The Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie broke Thierry Henry’s record for goals scored in a calendar year yesterday, and he believes that his role as captain at the club this season has galvanised the team to fight their way back into the top four in the Premier League.
But he thinks it is great that he is being compared to some brilliant Arsenal captains from the past, and there was no better than the great Tony Adams.
van Persie said: “It is a massive honour that there are people in England who think I am doing a good job as captain and, for that reason, have made some comparisons with Tony.
“I consider Tony Adams as the best captain Arsenal have ever had. He played for Arsenal his entire career and is an absolute legend here.
“I have met him a number of times, but most of what I know about him is through the real Arsenal people, such as our kit men Paul and Vic Akers and our physio Colin Lewin.
“They have told me so many stories about his leadership – and they know. They were there in the dressing room at the time.
“Tony also had this amazing quality to win matches by his strong mentality.
“He would carry the team and be an inspiration to every player.
“I try to do it my way. I do it differently, but every day I try to make sure, as a captain, that we are a really united bunch of players. If Tony Adams could ever return here at Arsenal in some capacity, I would be the first person to support him. I think it’s crucial to have somebody like him, with all his experience, on our staff.
“I am a big fan of his and I know that the boys would also appreciate his presence. The first thing players do is look at somebody’s track record.
“Also, with Tony as a player you can talk about football, about life and private things, as he has overcome some hurdles in that way. To me, he is the prime example of a born winner.”
Adams was at the Emirates yesterday to have a look at his new statue, could he also have had a chat with Arsene Wenger about replacing Pat Rice in the summer?