The prolific Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie has today revealed that he never at all believed that he could become the main striker for the Gunners, but Arsene Wenger practically forced him to take on the role when Emmanuel Adebayor was sold to Manchester City.
“I was hoping to play as a second striker… I never thought I would end up as a main striker,” Van Persie told Arsenal.com. “We only tried it when Adebayor went to Manchester City [in 2009].
“The boss didn’t buy anyone else because he was convinced I could do it, but I wasn’t even convinced I could do it. I had not really played there that much, and I hadn’t thought about it much before.
“The boss said, ‘I think you can do it, give it a go and see where it ends. Play your normal game, don’t go out there to score, go out there to enjoy yourself and help the team’.
“I had a go and then in pre-season we had a game against Inter Milan and I scored good goal and played well, and he told me after the game, ‘We will see how it goes, I am 100 per cent sure it will work’.
“Then in my first five or six games I didn’t score, I was making assists and playing well, but I didn’t score and I thought, ‘I am a main striker now, I need to score’ and the boss said, ‘I don’t mind that, as long as you play well for the team, giving assists, the goals will come’.
“When I scored my first goal I then scored seven in seven, with seven assists, so that was quite good. That was my first step to being a main striker.”
And now he scores nearly every single game! Perhaps the genius Mr. Wenger does have a crystal ball after all!