Tag Archives: bergkamp

Best goal of 2012: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Papiss Cisse, Neymar, who will win?

Who scored the best goal of 2012 Drogba, Neymar and Ibrahimovic are all in with a shout… here are Sportsmail's top 10

|

UPDATED:

14:40 GMT, 31 December 2012

Compiling a list of the greatest goals of the year is always tricky. It’s difficult to judge whether a magnificent dribble leading to a solo goal is better than a searing volley from 30 yards out.

But come the end of the year it’s time to decide which strikes make the cut and which must fall by the wayside. This collection has been chopped and changed a-plenty, but this is what we’re sticking with.

Only two of FIFA’s three Puskas award short-listed goals are present and correct – apologies and an honourable mention to Radamel Falcao.

We only have space for 10 goals on this list but if you believe other strikes deserve to be recognised then have your say in the comment section below.

Whose was the best 2012 saw some spectacular and brilliant goals and Sportsmail lists the top 10

Whose was the best 2012 saw some spectacular and brilliant goals and Sportsmail lists the top 10

10. Peter Crouch (STOKE v Man City)

People love to stick the boot in on Stoke because of their 'dour' brand of football. But they have offered some magic moments too during their time in the top flight.

Earlier this week we saw Cameron Jerome score an absolute rocket against Southampton. And in March Peter Crouch dealt Manchester City a setback in the title race.

We know now that it didn't stop them winning the Premier League, but at the time this wondergoal gave Man United the chance to open up a three point lead at the top.

Crouch nodded Asmir Begovich's long punt to Jermain Pennant who nodded it back and then the giant striker teed himself up and lashed in a stunning volley from an awkward angle past Joe Hart.

9. Simon Cox (NOTTINGHAM FOREST v Birmingham)

In the 1998 World Cup quarter-final clash between Holland and Argentina, Dennis Bergkamp scored a delightful goal, controlling a long pass expertly and finishing with aplomb.

Nottingham Forest and Ireland striker Simon Cox evoked that spirit against Birmingham in the Championship. Yes, the stage was smaller but the skill was no less admirable.

Cox took one touch to kill Lewis McGugan's long ball and then adjusted instantly to delicately flick it over the helpless Jack Butland.

8. Rodrigo Palacio (GENOA v Lazio)

Did he mean it That was the question everybody was asking when Rodrigo Palacio, now of Inter, scored this gem.

The Genoa striker's cute backflick from this corner floated over the surprised Lazio keeper and sank into the net.

Some say it was luck, others judgement. Sportsmail falls in the latter camp and will give the Argentina hitman the credit this effort deserves.

7. Gaston Mealla (NACIONAL POTOSI v The Strongest)

Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita made it famous at Wembley in 1995. But keeping the scorpion kick revival movement going in 2012 was Nacional Potosi striker Gaston Mealla. (See also THIS hilarious scorpion kick own goal for last year's effort).

During a Bolivian league match between his side and The Strongest, an under-hit dink forward was set to land behind the striker on the edge of the box. But Mealla cared not for his team-mate's mistake.

His stupendous athleticism salvaged the situation and helped create a bizarre and beautiful goal.

6. Neymar (SANTOS v Internacional)

Santos' much sought-after Brazilian demonstrated just why Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City all are willing to splash the cash on him with this bewitching solo goal against Internacional.

He picked the ball up in his own half surged at 100 miles-per-hour past, round and through anybody who stood in his way, before nudging the ball home.

Note – Hatem Ben Arfa's effort in the FA Cup against Blackburn was a contender for the list, but the Newcastle man just missed out to this. A tough call to make.

<br/>

5. Didier Drogba (Bayern Munich v CHELSEA)

Picture the scene. Chelsea are 1-0 down in the Allianz Arena and the stadium is bouncing. Bayern Munich are on the cusp of winning the Champions League trophy on their own turf.

With two minutes to go Juan Mata floats in a corner from the right. Everything seems to stand still as the ball drops in towards the near post. Everything that is, except Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea striker leaps for the ball and sends a venomous header in at the near post in front of the Blue corner of the stadium. To get so much power into the ball from such an awkward position makes this one of the finest headers of all time – before you even forgetting the circumstances.

An honourable mention goes to Ramires, Drogba's team-mate whose superbly weighted lob against Barcelona in the semi-final earned the Blues passage to Munich.

4. Philippe Mexes (AC MILAN v Anderlecht)

Philippe Mexes is supposed to be a defender. So how on earth did this happen

AC Milan were beating Anderlecht 1-0 in the Champions League when the centre-back doubled the lead with something a little bit special.

The Frenchman chested Riccardo Montolivio's ball away from goal and then flipped it accurately into the top corner with a precisely executed overhead-kick.

Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani waxed lyrical about the strike, and said: 'If Leo Messi had scored that, every news channel around the world would show it and he'd have been made a saint tonight!'

He's probably right.

3. Miroslav Stoch (FENERBAHCE v Genclerbirligi)

He's not the biggest name on the list, but he scored one of the finest goals.

Bringing to mind Zinedine Zidane's Champions League final volley and Paul Scholes' effort against Aston Villa, Fenerbahce winger Miroslav Stoch made Turkish league opponents Genclerbirligi pay.

Stoch stayed cool to pull the trigger on a 25-yard volley which swerved away from the goalkeeper and zipped in to the top corner.

This goal has been nominated for the FIFA Puskas award, along with Neymar's effort. At the Ballon d'Or ceremony on January 7 the winner will be revealed.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWEDEN v England)

This is certainly the most famous goal of 2012.

Yes, it's Zlatan Ibrahimovic's simply ridiculous propeller kick against England, which also happened to be his fourth goal of the game.

He defied gravity as he tossed his 6ft 4 frame into the sky with abandon, to caress the ball sweetly into the net.

There's an arguement to be made that Mexes' effort was trickier because he had a goalkeeper to beat – here Hart is in no-man's land – but this is from further out and far more awkward to hit.

The Swedish superstar had, until this friendly which his side won 4-2, previously been maligned by a fair few people on British soil, who thought he was over-rated and arrogant (OK, so the last part is still true).

This incredible goal was the cherry on the cake which he gleefully stuffed down the gaping mouths of his detractors.

1 Papiss Cisse (Chelsea v NEWCASTLE)

On a cold spring evening in May, Papiss Cisse warmed the cockles of Newcastle's travelling fans and delighted football fans the world over with this simply stupendous effort.

With one momentous swing of his right boot, he destroyed Chelsea's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League through a top four finish and secured himself a place in every 'Greatest Goals' DVD release between now and the end of time.

Every time you watch his outrageous volley, which spins past the thoroughly bewildered Petr Cech, it just gets better and better.

Perhaps the previously lethal Senegal striker decided he could never top this because it seems like he's stopped trying this season. You could forgive him, because this would be the highlight of anybody's career.

Olivier Giroud: I picked the wrong time to join Arsenal

I picked the wrong time to join Arsenal, admits 12m summer signing Giroud

|

UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 7 December 2012

Olivier Giroud has admitted he may have joined Arsenal at the wrong time, with the club experiencing their worst start to the season for 18 years and selling 'some of the best players every two or three years'.

The 26-year-old striker, who has scored seven goals in 22 games since his 12million move from Montpellier last summer, said Arsenal do not create enough chances and are guilty of over-playing the ball in front of goal.

French fancy: Giroud is the 23rd Frenchman to play during Wenger's reign

French fancy: Giroud is the 23rd Frenchman to play during Wenger's reign

Giroud has immersed himself in the 'weight of history' at Arsenal, but does not feel pressure to emulate Arsenal forwards such as Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

Asked whether he felt he had arrived at the wrong time, Giroud told L'Equipe magazine: 'Yes. But it puts less pressure on my shoulders. I feel the pressure of the result, not the weight of my predecessors. When you come to a big club, of course you replace a great striker (like Van Persie). It's useless to have that in your head.

'It is up to the new boys to make sure the others are forgotten.We need to be more efficient in all areas of the pitch – to be more realistic and to offer more variety.

'When you're attacking, you hope for more crosses. It is not spontaneous enough when we are in positions to cross. I have talked with my team-mates about this.

'Arsenal has the culture of the passing game, perhaps too much. I am not staking a claim to be the coach, but I am fortunate to be at a club where we can talk about such things.'

Giroud believes Arsenal, who sit 10th with just 21 points from their first 15 games, should look at his former club to see a side capable of winning the championship without 'spending millions'.

On the ball: Per Mertesacker and Giroud in training

On the ball: Per Mertesacker and Giroud in training

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has described Montpellier's first Ligue 1 title last season as a 'miracle', given Paris Saint- Germain's financial clout since Qatar Sports Investments bought a 70 per cent stake in June 2011.

Montpellier finished 14th in 2010-11 but won the league by three points from PSG a year later. Giroud was the competition's joint top scorer with 21 goals.

He said: 'My story proves that you can win titles without being a star. Manchester City became champions thanks to their chequebook. Montpellier took on PSG without using their chequebook. Here we bought Santi Cazorla and he did not cost 50 million! Arsene Wenger does not buy a team. He builds one. He built his group with this philosophy.

'Even though it's been seven years since the club won anything, they have a strong identity. Even if the club lose some of their best players every two or three years, they do not deviate from this philosophy.'

Arsenal legend: French striker Thierry Henry

Arsenal legend: French striker Thierry Henry

Giroud admitted he gets goosebumps when he hears fans singing his name to the tune of The Beatles' Hey Jude and believes he has fitted in well at a Premier League club with a 'Frenchy' touch.

'I am the 23rd Frenchman to play here since the arrival of Arsene Wenger,' he added. 'This club are marked by the goals of Henry and by Patrick Vieira. There is music in the locker room before matches; it was forbidden at Montpellier. I love this casual approach.

'But it's true, Arsenal do some things a French way. The photo of Vieira and the coach with the league trophy in 2004, it talks to me. There is also a statue of Thierry Henry.

'Once you've integrated as an Arsenal player, it gives you confidence. Fans make you understand that it is an honour to wear this shirt.'

Matt Le Tissier: Dennis Bergkamp to Wayne Rooney – top 10 Premier League flair players

Matt Le Tissier: From Bergkamp to Rooney, my all-time top 10 Premier League flair stars

PUBLISHED:

11:46 GMT, 7 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

11:46 GMT, 7 December 2012

Matt Le Tissier

Matt Le Tissier is one of the Premier League greats. A master dribbler and scorer of outrageous goals, the former Southampton forward gained a reputation as one of the most skilful and creative players in the league.

But who would Le Tissier choose in his all-time top 10 of Premier League flair players

Dennis Bergkamp

His first touch and his vision were superb and he could also score a decent 25-yarder from time to time. He lit up the Premier League with some of his goals.

I was on the receiving end of his first two strikes for Arsenal at Highbury and his first two came against Southampton. They were both pretty special and he never really looked back after that.

He had a bit of a dodgy start but all he had to was play against us and we set him on his way. One of them was a 25-yarder that hit the inside of the post and I had the privilege to stand behind it and watch and the other was a finish from just inside the box.

With his first touch he just used to put the ball where he wanted to and he always gave himself so much time and space.

Off the mark: Bergkamp celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal against Southampton

Off the mark: Bergkamp celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal against Southampton

Gianfranco Zola

The little maestro has to be up there. He was the consummate pro. He had such a low centre of gravity so defenders had trouble with him twisting and turning and he took a mean free kick. He was a credit to the profession to be honest and a really top bloke.

He definitely scored a few against us over the years. He scored a lot of great free kicks and his flick at the near post from a corner stands out.

I had a few goes at that flick on the training ground but I don't think I ever tried it in a match. I don't think I got in that position where I was that close to the goal too often to be honest.

Thumbs up: Zola went on to become one of Chelsea's best players

Thumbs up: Zola went on to become one of Chelsea's best players

Eric Cantona

Cantona has to be on the list. He was arrogant, but you can get away with it when you're putting in the performances and he almost transformed Manchester United into a championship winning team on his own to be honest.

He scored against us at The Dell with a lovely chip over Tim Flowers from the corner of the box and stood there in that arrogant pose that he did. I remember almost hating and then going, “You know what That was a great bit of skill.”

French fancy: Cantona helped transform Manchester United into a championship winning team

French fancy: Cantona helped transform Manchester United into a championship winning team

Thierry Henry

The way Wenger transformed him from a wide man to the most feared centre forward in the Premier League was quite remarkable. I think he scored his first goal against Southampton too – there seems to be a theme here. But he was an awesome talent in his pomp.

You'd watch him and he'd just glide across the top of the pitch. It was like his feet hardly touched the grass. Even without trying he would just drift past players as if they were cart horses.

The flick up and volley against United was a special goal. I liked a flick too but I don't think I ever tried it with my back to goal.

Off and running: Henry scored his first goal for Arsenal against Southampton in 1999

Off and running: Henry scored his first goal for Arsenal against Southampton in 1999

Michael Owen

As a young boy Owen had plenty of flair. Obviously it's not quite worked out for him later in his career but he was awesome at Liverpool.

His natural confidence and exuberance as an 18-year-old, who then went on to score that goal in the World Cup, to do that as a teenager was pretty special.

It's a shame that injuries curtailed him because we'd have been talking about Michael Owen in a very different light if he'd stayed injury free throughout his career. I was a bit jealous of his pace – it often crossed my mind how much I'd have been worth if I was quick.

Curtailed by injury: Owen was blessed with flair - although it hasn't quite worked out for him

Curtailed by injury: Owen was blessed with flair – although it hasn't quite worked out for him

Le Tiss on the spot

When Sportsmail picked Ray
Stewart as the greatest penalty taker of all yesterday, it sparked a
fierce debate. So why not ask a man who knew a thing or two about taking
(and scoring) them…

Matthew Le Tissier

'I remember Ray Stewart taking penalties when I
was a kid. He used to rip the back of the net off. I'd be quite happy to
put my life in Ray Stewart's hands with a penalty to be honest. I had
confidence in my own but did have one blip. But I don't remember Ray
missing too many. He would smash his straight down the middle and go for
power. I went for accuracy and the side foot. Two very different
techniques but it just goes to show there's no one perfect way to take a
penalty.'

Paolo Di Canio

The mad Italian is another one who has to be on this list and even now he's still entertaining us as a manager with his interviews and his antics. If you're talking about flair players you can't leave him out.

His scissor kick volley was a special bit of skill and you almost applaud him for having the confidence to try it in the first place. There are so many players who would have attempted to do that and they'd have had no idea where the ball would end up – back in their own half, over the stand, anywhere. It was just a brilliant piece of skill.

He was controversial but you have to have an incredible amount of confidence to be one of these flair players. You have to have something in you that doesn't mind failing if it doesn't come off. All the best players will fail but still try it the next week.

Cristiano Ronaldo

You have to include him. He was very special in what he did at
Manchester United, the goal scoring feats and everything, and he's
continued that at Real Madrid.

It took him a little while to settle and I didn't get to play against
him but you could see with the skills that he had, if he could be
coached into knowing when to release the ball and become a tad more
unselfish he was always going to be a very good player.

Italian job: Di Canio's scissor kick volley against Wimbledon is one of the greatest goals in the Premier League

Italian job: Di Canio's scissor kick volley against Wimbledon is one of the greatest goals in the Premier League

With his pace and skill he just needed help to know not to overdo it and Sir Alex did that with him. With his free kicks he's experimented and used the new balls to his advantage. He's taken that ball and found a new way of striking it that's going to give goalkeepers problems and he's invented that on his own, so fair play to him, there's not many players who can say that.

Star man: Ronaldo was a special player for Manchester United

Star man: Ronaldo was a special player for Manchester United

David Ginola

You can't leave David out. In his pomp at Newcastle he was awesome. Even at Spurs he had some good times but when he was in Keegan's team he was superb. He was a genius at what he did.

John Beresford is my friend who played left back behind him and he never really got much help but it was entertaining to watch. David was one of the best dribblers ever, he had the pace but he was strong and well built so didn't have to just pass players, he could use his strength to get past them as well. And he had a decent shot with both feet, which not too many people have got.

Star: Ginola was a class act for Newcastle

Star: Ginola was a class act for Newcastle

David Silva

Though he's not been on form recently, last season he was outstanding. He looks so comfortable on the ball and is very difficult to mark. He's got a wand of a left foot on him and he's one of those players who can see a pass through the eye of a needle – he sees passes that a lot of people on the pitch don't.

He's been brought up in that Spanish passing culture and you can see it with other Spaniards like Santi Cazorla at Arsenal so it's nice to be getting those kind of players coming into the Premier League, it's very pleasing on the eye.

Silva service: The Manchester City star has lit up the Premier League

Silva service: The Manchester City star has lit up the Premier League

Wayne Rooney

You have to say Rooney is one of the best. He goes through dips in form like everybody else but he burst onto the scene as a young lad and had a big price tag to live up to when he went to Manchester United. But he's certainly given them value for money with the goals that he's scored for them.

When he came on for his Everton debut and scored against Arsenal, to do what he did against not only Arsenal but England's No 1 goalkeeper, you probably thought this boy's got something that might go a long way and he hasn't disappointed.

Roo beauty: The Manchester United striker hasn't disappointed after bursting on to the scene as a 16-year-old

Roo beauty: The Manchester United striker hasn't disappointed after bursting on to the scene as a 16-year-old

Matt Le Tissier was speaking at the opening of Decathlon’s new store in Southampton. As the world’s biggest sports retailer, Decathlon is a gateway to sport and is committed to putting sporting activity back at the heart of the nation’s local communities by making it accessible to all. To find out more about how your family can try a new sport go to www.decathlon.co.uk

Matt Le Tissier

Edwin van der Sar offered Ajax director role

Van der Sar in line for director role at Ajax as Dutch club make move for retired goalkeeper

|

UPDATED:

10:34 GMT, 8 November 2012

Edwin van der Sar is poised for a return to Ajax.

The former Manchester United goalkeeper will be invited to become a director at the Dutch club.

According to newspaper De Telegraaf, the 42-year-old, who won four Barclays Premier League titles at Old Trafford, is wanted by Ajax's new president Johan Cruyff.

Dutch of class: The former United stopper is wanted by Ajax

Dutch of class: The former United stopper is wanted by Ajax

Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp is already on board as manager Frank De Boer's assistant, while another former Gunner Marc Overmars is employed as director of football.

Van der Sar retired from professional football in 2011 after a glittering career which began at Ajax.

Suit you, sir: The United legend called time on his playing days in 2011

Suit you, sir: The United legend called time on his playing days in 2011

The goalkeeper won four Dutch titles and a Champions League in the nineties before moving to Juventus.

A stint at Fulham followed before his switch to United in 2005 where he became the oldest player to win the Premier League and made almost 200 appearances.

Robin van Persie faces Arsenal as six players line up against former clubs

Don't worry Robin it's not just you: Six Premier League stars set to face former clubs

|

UPDATED:

12:19 GMT, 2 November 2012

It’s one of English football’s finest fixtures, but much of the focus on this Saturday’s clash between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford will centre on Robin van Persie as he prepares to face his former club.

It will be the first time the United striker lines up against the Gunners since he controversially departed the north London club last summer – but he isn’t the only one up against familiar opposition.

Five other Premier League stars are set to feature against former clubs this weekend, so Sportsmail assesses all six players and how they fared in the colours of the teams they represented earlier in their career.

Red alert: Robin van Persie has scored nine goals for Manchester United

Red alert: Robin van Persie has scored nine goals for Manchester United

Carlos Tevez (West Ham 2006-07)

Tevez arrived with a bang in the Premier League after joining West Ham along with Javier Mascherano in a shock double switch from Corinthians.

The forward struggled for much of the season in a team battling against relegation. But he scored his first goal in a 4-3 defeat against Tottenham in March 2007, before netting a further six in the remaining nine games to keep the Hammers up and become a cult hero in the east end.

Happy Hammer: Carlos Tevez's (centre) seven goals in his last 10 West Ham games helped the club avoid relegation from the Premier League

Happy Hammer: Carlos Tevez's (centre) seven goals in his last 10 West Ham games helped the club avoid relegation from the Premier League

What happened next After just one season, Tevez left for Manchester United where he would win the league title twice and the Champions League before controversially moving to Manchester City in 2009.

Robin van Persie (Arsenal 2004-2012)

In a team which still had Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Van Persie’s 2.75million arrival from Feyenoord was relatively low key for the 20-year-old – despite his promising potential.

Right from the start the Dutchman looked to fit the mould but consistent injuries meant the Gunners were often left wanting more. That was until last season when a rare injury-free campaign resulted in 37 goals from 48 games.

Fan favourite: Van Persie's goals helped him become a terrace hero at Arsenal

Fan favourite: Van Persie's goals helped him become a terrace hero at Arsenal

What happened next The 29-year-old decided not to extend his contract beyond next year after winning just the 2005 FA Cup at Arsenal. The Gunners cashed in and sold their prolific marksman to Manchester United for 24million last summer.

Peter Crouch (Norwich 2003)

Even Norwich fans may struggle to remember Crouch who featured in the Championship for the Canaries on loan from Aston Villa after struggling to break into the first-team at Villa Park.

Four goals (and a red card) followed in 15 appearances before the striker returned to the West Midlands before Christmas.

Standing tall: Peter Crouch (25) found the net four times while on loan at Norwich

Standing tall: Peter Crouch (25) found the net four times while on loan at Norwich

What happened next A move to Southampton in 2004 kick-stared his career before successful transfers to Liverpool, Portsmouth and Tottenham saw him represent England while at all three clubs. The 31-year-old joined Stoke last year and continues to prove a major attacking threat.

Darren Bent (Sunderland 2009-2011)

After a frustrating spell at Tottenham, Bent had a point to prove in the North East after moving to Sunderland for 10million. He took just one season to do it too, after rifling home 25 goals in his first campaign on Wearside.

The striker proved it wasn’t a fluke by netting 11 goals at the start of the 2010/11 season but the former Charlton hitman incurred the wrath of the Sunderland supporters after securing a shock 24milllion switch to Aston Villa in January last year.

Revenge: Darren Bent celebrates after scoring against former club, Tottenham

Revenge: Darren Bent celebrates after scoring against former club, Tottenham

What happened next Bent’s nine goals helped Villa comfortably avoid relegation but an injury hit first full season saw him score just 11 times. Playing under Paul Lambert, his third boss at Villa, Bent has recently lost his first-team place.

Craig Gardner (Aston Villa 2005-2010)

A product of the Villa youth academy, Gardner spent five years at the club featuring mainly as a utility player but he still played 80 times scoring six goals in the process.

After picking up an injury and featuring less for Villa under Martin O’Neill, the midfielder was granted a 3million switch to local rivals Birmingham City in January 2010 – the club he has supported since he was a child.

Euro star: Craig Gardner celebrates his only goal for Aston Villa in the 2008/09 season against Hafnarfjordur in the UEFA Cup

Euro star: Craig Gardner celebrates his only goal for Aston Villa in the 2008/09 season against Hafnarfjordur in the UEFA Cup

What happened next Gardner’s first full season at St Andrew’s was a bitter-sweet affair after the club were relegated from the Premier League just months after winning the Carling Cup. But Sunderland saw enough quality to pay City 6million for the 25-year-old last summer and he continues to feature.

Jose Enrique (Newcastle 2007-2011)

Sam Allardyce’s reign at Newcastle was short but one of his finest hours was securing a deal to bring a 21-year-old Enrique to Tyneside from Villarreal for 6.5m.

The left-back’s performances were inconsistent at first but more often than not he starred, even when the Toon suffered relegation from the Premier League in 2009.

The Spaniard stayed despite interest from the top flight and was a key player in helping guide Newcastle straight back into the Premier League and achieve a respectable 12th place the following season.

Tussle: Jose Enrique in his Newcastle days (right) battles Chelsea's Ramires

Tussle: Jose Enrique in his Newcastle days (right) battles Chelsea's Ramires

What happened next Enrique criticised Newcastle for selling first-team stars and left St James’ Park under a cloud before the start of last season. The 26-year-old joined Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool for 5million where he won the Carling Cup earlier this year.

Jack Wilshere will be Arsenal"s new No 10

Life after RVP: Wilshere will inherit Dutch striker's No 10 shirt at Arsenal

|

UPDATED:

22:19 GMT, 16 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Jack Wilshere will be named Arsenal’s new No 10 on Friday — taking the shirt of talisman Robin van Persie.

The England midfielder, who has been on the sidelines for over 12 months due to a clutch of injuries, will wear the shirt vacated by former hero Van Persie — and previously worn by Dennis Bergkamp.

Wilshere is making positive progress on his road to recovery from knee and foot problems and is expected to return in October.

Mine now: Jack Wilshere will claim the prized No 10 shirt

Mine now: Jack Wilshere will claim the prized No 10 shirt

Meanwhile Arsene Wenger has told of his disappointment at selling Van Persie to arch-rivals Manchester United, admitting he would rather have sent his talisman abroad.

‘We wanted to avoid it but we couldn’t,’ said the Arsenal manager. ‘I’d rather have sold him abroad, to Paris Saint-Germain for example. Manchester United know him and his qualities. But when you can’t succeed in extending the contract of a player in his last year, there is no other thing to do but to let him go.

Gone: Robin Van Persie arrives for his United medical

Gone: Robin Van Persie arrives for his United medical

‘It’s sad because he played for us for eight years. He’s 29 now. He was 21 when he came and it’s another bitter pill to swallow. The economic part of it is the only satisfaction. But money doesn’t go out on the field and play, players do.’

Sportsmail has learned that Wenger is unlikely to jump straight into the transfer market until it becomes clear he needs more firepower.

Athletic Bilbao centre forward Fernando Llorente features highly on his wishlist and Arsenal spies have extensively watched Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez.

Premier League clubs pre-season tours cover 190,000 miles

Premier League clubs clock up 190,000 air miles as worldwide pre-season tours kick off

|

UPDATED:

10:34 GMT, 5 July 2012

There was a time when pre-season consisted of some brutal training sessions in the nearest park and a tour round the local non-league outfits.

But now, the irrepressible need to sell a team's 'brand' to new markets around the world means clubs are travelling ever wider and wider for their pre-season preparations.

This summer, Premier League teams will clock up an incredible 190,000 air miles to fulfil warm-up fixtures overseas.

Reds alert: Liverpool headed to Malaysia last summer where the fans turned out in their thousands

Reds alert: Liverpool headed to Malaysia last summer where the fans turned out in their thousands

Reds alert: Liverpool headed to Malaysia last summer where the fans turned out in their thousands

All but one of the 20 sides lining up
in the top flight for 2012-2013 will be heading abroad. Six are heading
East to Asia, six to America and the rest will play in Europe. This is
in addition to domestic away trips.

/07/05/article-0-0D0EA45100000578-878_468x296.jpg” width=”468″ height=”296″ alt=”Sign of the times: Chelsea headed to Asia on tour last summer ” class=”blkBorder” />

Sign of the times: Chelsea headed to Asia on tour last summer

After that, they also play against the Nigerian national team in Abuja and Bundesliga side Cologne in Germany.

With such phenomenal distances to fly, it’s perhaps just as well Dennis Bergkamp is safely in retirement.

Everton’s tour to Jakarta, where they
will compete in the Java Cup, and the considerably shorter jaunt Malaga,
amount to just over 17,000 miles. QPR’s three-game trip to Malaysia
will see them in the air for nearly the same distance.

Premier League away days

Click here for the full fixtures lists

Manchester City will be seeking to
capitalise on their maiden title to capture the imagination of fans in
Beijing and Kuala Lumpur – but will travel over 14,000 miles to do so.

Sunderland face a 12,000 mile
round-trip to Suwon in Korea to take part in the Peace Cup, while
Chelsea’s four-stop tour of the United States will see them fly 12,700
miles.

Other leading sides are heading to
far-flung destinations but are more economical with their mileage –
Liverpool’s tour to Toronto and Baltimore comes in at under 10,000
miles.

More unexpected are the American tours
Stoke City and Swansea City will be going on, something unthinkable
just a few years ago.

But none of these compare to Fulham,
whose fans are the only ones in the Premier League not requiring a
passport this summer. They will travel just the 33 miles to Adams Park,
Wycombe for the sole away friendly announced to date.

OVERSEAS SUMMER TOURS IN FULL

ARSENAL
London – Kuala Lumpur 6,530 miles, Kuala Lumpur – Beijing 2,641, Beijing – Hong Kong 1,206, Hong Kong – London 6,010, London – Abuja 2,942, Abuja – London 2,942, London – Cologne 316, Cologne –London 316

TOTAL: 22,903

ASTON VILLA
Birmingham to Philadelphia 3,486, Philadelphia to Chicago 657, Chicago to Portland 1,766, Portland to Birmingham 4,844, Birmingham to Bremen 448, Bremen to Birmingham 448

TOTAL: 11,649

CHELSEA
London to Seattle 4,797, Seattle to New York 2,345, New York to Philadelphia 101, Philadelphia to Miami 1,018, Miami to London 4,431

TOTAL: 12,692

EVERTON
Liverpool to Jakarta 7,366, Jakarta to Liverpool 7,366, Liverpool to Malaga 1,155, Malaga to Liverpool 1,155

TOTAL: 17,042

FULHAM
NO OVERSEAS TRIPS

LIVERPOOL
Liverpool to Toronto 3,399, Toronto to Boston 1,241, Boston to Baltimore 974, Baltimore to Liverpool 3,477

TOTAL: 9,091

MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester to Beijing 5,052, Beijing to Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur 2,641, Kuala Lumpur to Manchester 6,568

TOTAL: 14,261

MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester United to Durban 6,055, Durban to Cape Town 776, Cape Town to Shanghai 8,059, Shanghai to Manchester 5,698, Manchester to Oslo 645, Oslo to Gothenburg 158, Gothenburg to Manchester 626, Manchester to Hannover 501, Hannover to Manchester 501

TOTAL: 23,019

NEWCASTLE UNITED
Newcastle to Chemnitz 823, Chemnitz to Landsberg am Lech 273, Landsberg am Lech to Faro 1,538, Faro to Newcastle 1,275

TOTAL: 3,909

NORWICH CITY
Norwich to Gleisdorf 1,023, Gleisdorf to Norwich 1,023

TOTAL: 2,046

QUEEN’S PARK RANGERS
London to Sabah 7,044, Sabah to Kuala Lumpur 1,091, Kuala Lumpur to Surabaya 1,046, Surabaya to London 7,587

TOTAL: 16,768

READING
Reading to Vilamoura 1,543, Vilamoura to Reading 1,543

TOTAL: 3,086

SOUTHAMPTON
Southampton to Carouge 690, Carouge to Annecy 17, Annecy to Southampton 690

TOTAL: 1,397

STOKE CITY
Stoke to Montreux 765, Montreux to Stoke 765, Stoke to Columbus 3,741, Columbus to Orlando 948, Orlando to Kansas 1,471 , Kansas to Stoke 4,225, Stoke to Frth, Bavaria 619, Frth to Stoke 619

TOTAL: 13,153

SUNDERLAND
Sunderland to Suwon 6,051, Suwon to Sunderland 6,051

TOTAL: 12,102

SWANSEA CITY
Swansea to Denver 4,555, Denver to Oxnard, CA 1,072, Oxnard, CA to Santa Clara, CA 321, Santa Clara to Swansea 5,263

TOTAL: 11,211

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
London to Los Angeles 5,446, Los Angeles to Baltimore 2,317, Baltimore to New York 169, New York to London 3,464, London to Valencia 832, Valencia to London 832

TOTAL: 13,060

WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Birmingham to Malmo 640, Malmo to Birmingham 640

TOTAL: 1,280

WEST HAM UNITED
London to Prague 642, Prague to London 642, London to Erfurt 483, Erfurt to Dresden 117, Dresden to Cottbus 55, Cottbus to London 620

TOTAL: 2,559

WIGAN ATHLETIC
Wigan to Ostersund (Training camp) 909, Ostersund to Wigan 909

TOTAL: 1,818

LEAGUE TOTAL: 189,137

Dennis Bergkamp shock candidate for Swansea job

Former Arsenal great Bergkamp shock candidate for Swansea job

|

UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 5 June 2012

Dennis Bergkamp, the former Arsenal striker now No 2 at Ajax, has emerged as a surprise contender for the Swansea manager’s job.

Heading for Wales Dennis Bergkamp is a surprise candidate for the Swansea job

Heading for Wales Dennis Bergkamp is a surprise candidate for the Swansea job

Arsenal Invincibles win Best Team in Premier League 20 Seasons Awards

Invincible! Arsenal's legendary 03-04 team voted Premier League's best

|

UPDATED:

12:01 GMT, 15 May 2012

Arsenal's unbeaten title-winning team of 2003-04 have been votes as the Best Team in the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards.

Arsene Wenger's team, skippered by Patrick Vieira, became known as the 'Invincibles' after becoming the first team to win the Premier League title having not lost a game.

Invincible: Arsenal celebrate going the entire 2003-04 season unbeaten

Invincible: Arsenal celebrate going the entire 2003-04 season unbeaten

THE INVINCIBLES

Position: 1st
Played: 38
Won: 26
Drew: 12
Lost: 0
For: 73
Against: 26
Goal Difference: +47
Points: 90

And their achievement of eight years ago has been recognised by a panel of leading football pundits, journalists and commentators

'I am very proud of this and very happy,' said Wenger as he received the award. 'I told the players at the time that they could achieve something special once we were champions – being invincible.

'And they did it. At the time they didn’t realise how much it would mean in the future, but I’m very proud of the achievement of course.

'My target is to get Arsenal back to that level.

Perfect: Arsenal celebrate winning the title at White Hart Lane

Perfect: Arsenal celebrate winning the title at White Hart Lane

Perfect: Arsenal celebrate winning the title at White Hart Lane
Where are they now…

Jens Lehmann – aged 42, retired

Lauren – 35, retired

Kolo Toure – 31, Manchester City

Sol Campbell – 37, retired

Ashley Cole – 31, Chelsea

Fredrik Ljungberg – 35, free agent

Gilberto Silva – 35, Gremio

Patrick Vieira – 35, Man City football development executive

Robert Pires – 38, free agent

Dennis Bergkamp – 43, Ajax assistant manager

Thierry Henry – 34, New York Red Bulls

'I feel personally that we are not far away from being able to fight for the championship, and let’s hope we can show that next season.'

Wenger's side became the first team since Preston North End in 1889 to achieve the feat in the top flight, and they played 16 matches more.

The team were the last Arsenal side to win the Premier League and included the likes of Vieira, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.

They won the title by an 11-point margin from Chelsea after triumphing in 26 of their 38 matches.

Vieira told PremierLeague.com last month: 'Can anyone do it again Never say never because in football anything can happen. It will be difficult to do it but I am sure a team will.

'I think it will take a special team to do it. Of course you need luck, but overall you need to believe as a team.

'When you achieve something like that as
a team it is really special because people will talk about it until it
gets beaten – and you never know how long it is going to take. It was a
fantastic team performance.'

Distant memory: Arsenal have not won the title since

Distant memory: Arsenal have not won the title since

Distant memory: Arsenal have not won the title since

Wayne Rooney goal against Man City wins Premier League goal of 20 seasons

Roo beauty! Wayne's City stunner is voted best-ever Premier League goal

|

UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 3 May 2012

Wayne Rooney's stunning over-head kick against Manchester City has been voted as the best goal of the 20 Barclays Premier League seasons.

The announcement was made on Thursday evening at the Football Writers' Association annual dinner in London.

The Manchester United striker's sublime strike in the clash at Old Trafford in February last year beat off all the competition to be crowned as the very best from the past two decades.

Wayne's world: The athletic effort has been voted the best of last 20 years

Wayne's world: The athletic effort has been voted the best of last 20 years

Hundreds of thousands of supporters across the globe voted in the poll, with Rooney's strike gaining 26 per cent of the total votes cast.

Dennis Bergkamp's sublime turn and finish against Newcastle for Arsenal in March 2002 was the second most popular with 19%, and Thierry Henry's volley for Arsenal against Manchester United in 2000 was third on 15 per cent.

Rooney said: 'I grew up watching the Premier League so to be voted the best goal in the history of the Premier League is a great feeling.

'There's so many good goals in that shortlist, goals that I watched in my living room as a kid: Alan Shearer's goal, Paolo Di Canio's, Tony Yeboah's, David Beckham's.

'To be competing with them and winning is a great honour for me and something I'm very proud of. I'd like to say a big thank you to all the fans that voted for me.'

Over 4.2million votes were cast by 300,000 supporters to decide the best goal, best save, best goal celebration and a fans' fantasy team.

You beauty! The Old Trafford faithful hail Rooney's wonder goal

You beauty! The Old Trafford faithful hail Rooney's wonder goal

There are also six award categories
being decided by a panel – best player, manager, team, season, most
memorable quotes and a panel fantasy team.

The remaining award winners will be
named over the next fortnight culminating in an event on May 15 where
the best player and manager of the 20 seasons will be revealed.

The 20th Premier League season has
featured some fantastic goals, with last night's swerving strike from
Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse against Chelsea arguably the pick of the
2011-12 campaign so far, coming just days after Luis Suarez's long-range
chip for Liverpool against Norwich.