Since his arrival back in 2004 there have been few who doubted the talent of Robin van Persie, but between his early disciplinary issues and his constant battle against injuries, many feared his obvious potential would not be realised.
In 2011 the Dutchman has shown that perseverance and quality will come through in the end and with 34 goals for Arsenal in the calendar year it’s safe to say he’s enjoying himself.
“I just like to play football,” he said. “I think football is a great game which can go many ways. I just love it at the moment.
“I want to help my team, I want to help them with assists, help them with goals, help them with good football. In some games that means holding the ball when we’re struggling.
“For me it is not just scoring. Football is more for me than just scoring the ball in the back of the net. I think football can give you much more than to score. I enjoy a nice pass as much as a goal, you know?”
And while equalling Thierry Henry’s record for Arsenal has made him proud, he’s determined not to dwell on breaking it in case it affects his performances.
“I’m on 34 now like Thierry. It is a big honour, to be fair, because Thierry is probably the best player Arsenal ever had and to achieve that in a year is really special.
“I don’t want to jinx myself. I know about it. It makes me proud, but it is not my main target.”
With two games left in 2011 Robin also has the chance to break elbowy Geordie bloke’s Premier League record but you know that this Robin van Persie will put the team first and if the record comes with that then all the better.