Sunday, 22 July 2012

A Really Vacillating Player

It's an issue I really hate discussing but one that I just can't avoid because it just eats away at you every day. I am of course talking about Robin Van Persie, so excuse me whilst I go on a bit of a rant.

When it comes to leaving a club I'm a big believer it doing it the right way. That goes for how players have left their clubs to join Arsenal and vice-versa, there is a way of orchestrating a move with minimal damange and that was one of the many reasons I never really liked Sylvain Wiltord, he had previously gone of strike to force moves away from Deportivo and Bordeaux in order to sign for us. Mathieu Flamini left Marseille at the first opportunity and turned his back on the fact they had introduced him to football. I'm not sure if I'm right on this matter but has he ever signed a new deal whilst at a club? Even Thierry Henry isn't blameless in this, after the 2006 Champions League Final he signed a knee jerk mega deal, including a huge signing on fee and at the same time we saw his value depreciate over the coming twelve months when it was quite apparent he'd sign for Barcelona whether it was 2006 or 2007. Now, it's the turn of Robin Van Persie to take the floor and it seems like last summer opened his eyes somewhat.

Last year he went to New York with his good mate Cesc Fabregas, now it would be naive to think they didn't discuss what Cesc's intentions were for the coming season. It would also be naive to think that Barcelona didn't advise Cesc on what stance he needed to take in order to force a move. Now Cesc was slightly different in that he didn't have twelve months to go on his deal but that is where Samir Nasri comes in. Nasri as we all know wanted parity with Fabregas' salary because he thought he was as good as our Spanish talisman. He genuinely believed that a three month purple patch would see him take home a six figure salary but the club didn't budge and he wanted the pay day he craved, sound familiar? Now the only difference been Cesc & Nasri and Van Persie is that neither went public about their intentions, unlike Robin's "update for the fans", which should have been entitled a "here's a knife for your back" but nevertheless Robin knows exactly what he needs to do in order to push through a move.

Give us a sign Robin...
When it comes to RVP, I've never believed that he owes us for his checkered injury record. He is eighth in terms of our all time goalscorers, which more than repays our patience. What I do begrudge is times that we've stood buy him when it would have been easier for us to cut our losses. I can cite a game against Southampton in 2005. The Saints had David Prutton sent off on the stroke of half time and we went in 1-0 up courtesy of a Freddie Ljungberg goal. Seven minutes into the second half and our hot headed Dutchman was sent off, Wenger was furious. This allowed Southampton back into the game, they snatched an equaliser and Cole had a goal ruled out late on.

After the game Wenger said "I told Van Persie at half-time the referee would be under pressure having sent off a home player to square up matters and he was an obvious target.
"I cannot support Van Persie in this but I feel we had the minimum reward for a good performance today."

Stern words for a manager that usually protects his players in front of the watching millions.

Sealing a 2-0 win against Newcastle
Then there was the summer of 2005 when he was arrested on allegations of raping a women and he spent fourteen nights in jail before being cleared. During what most have been one of the most horrific periods of his life, we stood by our player and he even went on to score in the season's opener at home to Newcastle.

In 2007, it appeared that Van Persie's big chance had arrived. Following the departures of Bergkamp, Reyes & Henry he had moved up the pecking order but again he kept picking up injuries and Adebayor took centre stage and scored thirty goals to Robin's nine. Then Adebayor transpired to turn a lot of his well received support against him within the space of one day in 2008. At an event for Adidas he confirmed he was committed to Arsenal but within the space of two hours he was talking up a move to Milan, then he signed a new deal but for 80k a week certain sections of The Emirates crowd took exceptionand he was booed for missing a chance against WBA.
Then we fast forward to 2009 , when Van Persie signed his last Arsenal contract. He claimed “I’m so happy to have signed a new long term contract. I’ve been at the Club for five years now and there really is a great feeling here at Arsenal. We have a top class manager, a squad full of superb young players, a world class stadium and brilliant supporters. Arsenal Football Club has a very bright future and I want to be part of it.

My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt. I just can’t see it now because I love this Club so much

What he meant to say was he signed a new contract as an insurance deal because of his injury record and he couldn't believe Arsenal offered him an improved contract and that there wasn't really any competition for places as Adebayor had left for City. I would also like to hear why his beliefs have changed since that day, we still have a world class stadium, brilliant supporters and despite the amount of financial doping going on we are still finishing towards the top of the table. It is notable that when Van Persie signed that deal Liverpool finished second, so it shows there is so sort of achievement in being able to finish so high on a consistent basis.
Fine margins
Then there's the ambition term, which is code for "I want as much money as possible". Isn't it amazing that despite the fact we hadn't won anything in four years Van Persie was more than happy to sign a new deal in 2009 but when it comes to 2012 he cites "my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days." Well Robin since 2009 you have been responsible for our failure to collect silverware, others are also accountable but I'm sick of the "my goal is to win trophies" line but they exonerate themselves from any blame when the team fails to win. Look at Milan last season, we would have been level had he not have missed a sitter. Where was he at Sunderland in the Cup? Cup competitions are our most likely route to silverware but the players quickly forget about it.

That's not even going into the disrespect he's shown the club as he stated on his website "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".

Sorry Robin when did you become manager? Maybe Wenger disagreed with the way you handled yourself when you cost the team points but he stuck by you and made you the player you are today.
The killer line though has to be "I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens." No Robin, you don't love the club otherwise you'd be going on tour with the rest of the squad tomorrow but instead you are staying behind to work on your fitness because you are committed to the side.. We love the club, the fans, not you. We are the ones that hurt when we lose but we remain.  I'm glad that you are "very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last 8 years" but for me your time at the club now means nothing. You will be held in the same regard as the likes of Adebayor not the status of our true legends.

Van Persie has been brilliant for 18 months and the side responded well to his leadership and he was loved by the supporters but he's chosen the most common way to leave Arsenal and for that he erases any good memory any gooner ever had for him. As Wenger has said today in Kuala Lumpur "He (RVP) is world class, and I have supported him for his whole career." And he should acknowledge that.

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