Shock stats – If Robin Van Persie had stayed at Arsenal they’d be top and Man United would be 10th

So says The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuels.

So another difficult weekend for Arsenal in which they were outplayed by Swansea in the first half and then couldn’t find the net in the second only to succumb to two superb late Michu goals.

It was also business as usual – this season anyhow – for Manchester United in going a goal behind and then staging a great fight back to win three points against Reading.

It once again highlights the key differences between the two sides – Mr Robin Van Persie. Just as he scored for fun last season at the Emirates, his goals have propelled United to the top of the Premiership.

Now here’s an amazing statistic. Martin Samuel in the Mail has worked out that had Arsenal kept Robin Van Persie for another season and his goal rate stayed the same then the situation would be reversed. Arsenal would be top of the Premiership and Man United would have been mid-table stragglers.

Martin’s theory runs like this.

United have gone behind to the first goal of the game in 10 Premier League matches and in seven have come back to win. Of those seven, five have featured crucial goals from Van Persie, including the equaliser against Fulham, a hat-trick against Southampton and the winner against Liverpool.

Now consider Arsenal with Van Persie’s 10 league goals this season added to their total. Supplement a single goal from Van Persie to the draws with Sunderland, Stoke City, Manchester City, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton; add an equaliser to the one-goal defeats by Chelsea, Norwich City and Manchester United. That is a difference of 15 points, or the current spread between Manchester United (top, 36 points) and Arsenal (10th, 21).

Ok, so it isn’t an exact science. For starters United would have another striker, and I don’t just mean Hernandez or Rooney – they would have made a big signing. Also Arsenal’s key problem at the moment appears not be actually getting the ball in the box to their strikers. They simply aren’t creating enough chances at the moment.

It does however underline the folly of Arsenal letting their talismanic captain and goal machine go to one of their biggest rivals. Ultimately Wenger could have kept Van Persie at Arsenal and seen him run out his contract. The Dutchman is professional enough (and savvy enough to know that a good season would keep his price tag high) to have continued his scoring  feats even though both sides knew he would be off at the end of the season. There is of course the argument that his presence in the dressing room would have been a major distraction, but then winning so few home games is a pretty serious distraction anyhow.

Ultimately Arsenal trousered £24 million for selling VP, money that is still sitting in their bank account. Failure to qualify for the Champions League will probably cost the side around that figure and at the moment, and unless they invest heavily in the winter, that’s still a big ask. Also Wenger has seven games to go before he can make any changes, on current form they could be closer to a relegation fight than the CL places.

The event that could change this season significantly would be a Van Persie injury, but there seems to be no sign of that occurring.

So is this another call that Arsene got wrong? Would a Van Persie injury scupper Man United’s season? What do you think?

Everything we know so far about the iPhone 6

About the Author

Ashley





AshleyShock stats – If Robin Van Persie had stayed at Arsenal they’d be top and Man United would be 10th
  • Hans

    Ifs and buts blah, blah blah,
    If my auntie had been born with balls, she’d be my uncle!

  • Daljit1956

    you can,t keep a player if don,t want stay so van persie is not the answer arsene have not bought well after 7 seasons he still have not replaced our strong tackleing midfield we no body in middle who can win the ball every team just win the ball of us and bully us in the middle of the park and we need m,ville type of players he who can stop the other team and start our play he need to buy world class goal scorer who can get as 35 goals a season and not another defender and stop buying might be player wake up arsene we need u now you was good once you can be again

  • Jeffo

    gee mate .. what an amazing artile
    perhaps you could do  a follow up…
    if aresnal had signed ronaldo they would have won the league in 09 if you substutited his goals in games 1,3,5,8,11,14,16,18,34,23, ,36,39 , etc….. pathetic

  • Rida M.

    And if United didn’t have their goalkeepers, they would have been relegated by now.
    What a waste of space