By Rob Kelly

Robin van Persie says his magnificent goalscoring form in 2011 is down to two key factors - his fitness and his willingness to take risks.

The Arsenal captain has scored 34 goals in 34 games in the Premier League in 2011, equalling Thierry Henry’s Club record for a calendar year.

Van Persie puts much of this down to the fact that he has managed to maintain his fitness after struggling with injury in the past.

“I didn’t miss one Premier League game [this year], and in most games I played 90 minutes, so when you have a good run and feel fresh and fit you try things,” he said.

“You take a few more risks than perhaps you would when you are coming back from injury. When you don’t have a run, you don’t really try things.

“As a striker it is really important to have a go. If you feel like having a chip or cutting the ball instead of shooting [you should do it].

“If you look at my performances, I take more risks now because I know that, with the team I have behind me, I will get more chances. It’s not as if I will only get one chance - I always get one, two, three maybe four in a game, so I can take a risk here and there.”

Van Persie admits that he feel great pride at equalling Henry’s record, but he insists that winning games remains his main motivation.

“It’s a big honour because Thierry is probably the best player Arsenal ever had and to achieve that in a year is really special,” he said.

“I am really proud but it is not my main target. But as it has happened, of course I am really happy.”

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
23 Dec 2011