Robin Van Persie has been a hot news items in the last four weeks or so. If it has not been Manchester City's undisguised interest him (they'd love to whisk him away like they did Samir Nasri in the summer), then it's Barcelona or Real Madrid who are rumored to be ready to pay a fortune for him.
The undertow to this strand of Van Persie story is how poor Arsenal (oh, poor, poor club!) will be helpless to keep him come summer. Manchester City fans, for example, are sure he'll turn blue with the pittance Arsenal will offer him—what...€90,000 a week? Compare to the €200,000 a week City could easily offer him.
Gooners—oh poor lot—have no ready retort for their blue rivals. Then, there are the goals, the 34 that are the equal of Thierry Henry. But, not just the 34. There are the 36 of Alan Shearer.
Many pundits could have sworn that Van Persie's inability to score on Tuesday was because the 36 were weighing heavily on him. Is he desperate to equal or surpass Shearer's record?
"No," said Van Persie. He took a few moments to explain.
I will try to break the record, but it's not first on my wish list. It comes fourth or fifth, or something. For me, I always want my basics right for what we have to do to win. If I can score, it's good, but I am not only going out on the pitch to score goals, I am going out there because I love football. I like to play, and we want to win the game and get the three points. Hopefully, I can add some assists or goals, but I am not out there as maybe as some other strikers are, thinking of themselves. I am not like that and I never will be. We go out there in a different way, and I prefer that.
Talking assists, he said:
For me, I do appreciate assists as much as a proper goal. It's so important to have that. Luckily enough, we live in a world now where people do recognise good assists. Before, it was more about the goalscorer, and he was the main man, but people do realise that the guy that makes that final pass is just as important. We all know that it's important that the assists get the credit, too, which is very important in my opinion. For me personally, if I could choose between a tap-in or a really good assist, I would choose the assist all day long. For example, Alex Song's pass for me in the game against Everton. It was a really good volley, OK, but without that pass, I would have never scored.
Assists are good, and Van Persie is right. Goals are the product of team effort. However, inasmuch as it'll be great for him to make two more assists this year, we'll rather they be goals. Here's wishing for two more goals.