Robin van Persie reveals he 'wasn't even convinced' by main striker role at Arsenal

 

Robin van Persie has admitted he was far from confident he could play as a main striker, but now believes he can become even more lethal in front of goal.

Arsenal captain Van Persie has developed into one of the most feared centre-forwards in the world, and looks set to breach the 40-goal barrier for club and country this season.

The Holland star, 28, only began spearheading the Gunners attack almost three years ago after manager Arsene Wenger sold Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City.

Before then, Van Persie played almost exclusively as a second striker, the kind of role fellow Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp made his own at the club.

"That was the idea from day one," Van Persie told Arsenal Player.

"I never really thought that I would end up as a main striker.

"I actually never played there before - I did it a couple of times at youth level but it was nothing really special.

"We only tried it when Adebayor went.

"The boss didn't buy someone else because he was convinced I could do it.

"I wasn't even convinced about it. I wasn't so sure, because I didn't really play there so much.

"Then, in pre-season, we had a game against Inter Milan. I scored a good goal, played well and he told me after the game, 'You see? It will work'.

"That was the first step to being a main striker.

"Sometimes, you just question yourself, if you're good enough at it. Those answers came.

"I have been for a while now convinced that I actually can play as a main striker. I just didn't know, and now I believe.

"Let's see where it ends. Let's see how far I can push myself, see where my maximum lies."

Van Persie's exploits have made him the heavy favourite to be crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday.

They have also made him one of the most coveted strikers in the world, with City, Barcelona and Real Madrid all linked with him.

Van Persie has only one year left on his Arsenal contract and has declared he will not make a decision about his long-term future until the end of the season.

Gunners fans will understandably be concerned at his presence at Barcelona's team hotel last night ahead of the Catalans' Champions League clash with Chelsea.

He was spotted talking to international team-mate Ibrahim Afellay and may also have been catching up with former Gunners team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

Van Persie extending his Arsenal contract may depend on how ambitious they are in the transfer market this summer, with the impending arrival of Germany star Lukas Podolski certainly a step in the right direction.

Wenger will be hoping Podolski settles as quickly as summer signing Andre Santos.

Brazilian left-back Santos has revealed how fellow new boy Mikel Arteta has done all he can to help him fit in.

"Mikel Arteta is Spanish and our languages are quite similar so he is helping me the most," Santos said.

"He is always giving me instructions about the Premier League. He played for Everton for a long time and arrived at Arsenal at the same time as I did so he helped me settle.

"We're always messing around in the changing room, on the pitch during the warm up.

"He's always saying something to make me laugh or calling me nicknames but it's always good-spirited, with no harm.

"We work together every day and need these moments of distraction.

"Us players always go out for dinner and social events together.

"I'm always doing something with Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Robin van Persie, Mikel, Yossi Benayoun, Ignasi Miquel and others.

"This link between us off the pitch is very strong and it benefits the team on the pitch."

PA

News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
People walk through Autumn leaves in St James's Park yesterday
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits