On Tuesday July 3rd, Arsène Wenger wrote the following in his Eurosport blog.
"We want to keep Robin van Persie at all costs, because we depend on him offensively. I have always supported him even in the hardest times, and I hope he will end his career at Arsenal."
Obviously riled by Arsène's words, Robin van Persie and his camp (including Darren Dein) replied in kind with two fingers the very next day, releasing a statement outlining a refusal to extend his contract, whilst publicly questioning the direction of our club.
"This is an update for the fans about my current situation." Note, the statement was for us, the fans. Not himself. The following statement by Robin van Persie was of no benefit to Robin van Persie.
"I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club and as agreed with Mr. Gazidis and Mr. Wenger, but since there is so much speculation in the media, I think it is fair for you guys to know what’s really going on at the moment."
"Respect". "Loyalty". "Fair".
He wants us to believe that his team have not at any time, even wondered out loud, as to how much Arsenal would be willing to pay?
"As announced earlier this year, I had a meeting with the Boss and Mr. Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all." Not discussed? He wants us to believe that his team have not at any time, even wondered out loud, as to how much Arsenal would be willing to pay? That seems naive. Is that not what an agent is for?
"I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days."
"I", "Personally", 'have been f***ing great, but my team mates? Those I captain? Not so good.'
"Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans, I don’t want to go into any details."
"Huge respect" for Arsène, whose whole vision you are about to belittle, the players who you've already alluded to as being inferior, and the fans, whose club you are about to s**t on. Some respect.
"....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. I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract."
Sincere apologies, Robin. What players did you want Arsène to sign? Did you have a formation in mind? Let's play fantasy football (you're in charge of course). Who will you pick? You've got £100m. Let's see how much money you've got left to spend after you've paid yourself, the star of RvP FC.
Sincere apologies, Robin. What players did you want Arsène to sign? Did you have a formation in mind?
I wonder, if we'd let Thierry Henry pick and chose the players in 2004, whether he'd have thought to sign a Dutch teenager with a temperament almost as questionable as his jeans?
"You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions." We do. You're on the **** list.
"I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens."
Stop now, Robin. The stench of b****ks is overwhelming.
Let me state that what Robin van Persie said might well be true, but this does not mean he had a right to say so publicly. Now, over a month and three quality signings later, his questioning of Arsenal's intent have less substance. Had Robin questioned the club’s direction having already left, there's no such issue. "I had to leave Arsenal because...". His words came whilst he was captain of Arsenal Football Club. He talked of respect, loyalty and fairness, before releasing words which fly in an opposite 'direction' all together.
I understand the cravings of a world-class 29-year-old footballer to win things. The romantic side of me, the side in which my morals reside, thinks that a player whom Arsenal nursed and remunerated through seven injury-ravaged years might offer more than one good year before f***ing off, but that's football. That's footballers. The naive nature of a football fan believes their footballing hero when, in February 2011, said footballer talks with apparent genuine affection towards your club.
Stop now, Robin. The stench of b****ks is overwhelming.
"I don't have the inclination to go anywhere. This is the best team for me to be in. The bottom line is that I want to win trophies with Arsenal. not anybody else." Bollocks.
Or how about his first programme notes as captain of Arsenal Football Club in August of that year, where he wished Cesc Fabregas well whilst asking Arsenal fans to do the same, remembering that 'its not as if he has joined another English club.'
How ironic then that Robin should be so adamant in joining Manchester United. What would Robin van Persie 2011 make of the Robin van Persie summer 2012? And what will United fans make of a player who joins them having pulled the same trick as Wayne Rooney did when agitating for a move to City? Wayne Rooney was younger, and United better placed to challenge and, more importantly, pay up.
Arsenal are rightly unwilling to do one, but the investment in Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski suggest efforts are being made to do the other. Such signings were obviously not enough for Robin Van Persie. Neither was the pay. I'd like Arsenal to lower themselves to the level of the Dutchman and reveal the details of his outrageous demands of salary and players. Show him for what he is.
Some will blame the Arsenal board, but for me they have played this summer well, lessons learnt from last summer. New signings arriving early, and although it is horrible to sell to United, rinsing the debt ridden devils for another £24m is good business considering the year left on the 29 year old's contract. Arsenal did not want to sell to Manchester United unless they received a bid too good to turn down, whilst United's overall spend on Van Persie, taking into account his wages, stands at a £65m risk, despite the injury record repellent. Remember that the next time Fergie accuses City of buying the title. The club cannot be blamed for letting the player edge so close to the end of his contract either. Not when the alternative would have been brining a pen and paper with £100,000.00 a week offer to the treatment table for the contract to be signed.
Some will blame the Arsenal board, but for me they have played this summer well, lessons learnt from last summer.
Every time you hope they will be different. You expect more from them than history teaches. Robin has removed my last remaining ounce of faith in footballers. Here was a boy pictured wearing the Arsenal kit in his bedroom as a kid like I did. Like Ashley Cole did. It means so little to some, that by the time they regress into a footballer, pounds signs flash and any respect for those who've helped along the way, paying for their horse placenta and such, is quickly forgotten.
Stars fade almost as quickly as they shine, and the next hero will mean less than the last.
My own life and the priorities within it are changing fast. I cant wait to dress my kid head to toe in Arsenal, but they'll never have a name on the back of their shirt because none is ever as important as the name on front. None is beyond betrayal.
Robin Van Persie joins Adebayor, Ashley Cole and Samir Nasri on the c**t list. Mind that ankle won't you? It would be horrible for you to suffer any sort of injury the minute you pull on the wrong kind of red.
Some will accuse me of being bitter. They'd be right. Is it not a football fans justification to take such actions to heart?
It shows you care, and beats being passive and wishing the greedy swine luck.
The original version of this updated article first appeared online at The Gooner - www.onlinegooner.com
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