Dutch and Go

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Aroused from my blogging slumbers again, now what is it this time? This had better bloody well be important.

Well, it’s Robin van Persie to all intents and purposes handing his notice in, without actually handing his notice in. Not extending his contract is all down – he says – to the fact that “we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.” Not financial, he says.

Arsenal countered with a brief statement, saying “Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfil his commitments to the Club.”

Naturally there’s shock and anger and resignation and belligerence, but I ask you this: Are you really surprised? He has just a year to go on his contract, no doubt having had ample opportunity in the last year or so to renegotiate it should he have desired. This always seemed a likely outcome and in light of this information, Arsenal must have thought so too having already bought two strikers for around £23m. This now seems like a very shrewd move.

The manner of it is a bit galling, posting it on his own website, without Arsenal knowing, clearly wanting to push the issue. The pally tone of the announcement will sting with some people but I’m too long in the tooth to get too flustered by it all. Players leave, players arrive. Life goes on and the best you can do is to prepare for it – something we didn’t do last summer, but have addressed this time.

I don’t blame him, why should I? He’s done eight years at Arsenal, an age for a modern footballer. He’s been a good pro, a role model, and the only real regret is that he didn’t play more. Yes, we stuck with him when he was injured but he’s given us a lot of enjoyment – particularly the 37 goals last season – in return.

And whether you believe or you don’t believe his comments about it not being financial, are we all at peace about the direction of the club ourselves? We’re so not.

Has he backed Arsenal into a corner in which they have to accept a low fee? We shall see about that. The Arsenal response suggests that they won’t bow out quietly and nor should they. We do have one bargaining hand – holding him to his contract. It’s not entirely fanciful even if bridges have been burned to a cinder.

But the likelihood is, unless he is Rooneying us into paying an absurd salary (I find this unlikely), that we need to do a deal sooner rather than later. I don’t care much where he goes so long as it’s not to another English club with whom we supposedly compete for trophies (you at the back with the hollow laugh – see me later). That for me would be the salt in the wound. If it was City, that’s three years running. We can all titter a bit – a lot, maybe – about the ones we offloaded before but this would be different, essentially an admission that ‘we’re not serious about challenging you for this’. (You at the back with the hollow laugh – join your friend by the headmaster’s office).

We’ll see how this pans out. Messy end though it might be, I find it hard to get my blood up unless he takes the sheikh’s shilling. And even then – broiling internally is not good for the health. He’s a lovely player. Let’s sort it out and move on.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. leslie crang

    RVP was never an Henry, a brady or a cesc……please leave

  2. AP

    Why, because we don’t show commitment from the Board and Wenger to win at all costs.  He cannot be faulted, we wanted to see proven winners come to Ashburton Grove.  Giroud and Podolski are not big trophy winners. In fact, they were recruited to soften the blow of RvP departing or having an off-season next year.  Always remember that we would have been mid-table without him last year and everyone should respect his reasoning. 

  3. leslie crang

    Giroudin won the french title? which is more than nasri did? or anelka? or RVP in holland.  Rvp is just a new frank stapleton. U do know who frank stapleton is i hope?

  4. Steve Whiddon

    Personally I would be happy to see RVP rot on reserves bench for the next twelve months. His wages are probably the same as Chamakh+Park and they sat on the bench. By the time the next season came around he would be as rusty as my granny’s back gate – Holland are unlikely to play someone without match fitness and they demonstrated RVP was not their preferred striker option – and then see what his wage earning options might be as a 31 year old who hasn’t played in a year.

    The icing on the cake would be for him to sit in the stands and watch Huntelaar score the winner that gives us the championship (fanciful I know but just once it would be nice to see these big headed players with a bit of egg on their faces.

  5. Anonymous

     cesc?  you mean the former captain that sulked and played like shit the last two years he was here? the guy that fucked off to barfa?  we all know cesc would leave, but he decided to fade away from The Arsenal way before. 

    The questions we should be asking is why aren’t we competing?  We had two great opportunities in 07/08 and 09/10, even to an extent this past season if we had properly reinvested the money for players instead of waiting last minute before the transfer window closed.  Bar man shitty, man ure and chavski have become much weaker in recent seasons, yet we have not capitalised on the situation.  While it’s great that we’re reducing the stadium debt, we should be competing for silverware. 

    I rather see RvP see out his contract than go to another prem club, he’ll be 30 in 2013, this is the best chance we have to play our card, there is no guarantee that he will perform as he has since 2011.

  6. Anonymous

    You posted your same exact crap (actually copy & pasted this from an earlier response).  What is with your commitment from board and wenger crap???  So we dont want to go into massive debt when fair play rules are approaching quickly.  Even an idiot like you must see that Man Citys spending is UNSUSTAINABLE.  Paying top dollar or Euro for players does not guarantee success, Dzeko anyone?  And lastly, always remember that he would have been at a mid-table club without the faith this club showed in him.  Other clubs would have sold him long ago considering his injury record.  Cesc & Nasri I had no problem with, this guy really owes Wenger, he will be shit without Arsenal.

  7. East Lower

    I still maintain it’s partly to do with the way the team was set up. Poor defending. Lack of concentration. That said, the financial element cannot be dismissed either.

  8. East Lower

    It’ll never happen though. It doesn’t benefit Arsenal in any way to do that so you might as well either play him or sell him.

  9. East Lower

    van Persie has been an excellent player for Arsenal. Top drawer, particularly last year. Hard to make a comparison with Stapleton (top scorer three years running but in a different era).

  10. Ryan Coulson

    I just wanted to take a moment to drop a quick note of thanks to you Man from East Lower.

    I have taken a breeze through all of the standard Arsenal blogs today and you are the only one who wrote a reasonable post.

    From my view, Arsenal supporters are using this excuse that RVP is a classless mercenary and only wants to move for more money, to delude themselves from the truth. The same truth that we’ve seen in the past when our star players leave. The same truth that most of us realize and have consternation about.

    That truth is – the club and this board care more about money than winning trophies. So who are the real mercenaries? They aim for respectable failure in order to maximize profits. And they deceive supporters into ticket renewals with empty promises.

    Do we really blame RVP for wanting to win trophies before his career is over? Perhaps his message could have been less caustic. But I believe he feels as much frustration as the fans that we are not able to compete season after season.

    And the fault for that lies with Mr. Wenger. He steadfastly refuses to sufficiently strengthen the squad every season. We’re always a few solid players short from being able to compete for silverware. His loyalty towards his players, though admirable, is a handicap to the club. Because he rewards players disproportionately. And he sticks with them far beyond the time when every half-witted supporter (who has never spent half a day in football) can see they are not of requisite quality for Arsenal Football Club.

    But as we always say – no one man is bigger than the club – so RVP has to go…..but this belief should also apply to Mr. Wenger.

    Sorry for the verbosity of my comment. My “quick note” got a head of speed before I could regain control 😉

  11. Jeff

    I’m just not sensitive to the various issues that surfaced with van Persie’s statement. Hurt that he wants to leave? Not especially. Slightly disappointed because he’s a good player, but taking it personally? I’m just not able to think that way. I’ve read a few dozen times now that it would be impossible for him to stay at the club for next season, and it’s at least sunk in that that’s the prevailing opinion, but I honestly don’t feel convinced myself.

    I could see him scoring at least 10 league goals in his final season.

  12. T


    Arsenal forward Robin van Persie has described former team-mate Freddie Ljungberg’s recent criticism of the Gunners as “a bit weak”.
    Ljungberg accused Arsenal of lacking ambition in the wake of his move to West Ham, citing the departure of Thierry Henry and van Persie admits his comments were not well received in the Emirates Stadium dressing room.

    “If you play nine years at a club like Arsenal you can say some nice words,” he told the News of the World. If you’re coming up with excuses about Thierry’s departure and about promises from the club it’s a bit weak.”

    The Dutchman added: “I was disappointed and I know a few others were as well. He had a fantastic period, he was once the best player in England, so come on and say some nice things for this club, which is fantastic.”

    Source: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/15624/15624

    Fucking hypocrite

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