But rather than focus on the goals and his contribution to Arsenal’s season, the focal points were on a much anticipated injury that never came and where he’ll play next season.
Van Persie’s refusal to discuss his contract or future became such fodder for speculation (much like the injury talk). However, it’s not unusual for players and clubs to not discuss contracts amid overtaking Spurs in a bid for a Champions League position.
However, the day that everyone knew was coming outside of N5 has come – RVP has finally ‘spoken’ and used the mature method by blogging about it rather than, say, a press conference where people could ask him questions.
“Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”
Do you feel respected? Does Wenger? Is RVP some kind of footballing genius who is in a position to tell the manager and board how to run a club?
Of course this war of the written word really kicked off with Usmanov weighing in. When did he even write this letter that was ‘mysteriously leaked’ just as the fans were all still reeling from the news that RVP was in fact about to do a runner? Is he pitting fans against each other? Against the board? Against Mr. Wenger? Is he using this moment to try and gain a better position for himself? Things to consider before taking up his cause…
But back to the Dutchman who kicked it all off. It seems all well and good to imagine nothing but staunch loyalty from players who were really made by their clubs.
And while I’m not saying that money isn’t a factor for City players most some, there is a deep desire to win things. That’s while we’re all watching. Players are no different. In fact, athletes’ competitive nature is far more ingrained that that tw*t next to you in the office always trying to one up you – on EVERYTHING. A player who is happy to sit on a bench watching the world go by is Wayne Bridge complacent. One that wants to contribute, and receive accolades for the talent they see in themselves is the one you want playing for you.
At the end of the day, none of this really matters. What’s important at this moment is what Arsenal needs to do going forward. Holding a player to their contract often seems petty. And there’s the question whether they’ll sulk and not give you their best. There is the fact that as they are playing for a new contract, they could really put themselves about. And not in the same saucy way some other footballers do.
There’s also the small matter of getting no compensation for a man who the vultures began circling this time last year.
Sticking with RVP could also mean holding onto someone who is definitely due injury. Not in some kind of karmic retaliation of course *awkward un-bitter pause*, but for the first time ever he managed 48 games in a season AND even averted injury throughout the Netherlands’ ‘lengthy’ Euro run. RVP is a delicate flower and cannot keep healthy for much longer.
If it were up to me, and it really should be, I’d get as much money as I could for him and invest in some more talent.
Giroud and Poldolski are decent acquisitions, but Wenger will have to dig a little deeper to fill the gap that RVP is about to leave.
And I don’t mean in his puffer jacket pockets. He’s got an eye for talent and a lot of influence as a manager to bring players in.
Wenger needs to start thinking about this season without RVP and how to put some big shiny trophies back into a very dusty cabinet.