Sunday, July 3, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 46 and 45

46. Robin Van Persie- After a disappointing World Cup, Robin Van Persie entered 2010/11 in need of a lift. However, the Dutchman was once again subject to a plague of injuries, ones which forced him out of action for the best part of four months.

Making exactly nineteen appearances in the Premier League for Arsenal, Van Persie notched up an incredible eighteen goals, a remarkable haul that saw him only narrowly miss out on the Golden Boot. Had the Dutch international been fit for the Premier League's opening months, there is no doubt that Arsenal would have come closer to winning the league, he was just deadly in front of goal during the second half of the season.

Clearly disillusioned by Arsenal's lack of silverware, reports would have you believe that Van Persie intends to leave if a big name signing is not brought in. Certainly, if the striker were to hand in a transfer request, there would be suitors aplenty; his ability in front of goal would come in handy to just about every team on the continent.

In the past, Manchester United have been linked to the striker, but I see it as unlikely that Ferguson will risk big money on a player that can't be relied upon to make more than twenty appearances each season. If a move were to materialize, Serie A or La Liga would be likelier destinations; the slower and less aggressive styles in Spain and Italy would cater to Van Persie's delicate body.

45. Samir Nasri- Since signing from Marseille in 2008, Samir Nasri had shone flashes of brilliance in the Arsenal shirt; scoring twice against Manchester United at the Emirates, and netting one of the goals of the season in the 2010 Champions League.

However, only during the 10/11 season did the Frenchman really come into his own, left out of France's squad for World Cup 2010, Samir Nasri had a point to prove, and he made it quite well. Ten goals from midfield speaks for itself, but there was so much more to Nasri's game last season than just goals. There always was a passion about the Frenchman, a desire to win which rubbed off on teammates, and helped Arsenal to an impressive opening few months of the season. Unfortunately, as the goals dried up between January and May, Nasri lost a little of his magic, to the detriment of Arsenal's title campaign.

Despite his fade in the second half of the season, I will still always remember Nasri's 10/11 as a year embodied by a terrific performance at home to Fulham, when Nasri scored two wonderful individual goals that lifted Arsenal over their London rivals. That showing confirmed many viewers' long term beliefs that Nasri could become one of the finest players in the World, he proved that he possesses all the ingredients for success, now it only remains a question of whether or not he will effectively use them.

In the past few days, rumors linking Samir Nasri to a move away from The Emirates have begun to hot up, the midfielder is reportedly wanted by both Manchester clubs, Barcelona and Chelsea. Having reportedly turned down a contract offer from Arsenal, Nasri's exit looks imminent, something that will come as a huge disappointment to Arsenal fans everywhere.

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