Jul 062012

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you for all the comments and feedback on yesterday’s piece on the Red and White letter, ostensibly sent to the board, but actually written for our ‘benefit’. I realise that my opinion may be one that you wholeheartedly disagree with – I wish to see Usmanov as far away from the club I love as possible, while many view him as a potential wind of positive change – but the debate was a fascinating one. Thanks for reading and writing, genuinely.

I’m now going to step back a day, to the news that preceded (and perhaps prompted the release of) the letter – Van Persie’s declaration on his personal website that he would not be signing a new contract, or more pertinently, the tone of the letter, which has caused one of the quickest disintegration of goodwill from fans to a player in recent memory. I want to take a look at the events that led up to what amounted to a bolt from the blue, and try to find the logic and rationale behind it all.

Note that some of this is speculative, although I suspect that only a few details are off track.

So let’s rewind, back to some time last season, when Arsenal began to suspect that Robin was going to need replacing.

Arsenal offer a new contract (2011)
Logic: With a little over a year remaining on his current deal, the time had arrived to finalise Van Persie’s contract situation. Three possibilities remained – he would sign, Arsenal would sell with one year left, or he would run his contract down and leave in 2013.

Arsenal are: hopeful.
Van Persie is: skeptical. This offer most likely originally came in the summer of 2011, one of the most turbulent in Arsenal’s recent history, and probably the worst in Wenger’s tenure. Under such conditions, the signing of a new contract by a man who would turn 30 in the summer that his existing deal expired was never likely.

Arsenal continue to push for Van Persie to sign (2011-12)
Logic:With the media turning his contract situation into a major story, it was becoming more of a concern that he would not sign, and would leave Arsenal in a perilous negotiating position in the summer of 2012.

Arsenal are: coming to the realisation that he is unlikely to sign, and beginning to formulate a contingency plan.
Van Persie is: happy. Having the season of his career, his stock has never been higher. He holds all the cards, and he knows it. He has no reason to act before the summer.

Van Persie gets offers (Mar-May 2012)
Logic: At this point, it is becoming apparent to many that Van Persie is unlikely to sign. Agents begin to sniff around, and the tapping up begins in earnest. It is highly likely that he received some ballpark figures from Manchester City in this timeframe, perhaps accompanied by a couple of others.

Arsenal are: trying to keep the furore under wraps while the season closes.
Van Persie is: coming to a decision.

Van Persie decides not to sign a new contract (May 2012)
Logic: He is about to turn 29 and has just completed the best season of his career, scooping individual honours and worldwide acclaim. With one big contract left, he wishes to make it a good one, with a salary fitting his ability and trophies in his cabinet. While the offer from Arsenal is financially strong, others are stronger and come with a likelihood of achieving both aims, particularly at City. A 3-4 contract at City would leave him with bursting pockets and as close to a guarantee of silverware as you are likely to get. For him, it is win-win.

Arsenal are: disappointed but accepting. They ask Van Persie to keep his counsel for the time being, as announcing his refusal to sign a new contract would put the club in a weaker bargaining position when it comes to signing the necessary replacements – it would allow selling clubs to demand more due to Arsenal’s dire and immediate need for their players. Despite the recent protestations from Arsenal that they were still trying to get him to sign, I think that they’ve known for some time that he would not, and this was purely media posturing.
Van Persie is: happy. His decision has been accepted, and he has no reason to counter Arsenal’s request. At this point, he is poised to leave with the blessing of the club and the fans, and move on to fulfill the rest of his ambitions.

Arsenal line up Podolski and Giroud (Summer 2012)
Logic: At this point, Arsenal are aware that Van Persie will be staying for a maximum of one season, and quite possibly not even that. Given the paucity of striking options already at the club, multiple reinforcements were needed, and there was little point in hanging around, particularly once the Champions League windfall was guaranteed.

Arsenal are: happy. Both signings are expected to be ready for first team football immediately, and by signing players ahead of any Van Persie announcement, they hope that the blow will be softened.
Van Persie is: happy. With two signings arriving, he knows he will not have to keep quiet for much longer, and can go about making his desired move.

Note that at this stage, pretty much everyone is happy. However, this is where I believe it all started to unravel. I suspect that at this point, Arsenal made one of the following two decisions. Either:

a) They decided that selling Van Persie to Manchester City was a step too far, and insisted that if he were to go anywhere, it would have to be abroad.
b) They decided that with each of his replacements being new to the club, they needed Van Persie to bridge the gap while they settled, and therefore told him that he would be required to remain for the final year of his contract, at which point he would be free to leave.

I honestly don’t know which of the two it was (although I suspect the latter), but I strongly believe that whichever it was, this was the point where the relationship soured.

Arsenal refuse to sell (to Man City?) (Summer 2012)
Logic: Whichever of the two decisions was taken, it was made in the best interests of Arsenal Football Club, not Robin van Persie. 2012/13 would be more difficult without him, especially if he moved to Manchester City.

Arsenal are: resolved.
Van Persie is: unhappy. His stock is at its highest, and this is his best opportunity to seal the contract of his dreams. If it is Manchester City he desires, then his failure to arrive in the summer will probably lead them to chase other options, and with him turning 30 next summer, there is no guarantee that they will return for him, particularly if his form isn’t as spectacular or he is hit by another injury. If it isn’t City, this still hurts him for the same reasons – his 2013 options may be scarcer than his current ones, those that lead him to his original decision.

Van Persie makes his move (4 July 2012)
Logic: He realises that Arsenal are resolved not to give him the move that he wants, wherever that may be to. He has only one card left to play, and that is to up the ante by making his position at Arsenal untenable, and therefore force the club to move him on. He probably believes that his stunning season gives him sufficient leeway with the fans that they will side with him over the board, so includes a few digs with his statement as an attempt to curry favour. It backfires from a PR point of view, but the end result is still likely.

Arsenal are: furious. Thy respond with their own curt statement.
Van Persie is: who knows? No doubt he is now aware that his PR move largely failed, and his stock amongst Arsenal fans has plummeted spectacularly. But the net result is still likely to be the one he desires – he will move on this summer, rather than seeing out his final year at the club. The only question is where.

I don’t know where Van Persie will end up, only that I’m certain he will now leave, and without the goodwill that he held in abundance only two days ago. His spiky message crossed the line for many (myself included), particularly when his argument that the squad should be strengthened is countered by the two players that arrived within days of the transfer window opening.

But, while I am not going to make any excuse for his actions or his words, I can understand exactly how this situation came about. I think Arsenal refused to give him the move that he wanted, when he wanted it, pointing to his contract and making a decision that was best for them, not for the player, sometimes they are criticised for not doing enough. Van Persie has undoubtedly reacted badly to this, and as a result will join a very long list of players I no longer care for the minute they exit the club.

For me, the club acted correctly throughout. You cannot force a player to sign, only give them the environment in which they wish to stay. Sadly, we have been unable to do that, and sticking to our guns has made Van Persie overplay his hand. But I strongly believe that we were right to focus on our own needs rather than those of the player. Players know they are assets, and make the most of that – it isn’t harmful to remind them it is a two way street.

As for Van Persie himself, I can understand his frustration – Arsenal put his chosen move into jeopardy. But if you sign a contract, your employer is entitled to ask you to stick to it. He has taken drastic action to avoid that, and while he will now get the move he desires, he has lost the respect of many for the way he has gone about it.

He will move on. And so shall we.

  51 Responses to “Van Persie statement the culmination of a chain of events”

  1. I think anyone in RVP’s position would know Arsenal have less chance of winning a trophy than MC.For starters,MC have a solid defence which can only get better.The gunners conceded 49 goals ,the highest among the the top teams. We al know except Wenger that a strong defence is very necessary to win games and trophies.
    Wenger plays a one dimensional style which is easy to stifle. There is no plan b.THe FM wants to win in style. Very often because of this ,the gunners lose games.
    I can’t see the gunners winning the epl ven with the two forward signings.It can improve if the gunners get a top quality defensive md and not some cheap imitation.
    I think RVP is right to conclude the gunners won’t be making headway in the epl.I hope I can be proven wrong.

    • I could not have argued that better myself. I agree all of it.

      The most important part of RVP’s website statement was that ….. ” it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”

      I believe most of the senior departures from Arsenal would have said the same. Some were more turned on by money than others. But they ALL gave up on the Wenger grand plan which has failed to work. 2012/13 may well be the 9th season …. unless we can perhaps win a Cup. NO tactics, NO driling of defence, No Plan B. Just Wenger’s obsession with lovely attacking football … for which every team in the whole world knows how to prepare.

      • I dont agree with this over used argument that our players move on because they are “ambitious”. Rubbish. They move on for the dough. If Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy had stayed and Wilshire had been fit, we would have been a lot closer to the Manchesters and might have won it. This was a team that was getting a lot better and with Arteta and Metersacker welcome additions. Of course when these guys leave it becomes a very convenient self fulfilling prophesy. Same now with Van Persie. If he remained, and with the new buys, and more to come and Wilshire coming back, we’re as good a squad as Man U and Chelsea, and it’s by no means certain that City are now a repeatable powerhouse like Real or Barcelona. As somebody else wrote…if RVP wants to win something then how come there is no PR about him going to the title winners of Germany or France? Could it be that when he says “ambition” he means “big bucks”. Which by the way is fine, but then he should be honest and say Arsenal can’t afford him, not that they aren’t ambitious enough.

        • The error in your statement, I believe, is that you think Arsenal would have signed Arteta and Mertersacker if Fabregas, Nasri, et al, had stayed. The money that enabled those signings was only freed up when Cesc left.

          Arsenal’s starting 11 is usually as good as any in the league. It’s the depth, or lack thereof, that always kills them. They can’t handle injuries to their best players and they can’t compete in the EPL, ECL, and the Cups without running their stars into the ground.

          Until that changes, players like RVP will always leave. Any player that has ambition wants money, too, and any player who wants money also has ambition. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

    • @ Isa, you showed your hatred for Arsenal. If RVP has the right to leave, Arsenal also reserver the right to or not to sell him. He is still on contract to the club. RVP is an INGRATE.

    • I’m not going to sit here and deny that joining City raises your chances of winning trophies. Of course it does.

      That’s actually part of the point. I can understand why Van Persie wants to leave, and I can understand how we got to this point. Doesn’t make it savoury in any way, but you can see how it happened.

      • Jeez. Man City win the Premier League by a whisker and that’s it. They were rubbish in Europe and considering the amount of money they have on tap they aren’t that great. I really can’t see them winning that many trophies in the future either.
        As for RVP I think he’s an idiot who just shot himself in the foot big time. RVP from hero to zero.

  2. In the absence of fact, this is, I agree, as close to the truth as we are ever likely to find out. Well thought out and sadly, probably spot on. I can see RvP’s position completely and cant abide the gnashing of teeth from some fans who feel it is a personal slur for him to leave us. I do however agree that his tactics are very poor indeed and whilst one would expect him to take a self centred perspective on his ‘one last hurrah’ as contracts go, he has shown an incredible lack of respect for a club that paid him almost £20m for lying on a treatment table.

    Wenger is, despite some fans losing faith in him, a lot more ruthless than those give him credit for. He has always dispatched big names when he feels he has had the best of them and thus whilst he obviously wants a great captain and a great striker to stay, I believe he is acting solely in the interest of the club by taking a stark position with RvP.

    I would insist that he doesnt go to City and a move abroad is the best solution for all. If Robin truly doesnt care about the money (my arse) then this should be the best solution for him as well- we shall see.

    Either way,lets not forget that RvP has shared some amazing goals and skills with us over the years and despite his stupidity in forcing the clubs hand, I will always have affectionate memories of our flying dutchman. If he does go to City, less so- as he will be no better than the glory boys Adebayour and Na$ri, for whom cash overwhelms any moral standing they may have, however small.

    • The point you make about Wenger being ruthless is a good one – he can be when he chooses to be. Likewise, he can retain faith when he believes enough (Diaby is probably the best current example of that).

      I fear that City will offer twice as much as anyone else, which leaves us with a difficult decision. I hope he goes abroad though.

      • For all I care, he can go to City where they have strikers coming out of their ears! Who will be left out to make room for The Van full of Pussies (I mean cats). Perhaps a discontented City team will not go amiss with The Arsenal!

        Wenger show TVFP that we can win the EPL without him. Did you all recall how many easy chances in front of goal he blew last season?

        As far as I am concerned he is history!

        • Can someone tell me what is so objectionable about RVP’s website statement ? The only significant part was … ” Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward. ”

          What’s wrong with that ? It is mild … it reveals no details … and is no doubt true. Very many Arsenal supporters disagree the Directors’ way forward too. Like Cesc he gave it his best shot. Both realise (as do so many fans) that the Wenger grand plan is / was a lost cause.

          What has RVP said to anger so many people ?

          • He can disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward, he can disagree with every tactic Wenger made, but he can not make it public like this. Who the hell did he think he is to question the way Arsenal FC run in public? And why should he did it?

            No other than to force a move out of the club with fans understanding his position. Which wouldn’t happen cause we’re smarter than his patronising assumption of us.

  3. Who knows how much of this is right, but all seems very plausible. Great read and major contribution.
    Brilliant stuff, TBG.

  4. @Mohd, i think you miss the point of the whole article. The article already agrees with the position that RvP is more likely to win a title with MC and never alludes to the fact that Arsenal will challenge for the title because they have brought in 2 excellent strikers albeit untested in premier league. The emphasis is on how RvP put himself above the club but did not expect the club to do the same. Cesc was in familiar position but he retained his goodwill with the fans despite forcing his way out of the club by refusing to play (note that Arsenal was even in a stronger position with him due to the length of his contract). I think RvP could have been more tactful.

  5. Superb! Thanks a lot :)

  6. Pretty much summed up my thought about the situation.
    If you read Van Persie Dutch press interview (in English) on Financial Times, then with the benefit of hindsight I think the situation was pretty much like what you wrote above.

    He basically voiced his discontent through his media friend. He slated Ramsey, Gervinho and Arshavin, complained about the leaving of Cesc Fabregas made Arsenal void of proven playmaker.
    Wenger basically decided to keep him and made him knew that they want him to stay, RVP refused and stroke back with that public statement. Respect lost.

  7. I agree- RVP will leave this summer- probably to City. Arsenal are a feeder club with a squad strength now roughly equivalent to that of Fulham. What is even worse,City will not even pay what he is worth.
    Arsenal FC- Kroenke – Wenger- Gazidis talk a lot about the “brand”, money- why they wont spend any, the need to only spend what the “club” makes etc. They pretend that their great “sustainability” project is some corporately agreed master plan to take the club forward- making Arsenal this integrated “well run club” all pulling in the same direction.

    Its a complete and utter load of tosh.

    Arsenal FC have developed a “corporate plan”- that does not include the players- the captain rightly thinks its a load of guff- and the last captain and best player agreed with him and left, and the captain before him.

    The only people who think this is the right plan is Kroenke, his Board, Wenger and Gazidis who are paid millions who all have a vested financial interest and a minority of deluded fans unconcerned about perpetual mediocrity. But none of that little lot actually play the football to take this club forward.
    How about developing a plan that the players are going to want?

    Losing our best player each year for the past 4 seasons is the price being paid for this Board’s failure.
    Every word of Usmanov’s open letter is correct.

  8. Here’s the link to the FT interview: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/49f4621a-aab2-11e1-9331-00144feabdc0.html
    Can the Premier League’s best player fulfil his ambition with Holland – and Arsenal? by Henk Spaan.

    I quoted some of the amusing lines here (most likely came out of Van Persie mind):

    “Do Arsenal really want to win the league? Do they really want to win the Champions League? Van Persie wants to, and if he doesn’t recognise his own drive in the club, he will look elsewhere, however much he and his family enjoy life in village-like Hampstead; however much he enjoys a meal in one of the neighbourhood restaurants with his Arsenal buddy Thomas Vermaelen.
    Arsenal’s recent signings have not convinced. Andrey Arshavin was expensive, inefficient and unpopular in the dressing room, Marouane Chamakh a mistake, Gervinho inadequate for the Premier League. And manager Arsène Wenger’s protection of the young midfielder Aaron Ramsey, with his deficient view of the game and meagre statistics (only two goals and four assists all season), doesn’t help much either.”

    “Incidentally, instead of Ramsey in midfield, Arsenal could have had Van Persie’s compatriot Rafael van der Vaart. “Would you like to come and play for us?” Van Persie had asked him. Van der Vaart, then out of favour at Real Madrid, had not believed his ears. With Van der Vaart on the left, Van Persie would know exactly when and where to expect the ball. Unfortunately, Wenger didn’t believe in Van der Vaart, even though he would have cost just £8m – peanuts when compared with Arshavin’s £15m. Van der Vaart joined Arsenal’s arch-rivals, Spurs, in 2010 and has since scored four goals against Arsenal. In one game at White Hart Lane, he put the ball through the legs of his opposite number at Arsenal, Jack Wilshere, twice in 10 seconds, then stuck out his tongue at him.”

    Lack of respect to his team mates. Just like his public statement lack of respect to Wenger and the club.

    • If this is a true quote,
      “Incidentally, instead of Ramsey in midfield, Arsenal could have had Van Persie’s compatriot Rafael van der Vaart. “Would you like to come and play for us?” Van Persie had asked him.”
      then it would appear that van Persie is throwing his toys out of the pram because the club will not bow to his wish to buy his friends. This is not a pick-up game of football in the school playground: it is a business.

      Did the meeting in May turn sour when Wenger and Gaxidis again refused to buy one of van Persie’s buddies?

      • I guess that’s one of the issue.
        Henk Spaan is a Dutch journalist which is also close to Van Persie. You can check his interview of Van Persie at Youtube (not the one above).
        We all remember Van Persie pleaded in public for Wenger to sign Van der Vaart before he moved to Spurs.

        I bet he asked Wenger to sign Affelay this time and Wenger didn’t want to.
        If that’s true, Van Persie is more childish and stupid than what we think.

  9. I also agree that there’s no turning back after that public statement.
    Van Persie not only burnt the bridge between him and the management, but also with his team mates.
    Van Persie has basically called his teammates unworthy of his championship-caliber talents. He will have too much toxic effects to keep and what would his teammates expect from a captain who doesn’t trust that we can win trophies?

    • He has made his position untenable, no doubt about it, and unfortunately that was his aim.

      I think the reason this feels like a betrayal is that it seemed that he would be different, a little more loyal and club–serving than that. Shame.

  10. Pretty much spot on for me, RvP said he would sit down after the season and discussed things, he would have told them then he was not signing, Arsenal would have probably asked him to keep quiet to enable them to buy in at a better price, then after the Euros it will have become apperant that the biggest offer was from City who Wenger would surely have resisted strongly, we should presume we have told Van Persie that he can go abroad for the right offer this year but if he insists on going to City it will be next Summer on a free,this at a time when he is going to be thirty for the season was a risky proposition not many strikers (or midfielders), can play at the top leval at that age and there has to be a masssive chance that City would not want or need him then, thus he is now agitating for his big money move right away, it will be interesting watching how this plays out from here.

  11. RVP wouldnt sign a new contract and that is all. It is not possible or all clubs to act ike Chelsea and Man city. Even Barcelona today doesnt act like Man city ad chelsea, tey are better managed, sign players at reasonable costs and do not mass buy. They also develop players. That is how to run a club. Using Man city and Chelsea as standards is most unreasonable. Even with all the spending by City, they won the EPL on goal difference. How much has man u spend compared to city? Common sense also suggest that only one team can win the EPL no matter how much they spend. A team competing fo the title every year ad not winning cant be termed a failure. ometimes, it can be luck just like te carling cup finals against birmigham. From the argument now on, teams like Fulham, QPR, Spurs, Everton etc should not attract star players because they have no harm of winning the EPL title. That is not good for the development of the game. A knee close competition is good for the game. The situation today which aws only moneybags to win the EPL is responsible for the football level for England as a national team compared with the standard of football in the country. While Spain is benefitting from the high standard of the la liga, England is not from the EPL. Except there are some regulations, Englan will continue to lag.

    • This is the worst crap I have read on this page so far and has nothing to do with the article. Stop writing trash.

  12. He definitely has lost my respect! He can move on but will be among the list of ex Arsenal players who have regretted their decisions to leave ever since!!!

  13. My opinion on RVP’s issue:
    Any player who fails to show gratitude to what arsenal and wenger has done for them should be tactically punished. If there is no good offer for RVP from abroad the arsenal board shouldnt sell van persie to any EPL club,he should be kept on the bench and allow him to play carling cup matches as a sub just to make him realise he is nothing on his own.we already have 2 new strikers who could be a top striker with their attributes. Park chu young,chamackh are good players but they have limited chances,only few of van persie’s goal are spectacular most of his goals was as a result of good team work….even “Adebayour scored 30 goals for arsenal” any other striker can do what van persie has done for arsenal.ok,take a good look at Eduardo’s goal against man city few years ago it was a fantastic individual effort despite the fact that he was backing the post.my ex girlfriend would score at least half of RVP’s goal as long as wallcott is able to give her the pass (half because she is a lady). He spent more time in the hospital than the nurses during his injury period but arsenal stood by him,he has never played a complete season in his lifetime at arsenal from 2004 untill 2012.punish him..he is ungrateful

    • Can the club demote him to the reserves list? That way, a space in the 25 person squad can be kept free for a player who actually wants to play for the club.

  14. Well, i have been an Arsenal supporter since i was 7, and now i’m 25, and the past 2 seasons have been like more painful than a woman who’s about to give birth. In my opinion, Never should a player be bigger then a club, he may voice his concern, but thats about it. With Arsenal, we are not a feeder club to ManCity, we only sell to them because they pay a ridiculous amount of money. In terms of the way things are ran at Arsenal, we focus more on the name then the football, but the board should also be aware that without football, they wouldn’t be a name!
    Rvp has done massive this season, if he sees himself fit to leave, so it shall be, but rest assure he won’t be able to play like how he played this past season.
    Arsenal will always be Arsenal, now Le Prof should look in all directions and focus on who to bring to the Emirates.
    MVilla will be a great addition to the squad, him and Song will hold it well. Santos is a powerful player, he is aggressive. Sagna can hold the right back as usual. Verm, Kosc & Mersacker are there but we still need a 4th option. Arteta is great, Wilshere is still under the rocks, Ox is there, Gervinho is also present. Rosicky is in perfect game form, about Walcott, i dont know anything about what his future plan is! Ramsey is good, Giroud and Podolski, well, i hope they can keep up with the EPL game play, if yes then we are good, but we still need a powerful striker to lead the team, i think Song or Arteta should be the captain.

    Wenger should look into Cavani and other strikers who defenders shall fear! As to Rvp, may God be with you coz the Gooners aren’t….

  15. This reminds me of his clapping the supporters away alone at WBA, last game of last season. He clearly decided to leave just at the end of last season.

  16. @Philbet
    5th line: “…but if he insists on going to City it will be next Summer on a free…”

    Why do so many posters/bloggers think that Wenger/Board would be so stupid as to lose 20-30million for the sake of ONE season?
    We could considerably strengthen the team/squad with that money; Wenger and the Board will not allow a ‘Free’. There’s more chance of Hell freezing over.

    • Although I favour not playing him at all next season, if he stays, it is likely that he will play and he will help the team. If that help enables the club stay in the CL, then foregoing the transfer this summer will not be a bad move.

      While everyone says that merely qualifying for the CL is not a “success”, we have to recognise that it is a huge financial bonus. Football is a business, except in one or two cases, and the money from the CL is critical. Just ask a Spurs fan whether the would prefer to be in the CL or Europa Cup.

      • Or a Liverpool fan, for that matter.

        It isn’t inconceivable to think that Arsenal would forgo a £10-15m transfer fee for a player who would help bridge the gap for the new strikers that are arriving, and stop us missing out on the CL next season (which then pays for that offset).

        In fact, I think this was Arsenal’s plan, until this week.

  17. for me i think rvp has taken the right decision for snubing a new contract with arsenal. as a player what is your joy in playing football and whatever field of human endeavour you found your self, what should be a motivating factor.samir nasri, fabregas, clicy and toure are all one step ahead of rvp cos they have epl in their kit and fab has worn about 2 cups. what can rvp point at in his room and say this is or these are what i have worn while playing for arsenal. does arsnal board want trophies or making profit n then share it.

    • For you, the best decision clearly would be to support Man City then.

      • I suspect, Messi’s dad, that he is not an Arsenal fan. I am hesitant to call him a Man City fan because I suspect that they are wary of the injury issues that come with van Persie.

  18. Another good article,

    I really felt an instantaneous switch in feelings towards RVP the second he released that statement. He is worse than Nasri to me at this point, I always knew Nasri was a c**t. It seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back amongst the fans I know, we all feel extremely jaded by the situation. The man was on the treatment table for YEARS and we stuck by him (would city have done?), he went to prison and we stuck by him. So when I speak to other fans that say they “understand” his decision I get a bit miffed. I mean, I understand that he’s a player who we created at GREAT expense to the club and I understand that he’s turned his back on all of that by releasing a statement that’s damaging to the club and deciding to leave. It’s like giving your mum a slap.

    He can’t stay, he’s burnt his bridges and shattered his reputation at the club. My ideal scenario right now is we sell him to city (let me finish!) and on the first day of training de Jong breaks his f***ing leg. It seems harsh but that’s only because it is.. (I don’t exactly wish him well).

    Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to vent and sorry for any swearing and using the word miffed? (genuinely don’t know what that was..)

    • I know what you mean – the minute I saw the statement I also switched off from him, and was surprised at how easy it was. I guess I was expecting him to leave, and in a way it feels better this way, now that he has made his move.

      • I agree, i don’t really believe it’s the end of the world. People seem to have forgotten that we just signed 2 pretty talented strikers. Podolski was apparently going to play on the left wing but is he not a pretty effective out and out striker? I still think we need one more up front, maybe Cisse or Ba or both (I may be dreaming)? It would be nice to steal some talent from another premier league club for a change… What do you think about potential replacements (if he does actually leave)?

        • If you check the stats, over their respective careers, Podolski scores at a slightly better rate than van Persie (a goal every 2.3 games vs every 2.5 games).

    • Well, in the end, we have to accept there is no loyalty in these days. It is all business.

      Good article to Pete. Can’t agree with you more.

  19. Buy me. I scored buckets loads for Fulham and I’m cheap

  20. He was the captain and knows the ship he was sailing can’t hold longer until he get professional crew.
    Don’t blame him, he gambled and knows maybe he won’t have a season like last season’s.
    Well life goes on so no need and no one is bigger than Arsenal.
    Players come and go.
    My problem with the team is they lack plan B.
    Fabianski Gk.
    Jenks – RB
    Djourou, Squila – CB
    Ramsey,Diaby MF
    Chamakh,Park Fw

    • The gap between the standard of the first team and the backups has always been the problem. Consider this team from last season:

      Szczesny-Sagna-Gibbs-Vermaelen-Koscielny-Song-Wilshere-Arteta-Walcott-Van Persie-Gervinho. Pretty useful. The trouble is that the second string are a big drop away, with the exception of a couple.

      I’m quite happy to lose a star in order to bolster the overall strength and balance of the squad. We need that.

  21. Let’s not be naive, Arsene, Ivan knew he was leaving and he probably insulted them at the negotiating table…the whole Media gag and the letters were all known, Podolski was to be the new Number 10 all along since January.

  22. Very interesting piece. I am not surprised that he is leaving, but to show that little respect to Wenger is pretty amazing. Look, players today are highly mercenary, and acutely aware of how limited is the time for them to cash in on a guranteed lottery jackpot. Loyalty is for the supporters, who are as fickle as the next person when they get it in their heads that a good player is “not good enough.” More to the point, as Ken Early noted the other day, both Robin and Cesc moved to Arsenal at very young ages — 17 and 15: abandoning the clubs of their youth and going to a foreign land in order to further their careers. Is it really surprising that they have, in their twenties, done the same thing?

    A couple of points:

    First, don’t they get medals, not trophies, for the case at home? (this is the least point)

    Second, I think the Usmanov release was coordinated with the RVP announcement, maybe not to Robin’s knowledge, but certainly through his agent. Robin looks like he is a tool of the mysterious corrupt Russian.

    Third, the sustained aggression by Manchester City against Arsenal is unique in English football history. How many years has it been going on? Its unique in that never before has a top team so repeatedly and pointedly targeted another top four team? For Man City, anyone who comes from Arsenal to strengthen them also weakens a key competitor. They tried United, but it was too hard and expensive; not so with Arsenal, which does not have the deep pockets of Chelsea and United. Not only have they drained at least four starters from Arsenal, they also strengthened Spurs by giving them a striker they could not afford.

    This is really unprecedented. Closest I know is Barcelona, who also exposed Arsenal’s financial weakness, but at least there the competitive impact is minimized, and Barca always seem to get the handy red card against Arsenal if the Gunners are giving them too much trouble.

    In light of all this, I’m not sure it isn’t in Arsenal’s financial interest to keep Van Persie out of the Premiere League next season, even if it means he sits in a hot tub at London Colney and doesn’t come on to the pitch. Arsenal do not need to strengthen, City, United, or Chelsea, and I’d rather see the team go without Van Persie than to have him at one of those clubs.

    That said, Arsenal does have a few cards at hand: they can keep Van Persie off the pitch until next summer. They can seriously hurt his chances at staying in the Holland team by not letting him maintain top fitness. They can worry him with the threat — which you so clearly outlined — of him arriving at summer 2013 not half as valuable as he is now.

    I’d like your opinion on something: how much of his sale value to Arsenal did Robin eradicate with this approach? Arsenal have already taken a huge financial hit from him.

  23. It’s rare to find Daily Mail posted a balanced article about Arsenal but here you go:

    Des Kelly wrote:
    “The conflict behind the scenes suggests the manager may be fighting with one hand behind his back. But, in all of this, there is one man I would trust to have the best interests of the club at heart.
    It is not Van Persie. It is not Kroenke. It is not Usmanov. It is Wenger.”

    Now I would buy next season Arsenal jersey and print Arsene Wenger name on the back!

  24. […] an excellent post on an Arsenal blog here that examines the timeline of events that led to Robin van Persie announcing that it’s his […]

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