This week our statistician Josh James looks at Arsenal's most prolific marksmen.

Robin van Persie has become only the third Arsenal player in the last 40 years to score 25 league goals in a single season, following Malcolm Macdonald (1976/77) and Thierry Henry (2003/04, 2004/05 and 2005/06), and only the 15th in the history of the Club to reach the landmark.

And with 11 league games still remaining this season, he has a number of potential records in his sights: most Premier League goals in a season for Arsenal (30) and most Premier League goals overall in a 38-game or 42-game season (31 and 34 respectively).

Arsenal's post-war record for league goals in a season is 33, set way back in 1947/48 by Ronnie Rooke, and the all-time record is 42, set by Ted Drake in 1934/35, when Herbert Chapman's Gunners scored 115 goals en route to winning the Division One title (42 games). The Club record for a 38-game season is 30 (set by Henry in 2003/04).

On average, Arsenal's leading scorer in each league season has scored 18.13 goals. In 1912/13 the Gunners' top marksman in league football was Charles Randall, with just four goals in the 38-game season.

The first player to score 25 league goals in a season was Henry King, in Division Two in 1914/15 - which was the Club's 22nd league campaign.

The first to break the 30-goal barrier was Jimmy Brain – also the inaugural member of the 100 Club – who scored 34 times in 1925/26. He followed it up by scoring 31 the following season and 25 in 1927/28, and was top scorer for four consecutive seasons.

Brain is one of nine players who have topped the scoring charts more than three times and Robin van Persie is on course to join that list this season, having previously led the way in 2006/07 (11), 2008/09 (11) and 2010/11 (18). Thierry Henry was Arsenal's top scorer seven times, more often than any other Arsenal player.

Most prolific individual league seasons by an Arsenal player
Season Top scorer Goals
1934/1935* Ted Drake 42
1930/1931* Jack Lambert 38
1925/1926* Jimmy Brain 34
1932/1933* Cliff Bastin 33
1947/1948* Ronnie Rooke 33
1926/1927* Jimmy Brain 31
2003/2004 Thierry Henry 30
1946/1947* Reg Lewis 29
1960/1961* David Herd 29
1962/1963* Joe Baker 29
2005/2006 Thierry Henry 27
1914/1915 Henry King 26
1963/1964*

Geoff Strong

Joe Baker

26
1927/1928* Jimmy Brain 25
1928/1929* David Jack 25
1956/1957* Derek Tapscott 25
1964/1965* Joe Baker 25
1976/1977* Malcolm Macdonald 25
2004/2005 Thierry Henry 25
2011/2012 Robin van Persie 25**
1903/1904 Tommy Shanks 24
1935/1936* Ted Drake 24
1957/1958* David Herd 24
1991/1992* Ian Wright 24
2001/2002 Thierry Henry 24
2002/2003 Thierry Henry 24
2007/2008 Emmanuel Adebayor 24
1951/1952* Doug Lishman 23
1988/1989 Alan Smith 23
1993/1994 Ian Wright 23
1996/1997 Ian Wright 23
1931/1932* Jack Lambert 22
1952/1953* Doug Lishman 22
1990/1991 Alan Smith 22
1949/1950* Peter Goring 21
1983/1984* Tony Woodcock 21
1922/1923* Bob Turnbull 20
1936/1937* Ted Drake 20

** = ongoing record
* = 42-game season

Most times Arsenal's top league goalscorer
Player Top scorer Seasons
Thierry Henry 7 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002,
2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2004/2005,
2005/2006
Ian Wright 6 1991/1992, 1992/1993, 1993/1994,
1994/1995, 1995/1996, 1996/1997
Ted Drake 5 1934/1935, 1935/1936, 1936/1937,
1937/1938, 1938/1939
Doug Lishman 5 1950/1951, 1951/1952, 1952/1953,
1953/1954, 1954/1955
Joe Baker 4 1962/1963, 1963/1964, 1964/1965,
1965/1966
Jimmy Brain 4 1924/1925, 1925/1926, 1926/1927,
1927/1928
David Herd 4 1957/1958, 1958/1959, 1959/1960,
1960/1961
Alan Smith 4 1987/1988, 1988/1989, 1989/1990,
1990/1991
Tony Woodcock 4 1982/1983, 1983/1984, 1984/1985,
1986/1986

On average, Arsenal's top scorer contributes 27.41 per cent of that season's total goal tally. So far this season Van Persie's goals account for 45.45 per cent of our Premier League total, which is the highest individual ratio in Arsenal history.

In 1993/94 Ian Wright claimed 23 of Arsenal's 53 Premier League goals (43.4 per cent), and was one of only six Arsenal scorers in the league that season. That's the fewest numbers of goalscorers Arsenal have ever had in one league campaign. This season the figure is already 16, just two shy of the all-time club record, set in 2009/10.

Looking purely at title-winning seasons, the goals are not generally shared around the squad to a great extent - the average is 12.15 goalscorers per championship campaign. The figure was just eight in 1947/48 and a fairly low 12 in 2003/04.

In title-winning seasons, the leading scorer nets an average of 29.25 per cent of the team's total, a little up on the overall average, implying that one dominant striker does not significantly affect the team's chances of success.

Highest individual proportion of team goals
Season Player Goals Team goals Ratio
2011/2012 Robin van Persie 25 55 45.45%
1993/1994 Ian Wright 23 53 43.40%
2003/2004 Thierry Henry 30 73 41.10%
1947/1948 Ronnie Rooke 33 81 40.74%
1974/1975 Brian Kidd 19 47 40.43%
1946/1947 Reg Lewis 29 72 40.28%
1926/1927 Jimmy Brain 31 77 40.26%
2005/2006 Thierry Henry 27 68 39.71%
1925/1926 Jimmy Brain 34 87 39.08%
1976/1977 Malcolm Macdonald 25 64 39.06%
Title-winning seasons
Season Top scorer Goals % of total Different scorers
1930/1931 Jack Lambert 38 29.92% 11
1932/1933 Cliff Bastin 33 27.97% 9
1933/1934 Cliff Bastin
Ray Bowden
13 17.33% 13
1934/1935 Ted Drake 42 36.52% 16
1937/1938 Ted Drake 17 22.08% 17
1947/1948 Ronnie Rooke 33 40.74% 8
1952/1953 Doug Lishman 22 22.68% 12
1970/1971 Ray Kennedy 19 26.76% 9
1988/1989 Alan Smith 23 31.51% 14
1990/1991 Alan Smith 22 29.73% 11
1997/1998 Dennis Bergkamp 16 23.53% 13
2001/2002 Thierry Henry 24 30.38% 13
2003/2004 Thierry Henry 30 41.10% 12

Robin van Persie is well on track to win the Premier League Golden Boot award this season, and it would be the 11th time an Arsenal player has taken the award for the top scorer in the English top flight.

Four of those previous Golden Boots have gone to Thierry Henry, most recently in 2005/06, with 27 goals. Ian Wright, Alan Smith (twice), Malcolm Macdonald, Ronnie Rooke and Ted Drake are the other players to have won it while at Arsenal.

Currently Van Persie is seven goals clear of his nearest challenger (Wayne Rooney) and history suggests that he may already have enough goals to claim the Golden Boot. Since the league was reduced to 20 teams in 1995/96, the average number of goals the top scorer has netted is 24.69. Last season Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov shared the award with 20 goals each.

Van Persie's 25 goals so far this season have come from 27 games, at a rate of 0.93 per game, a better strike rate than any previous Golden Boot winner in the Premier League era. If he continues scoring at this rate, Van Persie will end the season with 35 league goals, therefore breaking the Premier League record.

Last season Van Persie broke the Premier League record for scoring in consecutive away games (nine) and has continued to consistently find the net on the road this term. In fact Anfield became the 21st different stadium he has scored at since the beginning of 2011, and the 33rd different venue he has scored at for Arsenal in all.

Premier League Golden Boot winners
Season Player Team Goals
1992/1993* Teddy Sheringham Nottingham Forest/Tottenham 22
1993/1994* Andy Cole Newcastle United 34
1994/1995* Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 34
1995/1996 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 31
1996/1997 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 25
1997/1998 Dion Dublin Coventry City 18
Michael Owen Liverpool 18
Chris Sutton Blackburn Rovers 18
1998/1999 Michael Owen Liverpool 18
Dwight Yorke Manchester United 18
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Leeds United 18
1999/2000 Kevin Phillips Sunderland 30
2000/2001 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 23
2001/2002 Thierry Henry Arsenal 24
2002/2003 Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United 25
2003/04 Thierry Henry Arsenal 30
2004/2005 Thierry Henry Arsenal 25
2005/2006 Thierry Henry Arsenal 27
2006/2007 Didier Drogba Chelsea 20
2007/2008 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 31
2008/2009 Nicolas Anelka Chelsea 19
2009/2010 Dider Drogba Chelsea 29
2010/2011 Carlos Tevez Manchester City 20
Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United 20

* = 42-game season

Arsenal's all-time Golden Boot winners
Season Player Goals
1934/1935 Ted Drake 42
1947/1948 Ronnie Rooke 33
1976/1977 Malcolm Macdonald 25*
1988/1989 Alan Smith 23
1990/1991 Alan Smith 22
1991/1992 Ian Wright 29**
2001/2002 Thierry Henry 24
2003/2004 Thierry Henry 30
2004/2005 Thierry Henry 25
2005/2006 Thierry Henry 27

* = shared with Andy Gray
** = including five for Crystal Palace

Another target for Robin van Persie is the European Golden Shoe for the top scorer across all the European domestic leagues.

The Dutchman is currently third behind the La Liga duo of Cristiano Ronaldo (30) and Lionel Messi (28).

Fourth-placed Aleksandrs Cekulajevs has actually scored more goals than all of those three (46) but goals in Europe's five top-ranked leagues are weighted above the likes of the Estonian league, where Cekulajevs plays for Narva Trans. The Estonian league season finished in November, therefore Cekulajevs cannot add to his tally.

Should Van Persie overhaul Ronaldo and Messi he will become only the second Arsenal player to win the award, following Thierry Henry. Henry is actually the only player to win the Golden Shoe (in its current guise) back-to-back, scooping the prize in 2003/04 and 2004/05.

European Golden Shoe standings
Player Club League Goals Points
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Spain 30 60
Lionel Messi Barcelona Spain 28 56
Robin van Persie Arsenal England 25 50
Aleksandrs Cekulajevs Narva Trans Estonia 46 46
Burak Yilmaz Trabzonspor Turkey 29 43.5
Antonio Di Natale Udinese Italy 18 36
Seydou Doumbia CSKA Moscow Russia 24 36
Zlatan Ibrahimovic AC Milan Italy 18 36
Mario Gomez Bayern Munich Germany 18 36
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Schalke 04 Germany 18 36

Arsenal's win over Liverpool at the weekend was the Club's fifth comeback win in away matches so far this season, and ninth overall during 2011/12.

Click here for more on the Gunners' comebacks.

Stats correct to March 6, 2012. Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme. To subscribe, or buy online, click here.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 7 Mar 2012