When news broke out, via Robin Van Persie’s twitter, that he would not sign a new contract, fans around the world reacted in several ways. Some fans sent him good luck messages, thanking him for the brilliant season he had and his important 36 goals he scored for the Gunners this season. Other reacted by sending him abuse, informing him that Arsenal had stuck with him over his seven injury-prone years, therefore he owed everything to Arsenal. Whereas a minority of fans, like myself, were to shocked about the whole event to even comment.
The flying Dutchmen, who contributed to over 40 goals for Arsenal this season, convinced me that he was a Gunner at heart with his comments back in 2009, thanking Arsenal and its supporters for the support. While signing a new contract Van Persie added:
“My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt. I just can’t see it now because I love this Club so much. If you look at the last five years, look at the steps I have made every season, if you look at the support the Boss and the whole Club gave me, the fans gave me, my team mates gave me – this is the right decision.”
This is what really confused me, as a passionate fan, there is nothing better than having the reassurance that your top players’ love their clubs and can’t picture themselves in “another shirt”. Although, Van Persie was not the star he is today, back in the 2008/2009 season, he scored just 13 Premier league goals, compared to his 37 this season.
During the 07/08 season, Robin played just 8 full 90 minutes of football for Arsenal. Injury problems to say the least. This season he has played 45 full 90 minute games. Proving that Wenger stuck by an injury-prone player for 7 years, because he believed that he has talent. which Robin has proved. But, for how long can this spell continue?
On the other hand, to say that Robin only had seven terrible seasons and this is his first good season, would be a tad bias. Van Persie has always shown a subtle hint of talent to the fans, his perfect volley against Charlton is just one example of many.
Another Gooner theory going around twitter is “the curse of the captains armband” this also interested me, Gallas, Henry, Cesc, etc have all left after a season of being captain of Arsenal. In my opinion it is a case of over-inflated ego’s. When a player receives the captaincy they are supposed to the pressure, as they have an important role of keeping the team together. In these cases, at Arsenal, it seems to make the players feel like they are bigger than the club. This is reflected in RVP’s statement:
“My goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details”
So, in short, Robin is saying that he does not think the current team, can win trophies. Which, I think is a bit of a kick in the teeth, when like I said earlier, the team have supported him over several years that he has not been the first choice striker. In addition to this, the players now have to go into pre-season training, (with Robin) with the mentality that they are not good enough to win trophies at Arsenal.
Although, when I heard this news, I decided it was not all doom and gloom as it would be much better to sell Van Persie, overseas, before his contract ends, so that Arsenal can bag some more cash, to invest further into the team. This, would be beneficial as we can gain some more money as a team, buy new players and begin building a new squad for the new season, instead of having Robin rotting on the bench, losing value and bringing down the teams mentality.
The further good news for Arsenal is that Wenger had already planned in case this happened, unlike last season. I’m confident that Giroud can develop into a confident number 10 for us. Giroud will also add more support to our growing attack force. This will give us several options next season. Although, we must sort out Walcott’s contract, pretty soon. We do not want a similar situation to the one we have had with Robin Van Persie recently.
Therefore, I feel that if Robin does leave, we will bring in another, well proven striker to replace him. Twitter rumours have linked a move from FC Barcelona, for a swap, plus money deal for David Villa. I would welcome this deal, but see it as unlikely, as I can see Wenger looking to buy someone younger than Villa (30) with more potential, like he did with Robin.
For me, Lewandowski would be the perfect replacement, the 23 year old had a brilliant last season, contributing to over 30 goals for Borussia Dortmund, in a competitive league. Sadly, I doubt Dortmund would sell another young star, with Kagawa already gone and Piszczek receiving high interest from several clubs.
Overall, in my opinion, I feel if Robin makes it clear in his next meeting (this week) that he definitely wants to leave Arsenal, then Arsene must work hard in the early stages of this transfer market to sort out a new, proven, striker. Also, I feel we must sign a DM, who plays the majority of his game defensively, to help let Arteta and Song, continue to be creative in the Centre of the pitch, or Wilshere, who is expected to be back at the early stage of next season.
Hopefully, Wenger is still interested in M’Vila, as he would be the perfect man for the job, in my opinion. Making over 100 successful tackles last season and with a passing accuracy of 83%, he seems like the perfect player to step up to the position. I also feel that Wenger should aim to sign a RB, who can also play CB. Although Sagna is consistently brilliant, he doesn’t have many strong back ups, with Jenkinson, who I don’t feel is ready for first team football yet. In my opinion, a player like Micah Richards, would be perfect as he plays both, centre and right back confidently.
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