Van Persie reaches goals milestone to bring smiles back for Gunners
ROBIN van Persie was glad to put a smile back on the faces of Arsenal’s fans following his match-winning performance in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat of Bolton.
Arsenal’s worrying start to the season took a turn for the better when they picked up their second win of the season to move away from the relegation zone.
Van Persie was the Gunners’ destroyer-in-chief, driving past Jussi Jaaskelainen in the second half before turning home with a clever flick from Theo Walcott’s cross to put the Londoners 2-0 up before Alex Song sealed the win late on.
The win brought to an end a difficult period, which saw Arsenal drop to 17th in the Barclays Premier League table with a 4-3 defeat to strugglers Blackburn.
The win also made van Persie only the 17th Arsenal player to score 100 goals.
The Arsenal captain was happy to reach the landmark, but was also delighted to help lift the gloom which has surrounded the club after their slow start.
“I’m very proud. I’m only the 17th player in the history of Arsenal players to pass 100 goals. It is a big achievement,” van Persie said. “The ball will get a nice place in my living room now. The fans were amazing again. It has been hard for them and us but we can move forward now.
“You could see everyone smiling after, saying ‘this is what we want’.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has been the subject of criticism from some fans, agrees with van Persie that the result has given the Londoners a lift ahead of a huge week that sees the club take on Olympiacos and Tottenham in the north London derby.
“We were under pressure and it was not easy for us,” Wenger said.
“You could feel the relief among the fans, the team and the staff, but some days you have to turn up and just get the result.”
Wenger signed van Persie as a winger when he paid a mere £2.75m for the Dutchman’s services seven years ago.
But like Thierry Henry, van Persie has gone on to blossom into a full-blown centre-forward and is also now captain following the departure of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona.
Wenger admits the former Feyenoord striker is a hugely important part of his team and hopes he can avoid the same injury problems which caused him to miss part of the early stages of last term.
“It’s difficult to imagine our team without him. Let’s hope, touch wood, that he remains with us in every single game,” the Frenchman said.