Thursday, 26 April 2012

Van Persie Conundrum

It's open season once again regarding the future of the Arsenal captain. When you think about it, a lot of media outlets have been obsessed about if for over a decade now. It began with Vieira, then Henry and most recently Fabregas, for the fans it feels like each transfer could be a defining moment for the club and yet we carry on despite the loss of yet another quality player. This time the epicentre of our side is at risk, again. Yet strangely it's not a contract scenario that is not wholly one sided in the favour of RvP staying, in fact there are a couple of discussion points to be had.

He Owes Us

RvP after deciding he wants to score.
A frustrated classic line that is so out of touch with modern day football, he owes us. Some believe RvP owes us for sticking by him during his injury ravaged past. I'm sure RvP is extremely grateful for the support we have given him in the past but he has suffered from two horrible injuries. The simple fact is he has scored 129 goals in an Arsenal shirt so excuse me if you don't agree but he owes us nothing, nothing at all. If it wasn't for him we'd be miles out of touch with the top four, we'd be a less attractive proposition to any prospective new players looking to join the club and don't forget that he scores when he wants.


He was injury prone but his horse placenta op seems to have worked wonders. He has played in 43 games this season which isn't even a season best, that was achieved in 2008/2009 when he made 44 appearances. I know I'm treading a fine line here but he has been quite durable and dare I say reliable. It's about time that this ghost was exercised.

RvP versus Sunderland
Then there's the tiredness talk after competing in a long hard season. A lot of fans believe he is suffering from tiredness due to his record of one goal in seven games. In my opinion that is absolute nonsense, RvP is suffering from a slight dent in his super human efforts of late. His last goal from open play came against Newcastle eight games ago. He wasted good opportunities at Everton, including one effort that hit the woodwork. He missed an absolute sitter at QPR, when he wasted a one on one opportunity and he's been unfortunate against City and Chelsea hitting the woodwork against both and having Vermaelen deny him a certain goal. That is not the efforts of a tired forward, you just need to take the rough with the smooth and I'm sure his double player of the year awards this week will have served as a much needed boost to his confidence in front of goal.

Value For Money

The value of a passionate leader
The most logical argument I've come across is that commitment we would be making to him if he was to sign a new deal. If we believe the figures being touted around then he will sign deal worth approx 150k per week which would probably come with a four year deal. That's a £31m commitment to a 29 year old (as of the start of 2012/13) which is monumental for Arsenal. It could be a sign that we are flexing our financial muscle at last. Although if you want to use the best barometer, the past then RvP will be sold for £30m within days of the new Premier League season. When we suggest making such a commitment we need to ensure we are going to get our monies worth. His goals return is sensational, look at the clip of Liverpool if you want to know what it would be like without a clinical finisher. It's not just his goals though it's his leadership too. I know he hasn't covered himself in glory lately with Caldwell and Krul but I like that in a player. I like them being pumped up and disappointed when we lose. Remember Henry when he lost it with Graham Poll at Highbury? Winners hate losing it's as simple as that and we've let too many of them go during this transition to The Emirates and it's time that we stopped being a selling club and started building a side capable of challenging for top honours. The only way to do that is to keep RvP.

Decision Time

You've probably already guessed that I think we should commit to his demands, meet his expectations on the field and put this saga to bed. Wouldn't it be great to go into the Euros with this deal signed and sealed? We all know that won't happen, this is Arsenal after all. If we harbour any aspirations of seriously competing for trophies (actually ones not fourth place) then he has to stay and his value in the market would not get you an adequate replacement. RvP is possibly our best captain since Vieira and their seems to be a good atmosphere around the club, it would be a great shame to lose that and the fact that this team is built around RvP would signal yet another period of transition or maybe we'll just carry on regardless.

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