Robin van Persie is ready for the Arsenal captaincy.
The Dutch forward has been appointed as successor to Cesc Fabregas, who left Emirates Stadium for Barcelona this week. Van Persie will not lead Arsenal out against Udinese - he serves a UEFA one-match suspension on Tuesday night - but will reclaim the armband when Liverpool visit north London on Saturday.
Van Persie has been at Arsenal for seven years and is approaching his peak. The Dutch international has 'grown up' since he joined the Club and is now relishing the extra responsibility that captaincy brings.
"As captain you are an ambassador for the Club and I’m ready for that," Van Persie told the Official Matchday Programme. "I’ve been in the game now for more than ten years, so I know how this world works.
"When I was 18 I didn’t have a clue! Every day I was always surprised by something, when I went to training or when I had a game, every day was just one big surprise for me. How people reacted after the game – the fans, players, media – it was all a surprise to me, I was just thinking about playing football.
"But now I know how things work and I understand that certain actions have consequences. I know that quite well, I feel experienced, so I feel ready for this. I know that every single player represents their club anyway, everywhere you are, 24/7. I’ve been dealing with it for a few years now, so I know what my part is.
"You should always try to show respect, and this is just basic stuff that all human beings should have in their life – just being nice to people. It’s the little things, like giving people a minute of your time in the street, you show them respect, and live with your principles on life."
Read Robin's first Captain's Notes notes in the Official Matchday Programme on Tuesday night, available from all Club outlets. Click here to buy or subscribe online.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 16 Aug 2011