Never mind Robin – it’s Batman we need now
By Akinlolu Dairo
A compromise between self sufficiency and ambition is required
Looks like we are definitely going to need Batman now. Robin once again bites the dust and, to be honest, this feels just like the beginning of many to come. Two captains in a row looks too much to bear. Which leads me to my next line of thought - take all Arsenal players, line them up and ask each one of them without fear or favor if they would rather continue with the club and I think we might only have Jack Wilshere standing (and maybe Mr. Frimpong). I think, deep inside, they all want to leave, so every one of them just targets a season of superlative performance and then, Exodus.
The two sides have arguments to convince and confuse. Ivan Gazidis speaks about 'self-sustainability', that evil monster that has bedeviled the club for seven years now. It sounds like a plan every reasonable person should agree with. We shouldn't spend more than we earn. We shouldn't rely on oil money. We shouldn't have our fate in the hands of one man. But, of course, it's coming at a cost. A huge one at that. After all the love of last season, when Robin could not put a finger wrong, after all the songs, after all the praise, after all the adoration and adulation, he is still willing to throw all that away for the uncertainty of pastures new. That suggests a huge disconnect. The players no longer see reason with the club management.
The major purpose of a football club is to win trophies, and it looks like Arsenal has digressed from that purpose. We have had players who left because of obvious monetary rewards; we had one who left for love of another club. How do we explain this imminent departure? Love of trophies? We definitely cannot begrudge him for that. Just when it seems like the doom and gloom is all over, we get sucked right in again. I don't think he should be made to honour the last year of his contract. It's of no use. The love is gone. Allowing Vieira and Henry to leave marked the beginning of the exodus. It was when we admitted that we were incapable of winning trophies, it was when we signalled we could allow our best players to leave, that it gave players a marker to point at and say, 'If your greatest (arguably) legends could leave, how much more for me?'.
It's sad to see players whom Arsène and Arsenal have stood by during difficult times decline to repay the faith. Trust me, Diaby's next and wouldn't that leave us all in amazement if not amusement. It simply tells us one thing - of all these, Love, Faith, Loyalty, Trophies, Trophies is the greatest.
Something needs to be done; a middle ground, a compromise, needs to be reached. There has to be a way of keeping our best players and also keeping pace with the sustainability model. This 'doom of the captains' needs to be arrested. Captains represent the bloodlines of the team. The one who stands strong when every other falls, the one who motivates the team when everything looks bleak, the one who yells at the others, where the hell do you think you are going, I've been here for a hundred years!
Between 2005 when this trophy-demise commenced and now, Manchester United has had three captains with two hanging up their boots at the club and the third still in active service. Chelsea has had just one, and he's still very much in active service. Liverpool, with all their crises, have had just one as well. While darling Arsenal, the 'family' club, where everyone loves and looks out for one another and WAGS get together, has had a whopping five (Robin include) with NONE retiring from the club, every single one seeking greener pastures.
A sad indictment of all we stand for.
Forever a Gunner (even as it gets difficult season after season)
11th 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.
Rob 12:49pm 11th Jul 2012
"Between 2005 when this trophy-demise commenced and now, Manchester United has had three captains with two hanging up their boots at the club and the third still in active service. Chelsea has had just one, and he's still very much in active service. Liverpool, with all their crises, have had just one as well. While darling Arsenal, the 'family' club, where everyone loves and looks out for one another and WAGS get together, has had a whopping five (Robin include) with NONE retiring from the club, every single one seeking greener pastures. A sad indictment of all we stand for." Read and digest that comment. It sums up our 'on field' shortcomings in a nutshell. The causes lie 'off field'. But for a neat summation of all our 'on field' woes - that says it all. - Post No. 26659
The Noise 12:49pm 11th Jul 2012
"Two captains in a row looks too much to bear..." TWO captains?? Try FIVE mate... It's an embarrassment to the armband the way it's handed around like some type of emotional blackmailed pass the parcel! - Post No. 26660
Graham Simons 13:07pm 11th Jul 2012
Let's be honest - it was Henry NOT Vieira that led this captain exodus. Paddy was sold - he didn't want to leave. - Post No. 26663
Mark Rice 13:13pm 11th Jul 2012
Too True... but when our financial model was put in place there was no Oil Jockey or Russian Oily-git in sight but the club have no plan B now its clear that we have to follow suit and find a board trillionair that wants to have fun in London, which shows just how bad they are. I just would like to know WHY Fishman sold his shares to Stan as hye could see this coming lond before he sadly passed away? - Post No. 26664
g clarke 13:14pm 11th Jul 2012
maybe arsenal should have gone for the carl cup instead of giving the younsters arun out as they did for many years just to shut the tin cup mob up - Post No. 26665
Rickthegooner 13:20pm 11th Jul 2012
Fair article I don't understand why, like F1 for instance, when you have promising young talent joining the club. When you are buying potential, you don't sign them to a four or five year deal, ( like we do now ) but with an option to renew. In F1 the team get the right to renew the contract. It's referred to as " taking up his option " We take many player on at an age when it is far from certain that their potential will be realised. Make them commit to the club then, for being given that chance. By coming to us, not our rivals, they know they are more likely to get first team chances. It is possible some won't sign, but they will turn out to be the ones that fly the nest when it's time to repay anyway. - Post No. 26669
Any Old Iron 13:40pm 11th Jul 2012
Likeable read. We were also known as 'the Bank of England' club. In the days when Arsenal set the pace in the transfer market, and consequently-on the field. Not anymore. Alan Ball. Supermac were also record fees worthy of a great club paying to jostle with the rest. We lose players coz Wegner likes a pound note. He wants to excel in the fiscal side now. The loss of Vieira and Henry were premature. The cause was the club's refusal to inject funds to pursue further glory, and to raise wage levels in line with the 'movers & shakers'. I fear along with Batman, we'll need Spiderman this season(with all that implies), and Superman long term! - Post No. 26674
AugustusCaesar 13:49pm 11th Jul 2012
When we say captains we mean our best player really. Vieira was a great player and a great captain but Henry, Fabregas and Van Persie never had any captain material at all. Van Persie points to lack of ambition but him wanting to go clearly undermines that ambition (amongst some other things). So it's all self-perpetuating. Until we break the spiral of trophyless seasons our best players will want to leave. people say players leave for more money and I don't dispute this but the pull of a successful club is huge too. I'm not really sure what we can do about it other than sign players that will improve the team and work harder and motivate the the players on the training ground to improve them tactically and positionally. I am hoping Steve Bould can be an influence here. We don't really clamour after a sugar daddy who can simply throw money at the situation do we? We have bought players already this Summer and hopefully some more will arrive too. There are clearly signs we are prepared to go in to the transfer market more readily than we have done in previous seasons. If we sell RvP there'll be more money to improve the squad. I seem to be in a minority but I'm quietly optimistic for next season. - Post No. 26676
thomas 13:50pm 11th Jul 2012
what do the all those captains of liverpool, chelsea and united have in common? They are all English. It shows that we need to make a homegrown talent captain. Although there young wilshere or frimmy would be my candidates. it seems loyalty lies within the homegrown ones. this isnt a racist or discriminatory comment.(for the record i am black british of nigerian descent) - Post No. 26677
Ivan go home 14:33pm 11th Jul 2012
What really pi**es me off is that Arsene & Ivan told RVP not to say anything in May (pre membership and session ticket renewal), we then make 2 new signings, everyone renews and surprise surprise RVP issues his statement telling us he's leaving, but he was told not to say anything! I'm not being treated like a mugg, so have instructed my bank to recall the funds for my membership, told them I cancelled my membership several months agos and they were happy to get my money back, suggest fellow gonners do the same. It's all about lining Stan's pockets, so seems like the only way to get his attention is not to give him anymore of my money! Before the AKB's starting kicking off, I have no problem with Arsene, just Stan, Ivan and the Board - We want our Arsenal back!! - Post No. 26682
Ron 14:52pm 11th Jul 2012
Ask yourself whether any of these paragon 'Captains' who have left have been worth their salt? Id say no. one too special. English Club, shd have English Captain seems to be the way to keep Captains doesnt it? Makes sense too i say. Your 1st para sums it up. Money reigns supreme for all players now.Wilshere will get fit i suppose (one day) and them move on like all the rest. Im not totally sure why anybody bothers anymore about these players as they for sure dont give two hoots about you or any supporter mate and why should they? Arsenal like to think theyre a fountain of stability but the truth is, theyre no more stable than anyboy. The influx of foreigners and Wengers clear bias that way for at least 10 years now has made sure that the Club lost its substance, its soul and fabric years ago. Many fans are turning their back on the Club and football in general and rightly so. The Terry v Ferdinand thing on going as we speak tells much about the malaise and shabbiness that envelopes football today. Arsenal are just one part of the overall superficial edifice. Bye Bye Van Persie and any other that wants out. Sod off the lot of you. None will be truly missed or lamented. - Post No. 26683
Gooner SA 15:01pm 11th Jul 2012
Interesting article. Looka like RVP will go though. BTW, WELL DONE TO THE GOONER FOR BEING SHORTLISTED FOR THE FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS' FEDERATION FANZINE OF THE YEAR 2012! - Post No. 26684
Peter Wain 15:13pm 11th Jul 2012
You can only blance the management of the club for this. Sadly they either don't want to learn lessons or really are not bothered with the club. After all they have no shares and get paid judged on profits so it is not in their interest for them to see investments made in the first team. Usmanov may not be everybody's cup of tea but at least he seems to want to inject capital in the club. yank go home. - Post No. 26685
GbadeKunle. 15:40pm 11th Jul 2012
I beg to differ with u, money seems to be the greeatest motivation these days. i mean think Rooney, Ronaldo, tevez & whole lots of players ready go to Anzhi, Psg, Malaga, china, qatar & perhaps Mars for the huge pay check - Post No. 26688
maguiresbridge gooner 16:28pm 11th Jul 2012
I wonder how long that batman robin banner will remain hanging now that many believe robin has put a finger wrong that's if it hasn't already been removed.Apart from the players who are never going to be good enough, arsenal at the minute are just a stepping stone for those that are and those who do come good and there's not many of either at the club at the moment.Who's next ? it's widely believed whoever gets the armband and it's hard to disagree especially as you say Akinlolu they have one good season and 20 mil is dangled in front of the nose of the DDT and mr self sustainability and bye bye.Its a shame the way the captaincy is being treated as we know arsene never put much importance on it anyway preferring to have eleven captains and that philosophy hasn't done much good over the last eight years.The captaincy used to mean something ask Tony Adams. - Post No. 26690
ppp 17:27pm 11th Jul 2012
"the major purpose of a football club is to win trophies" that ridiculous and frankly laughable statement is what makes people like you sound like idiots. I'm sure you're a nice person in real life but if you really believe this then you can't possibly be a genuine football fan let alone an arsenal boy. Go and support City or Chelsea - they will welcome you i'm sure. - Post No. 26692
Johnny 21:51pm 11th Jul 2012
I say make wilshere captain. Build a team around him, he loves the club- I know he's young but so was Adams .. We need a gerrard / terry kind of captain - someone who actually would die for their club - arsene wenger is a joke.. He only makes these foreigners captain who don't give a **** about the club so he can try persuading them to stay.. AND THEY DON'T ANYWAY... - Post No. 26697
Joe S. 1:09am 12th Jul 2012
A good post, highlghting the dilemma of a club which if not in crisis has allowed itself to decline at the rate of one player per season. We all know that the present arsenal squad is not good enough to win anything, including a Carling Cup. I think the new away kit just about sums up our status, all superficial glitz with no real substance. Imagine how ridiculous Ramsey, Diaby, Santos, Song, Djour Theo etc. will look being 0-4 down at Old traffort wearing that thing. talk about wanting our club back. no real fans would ever have approved it. - Post No. 26699
keysifightingmethodmk 10:37am 12th Jul 2012
Wenger needs to look everbody in squad in the eye and ask how committed they are to Arsenal any hesitations tranfer list them .its time to kick arse with these ungratefull spoilt little scumbags.when a player comes out with the crap van pussie come out with it shows such a lack of respet that when he turns up for his meeting with gazidis steve bould should punch him in gut put him in a headlock and choke him out till he pisses himself . - Post No. 26704
Alsace Lorraine Du Totteridge 11:37am 12th Jul 2012
Well, when looking at all of our good players going through the revolving door to success and money, you have always to think, Oui, but does the new away kit have grace and beauty. Does it have "I don't know what?". Does it have "I literally cannot believe it". Does it have " I regret nothing?". Well my lovely friends, this one does. It is made of purple stripes and other dark colours, which I am assured, are the colours that many of our older supporters would like to see on the faces of the commercial department that approved the new kit. But I am forgetting myself. Have any of you spotted that the Managers complexion is not as it once was. My dears he looks at least one million years old. Can it be that he has spent too much of the close season on the Cote D'Azur, soaking up the rays? Never mind about Robin Van Persie, how can we get le boss to the beauty salon. That is the question we should all be asking ourselves. - Post No. 26705
maguiresbridge gooner 14:47pm 12th Jul 2012
Alsace never mind getting him to the beauty salon get him to his office and on the phone and get rid of the dross that he spent so long pampering at the arsenal beauty salon. - Post No. 26707
Bard 16:05pm 12th Jul 2012
The captaincy issues are irrelevant. Money and lack of ambition are the cancers in the club. Money is difficult in the post Chelski world but ambition should be the core of the club. Wenger+board have sacrificed that believing that medium term mediocrity will suffice. Unfortunately all it guarantees is a slow but steady decline. Last seasons heroics was built on the back of an exceptional year from RVP. Without proper investment in the side and a change of direction from Wenger, a top 6 awaits. The transfer window will tell us all we need about whether the club have grasped the nettle. - Post No. 26708
Nick 18:27pm 12th Jul 2012
To PPP, If the major purpose of a football club is not to TRY and win trophys , then what the hell is its purpose ?, no one says we have a divine right to win or expect to win silverware but by christ, we have every right to expect the buggers to TRY !!!!!!, the aim of being in any sport is to win , sometimes coming second, third, or fourth is laudable, but if its the height of your ambition , then you shouldnt be in whatever sport your in, and it seems to me that the bunch of shisters running our club now are more interseted in the balance sheet than the trophy cabinet. - Post No. 26716
Moscow Gooner 14:37pm 13th Jul 2012
PPP - the only point of a football club is to win matches and hence ultimately trophies. That s the most basic element in football from schoolboy level to the World Cup. Finance, aesthetic considerations etc are seconday. So what s your point? - Post No. 26783
20th May 2013
Online Ed: 4th place trophy and CL qualifier secured