How do you solve a problem like Robin?
By Mike Paterno
Van Persie fallout
Let me just start by saying ‘surprise, surprise’. The inevitable has happened. Yet another Arsenal captain has decided to call it time. It seems to have become an Arsenal default - a player has some speculation over his future, so what shall we do? I know, give him the armband. That will solve it.
Like most of you, your first notification of the RvP statement came from (a) Spurs fans, (b) a southern Man U fan or (c) a fellow depressed Gooner. Mine came from option(b), a Man U fan that loves the club but has never actually set foot in Manchester (not that there are many of them who have!).
After reading the statement on Robin van Persie's official website, many thoughts were flying through my head. Firstly, that I gave it ten minutes before Samir Na$ri issued a plea for RvP to 'join him'. But what seemed to annoy me more was the manner of the statement and what appeared to be a lack of respect (not towards Gazidis, because if he is on a two-week holiday when he should be sorting out contacts, then he deserves it). Although I should say that Arsenal’s communications director, whose name escapes me, did Tweet last night saying he is not on holiday. It is a business venture. But to Wenger, the man who stood by him through all of his injuries. Phil McNulty, the BBC sports writer, wrote a good piece good piece about the statement and he seemed to agree that there was a lack of respect.
But the worst is yet to come I fear. If RvP does leave this summer, then who will it be to? Barca? Madrid? Juve? Or, dare I say, it City? I would like to think that the club would have got bored of selling players to City, but if they offer a good sum who knows? There was another piece in the Mirror this morning where the writer states that, if he goes abroad, he may keep his alleged status. Go to City and he just becomes another hate-figure. (There appears to be a growing list).
Worst of all for RvP, if Arsenal stick by their statement last night to make him see out his contract, then he could become a villain with the Arsenal faithful. This is not like Cesc, where he revealed his desire to re-join one day his boyhood club. We have been told that this is it, there will be no extension. I fear that may not go down too well if, on the opening day of the season, his name is announced, much like Na$ri endured.
Therefore, I think RvP has been a little clever. In many ways, he has cut all links. The bit about saying I will always love the fans coming just after saying he wants out is a bit like that awkward break-up where the other half says 'it’s over, but I will always love you' and then, as Kate Winslet did to Leo in Titanic, pushes you to the bottom of the ocean never to be heard from again.
The next week will be an interesting one. The club needs to act fast and resolve the situation, but, in my opinion I feel time is up, cash in. I'm sure the CEO will agree after his pockets are burning from Poldoski and Giroud.
Whilst I am writing this, my Twitter feed has gone crazy with reports that Alisher Usmanov has written a strongly-worded letter to the Arsenal board, although I can imagine this being like school, when your teacher gives you a letter to take to your parents about your behaviour and it strangely disappears (although I would just like to say that, if my Dad reads this, I’m talking about my friend!). Just put it in the filing cabinet under ‘shredding’.
Whatever happens, we should though remember that Robin has been a great servant to the club and has hung around during the trophyless years. I just believe the board needs to be sensible and try and sort out this mess, and, on a last note, don’t forget that Rooney ‘quit’ United and then signed.
7th July 2012
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
GunnerPete 11:13am 7th Jul 2012
I think it is simple. Arsene saved RVP's bacon when his club wanted to get rid...he then carried on paying RVP for contributing sod all. Now he has the one season Arsene thought he may have every year...he wants out. SELL HIM ASAP FOR AS MUCH AS POSS. Arsene has already replaced his scoring with two top players....all we need now is the same sense in defence and we are smoking for next season. Oh and if we buy a world class CB like Chiellini...then lets use Kossy as our DMF in tandem with Song. - Post No. 26404
Moscow Gooner 11:26am 7th Jul 2012
Peter Hill Wood says Arsenal can t compete with the cash that City have from their Abu Dhabi supporters: that s been clear for a long time, so since Arsenal are in the enviable position of having other richer shareholders waiting in the wings, he and Kroenke should step aside in the interests of the club, sell up - and take Le Cretin with them. Usmanov has the cash available. This is simple business sense: you don t allow the club to slowly run down while the competition surge ahead. There is so much self-serving bull**** pumped out by the club surrounding the so called 'self sustainability' model. If that model had applied throughout Arsenal s history we would now be a Conference South club playing somewhere in the vicinity of Woolwich. Even if you believe that Arsenal is now a business not a football club, as Kroenke and co. seem to, it makes no sense not to invest in that business (and the brand) and simply allow competitors to disappear over the horizon. They seem to have decided to preside over a process of long term decline, milking returns off the current asset base when and where they can and gambling that year after year against the odds, we ll somehow make it into the UCL. How long is that spin of the wheel going to come off? Last season it came down to a dodgy keeper at WBA... This year? Only an empty stadium - or at least a stadium that is a constant hotbed of dissent and rebellion - is going to force them out. They will have to go - it s just a matter of 'when'. Dennis Hill Wood must be spinning in his grave when he sees what his son has done to the club he nurtured for so long - for the sake of 5 million quid... - Post No. 26407
olumoye samson 11:28am 7th Jul 2012
i believe RVP is right by his argument with the club. I think the club(arsenal fc) should put their house in order by investing heavily into the club like others do if they wan't to win trophy next season...Up GUNNERS! - Post No. 26408
gooner_girl 12:06pm 7th Jul 2012
The Captain's not the problem, the board is and has been for years. Get rid before our club declines beyond saving. - Post No. 26412
Arsenal and Proud 12:18pm 7th Jul 2012
We are in the middle of a global recession, it would be madness to spend obscene amounts of money we don't have. I would rather we service our debt and try and compete the sensible way. i have supported arsenal before the wenger years i still remember lean times. This club we still be competing long after the billionaires get bored of their playthings. - Post No. 26414
Yahaya sun 12:29pm 7th Jul 2012
It will be a sad moment for all arsenal fans if they allow rvp to leave the club, and all dis mess is coming from the bored - Post No. 26415
RVP 14:59pm 7th Jul 2012
I fully support Robin as I believe that's the only way the Club will ever listen. I am not spending a penny on Arsenal anymore and the frustration of the fans should be let known!!!!! - Post No. 26420
Robin in Manchester 15:35pm 7th Jul 2012
Dear Arsene Im not sticking around here because ive got more chance of winning the lottery than winning trophies. Nobody can blame me for that and certainly not the fans. So good luck on another season of transition. all the best Robin - Post No. 26421
James 16:34pm 7th Jul 2012
You can blame the players for leaving all you want Vieira Cole Henry Cesc Clichy and Nasri but take a look at the medals they have won.RVP wont be the last out the door.But the real blame is Wenger and the shareholders who sold their shares to Kroenke.Usmanov would have been our Abramovich and more.Kroenke should stick to running American teams.Everything RVP and Usmanov said is what the majority of fans have said in the last 7 years.The footbal club lacks ambition on the pitch - Post No. 26422
Nutty's Right Peg 16:40pm 7th Jul 2012
Van Persie's statement was justified,but Arsenal are run solely as a business now,so I cannot believe they will simply allow an "asset" to leave in 12 months time for zilch. Take the money & buy a decent defender & some quality in midfield, for when Jack's return to the side is inevitably delayed yet again. Twenty million quid for a bloke who's pushing 30 & had one decent season in eight sounds like a good deal to me. What bugs me though is the club will simply use the dosh to finance payment on a stadium we were told we needed to compete with the very sides we're slipping further behind. If you want a good laugh,check out Hill-Wood's comments in Saturday's Guardian,the man's a bafoon of the higest order,claiming things aren't all that bad & that it's not as if we've gone down. Usmanov holds around 30% shares in the club, yet isn't on the board.Wenger gets a say in who his boss is,& we have an owner who tells the manager he has a job for life,so no pressure whatsoever for Arsene. As they say,you couldn't make it up. - Post No. 26423
Highbury Boy 18:42pm 7th Jul 2012
How can you or McNulty say that RVP showed lack of respect for Wenger? It was made clear by RVP in the meeting with Wenger in May that he would not sign a contract extension but the parties agreed to keep it quiet (for tkt renewal reasons). Then Wenger comes out with the quote that he has stood by RVP and expects him to stay.Is RVP supposed to continue to stay silent? Will Wenger now confirm we are officially a selling club,with our best customer being Man City?Btw I see that we are still unable to sell Denilson so he's on loan again. What's the odds on us re-lending Vela and Arshavin? Sunderland don't want Nic so we'll have to find a new home for him. Also if there are no buyers for Chamakh and Park I presume there will be further loan outs "to gain experience" but really to get someone to help towards their wages and just hope their form improves to assist a sale before their long term contracts end. Wenger's reign is coming to a messy ending which is a shame after his glorious first few years. - Post No. 26426
Kroenke killing our club 18:47pm 7th Jul 2012
The worst thing that ever happened to Arsenal was to have an owner who doesnt think winning trophies is important yet charges the highest ticket prices in the world.Thanks Enos.Great players will not stay at a club whose only ambition is making money and not spending it.Do you really think Enos is upset that RVP is going.He bought 2 strikers for £20m and will sell RVP for £25m =Profit of £5m.Thats whats its all about.We are fans of a PLC not an FC - Post No. 26427
Big Andy 19:21pm 7th Jul 2012
The problem that we have at the club right now is a chronic lack of leadership and management. We have an owner who only cares about profits, and simply doesn't understand the traditions and expectations of a club like ours. We have a CEO who is worse than useless, and is in the pocket of the manager. And we have a manager who is very talented but needs to be managed and controlled when necessary. Wenger has far too much power, and whenever he screws up there appears to be nobody big enough to tell him what's what. We are going nowhere at the moment. - Post No. 26428
Sarf Lunden 23:13pm 7th Jul 2012
I just hope we get £20 million+ for RVP and he can then spend the rest of his career with Nasri and the rest of the Citeh squad playing "my bank balance is bigger than yours". They might win the lot but like Chelski the club will always be more about the owners money.If you took away the massive amounts of money pumped into Citeh and Chelski then you'd have two Mickey mouse clubs still dreaming of their moment in the sun back in the seventies. Two points worth remembering. Even with all the money thrown at them Citeh only won the league on goal difference. Chelsea finished sixth in the league and got lucky in Europe. So cheers Robin and thanks for the season. I hope your money makes you happy - doesn't seem to be working for Nasri, Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge, Dzeko.... - Post No. 26430
gooner1711 0:41am 8th Jul 2012
Me fears civil unrest v sunderland........AKB v AMG.....or similar, we all agree that the board must go so rather than fight internally, let's channel that into IMG or SMG.... - Post No. 26433
johnnyhawleylovinggooner 1:21am 8th Jul 2012
gunnerpete is spot on. will red n'white refund the club or load it with debt if they got control :PW has a point :why sell to someone who cannot improve the situ without running up more debt? better to be the club which history shows ran a tight ship than the one that won the European Cup but went cap in hand to various stock markets or won 9 in a row and ended up begging to be let in at the lowest level.Oh you solve it by selling now, and the rest of the on yearers, and make sure it never happens again - Post No. 26434
Joe S. 1:39am 8th Jul 2012
Hasn'y everything that needs to be said on this issue already been said. RVP is leaving it doesn't really matter to who?Rumours are that Arsenal have finished their shopping for this season so we all know what to expect on the playing field. A compromised manager with an ever dwindling set of ideas hoping to turn swine into pearls or at least con the punters into believing that the people in charge share the fans' passion." Things are really OK; TRUST US" - Post No. 26435
Patrick Khoo 4:36am 8th Jul 2012
Sell him for a minimum of £30 million hopefully if we can manoeuvre it.... To a foreign club n use the money to buy well....we do need a goalkeeper(either hugo lloris or Emilio viviano),a versatile centre-half who can adapt as full back cover(jan vertonghen or mapou yanga mbiwa would be fine)a defensive midfielder who can adapt as defensive cover(etienne capoue or yann villa.....despite disciplinary issues should reconsider if price is lower).I have seen videos of etienne and I prefer his versatility in that he can be used as the primary defensive midfielder but with license to venture upfield on occasions with Alex Song covering on a rotating basis but with Alex playing the advanced midfield role more often just like Patrick Viera and Gilberto De Silva used to do. We need a midfield general or creative midfielder who is fast and can dribble with good passing abilities(younes bellhanda if available, Marco Reus (bargain at buy out price as can be sold for big profit like luka Modric if he should leave in later years),!Stevan jovetic or Ibrahim Afellay . With Van Persie cash we can buy Robert Lewandowski or Seydou Doumbia. I am sure Wenger has others in mind ( leave it to his good judgement) but basically these positions have to be covered with these purchases . These investments can be done without spending over the top silly money but can be recouped by prize dividends from winning tournaments! - Post No. 26436
Peter Wain 7:11am 8th Jul 2012
The problem with the way our club is run is that we do not compete to win anything. The omly cmpetition we have is to remain in the top four and retain CL position. Competing to win something is what other teams do. You cannot argue with Usmanov (for what ever reason he is saying it) that our top players continue to leave and their replacements are not as good. Last year we bought a german centre half who could not turn or run. The centre of the defnce since the retirement of Campbell has been soft and goals are conceded regularly and in numbers. When was the last time we had three consecutive clean sheets in the league? We have a left back who has no idea of positional play and his lack of ability does not help the middle of the defence. Where are the replacments to improve the situation. No centre half on the horizon and no left back either. So how will we be strong than last year. The midfield lacks any defensive capability to shield the defemce. Song spends more time trying to prove he can make the hollywood pass rather than shield the back four. The lack of pace in the mid field also means that we are very vunerable when we have a corner. Where is the strengthening in this department? None just a vague hope that Diaby willremain fit and Wiltshire will return so time this season. Up front we have bought two players. One failed at Bayern Munich and was so poor in Euro 2012 that he was subsituted at half time. The other could noit get into a very indifferent Fench side. And now we lose our one world class player and have again been lied to by the management so that we renew our season tickets. Mr Hillwood is correct that it is difficult to compete with Man City for players but we are not competing for players with Liverpool, The Scum and a host of other teams who do not have our advantages. The board seem to take it as a badge of honour tht we will not compete for top players but are happy to charge top prices for second rate rubbish. Now we have Mr Wenger's defienat statement that he will not buy big. Ok don't buy big buy better and get the players in needed to stengthen a squad to allow it to compete fot at least one trophy per season. If you are notprepared to do this then please go and take the owner with you. - Post No. 26437
David the Price is right 10:43am 8th Jul 2012
You solve the Robin problem by being constantly associated with top players who would demand top fees and wages, then negotiate downwards never getting your man or keeping him. Scandalous cornershop mentality by Wenger and his backers. When are people going to believe that the economic outlook of the club is partly Wenger driven. He will NEVER PAY TOP DOLLAR, ever! Bye bye City, Chelsea, Utd, nice rear you have, and anyone else who put their money where it matters. - Post No. 26440
Chris 13:25pm 8th Jul 2012
Agree with both statements on the rvp saga. While i totally agree with the club being self sustained, it only works if we keep our top players. That means Wenger spotting the talent and nurturing them. But while we keep acting as a feeder club to Man City then our self sustained model has to be either questioned or tore up. It's as though we are the little kid in the classroom who keeps getting picked on. Time to stand up to these bullies ! More investment and more backbone. Remember, we built the stadium to 'compete', not to line some Yankee's pockets. Up the Arse. :) - Post No. 26442
Calling occuPANTS of interplanetary craft 13:33pm 8th Jul 2012
''We've been observing your Emirates, and we'd like to say how average it looks.'' This is major Tom to ground control you've really made a mess, and now our spaceship doesn't know which way to go. This is now our life on MyARSe! - Post No. 26443
Ramgun 15:15pm 8th Jul 2012
For the umpteenth time The Board are window-dressing. They have no power and no shares. Kroenke owns the club and he has given absolute power to Wenger. Sir Chips and the rest of the deadbeats get nice seats on match-day. - Post No. 26447
GoonerRon 15:33pm 8th Jul 2012
@ Peter Wain - you say we don't compete to win anything? Isn't that just largely bollocks? In this well documented 'trophy drought' we have been to a CL final, two domestic finals, some league title run in's (one game away from a title win in 2008, ironically when RVP was injured for over half a season) and been in a number of semi finals, all overlaid with CL qualification every year. You must have a different definition of 'competing' to me. - Post No. 26448
maguiresbridge gooner 15:46pm 8th Jul 2012
The problem with robin and all the others and the ones still to come will never be solved until this manager changes his philosophy or his bosses tell him to (thats if he has any)and if the report in the sunday sun today is anything to go by that is not going to be any time soon.Maybe more respect could have been shown from both sides anyway the days of respect and indeed loyalty have long gone especially towards the fans.Robin wants out get rid just like the others before him it's not players leaving or wanting to leave that pisses myself and all other fans off it's the reasons why.Yes the situation needs to be resolved asp can we really see him being held to his contract and lose £20 25 mil ? the DDT and ivan would not be happy with that. - Post No. 26450
Peter Wain 16:34pm 8th Jul 2012
Why does someone in the club not ask what is the reason for all our top players wanting to leave. It cannot be a coincidence that every season this happens. Surely it must have occured to the management that this has to be stopped. But no every summer transfer window the story is of our stars wanting to leave. I do not think that you can blame them all some blame the majority in my opinion rests with our appalling management. - Post No. 26451
GoonerGoal! 19:01pm 8th Jul 2012
Just as long as Wenger, Kroenke, and Gazidis remain in charge of the fortunes of Arsenal FC we shall be what we have become, a second level feeder club for the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona. The Wenger/Kroenke/Gazidis supporters can deny it as much as they like... oh wait a minute, they can't can they? That's exactly what we have become under them, a second level feeder club, and that's exactly where they prefer us to remain! - Post No. 26454
David the Price is right 20:28pm 8th Jul 2012
@GoonerRon Whilst what you say about competing is undeniably correct, there were transfer windows where the steadfast, no u-turn, blinded economics meant the player/s needed to turn/stem the tide were not added. Terrible management, and as a field battleplan suicidal. I don't recall any victories either. ****e substitutions, and self destruct buttons pressed. Arsenal are always there for the taking now in one-off games. The ratio in this respect against us is huge. Wenger is a busted flush. No balls. OUT PLEASE. Yank too! - Post No. 26478
tpm 12:36pm 9th Jul 2012
gooner ron. competing, 2 league cup finals hardly count. cl final, fair enuff and 2008 league. thats it. no other realistic league tilts, or CL runs when we genuinely though we had a chance. so we competed twice in 8 years for meaningdul non joke trophies...is that really good enough? - Post No. 26539
GoonerRon 15:35pm 9th Jul 2012
@ tpm - '2 league cup finals hardly count' - I'd argue they do. The League Cup is all Liverpool have got to not be in a 6 year trophy drought, not forgetting the mighty Spuds who without their League Cups would be in the midst of a 21 year trophy drought. Whilst we faltered we were also in with a shout of the league in 2010/11, and were in CL SF and FA Cup SF in 2009 too. I'm not saying it is good enough as I would have loved for us to get over the line in one/some of these, but it is certainly evidence we have competed. - Post No. 26561
15th May 2013
Online Ed: Job done in final home game of the season