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Van Persie set to become the latest in a long line of Arsenal stars to seek success elsewhere
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RVP - He leaves when he wants

By prolifik on July 7th, 2012 in Blow the whistle 22 comments
RVP - He leaves when he wants
Imminent exit - van Persie
Yet again, it would appear Arsenal are going to have to suffer the indignity of losing their best player, after star striker Robin van Persie announced that he will not be renewing his contract with the Gunners. With both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leaving in a massively drawn-out debacle which ended last August, it is almost inevitable that the Dutch goal machine, who won the PFA Player of the Year award last season, will be following suit. With just a year left on his contract the Arsenal board will know they must now cash in on their prized asset if they don’t want to watch him leave for nothing at the end of the season. The 28-year-old has stressed in no uncertain terms that he does not desire to play for Arsenal any more and that the club do not match his personal ambitions.

His words must have hit Arsenal fans like a dagger through the chest, coming from a man who was adored, idolised and worshipped by all Gooners last season, with their famous “He scores when he wants” chant often heard ringing round the Emirates. At times last season, it would be fair to say that van Persie almost single handedly won them games and was the main reason they qualified for the Champions League, weighing in with a staggering 37 goals. Arsenal fans must surely now be wondering, what now? How will they cope without their captain and main man to carry them through? In truth, without RvP’s goals they would have been languishing in the lower reaches of the table last season.  

The only real light at the end of the tunnel is that the announcement has come out early, which may give them a chance to prevent what happened last season, where Fabregas and Nasri ended up leaving just before the transfer window closed leaving manager Arséne Wenger with very little time in which to recruit additional players to bolster the squad. In the end of course, Wenger did manage to bring in five new players but they were not of the same ilk as the two that left the club. Cashing in on van Persie sooner, rather than later, could give Wenger the funds he needs for the almost impossible task of finding a replacement.

Of course, Arsenal have already recruited German international Lucas Podolski and France hit-man Olivier Giroud, so they will at least have some attacking options if van Persie does depart. But they will both have to settle in pretty quickly if they’re going to be worthy substitutes for the phenomenal Dutchman.  

The fact this has happened to Arsenal yet again, must now beg the question, why? Why do Arsenal’s top stars seem to feel the need to move on in order to fulfil their ambitions in football? What gives them the impression that they cannot win trophies playing for Arsenal, under the tutelage of Arséne Wenger? 

Well, following on from a meeting he had with Wenger and Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis, van Persie claimed they disagree in many ways about the way the club should move forward. From that we can deduce he was looking for some assurances that Arsenal will be able to help him fulfil his ambitions of winning trophies. Those were evidently not offered to him in that meeting by Wenger or Gazidis. The most likely interpretation of this has to be that this was to do with investment in the squad and bringing in top quality talent.

Over the past few seasons it has become evident that Arsenal are not willing to splash the cash on big name players to help them compete for major trophies and keep to a very tight budget when it comes to transfers and players’ wages. This has made it hard for them to compete with the big spenders of the Premier League like Manchester City and Chelsea.

Following van Persie’s announcement, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov came out with a rather damning indictment of the clubs transfer policies and the way in which their finances are run. Usmanov sent a letter to the board talking of a conflict between supporter’s expectations the board’s vision for the club. It suggested that the majority shareholder Stan Kroenke had been sold a vision by the board at a time when the club could be successful without the need for heavy investment.

This has resulted in the financial juggling act that Arséne Wenger currently finds himself in, having to run a very tight ship, selling top players in order to bring in the cash required to keep up the repayments for the stadium debt. Not an ideal situation for any club hoping to win major trophies. This policy has in fact led to Arsenal losing many of their top level players over the years, in some cases to rival clubs, leaving other players to question the direction of the club and creating the impression that they too need to leave in order to fulfil their potential.  

Usmanov’s letter also indicated that Arsenal’s consistent refusal to match offers put to their players from other clubs had resulted in many stars being tempted away from Emirates on the grounds they could earn more money and win more trophies elsewhere. You could go back as far as the Ashley Cole saga for an example of when this first started to happen to the Gunners. Cole left Arsenal for Chelsea back in 2006 and has since claimed that he almost crashed his car after hearing the meagre offer that Arsenal made him for a new contract. Chelsea offered him a lot more money and this, to Cole, was clearly a statement of intent and ambition by the Blues and may have swayed him into deciding he could win more trophies by leaving. This left Cole to be thrust into a status as a figure of hate for the Arsenal faithful, with a feeling that he had betrayed the club that had nurtured him through the early part of his career.

But perhaps this was an early sign of things to come for the Gunners. The following year Thierry Henry left to join Barcelona, in a move which broke the hearts of all the Arsenal fans, who were understandably reluctant to see the man who had been their hero for several years depart for pastures new. But the supporters accepted it, as Henry had given the club almost eight years of fantastic service.  

Moving onto more recent times, the exodus at Arsenal really began to snowball when Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré both left for the greener pastures of Man City back in 2009. Two years later left-back Gael Clichy followed suit to become the third Arsenal player to join the City revolution, before Nasri made it a foursome last summer in a move that really angered the Arsenal faithful, who this time installed the French winger as their latest hate figure.  

Cesc Fabregas’ transfer to Barcelona was one that, much like the Henry move, was expected and Arsenal fans once again had to accept that the Spaniard had done his time having given a good eight years of service and they understood that he wanted to go back to his boyhood club. In reality though, he may have just wanted to go to a club where he felt he a more realistic chance of winning trophies.  

The main worry for Gunners fans now is that van Persie will also be Man City bound. This would be an incredibly bitter pill to swallow as they desperately try to cling onto the belief that they can still compete with the big guns of the Premier League. But after finishing 19 points behind City, the eventual title winners, that belief is slowly beginning to ebb away.  

In truth, what Usmanov said was spot on. Unless the board are prepared to change their transfer policy and make some funds available for serious investment, not just in new players, but also in keeping the ones they’ve already got, then the Gunners future as a Champions League club is surely in doubt. There’s only so much longer that Wenger, as great a manager as is, will be able to continue achieving such high positions, whilst every year losing key players. Arsenal were very fortunate to qualify for the Champions League last year, even with the luxury of having van Persie firing on all cylinders for the whole season - it took a monumental collapse from North London rivals Tottenham to see them secure third place.  

Sadly for the Gunners, the way the club is being currently run is geared toward maintaining their status as a Champions League qualifier. That is about as far as the board’s ambition stretches. As for winning trophies, this is clearly not something that those in a position of influence are concerned with, hence the past seven years without any silverware yet still no dramatic investment or change of philosophy. The problem is though, as Arsenal’s top players begin to realise that the ambitions of the powers that be only stretch so far, they will also want away and sooner or later this will inevitably result in Arsenal losing the very status that is currently keeping them afloat.





Contributed by richbrawn1
By prolifik on July 7th, 2012 in Blow the whistle

RVP - He leaves when he wants
22 responses
Pradip
21 Jul, 2012
I hate to say it but that line Arshavin’s 4-goal haul at Anfield has brought him to pliubc attention after a relatively low-key start to his Arsenal career just shows you have no idea aboutthe player or what he's done since arriving (maybe you don't watch much of Arsenal outsside the CL?).There's a reason the fans were so disappointed he wasn't in the starting lineup on Saturday he's been pretty much the best player on the pitch whenever he's played which isn't so surprising when you know just how good he is. And he will be etter next year. Whether Arsenal will ..
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2 Aug, 2012
I hate to say it but that line Arshavin’s 4-goal haul at Anfield has brought him to pubilc attention after a relatively low-key start to his Arsenal career just shows you have no idea aboutthe player or what he's done since arriving (maybe you don't watch much of Arsenal outsside the CL?).There's a reason the fans were so disappointed he wasn't in the starting lineup on Saturday he's been pretty much the best player on the pitch whenever he's played which isn't so surprising when you know just how good he is. And he will be etter next year. Whether Arsenal will ..
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I hate to say it but that line Arshavin’s 4-goal haul at Anfield has brought him to pulbic attention after a relatively low-key start to his Arsenal career just shows you have no idea aboutthe player or what he's done since arriving (maybe you don't watch much of Arsenal outsside the CL?).There's a reason the fans were so disappointed he wasn't in the starting lineup on Saturday he's been pretty much the best player on the pitch whenever he's played which isn't so surprising when you know just how good he is. And he will be etter next year. Whether Arsenal will ..
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I hate to say it but that line Arshavin’s 4-goal haul at Anfield has brought him to puiblc attention after a relatively low-key start to his Arsenal career just shows you have no idea aboutthe player or what he's done since arriving (maybe you don't watch much of Arsenal outsside the CL?).There's a reason the fans were so disappointed he wasn't in the starting lineup on Saturday he's been pretty much the best player on the pitch whenever he's played which isn't so surprising when you know just how good he is. And he will be etter next year. Whether Arsenal will ..
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Adewale
5 Sep, 2012
It annoys me that I have to think hard about pyanig a340-a360 to go to a game but a player like Theo picks up around 50k a week at present (I think). They the seem quite flippant about being fairly average. I'd like to see stronger management where we won't even entertain these salaries unless you perform to a high standard like Cesc, Thierry or Bobby Pires did week in week out. The money we offered Adebayor, Nasri or Flamini for 6months of good performances was a joke and has resulted in the overpaid pampered squad we currently have.Sorry, I'm in a bad mood, my accountants just told me what Tax I have to pay for the last year, think I'd better take the cat to Monaco and divert some funds. 13 0
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