Thoughts On The Robin Van Persie Situation

By now you must have seen this statement on RvP’s official website announcing his decision to not renew his contract with Arsenal.

This was probably an unsurprising yet gut-wrenching moment for many Arsenal fans. Ever since his decision to postpone talks to the summer, which only led to a ban on media interaction imposed by the club, there have been indications that Van Persie was not happy at the club and will not renew his contract. But the manner in which he’s acknowledged the growing fears is massively disappointing.

I have seen many reactions to the Dutchman’s statement. Hurt or pain is by far the most common sentiment expressed even if people have different ways of dealing with it. Some have channeled that into anger or, worse, hatred towards the player. Others have rationalized and said that Arsenal can win without last season’s Player of the Year. There are also those who’ve found a way to blame Wenger for this scenario while others are against the board or the CEO.

None of these views are completely incorrect or unjustified. However, hardly any respectfully examines the situation from all sides’ perspective.

Let’s start with the player – What’s in it for RvP?

The most common interpretation I have seen seems to be one that Van Persie wants more money and has had his head turned. This line of thought suggests that the Dutchman is trying to force the club’s hand so that he can sign a vastly improved contract at a super-rich club.

Maybe that’s the case. I am not inside the striker’s head so I can’t be certain. But if money were the most important factor why would he not go to Russia or China? Or even if he wanted to stay in Europe, why would RvP not wait another six months when he could sign a staggering new contract in January at a club of his choice as a free agent. Surely, he’d get a hefty signing bonus as the acquiring club will not have to pay any fees to Arsenal. That reason might also tempt some of the biggest clubs in European football if they’re not already interested now due to the fees that they might have to pay.

So why would a reasonably intelligent man sacrifice so many choices and such possibilities to force the club’s hand? The cynical view might be that his value will drop in the next six months, especially if he gets injured, but that really is a matter of luck. Every club that wants to sign him now knows his past record and it won’t dramatically change come January.

If I were Robin and I really wanted a big money deal I’d strongly focus on producing an extraordinary first half of the season for Arsenal in order to secure what could be the biggest deal anyone has seen in football.

Given these thoughts, I find it very hard to accept this is about the money and it is unfortunate that so many people have formed such opinions based on pure speculation. Van Persie will get big money wherever he goes but that will be the effect of his talent and work ethic, and not the cause behind his statement.

Discounting money as a factor we come to the reason mentioned by Arsenal’s captain (former?) in his statement – “it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward”

It’s purposely vague but the bottom line seems obvious. He wants to win major titles, with the team and as an individual. Arsenal have not fulfilled that ambition in recent years and there can be genuine doubts about their ability to do so next year.

Of course, the club have strengthened and significantly at that. Podolski and Giroud are not inconsiderable acquisitions. Clearly though, it’s not enough for the Dutchman. There is an interesting viewpoint that nothing Arsenal did in the market would have convinced him to sign.

This is not hard to see. In order to win the league these days a club has to have strikers worth £25-30M on the bench. Think about the likes of Dzeko, Berbatov, and Higuain, or Shevchenko if we go back a few years. They should also have enough depth to deal with any injuries or issues with key players. Think about Tevez and how City had to deal with him. The Nuri Sahin’s of this world, a class act at a team like Dortmund, are only fillers at these footballing superpowers. And this is not limited to strikers or attacking players, you need depth across all positions in the squad.

To win major trophies like the Premier League, La Liga, or the Champions League teams need a blank check and a squad so deep even the B team could compete for European places. Some clubs do get success through parking the bus shamelessly, but diligently and with superb coordination. It’s worth mentioning that even those squads are assembled at significant cost and the success is over a  short term.

According to this article by Zach Slaton published by Forbes, Arsenal had the sixth highest total expenditure on players in the Premiership and should have finished between 4th and 10th in the last four years. While it does show Arsenal have overachieved given their spending and again highlights Wenger’s ability to get the most bang for the buck, there can be questions about how far the club can go with such a spending policy.

Can we really fault an ambitious, talented, and hard working individual for demanding more or better? Frankly, if I put myself in van Persie’s boots, I’d have similar doubts. As a fan I can find reasons to believe and ways to assuage the disappointment at the end of the season but for a true champion with few years left at the top it’s not the same.

That brings us to related questions like – Can Arsenal win major trophies? What do they have to do in order to achieve that?

The Gunners claim to have a self-sustaining model. To a large extent I agree with that assertion. However, as with most things Arsenal, that is not the complete truth. I am not an Usmanov fan and I don’t think having the Russian on board is the solution to all problems but some of his arguments are not without merit.

In this open letter, his company Red & White Securities Ltd. make the point that, “The self-financing was created to suit the major shareholders at the time, all of whom subsequently sold their shares.”

Kroenke and Usmanov between them have spent close to a billion pounds in acquiring the Arsenal shares. How much of that money has actually gone into the club or squad development? Look up the total amounts spent by Abramovic, Sheikh Mansour, the former and current Liverpool owners, and other foreign owners. Compare them with the Arsenal duo. Pay special attention to the ratio of money spent on squad to that spent filling the pocket of certain individuals. The Gunners are clearly lagging behind.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Usmanov should be allowed to invest or that the self-sustaining model is wrong. Just that given Arsenal’s approach it is not difficult to see why a brilliant player would not be convinced about the team’s chances to win. He’s not a fool, he can see what’s going on at other clubs and at Arsenal.

Those supporting the self-financing model, myself included, will have to accept that the club will remain strong enough to challenge for the titles, especially as long as Arsene is in charge of the football, but will more often than not fall just short at the final hurdle. UEFA’s Financial Fair Play might make an impact over the long term when the owners decide they don’t want to or can’t sustain their egregious spending but no one’s going to hold their breath.

Since I lack the resources to dig into and discover the real intentions of Billionaires like Usmanov and Korenke I don’t have a clear solution to offer. Yes, many people like straightforward answers. That’s how over simplified narratives develop and gain popularity. But those have little practical value except perhaps in debates with friends or foes.

One person who can do without such trivialized narratives is Arsene Wenger. In this saga he is probably the only person who has the respect of all parties, or at least of the majority. The previous and current owners trust him, even if it’s mostly about making more money for themselves. Majority of the fans know how important he is to the club and how the club have overachieved given the constraints he’s faced. Van Persie has become the player he is because of the manager’s faith and guidance. The striker has acknowledged this often enough.

Nevertheless, it’s Wenger who is once again finds himself between a rock and a hard place. It will be tough for him to get the best out of RvP next season and even harder to replace the striker. People talk about van Persie’s injury record or his age and find ways to rationalize that it’s best to sell him. If it were that simple Wenger, a man who takes major decisions based on detailed analysis of facts, would have offloaded the Dutchman a while back.

The simple truth, and this is very hard to take no doubt, is that it is virtually impossible for Arsenal to replace Robin van Persie over the next season or two. They will, in all likelihood, find it impossible to financially compete for a player of similar class even if they manage to identify one.

Players like Cesc and Van Persie are a rare breed as far as footballing talent goes. The manager will have to change the entire style of the team to fit a replacement in. Of course he’s done it in the past but it’s important to note that Arsenal keep coming close to the title without winning it. Retaining the big players is one vital cog in that winning wheel. It’s something Arsenal have sorely missed and Wenger knows this better than anyone else.

There is no guarantee that Arsenal will win with RvP in the side but the odds of the Gunners tasting success in major competitions without such a player are distinctly lower. With that in mind it’s understandable if Arsene still wants to retain the services of his captain but he will have a hard time either way as the fans will not be so kind or thoughtful.

That brings us to the most interesting and divided stakeholders in this saga, the fans.

We are a curious species. When players and managers offer empty platitudes we are displeased. Yet when they speak their mind we aren’t completely happy either. Fabregas rarely said anything last season amidst all the speculation and many fans didn’t take too kindly to it. Now that RvP has released a seemingly honest statement, even if people have turned it into a sinister plot, many fans have turned on the player.

The beauty here, and it’s a perverse kind of beauty, is that the statement in itself is harmless. Many saw it coming. The damage is not done by the words on the Dutchman’s website but by the reaction to those words by the fans.

If everyone accepted the status quo, and this is clearly an idealistic scenario, and simply went on with their jobs things would be different, easy even! The players are professionals they can deal with it. The manager was prepared to play Nasri last year and he will have no qualms over selecting Van Persie this season. Arsenal would have a strong squad and they could prove the striker wrong.

But the fans will react. And that reaction will cause all the mayhem. Arsenal are now in a spot not because of the statement but because of the way so many perceptions and opinions have changed. The club will most probably be forced to act even if it wasn’t in their initial plans.

There is a valid argument that the reaction has been induced by the statement from RvP, which many have deemed ill-advised and needless. But make no mistake this response from the fans has not been forced. Each one of us has a clear choice in front as regards to the manner in which we deal with Van Persie from this point forward. How many will do the right thing?

On a broad but related note, have you wondered why politician after politician, irrespective of the country, culture, or nature of politics, feeds us lies and false promises? Why do so many people in the public domain put up an act to shield their real selves? Why is there an overabundance of simplified narratives and a real dearth of meaningful analysis in any walk of life? It all comes back to us and how we deal with the naked truth and disconcerting details. This RvP chronicle is a classic example.

Most Gooners can say they have a right to be angry because of the love they’ve shown to the player and the loyalty towards the club. But is that completely true? Was the love a function of RvP’s performances or was it unconditional? Those fans who sang Denilson songs, to take one example, when the Brazilian was having a tough time could claim their support is unconditional but how many such individuals are there? If the support and love from the fans is contingent to a player’s efforts on the pitch and can turn at such short notice, can anyone honestly blame a player for putting his own interests first?

It’s easy to demand loyalty but few walk the path they want others to tread.


So where does all this leave us? What next for the Gunners?

There are only two ways this can go although there are subplots in either case.

My personal preference, predicated on the assumption that it is also Wenger’s choice, will be to keep RvP. Risk a return of his injury woes or a drop in form and gamble on the fact that he’s looked really solid in the last year and a half. Ensure a clear understanding that he’ll deliver the work rate that is vital to converting his talent into genius on the pitch. Groom Giroud, ease Wilshere back in, see how others like Santos and Podolski do over the course of the season. Look for answers to some structural issues, chiefly defensive ones, with the likes of Steve Bould at the training ground. Hope that the fans will back all the players who wear the shirt.

This way Arsenal could have a strong enough squad to compete for the trophies even if they don’t win one. A conscious focus and tactical shift could see this squad performing better in domestic cups and they can go all the way.

RvP might change his mind along the way or Arsenal get some time to find a solution to replace him.

The only real problem here is the loss of transfer fees. The significance of that can only be gauged by the actual amounts that are offered by clubs and not those rumoured in the tabloids. Kroenke might step in and make a decision as he reportedly did with Nasri last season. Arsenal have to take the risk on RvP’s age and injury concerns. You cannot build a competitive squad with relevant and meaningful experience if you quibble over such possibilities.

The other option is to sell the player. This is likely to the more commonly advocated alternative but I am yet to see a strong case made for selling the player that does not seem like rationalization. There is no doubt in my mind the Gunners will be significantly weaker if they sell the Dutchman. This isn’t the same as Henry in his last years at Arsenal where he was clearly dominating/suppressing the other talents in the side. In 07-08 the players were liberated when the Frenchman left but RvP’s departure will not have such an impact. If anything, the Dutchman is getting more out of his teammates through is intelligence, movement, and work rate.

That said, there is no doubt the club is bigger than the player and will survive. The Gunners might not win without the star but they should still compete for the top spots. If the structural issues are sorted and the new signings hit the ground running they could also end up with a bigger points haul than last season.

I don’t think selling RvP will be a disaster but it will be a massive setback that will significantly affect the odds of success in the coming years.

123 Responses to Thoughts On The Robin Van Persie Situation

  1. Alan Skirton says:

    At last, a reasoned appraisal of the Van Persie situation. Thank you. Personally, I wish him well. He tried as hard as anyone for the Club last season (harder than quite a few) and led from the front. Without his efforts and goals, Arsenal would have been hard pressed to get in the top 10, let alone third.

  2. GregGoon says:

    Well written, but rubbish!

  3. Jim says:

    My hat off to you. A thoughtful and spot-on analysis. I wish other Arsenal bloggers can attain the same level of intelligence as you.

  4. cupsui says:

    Interesting post Desi…

    My take is that this is an ambitious decision swayed heavily by money. RvP wants to win trophies but he is also pretty keen to be paid probably triple what he gets now.

    I think he statement was a bit cheap as it is really trying to force Arsenal’s hand and has backed the club into a corner. I am a huge advocate of sustainable footballing clubs, credit to Arsenal for that in the sea of debt and vast losses that is the EPL. If RvP hadn’t come out and said this statement i was adamant on him staying out his contract but his words make this a lot more difficult.

    He is the club captain and it could be EXTREMELY detrimental and destabilising having a captain w/out belief in the squad and club. I am now leaning towards the selling option and getting the whole scenario down with ASAP as we move forward post RvP. Arsenal will endure.

    I agree that the odds of success are better with him and have said that before but these are the options of him staying:

    1. he stays fit and committed and plays out his contract and we win something and we have the slight chance re resigns and all is honky dory (unlikely)

    2. he stays remains captain and squad morale drops, infighting starts. RvP gets some injuries he goes for free. Other players heads are turned

    3. He stays and is stripped of the captaincy (which he should be if he stays):
    3a) he accepts this and gives his all before leaving for free better (chance at squad morale staying intact)

    3b) he kicks up a dutch stink bitches and moans and lacks committment and has to leave in the winter causing problems yearlong

    On the loyalty perspective desi i am pretty disappointed esp. by the statement. Who was there to pick him up as a kid rejected by dutch football for being a spoilt brat? who nursed him through 8 season averaging 18games a year? who had faith that if he could be injury free he would be talked about in the same light as messi & ronaldo? who backed him up when he was slammed by european press after euro 2012? Poor showing for mine but this is the modern footballer…

    He should have stayed silent and let the issue be dealt with out of the press. Sure tell Arsenal i’m not going to resign, say that you don’t believe in the club to the club and manager but now he has selfishly forced the situation…sad

    • Davi says:

      “who had faith that if he could be injury free he would be talked about in the same light as messi & ronaldo”
      Who even had faith that he could play as a CF – apparently not even himself!

      • santori says:

        If he stayed silent, he would not be able to force his move.

        We priced him too high and the market is striker rich at the moment.

        We have obviously had every intention to keep him (you could call it ambition yes) but he has designs elsewhere.

        Not saying they are money driven but that may most likely be in the mix as well.

      • richie says:

        @ Santori I’m with you 100% on that!

  5. Davi says:

    I think RVP’s decision shows a weakness of character which I wasn’t expecting. Henry came to Arsenal saying he was going to make the club win things, and he did. You could argue we made better transfer decisions back then, and it was certainly a more level playing field, allowing us to make those transfers more easily, but you can’t argue with the strength of Henry’s personality, and watching the Invincibles run, you could see how he kept everybody focussed and raised the others else to his level. Conversely, players like RVP, Cesc and Nasri seem to want it on a platter. Would we not be in a better position now had Flamini, Cesc, Hleb, Nasri, Ade (although I’m still weary he may have been pushed to leave) and others all stayed? Could we not get a side capable of winning something out of those players? I’m beginning to see why people are so cynical when RVP mentions money, although I do agree that it’s probably not THE major factor.
    Ultimately it’s up to him, and I honestly don’t begrudge him anything, as he’s seen his contract and not let us down on the pitch, but it is disappointing. I do hope he at least has the courtesy to move abroad, though.
    Of course we would be stronger with him in the side, but it’s also an opportunity to get some money for him to invest in *making* the next RVP, which may be Giroud anyway.

    • sub_rosa says:

      “Ultimately it’s up to him, and I honestly don’t begrudge him anything, as he’s seen his contract”
      No it isn’t and no he hasn’t! He still has 1 year to run on his contract which means it should be up to him, and he shows no sign of honouring his contract even to the extent of making sure the club seemingly have to sell him due to fan pressure. Desi’s romantic ideal i agree is what would be best to ensure the club transit this forthcoming period as smoothly as possible, however it’s clear RvP wants to go now and will force through a transfer if needed i feel. If he wants to put in a transfer request he can but he seems to prefer the idea of slating the board and insulting our intelligence which is what grates most.

      • santori says:

        Yeah, it’s a force move.

        But it may not necessarily mean it is entirely for the money.

        We will see . If he goes to Juve or offshore for less than what he may get at City, then at least, some fans may be satiated that there was a healthy dose of ambition in there or at very least a hankering for some change in scenary.

      • Davi says:

        “No it isn’t and no he hasn’t!”
        You are right of course, my mistake. Nonetheless, I don’t care too much that he want’s to leave; it’s just opportunity for someone else. RVP became who he is at Arsenal, so now some else will grow into his role and take his place. Wenger turned Ade from nothing to a 30-goal striker, by Ade’s own admission, and he did it with RVP as well. He has Podolski and Giroud to work with now, more experienced players who already have decent track records, as well as anyone else who may be brought in, and Afobe to come through.

      • richie says:

        @Santori Spot on again!

  6. Elirob72 the Gooner says:

    The most thoughful and objective commentary of these events I have read thus far…a thoroughly interesting read….

  7. IndianGunner says:

    I am sorry but i have to disagree that it’s not about money.
    Wayne rooney said the same things at Manu and we saw what he did once he got a bumper contract. He did a complete u-turn
    I don’t have a problem with Rvp leaving for money but the way he made it sound as if it’s because of lack of ambition, that is what angered me the most. Cesc left for personnel reasons and we ended getting less transfer fees for him, yet no one hates him for going. There is no harm in leaving for money. Just don’t be disrespectful. He is the captain not the manager. He doesn’t get to decide the direction and vision of the club.

    Rvp could have done the same thing. Clichy did it. If it’s not about money, as you said, why not wait for 6 more months and leave in Jan. What’s stopping him then?
    The point is it’s about money and trying to force a move by blaming everyone else is really cheap. If he wanted to leave just make the statement that he’s not renewing and that’s it. We would have been hurt but this is ridicules.
    I don’t understand how the players blame the club, management,fans and everyone else but themselves for the trouphy drought. Well they play on the pitch and not Arsene or Pat rice.

    I have a feeling he had made up his mind to leave last year itself and just gave stellear performance to increase his marketvalue.

    Arsenal will continue without Rvp and I hope we do even better

    • Jim says:

      Football is a team sport. How could Cesc or RvP win anything when surrounded by mediocre players. Who to be blamed for stacking these players in the first team and paying them salaries way above their abilities, to the extent that none can be offloaded? Certainly, Cesc and RvP didn’t sign any of them.

      • hkgooner says:

        Team sport and captaincy means respect, unity and giving support for each other both within the team and towards management of the team and club particularly during difficult times. The statement does the opposite although we can understand his personal frustrations and intentions – this could have been handled better..

    • santori says:

      Cos its about the money.

      if not, the correct thing for him to do if he wanted a change of scenary or call it ambition would be to offer to see out the last season on contract but state that he would move thereafter.

      Not going to happen.

      • richie says:

        You’ve got a handle on exactly where RvP’s @
        The stats show us 2 things clearly if you want to win the prem join 1stMan U easily the greatist chance or 2nd Arsenal the 2nd most likely (Arsenal having either won or come closest i.e.2nd)
        City only scapped home because for once Man U blew it.

        If big money is your goal then join the Money Citeh gravey train because they’ll give you more weekly and for longer than anyone else.

  8. Weedz says:

    Thankyou for your intellegent piece.
    The only part of this equation you did not touch on was, `If Asenal do sell RvP in this window, will they sell him to a FAPL rival?` Will Arsenal just go after the best price, or will they try to stay competitive by assuring RvP is not involved in our main competition.

    • santori says:

      It’s not if but when.

      And I do think this is a massive question.

      I think the board has been made known at the recent AST meeting that it would be extremelu unpopular if we are seen to again be aggrandising our competitor in the league.

      We have been charitable subsidising them for their first title in4 4 years. This should not happen again.

      The board aren’t stupid. They know they may risk the ire of the fan base with a sell on to a PL club and that may translate to loss of revenue/ticket sales.

      OTOH, RVP has a say in the matter and may force the board’s hand.

      let’s hope that RVP chooses offshore in this regard. That will see him probably (for PR purposes at least) take less from what City may offer and in some ways lend the notion that he is moving on for ambition over mere greed.

      • richie says:

        Again spot on! The board will get £20mil if Barca Real or any other big European club comes in for RvP. If its Oily Money Citeh then it’ll be £25mil – The board would prefer offshore and so would the fans but as you rightly point out RvP has a big say in who he accepts personal terms from. Again this will allow us all to see what RvP wants? Money or Football? My bet is he’ll only agree personal terms with City. Therefore we’ll all know it was a very thinly disguised “Show me the Money” Move.

  9. NepaliGunner says:

    Interesting post as always Desi, and well written. But I do not agree with your assertion that money does not matter to RVP. In fact, I think money and glory go hand in hand when a player says he wants to win trophies.

    Firstly, there are definitely other teams willing pay RVP top dollar and who will be title contenders next year. However, you are right that teams in Russia and China are also willing to pay such high amounts. But what they can’t offer is high exposure, lifestyle and fame. And RVP does make a lot of money from endorsements, and other public involvement. Plus, if you think about a brand, his value is a lot higher in Europe than anywhere else. Finally, he would also want to stay close to home, and not venture out too far.

    But I’m not saying that is his sole motivation. Arsenal is a frustrating club to be in from a players perspective. I feel very bad saying this, but Arsenal cannot be called an elite club anymore, simply because of the financial restrictions. And you have pointed out the depth and expenditure of the top 5 clubs, which are way higher than Arsenal. Now again, that does not mean we cannot win a trophy. But winning a trophy will be a surprise, and will take some phenomenal effort from the club.

    So to sum up my take on this, I don’t blame RVP for wanting to leave. He is a great player, and he does not see the glory and the money at Arsenal which he can get elsewhere. But the statement definitely had a political intent, and that is why I am disappointed. I don’t know all the details, and there very well may be events that justify such actions, but there is no doubt that this has caused turmoil in the Arsenal camp and the fan base, and that may lead to yet another rough and haphazard summer which would be devastating after the debacle last summer.

    • santori says:

      Why can’t we be called an elite club? We have a strong base to work with consistently finishing to qualify for CL.

      This attracts quality players, maybe not the exstablished ones but the hungry ones with something to prove.

      Chelsea finished a dismal sixth this season and were lucky to get into CL with a fluke CL win (Just look at Liverpool with their win and where they are at now)

      The league is an indication of how good you are. We are consistent. Not close to the top yet but very stable with room for improvement.

      And we are adding players that fit our needs.

      Why are we not a top club then?

      SAF went 7 years without a title. City 44. next season is a new season anything can happen.

      So long as we are on a strong base and attracting quality players, we should have every chance of closing the gap.

      And that is regardless of RVP staying or leaving IMO.

      • reality check says:

        winning champs league cant be fluke just ask our beloved arsene, been trying for 16 years.

      • richie says:

        @reality check anyone can fluke a cup. Thats was the point. The league table doesn’t lie.

      • richie says:

        We are one of the elite clubs of Europe but we ain’t one of the Mega rich clubs. We went for stadium re-development as a way of putting us on level terms in the prem with Man U (on wage paying abilities) at that time Man U could attract top players from all over Europe because they could pay top wages as they had gate recipts far higher than we had at Highbury. Then Abromovich arrived and threw all the rules out of the window. Even after all the stadium debt is paid off we can’t match the Chavs wages (Chelski as a club lost millions last year yet again).
        And since then things have gotten worse Money Citeh lost £172 million when they won the title most of that on wages. We pay our top earners gradually more over the years (after 8 years) RvP as captain is our top man on £80K a week. Money Citeh pay £225 a week. we can’t compete with that unless we get ourselves a Sugar daddy like The Chavs or Money Citeh have.
        Personally I wouldn’t want that for Arsenal.

  10. MarkH says:

    What apologetic drivel.
    This is the worst analysis of the situation that I have read. Flatters to deceive.

  11. milleryogi says:

    I read your blog frequently and appreciate your work but I’m afraid you don’t capture my sentiments in this matter. Other equally thoughtful bloggers (Goonerhoic, Arseblog to name but two) combined a similar level of analysis while still displaying the passion that most fans feel regarding this matter. The fans, club and certainly the manager has every right to feel betrayed. The anger most fans feel–some of which is admittedly over the top–is less a result of RVP leaving then the manner of his exit.

    You describe the “statement in itself [as] harmless” yet most don’t agree. It was a deliberate and calculated attack on the club, designed to assure his speedy exit with no regard for the club’s ability to recoup a fair market transfer fee. Its no wonder fans automatically assume his real motivation is money since he cites ambition as his priority on the same day the club officially signs one of two world class signings–on the 4th day of the window I would add. Its hard not to see the statement as an attempt to set the fans against the board, CEO, and even the manager he claims to love. At best it demonstrated an incredible lack of character to allow his agents/pr firm to craft such a document. At worst its spitting in the face of the man who he owes his career to.

    “Doing the right thing” does not preclude one from castigating someone has made a rational choice but has acted in such a deplorable manner. I won’t wish him well and wonder what his wife and parents think of his decision–he fooled many including his own family into thinking he’d stay. Perhaps they, like me and many fans, aren’t so much disappointed in his decision to leave as the fact he destroyed the good relations he had built up with Arsenal, sentiments that date back to his childhood as a Gunners fan.

    I’ll continue to look forward to reading your analysis of games this coming season.


    P.S. A final note, that IG on a two week holiday comment epitomized a level of classlessness that I didn’t know RVP had. A cheap shot and factually incorrect (lie).

    • cupsui says:

      Well said i agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly!

      Normally i agree with your exceptional analysis desi…but i’m afraid i have to think you’ve got it wrong here.

      Extremely damaging statement from our “captain”

      The fact that Robin has said this was for the fans to stop the speculation is the worst part. We can live with the speculation…it sucks but as arsenal fans forever producing stars sought out by other clubs we can deal with speculation…

      like milleryogi said a cheap shot and classless

    • reality check says:

      board delvered the first cheap shot by asking him to stay quite to hide the truth from the fans as well as others.
      he is wrong to issue such a statement (from the club’s point of view) but the contents made sense to me.
      what about the incompetence and lack of ambition shown by the board by not doing enough to retain the best striker on the planet, league’s top scorer and best player, most of all our captain and very decent one at that. he’ll leave and we’ll get over him in no time but the problem is its going to be another year in transition. then may be jack or bac do the same and wont sign or just ask for a move.
      we keep losing our best players each year somthing is terribly wrong.

      • milleryogi says:

        Er, “not doing enough” like buying two badasses in the first four days of the transfer window?!?

        Something is terribly wrong…clubs started spending far more then they actually make. Some go bankrupt like Leeds and Ranger and perhaps (God willing!) Chel and ManC.

        Me, I like having a club and its 125 years of history intact so I don’t think we should risk pissing it away because you or RVP wanna buy more players then we can afford.

  12. Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner. says:

    Whatever way we look at it, either he stays for the remaining one year of his contract or he’s sold, Van Persie has lost it with the fans.

  13. moses says:

    In- depth analysis of what you referred to as RVP debacle. I agree with you on the fans knee jerk reaction, though due respect to their opinions.

  14. WC says:

    There seems to be some huge surprise that this happened. I figured it could have gone either way because if he wanted to sign on he’d have done so before the Euros but the fact that he waited always pointed to the fact that there was heavy doubt in his mind. I’m bitter mostly because as every other person has said, he’s really had one good season. Granted his strike ratio per minutes played was always excellent even during injury but this is the first season when he finished more than half the year.

    In any case we know RVP still has Arsenal in his heart and personally I think entertaining offers now would be a waste of resources if we can avoid it. There seems to be some kind of consensus that a magical 25M+ bid is going to come in for a player on the last year of his contract who is practically free to negotiate any terms with any club in 6 months. Can we really believe there’s someone daft enough out there to drop that kind of money given RVP’s contract situation?

    I would like to think RVP is still a professional and if possible I’d prefer we let him run his one year, play on as he has been, maybe help us win a trophy and we have a year to find a suitable replacement. With Giroud and Poldi on board alongside RVP, the strikeforce is more fearsome than it’s been in years. I think if we get a proper playmaker with top quality, another anchorman like Capoue and depth in defense, we have a real chance of taking the league.

    RVP still has a use and place in the team in his last year and it’s worth more to the club and fans that he score 30 goals for one more year and win something for us, than leave on some ridiculous 8-10M transfer.

    • santori says:

      the valuation was because Arsenal does not want to sell. Call it ambition on our part in trying to keep him.

      But hat also means he is now stuck with our offer of 130K a week plus the sign on loyalty fee (irony)

      So in order to force his way out, he has to back us into a corner with his nonsense announcement.

      We will not be keeping him thereafter. Why pay wages that high for someone who is disgruntled and is supposed to be your captain?

      He will be likely sold. Preferably offshore.

      I hear China has lots of ambition, will give him shiny tin pots and lots of dosh. Just ask Drogba or Anelka.:D

    • richie says:

      Yes there is someone dumb enough to dump £25mil Money Citeh. Anyway thats a slightly disingenuous arguement if RvP’s free (a free agent) his agent would be free to staret a biding war. Moreover whoever wants him would’ve missed a year and then they’d have to endure a free for all to try to capture his signature, this way they get what they want when they want it.

  15. Charlie says:

    Very good except I totally disagree about your view that Usmanov is not the solution. Looks like you read the letter from Red and White Desi. How can you back Kroenke, Hill Wood and Silent Stan after yet another star is allowed to leave ? “I am not an Usmanov fan and I don’t think having the Russian on board is the solution to all problems but some of his arguments are not without merit.”
    No, all of what he says has a lot of merit and he is the solution.

    • santori says:

      USamov is just stirring trouble so he can get his hands on more shares and ultimate control.

      Where do you think the money will come from and how will we not go into debt?

      We have spent 54m last summer and to date 20m+ this summer. That is a substantial sum of money.

      Factor in ongoing player contracts and wage improvements.

      I’m not quite sure what people are smoking when they believe that we aren’t spending enough.

      We are also ridding ourselves of unwanted deadweight to free up the wage structure.

      It does not happen overnight (particularly with under performing players). We live in the real world.

      • cupsui says:

        Well said santori…

        This “Tycoon era” will come to an end and arsenal will survive it…chelsea and man city will not.

        All these fans that simply want “our” own tycoon are rather foolish in my opinion as it just brings on the inevitable fall…

        RvP is adamant that he is a gooner…but a true gooner would have taken the challenge as captain and fought to improve the club and win trophies…but determination is not really a strong point in many of the modern day footballers is it. Their strong points are obsession with their own talents, looks, cars and making sure they are at the centre of things…bit sad really

      • richie says:

        For once I can’t believe it? this is like someone already having read my mind. I read the post and think about how I’m gonna answer it, then I scroll down and you’ve already done the business! I’m a day late and a dollar short.

      • richie says:

        Bloody hell I’m 4 days late and a fiver short!!

  16. Ogede says:

    Honestly this analysis is just a joke……Simple

  17. Neiuwleven says:

    Nicely written but large parts make no sense. For instance questioning why money from acquiring shares hasn’t gone into the club …. Because when acquiring shares you are paying the individual that owns those shares not the club. That individual then takes their money and walks away. They are being bought out of the club. So yes Kreonke and R&W have spent nearly a billion dollars but that money was spent getting other people out of their way. Next, do you honestly think RVP, quite a petulant character throughout his career, is going to say ” Sure I’ll captain the team in the same manner. ” highly unlikely. He’s more likely to cause dissent in the dressing room. The only option is to sell him and be better as a collective instead of over relying on one player.

    • santori says:

      Plus you’re wasting money on his wages when you can bring in two good commited players.

    • cutt says:

      A £100 million right issue prior to shareholders selling out would have been one way to put the money into the club and at the same time reduce the debt considerably.

      Alas the greedy sods did not want to dilute their holdings….too busy lining their pocket and unbelievably some are still running the club and no doubt drawing handsome remunerations.

  18. Long Island Gunner says:

    Desi – always a great write-up. And to so many of the fellow commenters – really good stuff.

    Let’s go first to the practical matter – he CAN NOT STAY. It is not a manager thing or a supporter thing or a Financial or Board thing – it is the thing that makes a team a team. RVP has just said to the other 20+ players in the side “You are not good enough to play alongside me”. “I deserve better than all of you lot”. That is a cancer in any team and can not be permitted to take hold. There will be major bust-ups in training and – can you imagine the dressing room after a loss in which RVP misses a sitter or two – as we say in Brooklyn Fuhgetaboutit! The snark from Song, Sagna, Vermie, et al about his wanting to have other world class players carry him on their shoulders to a trophy are going to be running like hot and cold water.

    As for the personal website announcement – totally without class and shows a complete lack of respect. We can only hope that Arsene learns the lesson that he refuses to learn since the advent of big Russian Oil money and similar developments – these players have absolutely no real respect for you, the club, the badge or anything you might consider of higher value. They are petulant little children that want what they want and will cry until some (sugar daddy) parent feeds them the stuff they want.

    Finally, the part about agreeing on the direction of the club – are you out of your f%cking Mind! You’re a 28 year-old spoiled little rich kid that is one broken ankle away from being an asterisk in Premier League and world football. Arsenal football club, Arsene Wenger, and Ivan Gazidis have a record of accomplishment that will endure across decades of football analysis and they should be considering RVP’s views on the “direction” of the club as much as the folks at NASA in Cape Kennedy should heed my advice about the next space shuttle design. The arrogant prick has really stepped in it with that one.

    Finally – let’s talk about what his personal website message really means. RVP wants only to be on a club that “Buys” all the players they want. He who has the most toys wins! is the viewpoint being espoused by RVP, Nasri, etc. By the way, how’d that work out for you and your over-priced Dutch teammates this past month? Thanks, but no thanks. I’d prefer not to try to win trophies solely by virtue of who has the biggest checkbook in the bidding war each Summer.

    Lastly – please God send him to Real Madrid so he has to play against Cesc in a blood match every few months and – not that anyone should expect any different – watch Vermie and Song put their boot through his candy ass the next time he lines up on the other side of the ball at the Emirates.

  19. Aussie Jack says:

    None of it makes much sense to me. What makes a player who is captain of one of the most prestigiuos clubs in the world who have followed up on a promise to strengthen the squad and challenge for trophies and at the same time offered to almost double his salary plus a five million pound signing on bonus just turn his back?
    From what we read his family would like him to stay put and joining another club will in no way guarantee silver or infact that he will stay injury free. The transfer window is wide open and Wenger has shown his hand so why didn`t he wait a little to see what happens?
    If it`s professional satisfaction he craves then nothing could serve his ego better than taking a renewed Arsenal to the top both in England and Europe and retiring a wealthy hero. Instead he risks being treated like a gutter rat. No, it doesn`t make sense…at all!

    • milleryogi says:

      I totally agree and think many others share your sentiments. I think that is a large part of the reason it feels like such a betrayal. If he hadn’t been so highly regarded then he wouldn’t have fallen so far in the eyes of many fans for his petulant statement. It doesn’t make sense for so many reasons and that’s why many fans’ minds turn to one of the very few things that he is certain to get out of a move away from the club–lots of money.
      Having said all that its hard to believe pulling your settled family away from city you’ve called home for almost a decade. Unless all the articles were planted I just can’t image what was going through his head when he read the articles with their glowing quotes about London and club, knowing that he was set to leave. Likewise, what must his parents and wife thought when he told them he was leaving. Surely they must have felt deceived or at least rather silly to have been so wrong about their loved one.
      As you said, it just doesn’t make sense

      • santori says:

        You are in the sunset of your career and on a high at the moment.

        If you want to make the next big move, its now or never. Simple.

  20. reo says:

    I think it is not wise to keep Persie as there is no way a team can move forward knowing its leader is not going to stay. There will come a time where things get bad (losing some games) then players will not listen to their captain because they know he is not commited to the club. Arsenal must cash-in and wish him well.

  21. Sameep says:

    Desi, I agree with most of your analysis but slightly disagree on some part of it. Do you really believe that Robin did not anticipate the fans’ reaction as you and me and most others have?

    Don’t you think that in the meeting with Wenger and Gazidis, this issue came forward where he refused to sign and Wenger decided to play him to run his contract down?

    Doesn’t the statement on his website make sure that it would make Wenger or the club almost impossible to keep him? Even if Robin hasn’t written it himself, the statement almost cuts all the ropes from his side, he never mentions anything about honoring his contract.

    He openly questions Wenger’s vision and gives a damning verdict on clubs future (in his opinion).

    I don’t have any problems in him wanting to leave but here the picture looks like he is trying to make it publicly sure that the fan’s won’t accept him back.

    • santori says:

      He cares nothing for the fans.

      what he wants is to force the club’s hand to sell him rather than keep him another season. Simple.

  22. Ernest says:

    Thanks for your analysis.
    Few ?s from me:
    Who was RVP before coming to AFC? A world class?
    How many seasons did he really play for the gooners?
    Did Henry create any dust or storm before leaving?
    Can RVP ever visit the Emirate and have a good reception from AW, Arsenal fans, or the board?
    Are there no better ways of putting across ‘parting’ words?

    In life there are natural laws which if broken will have unpleasant consequences. Be careful young man (Mr. RVP)!

  23. mk says:

    Arsenal should ask him in clear terms what vp thinks Arsenal need to improve for him to re-sign..

    If it is just buying one or two more players, then agree to do it and temporarily eat into savings.. if he doesn’t then accept that response and re-sign then publically make a statement showing that they were willing to accede to his requests for squad improvement and he still turned them down and that it must just actually be about his own wages.

    We can’t afford to keep selling our best players.. yet we also literally can’t afford to allow players to hold us hostage for higher wages. I won’t claim to know what vp is doing as only he really knows.. so exposing the truth of the situation is the only course of action that will stop the negative publicity that will surely have an effect on next season and our remaining players.

    • Paul-N says:

      The team has done good business. In what world should RVP be dictating to Wenger? heck no!

      • mk says:

        More of a tactic to get vp’s motives in the open than really bowing to his wishes.. as it is pretty doubtful that he would make a u-turn on his decision when we aren’t offering to increase his wages any further.. and to be fair we could probably use one or two more good players anyway, so wouldn’t even have to be a lie on arsenals behalf.

      • santori says:

        Spot on.

        It’s absolute bollocks this ambition thing.

        He wants a guarantee in football, then ask Bayern what happened with Dortmund or PSG with Montpellier.

        It’s the cowards way out to me.

        The only place he can go to at the moment (aside from China) that may guarantee him a medal is Italy with Juve.

      • santori says:

        It’s all bollocks this ambition thing.

        There are no guarantees in football. Ask Bayern about Dortmund, there’s a team of mega rich stars when they first won their title.

        Or PSG about Montpellier.

        The only team RVP can go to and more or less have a guarantee ona title is possibly Juve at the moment because of their strength vis-a-vis the competition.

  24. 'Deolu says:

    Desi, Good analysis as usual. You remain my favorite arsenal blogger.

    Personally I don’t buy the idea of him staying and seeing out his contract. His recent outburst has outlined his lack of faith in the squad which will ultimately result to disunity in the squad. A captain is meant to instill a level of believe in his teammates and shoulder responsibilities when the chips are down but in this case, this will be so hard to achieve. I was thinking our early transactions in the transfer market will convince him to stay, he’s been in the club for eight (8) and he doesn’t expect arsenal to be a Shitty and fork out billions for overpriced players. My question now is this: Does he want a total revamp of the squad? Or does he want the wage structure restrictions lifted? Its really hard to tell what he means by ‘the way the club to move forward.’ Perhaps he does not see the signing of Poldi and Giroud as real quality acquisitions. Its important to note also that if he had stayed fit for d past 7 years [ultimately not his fault] along with Fabregas we might have won a trophy. Fabregas obviously let out his frustration on that front that they couldn’t play together for a full season. I think he’s already had his head turned because there are better ways of venting ur frustration rather than going public and causing unrest amongst the fans who hold Arsenal football club so dearly in their hearts. I wonder why he didn’t talk about ambition while on the treatment table in the previous years.
    Now to the board, in recent years the club have found a tradition of leaving it too late before extending contract of key members of our squad. If this trend continues then we are likely to keep losing our best players. Walcott & song’s contract situation is yet to be trashed out. I really do fear the worse.
    P.S- No one can be bigger than Arsenal. We’ve been in far worse situation than this. We will scale through this once again but I’d really love the board to take pro-active measures in subsequent dealings.

    • santori says:

      We will most likely not have him stay on.


      He will afeect the dressing room and we are paying wages for someone whod oes not want to be there.

      Not sure what desi is thinking here.

  25. CAL Gunner says:

    Desi…always enjoy your posts but I think we need to take into consideration Robin capitalizing on his best year as a professional and the subsequent poor performance at the Euros. He sees a once in a career opportunity and wants the limelight and money now. He has endured a tough career path with injuries and missed opportunities and the time is now. I would tend to agree with many that Arsenal should cash in and take the money so long as they reinvest in team talent…another striker and a class defender.

    • milleryogi says:

      Its a good point and one that I thought of when reading Desi’s counter argument. I think generally Desi would be right in that it would be to a player’s benefit to wait and sign on to another club on a Bosman, thus saving the buying club a transfer fee which in turn will be put into a signing on fee or increased wages. In this case, however, I think RVP–or perhaps more accurately, his agents–see that they can capitalize on his career year and get just as big wages now then if he waits. There is no guarantee that if he had stayed and played out the year with AFC–impossible now after the statement–that he would have stayed injury free or had had such great form. Its also reasonable to assume that Polidi and Giroud would/will take some of his minutes away–wise on Wenger’s part to spread the burden–which will in turn provide him fewer chances.

      • CAL Gunner says:

        Agreed milleryogi…w Giroud and Podolski, we should be ok in making up the goals we will lose. I also believe Jack W’s return will create lots of opportunities for others. We missed him terribly…

      • santori says:

        I’m not sure why everyone is sold into a panic like it is the end of the club.

        We have hedged our bets early with two very strong strikers in their respective league and at very good prices.

        We may also add another striker because RVP is leaving.

        Jovetic has been linked which would be great since he is 22 and we need to freshen things up with both Giroud and Poldy entering peak years ( a plus)

        There are other options. Leandro Damiao at Internacional, Matias Suarez.

        These players are on the upward curve where as RVP will be probably on the downward curve of his career ina year or two (if he doesn’t get another knock of course)

      • santori says:

        Waiting for a bosman represents a massive gamble.

        And the sign on fee won’t be anywhere near what he can get at the moment IMO.

  26. Paul-N says:

    Every word of his comment was condescending.

    They had one meeting and his mind is made up? how does that makes sense? If he really loved the club he would have had another talk, no?

    It is about money, but who the heck hears about players in China etc?

    He fooled the heck out of me, I thought the young man was a class above the rest, I really did.

  27. Tanmay says:

    I agree with some of the things you say but there has to be such a thing as basic loyalty. Where would RvP be without the 6-7 years of unconditional (and expensive) support Arsenal showed to him when he was constantly injured? The club trusted him and now it was time for him to trust the club.

    Investments have been made. Podolski and Giroud have come in. How great a strikeforce would that be with RvP in it? It would be amazing, possibly a title winning force. And yet does RvP care?

    Arsenal have invested and it is RvP who has ruined things this time. He could easily stay and win a trophy because Arsenal have strengthened and are strengthening this summer. It is he who has thrown things off balance because he wants to win trophies elsewhere.

    You ask why he would want to leave now if he could leave for free next year and earn bigger. Because even money mad people have reputation in mind. Even Nasri left with 1 year to go. Going this summer would be a perfect balance of reputation and money for RvP. I’m not saying he is money mad, I’m saying he could be leaving because of the money and your argument to say otherwise is not strong.

  28. Akin Akanji says:

    AWenger,please,don’t allow RVP transfer saga distruct your plan for next the season.Try to have a formidable team by strengthening all identifiale weak points for the coming season.Sell RVP immediately and invest the money realised from his sales on more players.Let’s move on with new life without RVP since Man$hity has turned his head with dollar$ as they did with big mouth Na$ri.Make TV5 captain with Sagna his vice.There is enough time to rebuild the team with only RVP the major shake up.Up Gooners.

  29. Auyssie Jack says:

    As I`ve said before “it makes no sense” so the Agatha Cristie in me looks to solve the plot. One thing that pops out is, if he planned it surely he would know where he`s going before he burned his bridges. The more I think about it the more I suspect he `s extremely cunning or he`s not the intelligent person we thought.
    If it was pre planned who has he been talking with and, pardon my ignorance, would it have been legal?

    • Auyssie Jack says:

      First thing I should do is learn to spell my own name…sorry about that.
      Maybe Mr. Abramovic could shed could some light on the subject he seems to tick all squares. RVP doesn`t have to up root his family and he gets the bumper salary, plus a guarantee of Champions League football. Hmm!

      • milleryogi says:

        The thought had crossed my mind–like a dark cloud–but Abramovic appears to be a guy who enjoys spunking out a shed load of cash on the flavor of the month. In this case, I think if he goes for another forward his next shiny new toy will be someone like Hulk.
        It also appears that Chelsea are going to continue flogging the dead horse that is Torres–still laugh at the fact he won the golden boot. Personally I’m afraid I don’t see it–like getting blood from a stone–but I guess when the owner single handedly demands the club drop 50 mil on a player he’s gonna make damn sure he gets every chance possible.
        Then again you never know. Maybe they’ll bid for RVP just to be dicks…certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

  30. Aussie Jack says:

    Wow! this is getting embarrassing……..there`s no`y` in Aussie.

  31. D Gooner says:

    Why the club lacks trophies, it certainly has a lot of atrophy….

    • santori says:

      Don’t be so dramatic.

      There is no atrophy. It is stagnant but stagnat at a high level. We are consistently in the CL despite all these shennaigans.

      Give Wenger a little more credit.

  32. Sajit says:

    A few question/Points on your argument about RVP

    1. He has just announced that he wont be signing a new deal, he has not left as yet. If he wanted to just leave for footballing reasons he could have waited for the best footballing option, taken it and made an official statement.
    2. Why shouldn’t he just hand in a official transfer request thus fore-going his bonus etc.

    For me he looks like he fears not being allowed to leave this season, above all. Its more pragmatic for him to move this time than wait for a season/year from a career perspective (money+playing time in a top team in a top league) being that much older and with his injury record you never know how the next season turns up . Nothing wrong with that if he thinks that there are better options. However trying to make it sound like the Arsenal board are the villains and he like anyone who loves the club wants more ambition is a load of tripe

    • santori says:

      He is trying to force it.

      He realises that it is a striker rich market and that we have over priced him. His performance over the Euros did not help.

      So he is trying to force the issue so he can be sold. Simple.

  33. Gerry Lennon says:

    I agree with a lot you of what you have written, and to some of the replies too.
    Those who are too angry in what they see as a betrayal by RVP will not want to see an ‘alternative’ view put forward. Human nature?

    I also think we can overdo the analysis thing, because we, the outsiders, do not have all the information to judge. It comes down to making educated guesses … and some are less gifted than you Desi at doing so??

    If I were to put my guess into what has brought RVP to this point it is this:
    A gifted footballer aged 28 has may be two more top class seasons left in him. He may still be good, but the next two years are the important ones. Players at this level want a tangible legacy that still makes them feel good when looking back with their grandchildren in 20 or 30 years time. It is important to them to be able to justify their claim that, in their footballing career, where they known to be among the great players of their era, that they have something to show for it. Being part of a team that made it into the CL for all the years he was with the club does not cut it. Being part of the National team that did not make even the semi-finals of the World Cup, or European Championship does not cut it.
    Being part of a team, may be scoring vital goals along the way to winning a Cup or Championship does. Whilst you average player might be really satisfied with the above as a career in football, top players, apart from being gifted, put in an awful lot of blood, sweat, and tears in order to be top players, because they wanted more.
    Robin Van Persie is no different. He has looked at the possibility of Arsenal winning something(as opposed to X-team winning something) without a massive investment in the team, which will not be forthcoming over these next two years, and drawn his conclusion. When Arsenal are in a position to seriously challenge in the transfer market, stadium paid for, fresh marketing deals, etc, it will have passed him by.
    That is what Robin wrote in his message to the fans. For purely(and if you are honest, understandable?) selfish reasons, he has, with much regret, he has put aside all other thoughts. It is that simple.

    Hey folks, it is not the end of the world. It may not even be the end of the story? But the alternative might be more painful. The ‘deadwood’ that so called fans refer to so casually about very good footballers, not to mention that they are people with feelings, might have to go well beyond the usual suspects, in order to buy in players to match our rival’s squads … should such an investment be forthcoming. Would that still be Arsenal Football Club, or just another team of mercenaries?
    Be careful what you wish for!

    • santori says:

      Not sure why people are buying into the Usamov thing.

      He provides nothing but empty talk over investing in the squad but remaining debt free.

      what nonsense.

      If he really wants to help, write a blank cheque that will pay for RVP’s ambition and call it a gift to us.

      Otherwise shut it.

      He’s just stirrring the pot IMO to hhis advantage so he can strengthen his position to takeover the club.

      Personally glad Kroenke is in charge.Aren’t you?

      Money doesn’t grow on trees (unless you like debt)

  34. aloiseg says:

    ‘I personally had a great season!’ Very true, but also in essence taking a swipe at the squad who provided the assists. What happened at the euros where everybody had a great season too, cue robben. I think he has bitten the hands that fed him. He needs to go.
    He is entitled to an opinion but not a right to dictate to the manager. No one but John Terry can, and by reading his comments in 2008, he’s always known how The Arsenal is run.
    Lastly we had strengthened. Our strike force had more goals between them than city! So no its not ambition too coz we have shown some ambition and trying a cheap shot a Gazidis is just pathetic and disrespectful to the club that has done so much for him. Fuck it he is the reason why we dint win the tittle, he was crocked when Eduardo was butchered. So there, his statement was bullocks trying to feed on our frustrations as fans…which are there…but i’m not buying into that shit, never! Not when he ruined our chances of getting top quid on his greedy ass. Good riddance to bad rubbish

  35. Sam says:

    The bug/buck stops with Wenger. His emphasis on winning with style is what is causing players to lose faith with him.I am no coach but to me ffotball is a simple game with the aim of putting the ball in the opposition net asap.
    Don’t indulge in passing all over the place and not shoot until 99.9% sure of a goal.This is what is making players and fans angry. If Wenger doen’t change and the gunners still can’t challenge,it’s obvious he will have to go.

    • milleryogi says:

      1) Your points have little to nothing to do with the RVP situation.

      2) Did you actually watch the team this past season?! Its not like the past where we dominated games but couldn’t score. If anything our defense was the problem, allowing 40+ goals. When you win/lose/tie games 8-2, 5-2, 5-3, 3-3 that doesn’t reflect an inability to score so much as some defensive problems.

      3) Maybe you wan’t to win the Chelsea way but I choose to follow the Gunners beginning way back in the late 90’s after Wenger came on board because his teams play great soccer.

      • santori says:

        I might venture to add we had a staff change recently with BOuld moving in to replace Pat.

        Not sure what the gripe is a bout. Seems like tactically, we are in for something different with the new strikers brought in.

  36. M87 says:

    Once again, you inspire the more calm and analytical fans amongst us to not pretend to know or understand something when we don’t.

    To the people here saying that Arsenal were loyal to him and he should stay, or that we had some unconditional support for him through his bad times is simply lying. Us sticking with RVP was not unconditional support.

    How can you possibly frame this history in any other way except self-interest? It was simply a calculated risk that would have been mutually beneficial. Yes, it seems to coincide with some other values that our fans think we have like loyalty to player etc. but this is a simply not the primary motivation and rarely is for a manager.

    Look, I understand we as fans need to construct a narrative for our club that makes us special and different from everyone else, but most of the narrative is confabulation constructed through confirmation/selection biases or anecdotal evidence. You run a statistics website, and yet does it not surprise you, that despite the proliferation of unbiased raw data, there is hardly a convergence of a terribly split gooner community? If anything, it seems it has become even more polarized. Maybe it doesn’t surprise you because you know that we tend to mine for whatever stats fits our pre-existing model of what’s right or wrong with Arsenal or which side of the debate we already are.

    Sorry to burst any bubbles but if you honestly don’t think that players are disposable at Arsenal any more than other club, you simply to need to look a the number of players we have bought and released/sold over the Wenger era that explicitly wanted to stay.

    There are plenty of players that we sold even if they wanted to stay and fight and were ‘loyal’. Most people have forgotten that Ljungberg was so upset with Arsene selling him, that he refused offers to play abroad and signed with West-Ham. He said publicly, he did this as he was motivated to play against Arsenal and show how they were wrong. He called Arsene a ‘dictator’ and that he was made to play through injury because Arsene was impatient with his recovery and wanted to sell him to maximize the returns. Gilberto was similarly unceremoniously shipped despite expressing a desire to retire with Arsenal. There are plenty of other cases where there was no special reward for loyalty, professionalism, attitude etc like Kanu, Lauren, Pires, Eduardo, Eboue and more recently Almunia, Benayoun. There are hardly any tears shed for these loyal players by most fans and years of unconditional service and trust counts for very little when they are past their sell-by date. Do you think the fans that are already flogging Chamakh and Park are thinking about loyalty? Do you think Arsenal are thinking about the Chamakh’s ‘I want to retire at Arsenal’ comment if they are shipping him off? Or do you think the management is thinking about the fact that Park escaped from his hotel at night with a wild chase from Lille directors in a taxi to the Airport so he could catch a plane to London to sign for Arsenal? Is this unconditional trust worth nothing at all, given that he has not featured for Arsenal, lost his captaincy to the national team and still kept a dignified silence (a la almunia) despite being a demigod in S.Korea? (Let’s not even mention the players we release/sell from our youth system every year, some of whom spent more than half their life after birth at Arsenal)

    Should we be surprised that fans are disingenuous? Not really, because despite self-righteous delusions and confabulations, they too ultimately have the same core agenda that the club has, which is self-interest of the club at almost *any* cost. The only time they would dissent is if the thought this cost would disable future success. Clubs do have ‘core’ values. However, there are very few values (if any) that trump long-term self-interest. These core values are emphasized if it coincides with the interests in a specific transaction (calls for loyalty, commitment to not ‘killing youth’) and easily ignored/disregarded for a particular transaction, if holding on to it seems detrimental over the longer term. Wenger explained as much about selling older players when the price is right as situations where your intelligence must rule your heart.

    There is nothing surprising here at all. The reason why Arsenal appear more ‘loyal’ to their players compared to other clubs is two-fold. The first is simply poor note-taking by our brains, emphasizing the recent past (Emirates era) unduly. The second reason is Wenger’s better judgement and outcome compared to most managers in taking calculated risks.

    Sticking with a player despite poor performance is risk, and every club has to take an educated guess about whether the decision will pay-off in the future or not. Decisions to persevere may end-up paying-off (RVP), not paying-off (Hargreaves) or remain unresolved (Diaby). Decisions to get rid-off a player may pay-off (Bentley, Hoyte), not pay-off (G.Rossi), or remain unresolved (Clichy, Diarra)

    In the recent past Wenger has tended to be patient with a group of players. His better judgement than most have allowed him to get greater success with this approach compared to others and this has created an illusion that Arsenal show loyalty as a matter of principle rather than a strategy (abandoned?). Wenger admitted as much that in a rather candid l’equipe interview that he felt that this strategy of building a team that have grown up together would exhibit a greater loyalty to the club and thus achieve success (self-interest) had failed and that the project was over. Recent activity in the transfer market does suggest that loyalty had very little to do with anything but was simply a leveraging point in an unsuccessful strategy.

    This is not a cynical condemnation of Arsenal or anyone or football, it is perhaps a reminder that we tell ourselves stories, confabulate memories to make up for a casual vacuum that our minds demands be filled with reasons and meaningful justifications.

    • milleryogi says:

      Sorry your post is simply too long to address correctly but if you think Wenger treats his players the same way as most coaches you are very mistaken.

      Most of the players–including Ljungberg in a recent article (–following their departure continue to speak highly of the manager and the way he runs the club. Pires–via a Goonerholic blog–just said in an interview that he considers Wenger a father figure. Shit, even RVP said similar things as he forced his way out of the club. What does Wenger gain when he allows former players (Sol, TH, Pires, Aldiere) to train with the team when they are out of contract with other clubs?! What does he get when he stands up for ex-players (nasri, kolo) and defends them to the media–I sure as hell wouldn’t be is obviously a better man then me!

      You are right that he isn’t gonna keep players that aren’t good enough or play them when other players are better but I don’t think we want that, do we? Look at the difference in the way Wenger and the club treat out of favor players compared to other clubs. Almunia is allowed to come to the end of the year party for Pat Rice’s retirement whereas at Chelsea AVB kicks Analka and Alex out of the 1st team locker room and prevents them from coming to the Christmas party.

      If you think all Managers and all clubs are the same in some warped relativity argument I’m sorry but you are mistaken. Wenger’s Arsenal may not be the best thing since sliced bread but’s its pretty God Damned close!

      • M87 says:

        Sorry but your post is just strawman and you have failed to understand my point and mischaracterized my views on Arsenal, Arsene and ex-players.

        Wenger is immaculate when it comes to maintaining his and player’s dignity on and off the field. He protects them and rightly so like no other manager. He is exceptional when it comes to taking criticism and not reacting even in the face of inflammatory reactions from players and has the remarkable knack of creating warm and cordial relationships regardless of whether his players deserted him or he deserted them. He is not the same to any manager in this regard. The ljunberg, pires examples don’t contradict anything at all. If this is simply what fans means by ‘loyalty’ then there is nothing to complain about when it comes to Fabregas/RVP/Hleb because they have nothing but exceptional relationship with the club and the management and have done a lot to prove that they are loyal and not said anything about negative about anyone specifically, much like Wenger (and in fact, I believe this should be the true definition of loyalty)

        But guess what, this is clearly *not* the metric the hypocritical fans use to evaluate ‘loyalty’, it’s whether they will sign a contract or not. Actually, that’s not enough, they need to sign a contract *and* also simultaneously be *liked* and *approved* by the fans or it will be unnoticed. Actually, these fans are even worse, because when Djourou extended his contract voluntarily, nobody was applauding his sense of commitment to club or loyalty but instead reprimanding him and the management. Do you see the ****in hypocrisy of us fans? We only like something when it suits us.

        What you discussed is irrelevant (I wish you were right, that’s how fans thought of loyalty) my point was simply that Arsenal, just like our fans, are not committed to loyalty or honoring the contracts or promises any more than other clubs.

        We have no problem breaking contracts and selling off players despite their own stated desires, when it suits us or makes sense, any more than other clubs. Wenger said as much recently anyway, that you have to use your intelligence over your heart sometimes in reference to selling off older players. Ljungberg and Pires were hurt for a long time, but they have realized that this is the reality of the profession and they have made peace with what happened. We as fans need to get-over this self-rigteous bullshit that we are committed to something greater than our own interests. We are not, when players are not part of our plans we try our best to sell them if we can. Players are the same and so are the fucking fans. it’s the sad truth but that’s how it is, I distinctly remember that a lot of fans wanted RVP sold to cut our losses a few years ago. Now they have all turned around. Same story with Walcott, Song etc.

        When we as fans don’t measure our regard, belief, respect loyalty in a player by the metric of “how willing are we to offer him a contract” then why do you measure RVP, Cesc and others loyalty by willingness to sign a contract?

      • milleryogi says:

        My response isn’t a straw man argument. Rather its the natural product of misunderstanding your long and at times less then clear argument. Having reread it, it does appear that your main point is that fans have a double standard when it comes to loyalty. Fine, point noted.

        I happen the think the fans have some right to feel betrayed particularly at the manner of this particular exit but that wasn’t what I was responding to. The manner of RVP’s exit has nothing to do with whether RVP signs another contract. The rightful feeling of indignation fans–and perhaps Wenger and the club–feel is the way RVP or his agents orchestrated his departure. RVP could have not signed but remained professional and the majority–certainly not some–would have understood his decision. He’d be no hero but no villain either.

        The source of my confusion, however, appears to be the fact that, at times, you conflate the collective “us”–by which you mean fans–with the club and manager–and since I can only speak to the mid 90s+ when I say “club” I mean Wenger’s AFC. Thus while I believe you correctly state that fans often hold players to a double standard regarding loyalty, it appeared to me that you included the club and manager in your argument.

        I also can’t attribute everything Wenger does to simply being the result of calculations of risk v. reward as you appear to. I’ve mentioned several examples which I believe clearly indicate Wenger and the club’s approach to current and former players and how this is different then other clubs. I think this approach is predicated on doing things “the Arsenal way”–which I think can generally translated into doing things the right way.

        I’m also not sure by what you mean when you say the club “break player contracts”. Clubs generally don’t breach player contracts and neither do players–unless your Tevez. Selling the rights to a player prior to the end of the contract isn’t breaking a contact especially since they have to agree to the move.


  37. Cjmaris says:

    We made you; we are proud of you…nonetheless we will exist without RVP someday…we thank him for his contribution & wish him best of luck if he eventually departs!!
    Special thanks to yew for this wonderful article!!!

  38. Senil says:

    For the first time, i beg to disagree with you, Desi. Sure not for the entire part but for the part where you said Money isn’t a reason for RVP to move out of Arsenal. I’m not sure that I can say it is, but there are a lot of reasons it can be. You said if you were RVP, you would play half of the future season and increase your value, and try to gain max money, but why do he need to do that? He’s already the best striker in the world last year. he would get all the money he wants, just for the form he is in, right now. And he would, as every other smart human, want to cash in on it. Right? I m waiting for your opinion on my question.

  39. santori says:

    I’m not sure if you entirely understand the transfer dealings Desi.

    Familiar with the expression “abird in hand is worth two in the bush”?

    RVP is hot property right now. Leaving for free later down the line, he will get a sign on bonus but he won’t get the big cut off of the transfer fe (nor will his agent)

    Having said that, this is a striker rich market at the moment. There are lots of options available to clubs.

    RVP has come to realise that Arsena;’s valuation (+ his poor performance at the Euros) have pretty much scared off even the likes of City and resulted in a low derository offer from Juve.

    Therefore, he is forcing the hand that feeds him by backing the club into a corner with this statement.

    They will now more likely have to sell him.

    I don’t think that with the tone of voice (plus the fact that he is captain) that keeping him to his remainder of his contract is a viable option. Unlikely.

    Now, if you are keen to know whether it was a money issue or that of unbridled ambition, then we will have to see where he selects as his next destination.

    Gossip at the moment suggest that Juve is still the preferred destination which should bring some goodwill back to the fans as he will at least be sold offshore albeit most likely for a lower price (although prob higher than the one tossed at us by Juve)

    I should think that having subsidised City to their first league win in 44 seasons, that the board is also aware that any move by RVP to Manchester will be an extremely unpopular one. Acrimony aside, I am sure that RVP is also cognisant of this fact.

    We are currently also in the position to absorb the potential loss of income from not selling to City. We are not RVP dependent in our transfer dealings this summer.

    So fingers crossed, hopefully, RVP is sold on to Juve and we can all get on with it, because as big as his boots are, they are not impossible to fill.

    We have done the business early this time and brought in teo strikers top scorers in their own right and both entering their prime.

    I frankly don’t see us being set back that terribly.

    It would have been great to have RVP’s talent and PL experience particularly since the two new strikers are in their debutant year but well, such is life.

  40. santori says:

    With regards ambition and signing expensive players to prove it, I pose the question, “is signing an over-hyped belgian player @32m better than signing two strikers who have produced proven track records in terms of goals scored for 20+m a better thing?”

    And what of Newcastle? They paid efficient money for their players and ended uup ahead of Liverpool.

    Don’t get sucked into this whole falacy. I’m a bit surprised that you are suggesting this. Perhaps its the shell shock.

    • milleryogi says:

      I agree and to further support your argument one only need to look at a certain RVP we purchased on the cheap (2.75mil). He turned out to be a pretty good player–although in hindsight it also appears he was lacking in character. Sad but we’ll turn a profit and Wenger can work his magic again.

      • santori says:

        And we’ll continue to find good players because of Wenger and we will continue to develop them into stars.

        After all, we must be doing something right for clubs to keep coming to us and poaching them.

        So no problem replacing.

        It’s keeping that is the issue here. It is extremely disruptive to our efforts.

        We have a good solid base consistently qualifying for CL. BUt to push upwards into title contention and CL, we need more tability.

        That’s what’s so damaging about these player moves. It’s two steps forward, two steps back.

        I don’t think there is much solution at the moment so long as the inequality created by the exitence of mega rich sugar daddy clubs exists.

        We can only stretch our wage structure that far.

        However considering Dortmund and Montpellier have shown the way forward, it is particularly negative to suggest that we cannot challenge with the players we have.

        We will need possibly 3-4 more additions this summer

        1) DM cover
        2) Keeper back up
        3) Another striker/winger


        4) winger/AM

        the world doesn’t stop just because RVP is sold. We will continue to build and rebuild. Such is football.

  41. Pontus says:

    Rvp has been very disrespectful towards the club and the manager. I say we openly ask for a ridiculous amount of money for him (50mil) and if we don’t receive that we let him kick the ball around with the reserves next year. We have to, as a club, draw the line somewhere. This is not the proper way for a club captain to conduct himself.

    • santori says:


      We’ll want to move him on. No point keeping him (particularly since he is captain) and waste money on his wages when we can bring 2 hungry commited players in.

      We will have to probably accept a lower amount to get him moved off shore (likely Juve). Moving to City IMO would be truly detrimental for us and will send the wrong message.

      At very least, if he moves offshore, the fans can begrudgingly respect that he did not take the biggest pot of money and therefore that it wasn’t as he said all about money.

  42. Matchy says:

    If I were the boss of anyone and have plenty of money

    1. I’ll leave van Persie in the reserves Untill his contracts are up.

    A statement released by van Persie such as this undermined my authority. And How will I negotiate with fuutre employees at the club ??

    Every players ala Walcott or they club is not ambitious ?

    This word call ambition what is it ?

    Ambition is in football is to win trophies ? Yes it is.

    But how to get there is another thing all together.

    People in the British press seem to have only one connection. SPEND THE MOST MONEY POSSIBLE. THAT IS AMBITION ??

    How about being top dog by beIng sustainable. That is not AMBITIOn ?? That’s the most difficult ambition.

  43. Nepali Gunner says:

    Clearly people have differing opinions, but I do appreciate the (mostly) thoughtful responses on this site compared to the BS on other sites.

    Clearly your intelligence has attracted intelligent fans!

  44. Desi Gunner,
    This is the first time I comment though I have been reading this excellent blog for a long time and for good reason. The good work here usually does not need any more addition from me.

    Usually, your nihilism works well because there are really a lot of things that cannot be known especially with so private and dignified a man as Wenger.

    Today, however, you have pushed it and have achieved a singularity- over-complication through over-simplification via reduction to absurdity.

    Let me just quote you.

    “But if money were the most important factor why would he not go to Russia or China?”
    Because he can earn almost similar amounts right here in England at Man City or Chelsea or in Europe at the oil-backed clubs- where also, most importantly, he can play in competitions that have some prestige and stature; not in a league where you play on plastic pitches or sulks go from being a player to captain to coach and back again within a week.

    “The cynical view might be that his value will drop in the next six months, especially if he gets injured, but that really is a matter of luck.”
    “If I were Robin and I really wanted a big money deal I’d strongly focus on producing an extraordinary first half of the season for Arsenal in order to secure what could be the biggest deal anyone has seen in football.”
    What makes you think your assumption of producing an extraordinary season does not depend on luck any less than the cynic’s?

    “I am not inside the striker’s head so I can’t be certain.”
    In spite of that, you say
    “Discounting money as a factor” before going on to discuss further points.
    If you cannot be certain, how can you discount the money factor?

    “I find it very hard to accept this is about the money and it is unfortunate that so many people have formed such opinions based on pure speculation.”
    Given the points immediately cited above, your ‘analysis’ is my friend, based on no firmer ground than that unfortunate speculation you lament just because you are calm and using your head while people are getting emotional.

    You say you are not in his head, yet you use arguments as “If I were RvP”
    If this is not speculation, then pray what is?

    There is no one factor that has influenced but a combination, primarily, money(much MUCH more), a feeling of better prospects of silverware and Wenger’s preceding statement of keeping van Persie at all costs.

    I have no issues with him wanting to leave, as do many others. The problem is the way it has been done. He could have kept quiet and exited or at least not been hypocritical using words like ‘love’, ‘respect’ etc when his acts cannot be more disrespectful.
    He is not the manager nor a board member to question Arsenal’s strategy.

    Nihilism works fine but not if you start applying logic to things you claim to not know, particularly in an illogical way.

    You do an excellent job otherwise and please keep it up.

  45. IHAVEAGUN says:

    The statement was obviously calculated. When there are tens of millions of pounds on the table nothing is just a “statement” Everything that Rvp and his agent do as well as the Club is to protect themselves as a brand as to not hurt their future commercial earnings. Money talks and the average fan is left without a voice.

  46. I hope the “desi gunner” reads this. Even though I think your articles are really well thought out and actually very correct. However these articles are a little heavy on the head. I don’t want to read such a heavy article everytime. Hence I find reading articles on other sites which like you said reflect the “reactions” of the fans much easier and entertaining. So I just thought i’d let you know.
    PS:- You know on a side note, it is not that bad being a mooing cow and liking players when they do well, call them disloyal and $$$$ seeking when the decide to leave, but thats not that bad either. It’s actually excellent for people like me who like to be lazy =). And i find the feeling of being betrayed by a player whom we “trusted” so much, really nice (even though it might not be completely rational, like your articles 🙂 )

  47. 'desi'gner gooner says:

    First of all I’d like to say that you run a great blog and I am an avid desi arsenal fan myself…..

    Now coming to your point of view about keeping RVP and hoping that he has a blockbuster 6months is a bit too much to expect.

    You say that some fans have made this into some kind of sinister plot. Well I completely disagree with that. It is very clear that the club was literally stumped by the events. The statement issued on the club website in response to RVP’s statement was clearly an afterthought and something the club were forced into doing to show some sort of reaction. Chances are that his agents have already sewn up a move and by making this statement they have put the entire onus on the club.

    There is bitterness about the whole thing and that surely has left no way back for RVP to ever turn up again in the Arsenal shirt. The reason last season’s squad seemed promising was because after a long time we had a team which looked like it was fighting for each other. There was effort all around – even from some of the lesser players. If we let RVP continue after all this – I think it puts that team spirit in grave danger. It is best to just sell him now. At the cost of sounding jingoistic and over-emotional – I’d say RVP is just a commodity for Arsenal football club now. Lets sell him for the maximum price. Thanks for your time RVP – it was good while it lasted. You could have been a legend but you blew it…..

  48. Winner says:

    It is all about money. Money that Arsenal can’t pay which other clubs can pay; money to compete in the transfer market that other clubs have which Arsenal does not have; money to buy championships which some teams have but Arsenal does not have;money that the fans pay to watch the games which the club directors do not pay. Which ever way you look at it…IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. This is what is critical for success in the modern game. I do not blame anyone; not even the board. When you chose one business strategy or model you also automatically choose the consequences. Sometimes the consequences are gut wrenching.Is it fair that van Persie should sacrifice his ambitions and yes even his financial earnings so that the board can make more money? I think not. Is it fair that the board and shareholders should make decisions that affect the financial stability of the club and minimize or even jeopardize their earnings for the sake of making players and fans happy? I think not. Is it fair that the fans should pay exorbitant amounts and not get their money’s worth? I think not. Clearly, I have control over my own reaction and that is what I will control. I will continue supporting Arsenal. I hope they give me pleasure,but on the day they fail to; I will remind myself that for me football is not a matter of life and death but a sport to help me relax and unwind. I love Arsenal and I really do. Sometimes the events at arsenal depress me especially when the team loses.

    I wish van Persie well.He gave us moments to savour and cherish. He worked to the hilt like a trojan horse for the cause of the team. For that he will forever, have my gratitude and respect. Above all I will always be grateful to Arsene for unearthing the gem in Van Persie and helping him to shine when few people ever thought he would reach those dizzy heights.
    A man is entitled to be ambitious and to pursue his dreams while he still can. Bravo to you Robin. Take your journey where you wish and give your best always.
    Thank you for the precious moments.

  49. Shakabula Gooner says:

    It seems your conclusions are:,
    a, Since we don’t have a strong bench, full of players who are, in their own righhts, world class stars, we are unlikely to win anything in a long while.
    b. Players picked in their youths and groomed precisely for the purpose of improving our chances to win something at some future date but who, at the verge of fulfilling this hope, balk and leave are justified – precisely because they are yet to win something for us.

    I beg to disagree on both counts. You are a tad too respectful of the money-bag model for winning something and too kind to the players who leave when they fail in their mandate to win something for us leave precisely when the chances of the club to win something would have improved had they stayed a while longer.

    To make the former case, we only need to look at ManU in 2011/12: they were a few minutes to winning the Premiership and but for Joey Barton’s madness in ManC’s final game against QPR. ManU would probably have won the 2011/12 League. Yet, you wouldn’t call all members of their 1st eleven, not to talk of their bench “world class”.

    As to your kindness to the departing stars, note that in previous years, Aresnal came close to winning the Premiership without a world class bench and woud have been a better team, better positioned to win something in the immediately following seasons had the players that preferred to leave in order to win something with other teams not chosen to do so when they did…Henry, Flamini/Kleb, Adebayor and Nasri/Cesc…

    Even now, this is the case with RvP;s impending depature. In 2011/12 season, despite the tormoil it began for us, we came third. Clearly, we are showing determination to build on this Podolski and Giroud purchases. We remain in the hunt for more players. For the first time in a long time Arsenal blogs are having debates on how Arsenal might line up in the face of more very good players than the number of players required for respective position (e.g. Giroud vs RvP vs Podolski for 1 or 2 striker positions; if we have Song why do we seem to be angling for M’Vila? what happens in the mid-field if/when Wilshere and Diaby are fit and competing for positions, etc). Unfortunately, once again, thanks this time to RvP, there is a new kink in this orderly effort to improve the overall ability of the club to compete for trophies in 2012/13….

    Thus, I will prefer to see that:

    1. AFC and Wenger are not detered in their believe that there is a sane and sustainable way by which a club can win things and they are unto it. Therefore, that they continue remorselessly in their effort to prove this.

    2. AFC is closer to stability with the shape, personnel and philosophy of the Club than at every previous year since the last time we won a trophy. Stability defined here as having a crop of 2 or 3 very good players (even if very few of them are marque signings) who can hold their own with the best, play consistently at the highest levels and challenge for titles. AFC should keep striving to achieve this ideal.

    3. RvP’s mail has caused less angst than Nasri/Cesc debacle did last year. It seems to me that more fans were disappointed in RvP than they were disappointed or disenchanted with their club’s direction philosophy or current/impending activities in the transfer market – including promotion of youth players from within.

    4, I will prefer to pray that this season or next, AFC wins a significant title. I believe fantastic teamwork, hard work and consistent good luck in a balanced, skillful and well-coached team are what wins titles and not so much the total spend on the a team and its bench. I believe AFC is getting close to ticking all the boxes except the “luck” box and hence my decision to reveal that I am adding my prayers for the “luck” factor for them.

    5. I look forward to that day that, indeed, no player or shareholder will be able to singly or jointly blackmail the club and its skillful, robust and sustainable football playing and trophy winning model.

  50. JJ Pittman says:

    Wenger does an excellent job scouting and signing young talent, but, obviously, not to career-long contracts. Accordingly, we find ourselves in this position more often than most other clubs. The system favors any quality player who comes to the summer before his last contract year with any club.
    Because of RvP’s (deliberate?) clumsiness in his post, we must sell him as soon as possible on the continent.
    Evidently, Podolski and Giroud and more to come were not enough for him, so let him go, but not to Premiership.
    Make TV 5 captain and move on.
    Gooners Forever!

  51. […] 1)      A very pragmatic view  from @desigunner on RvP […]

  52. richie says:

    Hi Desi for me its simple, RvP’s family like living in England, his kids were born in England so the family feels at home in England, especially his Morrocan wife. RvP’s best mate was/is Nasri, who now gets £140K weekly more than the £80 RvP gets. RvP ain’t dumb he knows Arsenal will extend his contract by 2 years possibly 3, he also knows his footballing gravey train years are coming to an end. He could end up injuried again he ain’t getting any younger so he wants a nice fat end of playing career bonus contract for as long as possible. Nasri can tell him if he doesn’t already know that Shiek Mansur has money to burn, come and get some while you can. If he happens to win something too another bonus. Its why RvP will only want to agree personal terms where he wants to go. If it was up to me I’d sell his contract to whoever suits us best and let RvP work out his personal terms anyway he can.

    • richie says:

      The problem with trying to make RvP see out his contract is that he could so easily be a disruptive influence in the dressing room. Especially as after his message it would be virtually impossible for RvP to remain as captain. No we need him gone before pre-season just as he knew his message would force about that outcome.

    • Long Island Gunner says:

      If RVP plays spoilt brat like Nasri, I would keep him / play him in our first CL match to remove CL football from his year as “payback”. If he gets hurt or his next team doesn’t have CL Football, there are consequences for your actions – just ask Tevez.

  53. richie says:

    I joined this blog really late and so I’d just like to thank Santori because he managed without contacting me once to answer peoples post almost exactly as I belive I would have. Moreover he used logic as his weapon. Every point he made will be born out when we all have the benefit of hindsight. RvP has forced the clubs hand he will go. There is a chance Kroenke may intervene as he did with Nasri and so RvP may ultimately get his money move to Citeh. I too hope he goes off shore but wherever go he now must!

    • JJ Pittman says:

      The best part about this blog is Santori! Desi can be quite esoteric at times, but Santori always distills it and often with real humor.

  54. mike in africa says:

    Let’s keep it real. This is merely a distraction. Arsenal will not win a major trophy with or without him. Count on Wenger cashing in on Vermaelen after his one or two injury-free, stellar seasons coming.

    • richie says:

      @mike in africa whenever have you known Arsene Wenger to want to cash in on players he’s asked the board to buy? AW can rightly have a charge levelled at him that he holds on to players too long. Hell he even wanted to keep the treturous Nasri, but cashing in? No way! The only cashing in he does is after a player asks to leave, under those circumstances it would be hard not to cash in. I think your initials should stand for missing in action because it seems to you are.

      • mike in africa says:

        he fails to keep nasri and clichy and got good money for them. ok… not cashing in, happy? 🙂

  55. richie says:

    Missing in action where have you been living with the Maasai?
    We’ve had the bosman ruling for years now, gone are the days when a manager could force a player to stay. Players have all the power now. For example if RvP wants to go to Money City he simply won’t agree personal terms with any other club. Once that happens Arsenal as a club won’t have any choice but to cash in. Arsene Wenger as a coach wants to keep his best players especially as he’s often invested hugh amounts of time and energy into their developement, but if they insist on leaving or as was the case with Nasri & now RvP not signing a contract extension. Then no matter how much Arsene Wenger wanted to keep Nasri the owner Kroenke stepped in and said “No” I want him sold now because otherwise we’ll lose all of our investment next year. No club can keep a player against their will, the players understand they can force the club to cash in to get the move they want. Please tell us how Arsene Wenger or Arsenal could’ve kept either Clichy or Nasri?

  56. Madge says:

    Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for
    your further post thanks once again.

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