he looked great, as always
I was there too!
“I have every trust in the things we are doing within the club. There is only a fine line between winning and losing. Just look at our last match against Spurs. We could have won that game with the chances we had. There is no need to panic for anyone.”
“Our start is not good. I would have felt better if we had won the derby. We didn’t and right now there is a negative feeling. But I assure you, it is not all that negative.”It is up to us, players and staff, to sort it out on the pitch.”
-Robin van Persie
Now you think he is out? No, I don’t think that. Robin is not from Barcelona.
Arsene Wenger (in response to question about Robin van Persie’s contract)
** Trollsene, we meet again.
Robin van Persie 100 goals:
71 left foot, 23 right foot, 6 headers. 12 outside the box, 88 inside, 12 penalties.
69 Premier League, 6 Carling Cup, 8 FA Cup, 17 European competitions.
with Junior Gunners before the match vs Shrewsbury Town
arsenal team photo snippets
Robin van Persie through the years with Arsenal
Arsenal is a great club and I’m just very, very proud to be captain. Hopefully I can lead the team well and I can basically act the same as the last couple of years. I don’t think you should change your attitude because you are wearing the armband - it’s better to be yourself.
I’ve worn the armband a few times before, and there’s certainly pride when you do that. You also have a little bit more to do on the pitch, because you can speak to the ref or the linesmen more. That’s an FA rule, when there is an issue, I can speak to them more as captain.
Besides that, I don’t think you should change your pre-match routine too much towards the other players.
I want to help the other players as well - young or old - and I think other players can help me too. The way I see it is we are all captains of the team - everyone has the right to say what he wants to say. Everyone plays a part of our season and hopefully of our success, and everyone is important in that.
I have played under captains like Vieira, Henry, Gallas and Cesc, and they all had their own way as captain. What they all had in common though was they were leaders. They were all great players too of course. For the national team it was Gio, and now Mark van Bommel, who are both really good leaders, so of course I’ve learnt some stuff from them.
Off the pitch there will be some more responsibilities too. From the organisation side, for team events usually I was the one who was following, but now it’s down to me to plan and organise these things. So things like that will change, but I fell ready for it and I’m looking forward to it.
It’s a great honour to be captain of this club, and when you look at the history of Arsenal captains, a couple really stand out for me - Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira. They are a big part of our history, and I can feel that everywhere because everyone remembers them as captains and leaders. I’ve heard many stories about Tony Adams from when he was captain and I love the way he led the team.
I’ve heard a lot about it, about his leadership, about how he gave his colleagues confidence and helping everyone out. He was a true leader. Of course this is new for me so I’m not going to say I’m like him, everyone is his own man, but I can definitely learn from those stories, and from playing under the likes of Patrick and Thierry.
When you look at all those guys, it’s a massive honour for me to join their line in Arsenal Football Club because it’s a massive club. You feel that everywhere, you see Arsenal fans wherever you go in the world.
That makes me feel so proud. But again, I want to say that everyone is their own captain. We have Thomas Vermaelen in the dressing room as captain as well, which the boss has spoken about. He’s an experienced player, he leads by example, he’s always there when something is going on, he’s a tough and a great player.
But as I said before, we are a team, we are not playing tennis so everyone should be captain of their own position, and take responsibility for themselves on the pitch and off it too.
I’m confident with this group we have.
There are mixed feelings too of course because I would rather not be captain and still have Cesc here. But he’s left and I want to say that I feel we should be proud of how he developed here for eight years, rather than being upset that he’s gone. I feel that people are upset about it, but people have to understand that he is going home. He played more than 300 games, was captain at just 21, and so all fans should be proud that he played so well for us because he was an amazing player and an amazing leader, who led by example. So let’s keep that feeling of him, rather than focus on the negative side of him leaving, because that happens in football. Keep in mind too that he’s not left to go to another English team - he’s going home.
I spoke to him about it in the summer, and I could see that he was emotional. It was not a little decision for him. He grew up here, he had a great relationship with his colleagues, his manager, the fans, teh whole club. So we should think about those memories, and keep a positive impression of him because he was great for us.
Now though, we are all focused on what is in front of us - Udinese in the qualifier. We can take the positives from the weekend’s result into tonight’s game - the whole team played well defensively on Saturday. I don’t think we gave Newcastle one clear chance in the game. That was really good, we were sharp from corners and free-kicks, everyone had their zone and everyone was going for every single ball. The back four and Wojciech played really well. Last year we went down to ten men and conceded four goals in 20 minutes, this year we didn’t concede any. We did well to hold the clean sheet, which was an improvement.
It’s not just down to the defence though, it’s down to the whole team, and the subs who come on. We can improve a bit on the attacking side, we were missing a bit on the final pass and had we done that better we would have made some more chances. But it’s still early in the season and everyone is getting better every day.
It’s really frustrating that I can’t play tonight, but I need to deal with it, that’s life. I think that all the decisions over your career level themselves out. But right now it’s hard to take because this is a massive game for us. We all want to play in the Champions League so badly so we know how important tonight is.
Hopefully we can get a good result, because we are away in the second leg and that makes it tougher. So let’s make it a great night with a great result. We will need your help to achieve that. We need our fans behind us because I know from experience that when you are the opposition team, it’s difficult to play at a big stadium, when the fans are noisy and really behind the team. So let’s see that at the Emirates tonight.
Robin’s first programme notes (Udinese home game) as captain
look at Vermaelen!!!
Arsene Wenger, Robin van Persie and Bacary Sagna at the press conference for Arsenal Asia tour at Saujana Hotel, Subang, Malaysia.
* pic credit to @gunemall)