By Cambridge Gooner
The Sale of RVP will improve the squad as a whole
While many of us may have been expecting the sale of RvP to Manchester United, it is nevertheless a very bitter pill to swallow. Summer after summer, I have been saddened by the loss of players I have idolised, blindly defended and loved (in a roundabout way). Why does RvP hurt more than any of the others? Is it because, in eight years of faithful support, he thought one season was ample repayment? Partly. Is it because he was our club captain and best player? Less so; we expect as much. To me, the most painful part of the whole split is that the Arsenal management think it’s acceptable to sell a 30 goal-a-season striker to a Premiership rival and (aside from Spurs) our biggest enemy. This is a move that announces to the tide of smug, glory-hunting, classless know-nothing ManUre fans that we accept defeat – Man U are now, and will always be, better than us. Furthermore, it cements our position in the fourth place mini-league with odious company like Spurs and Liverpool. Chelsea have Torres, Man City have Aguero, Man U have Rooney AND Robin Van Persie, and we have one Frenchman who’s every bit as proven as a certain hapless Moroccan.
RvP is to me like the ex-girlfriend who could do things that no other girl could. Were he out of sight, he would most definitely be out of mind; unfortunately, we will be forced to run into him and his new boyfriend at least twice a year. This is likely to be an awkward affair as we acknowledge the fact that, while he may not be as good-looking as us, he has more money, a nicer car and gives RvP more than we ever could. We will be left with the sense of rancour and envy at how the newly-acquired premier league medal brings out the shine in Robin’s Judas-brown eyes. While ex-girlfriends get a forced politeness and deference, I suspect that Robin’s return to the Emirates will not be received so magnanimously.
Light at the end of the tunnel
I may sound like a complete madman, but I firmly believe that the departure of RvP may improve the squad as a whole.
RvP was like an object of immeasurably large mass in the centre of our team; the ball was drawn towards him, often when other players were in better positions. This effect may have resulted in the lack of belief and conviction exhibited by our other players when facing an opportunity to score. The likes of Chamakh - excellent in front of goal early in his Arsenal career when RvP was fulfilling his usual role (captaining the injury list) - are afraid to even attempt to score. This fear of shooting is a trait exhibited by every Arsenal player, with the possible exception of Vermaelen, Arteta and the Ox. In a team with a truly shared responsibility for scoring, the players may believe that they have just as much chance of succeeding as any other, and are less likely to be distracted by a gangly Dutch black hole.
The summer additions give much cause for optimism; Cazorla looks to be the real deal, Podolski WILL score any chance that falls to his sledgehammer-like feet, and Giroud looks lively and full of running. With the possible exceptions of Carl Jenkinson and Johann Djourou, Arsenal for the first time in a long time look to have strength in depth.
Possible further departures
As I type up this attempt to justify my bizarre mixture of bitterness and optimism, Alex Song, Theo Walcott and Arshavin are still Arsenal players. (Ed’s note – piece submitted before the Barcelona deal was confirmed)
My biggest fear for the coming season is that Alex Song and Theo Walcott will be plying their trade elsewhere by September - with Arshavin, I am somewhat indifferent. The lack of news regarding Walcott’s contract situation does not bode well for his chances of building on his bright pre-season in Arsenal red. The position of Song looks to be somewhat more secure. However, it would seem to this observer that Arsène Wenger is heavily invested in the Barcelona project, and would hate to stand in their way were they to make a serious bid for our midfield battler. (Ed’s note – once again, you know the rest…)
I hope that all of my optimism is understated and that all of my worries turn out to be completely unfounded. Either way, this season will be a telling one.
24th August 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.
ppp 10:57am 24th Aug 2012
well you weren't wrong about song - let's hope you're wrong about walcott. another desperate transfer window... - Post No. 28240
MRMROD 13:35pm 24th Aug 2012
No point in overly emotive lamentations; Van Persie is gone and we got £24m for a disloyal, injury prone, 1 good season in 8 guy on the road to 30. He didnt want to stay and there was no point in making him. We all understand he wanted more money (who wouldnt) but moving to the enemy instead of Juve or PSG, thats whats hard to stomach. In terms of further departures - Song too, who most fans would agree was hit ir miss, is gone and we've achieved another £15m profit, although hopefully he'll be replaced with a defensive midfielder of real quality. Moreover, I hope the frustrating/irritating Walcott goes to to be replaced by Jesus Navas. We've been all been more than patient with Walcott so I for one wouldnt lose too much sleep if he went. There certainly is light at the end of the tunnel. TV5 is perfect as captain; we've decent strenghth in depth and our 3 signings (with more to come) are excellent so I for one am confident of silverare this season. - Post No. 28244
vish puro 15:26pm 24th Aug 2012
NOT ONLY DID WE LOSE OUR BEST PLAYER, BUT WE CHOSE TO SELL TO A RIVAL FOR THE SAKE OF AN EXTRA £7MILL ,WHEN WE COULD HAVE SOLD HIM TO JUVENTUS. WE CANNOT BLAME THE STADIUM AS WE HAVE A VERY FAVOURABLE LONG TERM LOAN IN PLACE, MEANING THAT IT WILL PRETTY MUCH PAY FOR ITSELF. THERE IS AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION TO BE MADE BETWEEN FINANCIAL PRUDENCE AND PROFIT MAXIMISING, SO PLEASE STOP USING THE FORMER AS A SMOKE SCREEN TO ACHIEVE THE LATTER AS IT’S BECOMING PATRONOSING. WE DON’T NEED TO DO A MAN CITY AND GO CRAZY, AND IS NOT WHAT THE MAJORITY OF FANS ARE SUGGESTING- WE JUST WANT THE CLUB TO INVEST ITS CAPACITY! WE CANNOT BLAME WENGER. HIS HANDS ARE CLEARLY TIED AS THERE IS NO WAY HE WOULD HAVE LET RVP GO, AND TO MAN UTD OF ALL TEAMS. WE MUST BLAME THE BOARD AND PARTICULARY, MR KROENKE WHO DOESN’T EVEN LIKE FOOTBALL. HOWEVER, WE DARE NOT QUESTION THEIR STRATEGY AS WE GET MADE TO FEEL FINANCIALLY NAIVE AND UNGRATEFUL FOR DOING SO. OUR POSITION AS ONE OF THE MOST HIGHEST VALUED CLUBS IN THE WORLD HAS ONLY BEEN ARRIVED AT BECAUSE OF THE PLAYERS THAT WE’VE SOLD ON IN RECENT YEARS AND LACK OF INVESTMENT THEREOF. THIS HAS DONE NOTHING TO BETTER OUR FAN BASE AND IS NOT HOW ANY OF THE OTHER CLUBS (MAN UTD, BARCA AND REAL) ARE IN THE TOP FOUR ON THE LIST . IF WE WERE ON THAT LIST BECAUSE OF FOOTBALLING REVENUE EARNED FROM I.E. SPONSORSHIP, MERCHANDISE REVENUE, T V REVENUE AND ETC THEN THAT WOULD HOLD SIGNIFICANCE AND WOULD MAKE OUR FINANCIAL POSITION MORE SUSTAINABLE. FINANCIAL PROSPERITY SHOULD BE A BI- PRODUCT OF SUCCESS AND NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND, OR IT BECOMES MEANINGLESS AND ONLY BENEFITS THE OWNERS. IT’S NO COINCIDENCE THAT AS THINGS ARE RIGHT NOW, KROENKE STANDS TO MAKE MORE MONEY ON HIS SHARES THEN HE INITIALLY PAID FOR THEM. WE’VE INVESTED A NET AMOUNT OF NIL THIS SEASON, DESPITE FINISHING 18 POINTS BEHIND THE LEADERS,LOSING OUR STAR PLAYER/CAPTAIN AND BEING TROPHYLESS FOR SO LONG. BEING THE THIRD HIGHEST VALUED CLUB AND HAVING ONE OF THE MOST WEALTHIEST SHAREHOLDERS ON THE PLANET (USMANOV) WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SELL OUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL FOR A MEASLY £7MILL, WHEN WE COULD HAVE JUST LET HIM GO TO JUVENTUS FOR £15MILL. THIS SAYS A LOT ABOUT WHERE THE CLUB’S HEADING AND WHY RVP LEFT US IN THE FIRST PLACE. - Post No. 28251
CanadaGooner 15:43pm 24th Aug 2012
The exit (not SALE: he chose to leave)of RVP is only a loss of 1 good season of his services (last season) and that season was also a trophyless season, so, big deal! What's the worst that can happen to us? oh.... another trophyless season? boo-hoo! Are anywhere closer to winning a trophy if RVP had stayed? answer is simple: NO. Not with the crumbly midfield and defence we have (1 injury and we're sunk yet again). For the next 2 seasons Arsenal should focus on the FA and Carling Cups and try to win one of those and then begin the slow build up to becoming competitive in the league again. But oh no! the mighty, arrogant arsenal cant go as low as to try to win a crappy cup like the carling! afterall we can go another year without a trophy as long as we get a CL place (and that, is sarcasm my friends!) - Post No. 28252
tk 15:56pm 24th Aug 2012
love this article - ex girlfriend comparison spot on, and yes you're correct we'll do fine without him, cmon u gunners! - Post No. 28253
maguiresbridge gooner 16:09pm 24th Aug 2012
Your dead right the fact the management think fit to sell our top scorer and best player at all never mind to one of our rivals is painful even though it wasn't surprising. But i think all's been said that's needed to be said on that subject and it's time to put it to rest he's gone time to concentrate on the team we have.Our summer additions do give cause for optimism and time will tell but some that we already have don't like Djourou, flappy.As for walcott i wouldn't be to worried if he was plying his trade elsewhere by september after all he hasn't been plying it to great effect with us for the last two or three seasons.But i have to add if he is plying his trade with someone else by september would it be surprising if he suddenly realised his potential and started playing like WE would have wanted him to. - Post No. 28256
billthered 17:00pm 24th Aug 2012
We all have different opinions on Theo but I think we all agree we hope he comes good but in the seasons he has been here it is to much hit and miss.I think his agent is up to a bit of kidology when the papers say Chelski are monitoring the progress of ongoing talks about his contract.At the moment Theo is to in and out of games one good five bad and he no longer has age as an excuse.Whilst the Ox has no age barrier and no one mentions it,lets get it right who would we rather see sold out of the two of them.Two extremely good halves last season against the chavs and the spuds unfortunetly does not make the perfect season but deep down we want to see him do well but would much rather the Ox. - Post No. 28258
Peter Wain 20:38pm 24th Aug 2012
Personally I am indifferent to whether Walcott stays. The only point in his staying is that he is an extra body who sometimes plays as if is a professional footballer. As we are not buying anyone else the squad will be thinner if he leaves, - Post No. 28263
Mark Rice 8:03am 25th Aug 2012
Ha ...spot on with the girlfriend bit... But in fairness we have swapped an injury prone high maintenance almost over the hill bird with bingo wings in sight to a dark Spanish sultry younger fitter bird! Maybe this year it will be a bit painful but next year when you bump into the boyfriend (red nose and his fans) they will be the ones wishing they had what you have with all the greif and high demands from an injured bird on a treatment table harping on about how better thing were with you and how you loved her more and city's of "if only I had stayed with Arsenal" as they all do ;0) .... - Post No. 28270
Noz 13:59pm 25th Aug 2012
You are right, RVP leaving may make us a better team overall. I remember in the early 90's when a certain Ian Wright was ruled out against Sheffield Weds (I think it was) and the press and many supporters asked seriously who was going to score our goals. I was very concerned but then bang, we scored 7. It was like the players had been released from the straight jacket of GG's 'get it to Wrighty' tactic. Th - Post No. 28277
John C 17:22pm 25th Aug 2012
As many have already said, we probably wouldn't have won anything with RVP anyway, so losing him is no big deal in that sense, what worries me is that he has joined Man U, our former rivals. 10 years ago, we were their equals on the pitch and there would have been no way we would even have considered selling any of our top players to United. The move to the new stadium was meant to ensure we could compete with them off the pitch too, but that clearly isn't happening. We are gradually dropping back into the Spurs/Liverpool/Newcastle group, (maybe Everton and Sunderland too), withall those clubs scrapping for just one Champions League qualifying place. By the way, Noz, it was Standard Liege not Sheff Wed, but good point anyway. - Post No. 28279
GG89 0:42am 26th Aug 2012
No, no, no. "Man U are now, and will always be, better than us." How could that ever be... Cesc should never have been captain, always was going to go home and RVP's, who was probably better captain, child said ManUre.... Yuk! To me it only makes sense to think that the old team... Nasri, casc, rvp, song etc, collectievely folded in the big games so a new beginning was needed. The Gooners will win the title many more times. - Post No. 28280
Tuesday clubber 1:40am 26th Aug 2012
Love the way how you ripped off the ex girlfriend analogy from the Tuesday club podcast and tried to pass it off as your own on an Arsenal fans website! Well done that man! - Post No. 28281
Cambridge Gooner 19:23pm 26th Aug 2012
@ Tuesday clubber - I submitted this 2 Fridays previous and due to the back log of articles, it hasn't been published until a lot of the points have become somewhat less topical. Thanks for your feedback though! - Post No. 28286
NOOP 15:39pm 28th Aug 2012
SERIOUSLY ? We, yet again, sell our best player and captain and miraculously we are going to be better off as a result ? Just like we convinced ourselves that we would be better off without Vieira, Cashley, TH14, Cesc, Bobby Pires et al. Get real. You can try and deny the truth all you want but the only way we will be better off in the near future is if we get rid of our stale, washed up,money obsessed, tactically inept, yesterday's man of a manager. And no, i won't f**k off down the lane. - Post No. 28338
15th May 2013
Online Ed: Job done in final home game of the season