The Doc’s Prescription - The making of a Captain

Arsenal's Robin van Persie during the UEFA Champions League, Round of 16, Second Leg match at the Nou Camp, Barcelona. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 8, 2011. See PA Story SOCCER Arsenal. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.
Arsenal's Robin van Persie during the UEFA Champions League, Round of 16, Second Leg match at the Nou Camp, Barcelona. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 8, 2011. See PA Story SOCCER Arsenal. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

BEING CAPTAIN of Arsenal used to be considered a job for life or at least for the duration of your playing career!

But recently Arsenal captains just seem to come and go without a “proper nod” at the gravitas of the particular position.

We had Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry, William Gallas and the recently departed to Barcelona, Cesc Fabregas.

Many felt that Wenger had cheapened the position by offering it in what was clearly seen as a “bribe” to induce Fabregas to stay while Gallas’ behaviour during his spell left a lot to be desired to say the least.

Like most football fans I was surprised when the captain’s armband was offered to Robin Van Persie but he seems to have grown into the job.

Insiders at Arsenal say he takes his responsibilities very seriously indeed and insists in writing his own captain’s notes and has been very active in organising bonding sessions for his team mates.

Add to that the fact that he’s in the form of his life and it seems the captain’s job and Van Persie are made for each other.

It wasn’t always like this as testified to by his former team mates at Feyenoord - his previous club. Arriving as a talented 17 year-old he rubbed his better known team mates up the wrong way right from the start.

There was the famous incident, now immortalised on Youtube, where he deliberately takes a freekick that Pierre van Hooijdonk has spent some time lining up and his behaviour became so bad he was relegated to the reserves for his own safety.

But that’s all in the past and the new Van Persie has proved himself (at least up to now) a proper leader of men and worthy of the armband he wears so proudly!

Read more from the Doc in the Journal every Tuesday