Peter Hill-Wood has paid homage to club captain Robin van Persie for his recent on-pitch contribution and also thanked Thierry Henry for providing Gunners fans with more great memories after his short loan spell with the club.
Writing in his chairman’s statement in the foreword to the latest Arsenal holdings PLC financial results dossier, the 76-year-old, who succeeded his father 30 years ago, reflected fondly on the return of the club’s greatest ever scorer:
“It was a special moment to have Henry back with us for his statue unveiling.
“This was only surpassed by that winning goal against Leeds United on his return to action in an Arsenal shirt during his loan period with the Club.
“It was a truly memorable football moment from an outstanding Arsenal servant.”
Recognising the importance played by Van Persie, who has at times single-handedly dragged Arsenal towards unforeseen victories in the last year, Hill-Wood continued:
“I would like to recognise another outstanding Arsenal servant, our captain Robin van Persie.
“He has been in tremendous form and has scored many spectacular and valuable goals.
“In addition, he has proved to be an exceptional leader of the team and I am delighted by his contribution on and off the pitch.”
Let’s hope the love from the board and the fans will help persuade Van Persie to sign a new contract in the summer. The Dutchman confirmed ahead of yesterday’s 5-2 hammering of Spurs that he was indeed waiting until the end of the season to discuss a new contract, making clear in the process that there is nothing sinister behind the decision.
“There have been a lot of stories, generally contradictory ones, about my contract situation recently so I’d like to make it clear,” he said.
“There’s nothing complicated or sinister – the club and I have both agreed to speak at the end of the season and see how things stand. The boss, Ivan Gazidis and I are all comfortable with it.
“I need all my focus to be on football – on captaining this team, improving every day, doing extra work on the training pitch and preparing for the very busy schedule of fixtures we have.”