Robin van Persie believes the team have shown real character, not just against Chelsea, but over the last number of weeks.
Despite a loss against the mouth-breathing scummers, Arsenal have now won eight of their last nine games, and the captain believes the team’s form has gone somewhat unnoticed.
“We have been having a good run for almost two months now,” he said. “A bit quiet – not many people have noticed it – but we have won eight out of nine and to win this one at Chelsea sets a standard. To score five here is a big achievement, particularly as we had to come back from behind twice.
“We showed character and to score this many times at one of the hardest grounds in football to visit is a big thing. Everyone realises now we can do it against any team, so everyone is just pleased and happy.”
And such is the Dutchman’s form, with eleventy-billion goals in 2011 alone, he says he feels he can find the net every time he plays. “I feel I can score every time I go out on to the pitch. For me, personally, it’s just the best feeling to have. It doesn’t really matter against who we play: we always create chances so that means I always have a go. Then it’s up to me to score.
“I will miss chances but I will score them too. To have this feeling is one of the best things in life.”
And to watch him score them isn’t half-bad either. Arsene Wenger believes van Persie’s form is a combination of things but puts it down to his quality and experience.
“Calm, experience and, above all, top quality. Maybe he is at the right age as well because, at 28, you analyse quickly the weaknesses of the defence around you and take advantage. But he has exceptional class, and the intelligence of his movement means that he takes advantage of every situation. The captaincy, too, has contributed.
“People keep telling me he is not a ‘centre‑forward’. So how many goals does a centre-forward need to score? He’s a different kind of centre-forward but he is a centre-forward.”
Frankly, how anyone can say van Persie is not a centre-forward is beyond me. Sure, he’s not a horse-faced poacher like van Nistelrooy, nor a target man the likes of which Tony Pubis would play, but a forward’s job is to score goals, and van Persie does that. A lot. And a lot more than most traditional centre-forwards.
And long may it continue.