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Thirty-four goals & Arsenal's season transformed: Van Persie's PFA Player of the Year award-winning campaign month-by-month

The Dutchman has had a scintillating 2011-12 and his colleagues have now named him the finest player in the Premier League after notching 34 goals in just 43 appearances

ANALYSIS

Robin van Persie was named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after a magnificent season up front for Arsenal.

The Dutchman has scored 34 goals in all competitions and currently leads the way in the Premier League with 27.

After being named Cesc Fabregas' successor to the Gunners' captaincy in the summer, Van Persie has gone on to have, without doubt, the greatest campaign of his career and Goal.com looks at how he did it.
 
AUGUST


GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
4(0)
1/1/2
2
6.25
Van Persie, and Arsenal in general, started 
the season slowly. After a goalless opening two games in the Premier League, the Dutchman grabbed a crucial equaliser against Udinese that gave the Gunners an aggregate lead in their Champions League qualifier before scoring his side’s second in their infamous 8-2 demolition at Old Trafford.

SEPTEMBER


GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
4(0)
1/1/2
2
6.25
Arsenal continued to splutter throughout September, a narrow win over Swansea City and a tough draw at Borussia Dortmund followed by a disastrous loss at Blackburn, with Van Persie only managing one goal against the Germans. Things began to pick up, however, as a double helped his side to a comfortable 3-0 win over Bolton.

OCTOBER


GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
5(0)
4/0/1
7
7.50
October saw Van Persie explode into life in front of goal. After a disappointing loss at Tottenham, sealed by a crashing strike from Young Player of the Year Kyle Walker, the captain hit both in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Sunderland, bagged another double against Stoke before smashing a magnificent hat-trick to help the Gunners win 5-3 in an incredible encounter at Chelsea.

NOVEMBER


GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
4(1)
3/2/0
5
7.50
The weather got colder as November came but the Dutchman’s hot streak continued. After a strike in his side’s easy 3-0 win over West Brom at the Emirates, Van Persie hit consecutive, match-winning doubles against Norwich City and Dortmund as the Gunners began to find form and inch their way up the Premier League table, towards the top four.

DECEMBER


GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
6(0)
4/1/1
4
7.08
The goals continued to flow for Van Persie into the festive period, scoring against Wigan, before netting in tight wins over Everton and Aston Villa. He drew a blank against Wolves and needed a hat-trick against QPR to beat Alan Shearer’s record for Premier League goals in a calendar year but only scored once, falling one short of the former Newcastle man - but surpassing Thierry Henry’s Gunners record.

JANUARY
GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
4(0)
1/0/3
4
6.75

The Gunners began 2012 with three consecutive Premier League defeats, Van Persie scoring in vain against Swansea and Manchester United. After watching Henry return with a goal in the FA Cup against Leeds, the Dutchman hit two penalties in the fourth round win over Aston Villa to end the month on a positive note.

FEBRUARY
GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
6(0)
3/1/2
4
6.75

Inconsistency was the word for club and captain in February. A tepid 0-0 with Bolton preceded the Dutchman hitting a magnificent hat-trick as Arsenal steam-rolled Blackburn 7-1 at the Emirates. Henry inspired a late win over Sunderland before one of the darkest days in Arsenal’s season, a 4-0 defeat at San Siro to Milan, with the Dutchman inexplicably chipping a close-range effort straight at Christian Abbiati that should have given his side a vital away goal.

FA Cup elimination at the hands of the Black Cats compounded a miserable week and things looked to be going from bad to worse, when 2-0 down against Tottenham at the Emirates. But Van Persie hit an equaliser just before half-time and Theo Walcott was the hero, netting two second-half goals to give the Gunners a huge, morale-boosting 5-2 win.


MARCH
GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
6(0)
5/0/1
4
6.75

That win over Spurs kick-started an excellent run of form into March. Van Persie hit a stunning winner against Liverpool, Song again providing as he had done against Everton. The Gunners came so close to overturning their Champions League deficit against Milan, the Dutchman netted a penalty as Arsenal stormed to 3-0 on the night but they could not find another goal. The skipper also scored in the win against Newcastle, although the month ended in defeat to QPR after wins against Everton and Aston Villa, Van Persie failing to score in all three games.


APRIL
GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
4(0)
2/1/1
1
6.7

The Dutchman’s recent form has been patchy, with just a single goal in April so far, from the spot against Championship-bound Wolves. April has seen good performances and results, however, with a victory over Manchester City and most recently a battling 0-0 against Chelsea atoning for a 2-1 capitulation at home to Wigan.

CONCLUSION

 SEASON'S TOTAL THUS FAR
GAMES PLAYED(SUBSTITUTE)
GAMES WON/DRAWN/LOST
GOALS SCORED
AVERAGE GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING
43(2)
26/7/12
34
6.94
It has truly been an astonishing season for the Arsenal skipper, who has stepped up to the pressure of receiving the armband from Cesc Fabregas in stunning fashion. In his first full season without suffering injuries the Dutchman has finally been able to showcase his array of talents that had only been glimpsed and suggested before.

Goals in crucial games have hallmarked his campaign, a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge, a match-winning double at Anfield, Van Persie has scored 15 goals in games that Arsenal have won by a single-goal margin this season and his 27 Premier League goals have been worth a total of 22 points to Arsene Wenger.

Without Van Persie, Arsenal would be 17th. Player of the Year? Most certainly.

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