this u ahve just stated the obviouse, wot the so called no it all are saying is that we need rvp for the goals cos he make the team on the egde a lil more the park and cham no disrespect to them but rvp is world class there are mayb 2 players better then him and i mean mayb

Ross Anderson

Agree Raza. I’m not down playing the importance of Robin but just stating other players have made significant contributions to our season as well.

kidd charehwa

spot on man.saying arsenal is a 1 man team is an insult to the effort of sagna,song ,wilshire,arteta,gervinho,verminator,kos and others.these critics ar tryn 2 tell us that if robin was a sunderland or aston villa player they wud b top 4 teams,thats ridiculous.

Big Guns

AFC Fans must stop listening to the media, the last time i checked every football team is consist of 11 players, if we do good, bad or evil the media will find something negative to publish. They should also be thankful for arsenal because if it wasn’t for AFC some of these journalist wouldn’t have a job. Winning is all that matters, so haters can keep hating….The best FOOTBALL CLUB in the world…That can’t change…..Best stadium in England…That can’t change…The most attractive team in England…Lets all be proud Gunners

Charles Charlie Charles
Charles Charlie Charles

Completely disagree

RVP is the only goal threat Arsenal have and the only finished article in terms of world class players at the club. If he doesn’t resign the club will be in a worse sate of affairs than when Henry left as there ain’t no top class centre forwards coming through that’s for sure.


Don’t be too naive, Arsenal without RvP will be a middle class team, you just imagine with all those good assists from Gervinho and Walcott can only be finished by RvP, imagine if Arsene plays Chamakh or PCY up front, the outcome will be the same? I doubt it. Just take vs Chelsea fifth goal, can other strikers in Arsenal team did that? I doubt it also. So, Arsenal is a one man team, admit it.

esau petersen

you have a point there son. Arsenal do depend on Van Persie a lot but Wenger made him the star that he is today and It’s only fair for him to return the favor, unlike Nasri. There is no such thing as a one man team. Everyone plays there parts but some just get more recognition than others


arsenal is not one man team, arsenal is one striker team at the moment. i expect park to fit in nicely, chamakh should not be plating for arsenal anymore. we are left with rvp who gets on well with tw14 and gervinho and that is why he has so many goals this season


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Van persie is the henry or bergkamp of our generatio, it is important we get another striker, a midfielder like pogba,m’villa, we dnt need hazard, he is over rated, we can go for someone like gotze or marin, i may want need a more stable left back,