One of the many wonderful things about soccer is the constant state of flux. You turn your back (for 90 minutes) and USA have beaten Mexico at Azteca Stadium, England win 2-1 over 2012 Euro finalists Italy, and eight-year veteran Arsenal striker, Robin van Persie, is suddenly starting next week’s new English Premier League season as a Manchester United player!
Manchester United’s £24m acquisition of Robin van Persie from Arsenal’s collection completes a set of strikers that have the potential to rival the quartet of Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Solskjaer, who fired Manchester United to the 1999 treble of Premier League, FA Cup, and European Champions League titles.
Together with Danny Welbeck and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, and newly arrived Japanese superstar, Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, feels he now has a group of forwards to rival the class of 1999.
Fergie, ever the one to end a statement on a wry, humorous note said: “We have got Chicharito, we have got Wayne (Rooney), we have got Robin, we have got Danny Welbeck, and we have got Kagawa. That is a fantastic combination of players. Hopefully I pick the right combinations.”
Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were the two top scorers in the Premier League last season. In 2011, Van Persie scored 30 goals in 38 appearances, while Wayne Rooney scored 27 goals in 34 games.
Do the math. It’s more than a little scary.
Everton are going to need US goalkeeping hero, Tim Howard, and then some, when they play Manchester United on Monday.
Such is Manchester United’s illustrious history, they also had the world’s best strikers way back in the seventies with Denis Law, George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton. Denis Law still holds the Manchester United club goal scoring record, 46 competitive goals in a single season, and Sir Bobby Charlton scored 249 goals during his 17-year career at United.
Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Chicharito Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa: the torch has been handed to you. We wait to be amazed and thrilled.
If you want to see a Dutch master finishing with class, all 132 of Van Persie’s goals for Arsenal are at http://youtu.be/AVzsSNDWRig.
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photo: Ronnie Macdonald