Follow us on Twitter @Untold Arsenal
“Making the Arsenal” – is available on Amazon, Arsenal on line, the Woolwich Arsenal site and in the Arsenal store.
By Walter Broeckx
Robin Van Persie couldn’t score. Robin Van Persie is not a striker. Robin Van Persie is too soft. Robin Van Persie is made out of glass. You had to be an idiot to put Robin Van Persie in the centre of the attack. And when Wenger indicated that he would play Robin Van Persie as the central striker from now on he was open to some critical fans who said all those things I mentioned above and some other things that were not that friendly at all. And certainly the things said about the manager didn’t were very friendly.
But now we find ourselves 11 months since the arrival of the new central striker Robin Van Persie. And the talk of the moment is if Robin Van Persie could beat the record of Shearer who scored 36 goals in one year in the EPL.
For the moment Robin Van Persie has scored 32 goals so he needs another five to get the record. But first Robin has to beat an Arsenal record. A record set by Thierry Henry himself who scored 34 goals in one year in 2004.
So I would say let us first see if he could get to that record of Arsenal. And what an achievement that would be. Beating a record set by Thierry Henry himself. 2 goals to get on the same level. 3 to get over him. I thought all the records set by Henry would be there forever. But now Robin could do it. I really think he can do it.
But where does this put the vision of the man who was the architect of putting Van Persie in there? Doesn’t this show how utterly brilliant he was? Once again I might say. Just like he was with bringing Thierry Henry to Arsenal and to put him as a striker. The winger that couldn’t score. Henry broke all the goal scoring records at Arsenal. And yet one of those records could be broken very soon. And not that I want to take anything away from Henry but I really hope Robin can break this record in the next games. And then who knows break the Shearer record also.
Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv
I wonder where the people are now these days who have been screaming in loud voices about what an idiot Wenger was. First of all to even think Van Persie would stay fit for more than four games in a row. And then to think that Van Persie would be any good at all out there in that difficult position. Those know it all have shown once again that they actually know nothing at all.
It is the manager who sees his players on the training field. Who can see how they perform in training. Who works with the players on a daily basis. And HE knows. He knows more than all of us together will ever know about football how much we think we know something about it. Why even bother to question his knowledge. Blimey, I would say by know that he has shown enough about his knowledge to never get him questioned again.
More eyebrows were raised when he made Van Persie captain. Again, and certainly after the difficult start, people questioned the sanity of the manager. But once again he is the one who has a daily look at the players. He knows what they are made off.
And maybe the fact that after all the troubles Van Persie has had with his fitness this was just the best evidence of what a strong character he has and therefore was the obvious and perfect choice for Wenger to give him the captain’s armband.
Because you have to be a strong person to come back each year from months on the sidelines. You have to dig deep to overcome it. Not just physically but most of all the mental part is very difficult. But Robin has shown that he is strong in coming back and overcoming his injuries. So by doing this he has shown his steel in a way. Not the steel of a player who never gets injured, but the steel of the player who will come back and come back stronger after every injury and set back. We can only hope that his injuries are now behind him as he has had more of his part in his career so far but no matter what: he just will be coming back.
What also is very amazing about Robin is the way he has developed. Not just as a player. Because he was talented when he burst in to the first team of Feyenoord at a young age. But even I will admit that I was sceptical when Wenger bought Van Persie. In fact I was shocked. He was going to PSV it seemed until Arsenal and Wenger suddenly came in. And what a masterly stroke it was once again. I always had a soft spot for Feyenoord and for Van Persie but I admit I never thought he was going the become the player he is now. I’m sure Wenger knew it could happen.
The angry young man has not just beaten his injury devils. But most of all he has beaten his own problems. Van Persie has changed from a rather difficult individual in to a model professional. And I think that this also has a lot to do with his wife and children. When I read interviews in the Dutch press you can read between the lines about the unbelievable influence he has from his wife and children. He has turned in to a real family man and you can see and hear about his love for them and how it has settled him down and brought peace in his mind.
Van Persie is in balance with himself and it just shows on the field. And sometimes I wonder if all this “one man team talk” is something that is getting on his nerves and that he really doesn’t like it. 5 years ago he would have liked it. I think he would have liked it a lot. But now being captain of the team, I think he doesn’t like it at all. If you see how at every opportunity he openly shows his appreciation to any team mate who gave an assist you can see that he wants to have their contribution being mentioned and that his team mates get the credit they deserve.
What also is very important is that Wenger has treated him in a special way. Not only has Wenger told him how he could improve himself and his game but Wenger has challenged him on many occasions to come up with answers himself. To think about his game himself. And to think about how he could improve himself.
We know Wenger likes intelligent players and in this case Van Persie has shown to be intelligent and lived up to the challenges that were thrown at him not just physical with his injuries, not just mentally with overcoming his bad luck. But also by making him think about his game.
Let us hope that Van Persie walks in the footsteps of that other person who has had a great influence on him. Because Van Persie has hailed in a recent interview the influence of that other great player we had from Holland and who stayed till the end of his career at Arsenal: Dennis Bergkamp. His example off and on the pitch has been an important for Van Persie.
In short I think Wenger once again showed that he not only has an eye for talent but he can turn an angry young man in to a very mature player and one of the best attackers in the world. Just like he did with Thierry Henry. To see such a thing once in a lifetime is something to be thankful for. But seeing it twice in the space of some 10 years…. This is truly amazing.
- STATUES: We exclusively reveal who the three men commemorated in the Arsenal Statues actually are.
- HISTORY: Danny Clapton – played 2 games in one day
- CHAMPS LEAGUE PREVIEW: Who we might play, Wenger on new striker, disharmony in the royal household…
- MATCH REVIEW: A perfect team performance
- Untold History…Untold Media … Untold Ref Reviews …
- Untold Economics … Untold Corruption … Untold Wenger …
- Untold News … Untold Fifa … Untold Players … Untold Injuries
- Untold Statistics … Untold Tactics … Untold 2011/2 …
- Untold match reviews … Untold fans …
- Untold Stadia … Untold Literature …
- Untold humour …Arsenal History Society … “Making the Arsenal” …
- Untold Emirates … Arsenal Independent Supporters Association
- Slavia Prague v Arsenal: the team predictions (confirmed or otherwise)
- Slavia Prague v Arsenal: the recent runs of form and how it’s looking
- Slavia Prague find that Chinese money is not always what one might hope
- Chinese Prague away: Arsenal injuries, Xhaka’s leadership, Prague at the weekend
- Is Arsenal Football Club being targeted through cyberbullying?