Robin van Persie is Arsenal’s captain, talisman and now a Gunners record holder.

 

By scoring a penalty against Aston Villa on Wednesday night, the Dutchman had equalled a record set by possibly Arsenal’s greatest ever player.

 

Thierry Henry is also the current holder of the accolade of scoring the most Premier League goals in a calendar year – the record standing at 34.

 

“It’s a big honour because Thierry is probably the best player Arsenal ever had and to achieve that in a year is really special,” he said.

“I am really proud but it is not my main target. But as it has happened, of course I am really happy.”

 

That is not the only record he is threatening to take; another three goals and he will surpass Alan Shearer’s league record of 36 goals for the year, set in 1995.

 

Firstly, this is an incredible achievement by Van Persie just purely for being able to play so many games. His career up to now has been seriously impinged by rotten luck with injuries.

 

Secondly, he has achieved this record in arguably Arsene Wenger’s most trying time as the Gunners boss. It is a period that saw them lose their first final for five years, go out of the Champions League to Barcelona (again) and through the club’s worst start to a season for 58 years.

 

It is extraordinary that he has contributed goals and quality consistently, while those around him have been falling short and disaster striking on countless occasions.

 

With his injury worries behind him for a length of time, his conversion into a lone centre forward and his recent hatful of goals, it is possible we are seeing the product of a man who is finally finding himself.

 

Countless commentators have talked about their surprise at his success playing in the traditional centre-forward role, as his best position is that of a second striker.

 

This doesn’t make sense. How can a man who is experiencing easily the most fruitful stage of his career be playing out of position? Who is the ‘natural’ out and out striker that he is going to provide assists for to reach a similar amount of goals?

 

Surely Robin Van Persie is in a record equalling/breaking season because he has finally been placed where he belongs. The fact that he is in the midst of his career best form run must surely indicate he was being played out position before.

 

Regardless of whether it is his best position or not, the Gunners captain has been explaining why he thinks he has done so well.

 

“I didn’t miss one Premier League game [this year], and in most games I played 90 minutes, so when you have a good run and feel fresh and fit you try things,” he revealed.

“You take a few more risks than perhaps you would when you are coming back from injury. When you don’t have a run, you don’t really try things.

“As a striker it is really important to have a go. If you feel like having a chip or cutting the ball instead of shooting [you should do it].

“If you look at my performances, I take more risks now because I know that, with the team I have behind me, I will get more chances.

 

“It’s not as if I will only get one chance - I always get one, two, three maybe four in a game, so I can take a risk here and there.”

 

The Emirates Stadium legend currently stands on 115 goals for Arsenal and it is not unreasonable to expect he will be quickly moving up the all-time Arsenal top scorers list, should his currently

 

However, another pressing factor – one that seems most likely to scupper any attempt at another record – is whether Arsene Wenger can persuade his latest talisman to remain at Emirates Stadium and break more records.

 

Next summer will most likely be decisive in whether he stays or not, but Arsenal must do all they can to hold on to a player who could one day have his own statue.

Topics:
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
Football
Premier League