Robin van Persie sends message to Arsenal fans after Arsene Wenger announcement
Robin van Persie opens up about Arsene Wenger after the news that he will step down as Arsenal manager
Robin van Persie has paid tribute to Arsene Wenger after the Arsenal manager announced that he will be stepping down at the end of the season.
The 68-year-old revealed on Friday that he will be bringing an end to his 22-year spell at the north London club at the end of the current campaign.
Van Persie spent a large portion of his career under Wenger at Arsenal before leaving to sign for Manchester United back in the summer of 2012.
And the former Arsenal striker has talked up the influence that Wenger has had at the north London club since he took over at Highbury back in 1996.
Van Persie is quoted as saying by Metro: “People forget where Arsenal was as a club before Arsene Wenger came.
“Before 1996, the fans in England would call them ‘boring Arsenal’. Arsene has not only brought success to the club, he has also made the team play fantastic football.
“Single-handedly he has changed the entire culture of the club. Every young player that arrived at the club would be told that they would get time to develop.
“He had this plan for so many seasons. And the most special thing about this was, that Arsene made it all happen! He always had patience and trust in his players.
“He certainly did with me. I made mistakes, you know, but Arsene kept supporting me.
“He made me learn from my mistakes. He would talk to me for hours. And step by step he helped me improve.
“When I first met Arsene, he told me he would give me all the opportunities I needed. ‘When I say that his is my football father, I am not exaggerating. He has formed me as a man and as a player.”
Arsenal are still looking to book their place the Champions League for next season by winning the Europa League this term.
The Gunners are poised to take on Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final clash at The Emirates on Thursday night.
Arsenal are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table and looking likely to miss out on a top-four finish for the second season running under Wenger.
The north London side have not won the title since their famous unbeaten triumph back in 2003-04.