Robin van Persie: He Wins Awards When He Wants
Yesterday brought the fantastic news that Arsenal’s Robin van Persie had won the Professional Footballer’s Association award for Player of the Year.
There’s not much one can say about Van Persie that hasn’t already been said. The adjectives continue to flow for the Dutch striker, and still they fail to do justice to his performances and extent of his contribution to Arsenal this season. To be recognised by his peers will be very pleasing for the Gunners number 10.
In the post-presentation interview, Robin of Ashburton Grove said he was humbled by the prize. He added:
If other people are saying it, it is special, but it is even more special if your opponents are saying it. It is very special because you are playing against them week in week out and every single player does everything to win. In the end, if they make up their minds that I am the best player it is a big honour.
The striker also thanked his team-mates for helping him score goals this season, especially Theo Walcott who’s linked up really well with the Dutchman and provided 12 assists.
It’s an aspect of Robin’s self which is very pleasing from a fan’s perspective, he always credits the work of the provider as much as his own finishing. This is visible on the pitch when he invariably points to a team-mate who’s slid him in before going on a glory run like many other strikers.
Although Van Persie does not seem the kind of player that is too affected by accolades, I do feel this award will lift the mood in the entire Arsenal dressing room. RvP is well liked by his work colleagues and to them, it will feel like a recognition of the team’s hard work as well. We seemed to be running on half-charged batteries in the last couple of games and injuries to Mikel and Theo seem to have dampened the mood further. This could be just the recharge we need to get us through the last three games of the season strongly.
Personally, I will remember this season as much for Robin’s fantastic leadership as his magnificent goals. Sure, the volley against Everton was sublime, and somehow even better than ‘that’ volley against Charlton in September 2006 because of where Arsenal found themselves this season. But the most uplifting thing has been Robin’s whole-hearted committment to performing his leadership duties and the maturity he’s shown in discharging those duties.
In recent seasons, Arsene Wenger has handed the captain’s armband to the best player on the pitch, regardless of the players qualities to lead. Van Persie’s appointment seemed to be another exercise in tying down our best player, at least for another year. In addition, it is always that much harder for a striker to be a good role model as they tend to make or break games with goals or lack of them.
Combined with the wiser heads of experienced players such as Arteta, Mertesacker and Benayoun, Robin’s leadership has been a definite contributing factor in our reversal of fortunes. We started to look much more like a team as the season wore on, even when the results did not go our way in that January blip. For that, I will always remember the Dutchman fondly, no matter what his decision is in the summer.
In other news, Arsene Wenger revealed yesterday that Tomas Rosicky was sick on the morning of the Chelski game and only started because of depleted options in midfield. It does put Tomas’ performance in perspective, especially from an offensive perspective although he still managed to put in a good shift.
Arsenal will be boosted for the Stoke game with the recovery of Tomas, the continued fitness of Abou Diaby and the return of Yossi Benayoun. We still have the players to see through the next three games, and I am sure Robin’s recognition will give the team the impetus to finish strongly.
By the way, do you think Manure is trying to steal our patent on 4-4 draws?