By Richard Clarke

For Robin van Persie, beauty is in the eye of the Arsenal season-ticket holder. The Dutchman feels his side play the best football in the Premiership.

"Definitely, 100 per cent," said Van Persie in the wake of the 6-2 victory over Blackburn. "There is no better team, football-wise, than Arsenal in England.

"It is frustrating but I see it in a positive way, we are proving every week that we are the
best. I watch a lot of football and sometimes I see games on TV and I think 'I could never play in that team'.

"When I see those games I am just happy I play in a team that plays fantastic football. Rosicky, Hleb, Fabregas - they are top, top players. They see almost everything around them and that is very, very special."

However their beauty has not been matched by their consistency. Arsenal have beaten highly-fancied sides like Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham but lost at struggling Manchester City, West Ham and Fulham.

Over the festive period, they face three more relegation-haunted sides. It would seem that only nine points is sufficient.

"It's very important we win," said Van Persie. "Everyone knows that the Christmas period is a tough one. My first season here we had a difficult time in the Christmas period. I wasn't playing that often and I experienced how hard it was. I saw it was very hard mentally and physically because we played every three or four days. Sometimes every two days. It will be hard but honestly, if we get ourselves together and get the right spirit, I am quite confident about it."

Arsène Wenger still believes Arsenal can challenge to the top two.

"It's going to be hard," said Van Persie when faced with the question. "Manchester United and Chelsea are playing so well, they are two fantastic sides.

"But if you just look at our games against the top sides, Tottenham is a big game for us, Chelsea, Manchester United too. We won everything except Chelsea. We have actually had a hard time against the lower sides."

And that record can be rectified over the next three games.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 24 Dec 2006