Robin van Persie gives Arsenal the double guns

Vermaelen’s ankle and van Persie’s justice

I don’t have time for my regular 1000 word, brilliant, incisive post this morning as I have been stretched so thin with commitments that I just don’t have time. Still there are two stories regarding Arsenal that have piqued my interest.

The first is about Thomas Vermaelen and his banjaxed ankle. According to the Daily Mail, Thomas Vermaelen is getting “anti-inflammatory” injections on his ankle so that he can be fit for the upcoming month of football. What made this story interesting is that I was under the impression that Wenger and Arsenal don’t believe in injections.

I can’t find the specific quote (one of you will remember for me) but there was a player who claimed that Arsenal “forced” him to take injections. Wenger was asked at his next press conference and I remember him categorically denying that he ever forced anyone to take injections. So, something about the story strikes me as odd. Like, almost as if a reporter were taking some banal detail of Arsenal’s captain’s treatment plan and blowing it up into a full blown “exclusive” so that he could get people excited over nothing. The only way my imagined story works is if Arsenal fans are already nervous over an injury riddled defense and the fact that the substitutes Arsenal could field are either all on loan or also injured.

Speaking of which, Andre Santos is on the verge of completing his switch to Gremio, Johan Djourou is on loan to Germany, Gibbs is hurt, Jenkinson is suspended, Vermaelen is hurt, and Koscielny came up limp during warm up on Saturday. See how that Daily Mail story, warning us that Vermaelen might be out for the season, is just a wind up?

Seriously, though, this weekend — if Koscielny or Vermaelen are not back healthy — you have to play Sagna in the CB position and Nico Yennaris at right back. Problem solved.

The other story that captured my imagination, the way that a petri dish captures bacteria, is the rags to riches story of Manchester United winning the title. It’s such a heartwarming tale of a little club who overcomes an oppressive uncle bleeding the family’s fortunes dry by tapping up the world’s best striker and having him give his former club the “double guns” on the Fourth of July.

Robin van Persie gives Arsenal the double gunsSuch a heartwarming tale. What makes it even better is how Manchester United overcame adversity to win the title for the first time in a year — their 13th title in the last 21 years. Truly, the underdogs have triumphed again and justice has been done.

But this all raises two questions for me. First, and this is addressed to my English readers mostly, but don’t you get sick to fuck of seeing the same team win the title every year? No other league has such an absolute dominance of one team the way that United have over the Premier League. What’s the point of watching if one team is going to win 62% of the titles?

Second, is Robin van Persie “justified” in leaving Arsenal last summer if United win the title? Please answer this question from a moral standpoint. Because if you’re going to say something is justified (ie. that it means the universe has administered “justice” to Robin van Persie) you need to back it up morally. Personally, I think what he did in July was amoral from a justice standpoint. We cared for him, nurtured him through sickness and health, and he ran off with the hot waitress from down the street as soon as he could.

The louse.

So, I don’t feel he was justified. I feel he perpetrated an evil (a privation) upon Arsenal. Winning is irrelevant.

Qq

 

49 thoughts on “Vermaelen’s ankle and van Persie’s justice

  1. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

    Excuse me.. But I want my money back. (Time=Money) I was informed that this would not be a 1000 word, brilliant, incisive post.

    As you predicted, someone does remember that it was Paul Merson trying to rake up some controversy to sell his just released book who came up with that claim.

  2. +22 Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

    Our society lacks the philosophical rigor to deal with a great many ethical questions. The tired, bitter “but he’s going to win a medal so, really, you can’t blame him” is just the usual, unexamined moral pragmatism that is on display pretty much anywhere.

    And you know what I say? It’s bullshit. The guy publicly undermined the club and the manager that placed a great deal into furthering his career. I give precisely 0 f***s that he brought us cash or that he wanted to win or that he he is going to win this year. None of that alters his (yes, moral) decision to use a personal website to announce to the world that he is far more important than any club and far smarter than Arsene Wenger.

    This is football. It’s a game. I generally try to keep that in perspective. He may generally be a nice guy outside of the laundry he plays the game in. That’s fine. But his conduct was really really poor. I can’t help looking at what he did and make moral judgments about his character. That transcended the game and became about character.

    And, in my opinion, he was found lacking.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1crazeemunky

    yennaris and meade are also both in the very early stages of return from injury if i’m not mistaken. perhaps ramsey the utiliy-man for the role? did a good enough job in the last 30 minutes of sunderland away. though unfamiliar in practice, he would be the one with the most theoretic know-how on the role.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

    Irregardless (hehe) of Utd winning the title (he couldn’t have predicted such an advantage in the table), he was justified. Who wants to be eternally also rans?

    What really broke my heart was the fact that Arsenal stood by him through all his misery and AW basically made him the player he is now. He could’ve given us a couple more of seasons, but unfortunately time (nor his injury record) wasn’t on his side.

  5. +28 Vote -1 Vote +1Jo Pearson

    I don’t think the question can be awnsered on a definitive basis, because different people prioritize different things. In Van Persie’s case he seemed to crave tangiable proof of his sporting talent, things that would, in a sense, innoculate him from criticism in the way that playing his whole career at Arsenal (and winning little) wouldn’t. But also he might also have craved the experience of winning being part of a unit that is objectively-speaking the best in the country; and has been for greater part of the past two decades.

    Of course it’s very easy to point out that going to the biggest club in the league and winning things doesn’t prove your greatness as a footballer. There’s reason we don’t praise the likes of John O’Shea and Wes Brown despite their long list of honours: It’s because they’re not particularly good.

    In times to come Van Persie is likely to be seen as a fine footballer who lit up Man Utd’s football for a few years (half a decade if we’re feeling optimisitc) before getting too old and moving on. But he’ll always be seen as being ‘made in Arsenal’ and notorious for precisely this betrayal. His legacy will always be tainted by his controversial move and will always come with the bad taste of gloryhunting stuck in the craw of football fans.

    By contrast Alan Shearer is rightly revered as one of the finest strikers this country has ever seen, despite only having a lone premier league title to his name. The difference is that he gave his all for the club he loved and as a consequence of his loyalty spurned silverware and riches. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he turned down the same club Van Persie ran to.

    Does that make him a better man? Arguably, yes.

    Shearer did the harder thing, the less sensible thing, but nonetheless what probably the great majority of footballing fans would interperet as the ‘right’ thing.
    Shearer’s legacy is enhaned and enrichened for his (comparatively rare) act of sporting martyrdom.

    This sort of action IS important. Story is a huge part of the fabric of football. Few but the purest of fooball purists will love a player soley for his talent, and regardless of his deeds. Just ask Luiz Suarez. Van Persie’s will be forever regarded merely as a highly talented turncoat. One among many in football. He had a chance to be special, but by this action he has become ordinary. Garden-variety selfish.

  6. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Max Kuznetsov (@maxk515)

    I’d like to offer a couple arguments. What does loyalty really mean when it comes to football. I agree with some who draw a thick line between supporters and players when it comes to loyalty. Supporters are bound to their club by bonds of loyalty. Players are paid professionals and their obligations are to their family, to their career, to their contract, and to their PRESENT club. Still, I would not claim that VP’s actions last year were moral. As a professional, getting himself sold above his value was not amoral, even if it was to a rival club. However, the patronizing and apparently untruthful letter he “authored” absolutely was. The letter was both amoral and cowardly, playing at an emotional bond with the same fans he was professionally leaving.

    I do think we need to be careful when we speak about loyalty. Van Persie’s goals kept us in the top 4 last season and we should at least be grateful for that. He would have left even if he scored only 20 goals last season. We would have finished outside the CL spots and probably would not have been able to replace him with Lukas and Santi, who probably would not have wanted to go to a club not playing in Europe’s top competition.

    Mikel Arteta left Everton having spent much of his last few seasons there injured. He left to a club with higher aspirations, and yet Evertonians still adore him because he did not do what VP did when he left us. He was honest, forthcoming and, most importantly, grateful.

  7. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1canadarse

    The never-ending vitriol aimed at RvP is one of those things that really bothers me because it masks the real problem and gives those truly responsible for these star-player exit debacles a get-out-of-jail free card.

    We Arsenal fans are plagued with a wrongful sense of entitlement. We seem to feel that players who develop at our club owe us service and loyalty that go beyond what any of us would want for those we love and care about. Many of us change our jobs and/or leave companies over the smallest of economic margins or workplace conditions. Yet, when it comes to Arsenal footballers, we lose all perspective, and simply insist that our own players forgo their own ambitions economic or otherwise and stay at our club. We expect our players to embrace the constraints those in power at Arsenal place upon our business and further expect our players to ignore what the open market (fairly or unfairly) value of their services may be.

    It’s wrong and it has to stop.

    RvP’s public website statement was the only way he could ensure Arsenal weren’t going to keep him for the final year of his contract, his age 29 season at a bargain wage compared to what other clubs were prepared to offer him at that time. The financial stakes and risks for RvP to play at Arsenal for that final year at 29, were absolutely massive for him. Arsenal would’ve had no concerns playing him until his ankles fell off this season because they would know he was gone for free thereafter. Arsenal also could’ve kept him for at least half of this season and forced RvP to do another goal-scoring audition for his next contract elsewhere and perhaps sell him this past January. Either way, RvP was facing massive career risks, at a critical prime phase of his career, with scant little protection from Arsenal if he was to play out all of, or part of the final year of his contract. If he doesn’t let his agent craft and post that public statement, Arsenal probably doesn’t sell. Remember, RvP had already gifted Arsenal 40M in CL revenue this season and perhaps keeping RvP for half or all of that final contract year gets Arsenal another 40M and CL place for 2013, and all for a bargain 70-80K/wk wage which is approx. a 65-70% discount from his current wage at MUFC.

    Let me put it another way, if RvP was my son, I’d have advised him to do exactly what he did. Take control of your life, take control of your career and do what is best for you, your career, your ambitions and your family. If Arsenal truly valued RvP and could support the ambitions of top top players, it was Arsenal’s responsibility to be contractually ahead of RvP’s development. Quite simply, Arsenal blew that big time. Where were the fair-market contract offers from Arsenal this past summer? Where was the 5-year 100k offer from Arsenal the year RvP scored that massive equalizing goal at home against Barca which would’ve seemed expensive at the time yet brilliant a bit further down the road? None of those actions came from Arsenal. Instead, a conscious decision by Arsenal was made to let RvP’s contract status hang in the air and wind down, and instead of letting Arsenal author his final chapter and critical age 29 season, RvP simply chose to wrestle back control of his life and career and do what was rightfully best for him and his family.

    It’s ironic that Wenger has joked about only a Messi signing would appease Arsenal fans in a transfer window. Ironic, because Arsenal would never pay Messi what he’s worth so he’d never come, and if we developed the next Messi, we’d sell him before we had to pay him like the superstar he would become.

    Arsenal needs to look in the mirror and change their philosophy. Superstar players like RvP certainly won’t. And I for one, don’t blame them.

    1. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

      I enjoyed reading your comment very much, though I don’t know if it’s quite fair to hold pragmatism as the real morality. Most of us work at jobs and stay at them for reasons other than financial gain (the list would be as various as there are individuals). Besides, pragmatism would have dictated that he choose City over United, but the “little boy” wanted United. Van Persie made a decision based on a value he held (ambition?) and one he didn’t (loyalty?), and both are intangibles.

      I’ve grown tired of hearing United fans talk about what great character he has because he chose them over City. Spare me. Thing is, they’re talking about the same thing we are, only they’re being self-congratulatory–and we are right to answer them by asking whether someone of great character would walk out on a club that stuck by him through eight years of injury hell. So yes, I think we’re right to talk about character here.

      1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

        In fairness to canadarse, it’s not very easy to strip out morality from practicality in football. This is an industry where morality isn’t exactly the knight in shining armor that comes riding on its white horse and swoops everyone off their feet with its greatness. I mean when was the last time you saw a football player and said “wow! Just look at their no. 9, he’s so amazingly moral”?

        Here is the other problem with morality. People who take up the higher moral ground are the ones that are usually committing the most disgusting crimes: the Catholic Church, Al Qaeda, United fans… to name a few.

        I agree RVP’s character isn’t noble, but whose is? Even if he did agree to move to city, we would all just hate him marginally less. In the end, I think questions of morality ends up distracting us from the real issues at hand. The culture of football is now such that players and their agents have too much power. We have gone from one end of the spectrum to another. Ironically, it was Arsenal that was instrumental in taking power away from the clubs and putting it in the hands of the players. On a more micro level, Arsenal needs to recognize the new economics of football and adjust accordingly (which I think we are but need to do more).

        If the question was “Is RVP a prick”? then I think the answer would be a lot more straightforward.. but the question is if he is morally wrong, and that becomes a bit more gray for me.

      2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1canadarse

        It’s interesting, because during RvP’s season as Captain of our club, there was nothing but effusive praise for RvP’s character and leadership qualities. Mainstream media, Arsenal.com, bloggers etc. all were praising RvP for wearing the armband and galvanizing our squad so brilliantly. Now, many of those same people call him a traitor, immoral, c**t etc.

        So as long as he agreed to play for us with zero financial security in the final year of his contract in his age 29 season, shouldering massive financial risk for him and his family, after Arsenal sold the previous Captain/one of the best creative midfielders in the world in the prime of his life with 3+ years left on his contract, after we sold the #1 provider of assists to RvP in his PFA 30+ goal season also with 2+ years on his contract, so as long as RvP was prepared to do what we wanted and control the final year of his Arsenal career, everyone would say he has quality character and was respectful of Arsenal.

        And if RvP had been a so-called good soldier and stayed for the final year of his contract and after playing umpteen games in a row ‘in the red’ (because Arsenal certainly wouldn’t have much incentive to protect him) as they say and then snaps an achilles tendon at age 29 with a contract on the expiry, what then? RvP would have a bunch of Gooners patting him on the back saying ‘good lad, you were loyal and have great character’. Meanwhile, good luck getting your last long-term big money contract and just as important, gone is the control to choose a top employer/destination.

        We so desperately wanted RvP to be a misguided, unambitious, underpaid idiot. Instead, he didn’t comply. RvP made the right choice.

      3. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        I suppose by that measure Arsenal made the wrong choice to take a young player with doubts about his character into the fold of the Invincibles, stand by him through tough personal times, accept financing his injury inducing forays with the national team where for an amazing period he actually had more games for the Oranje than for Arsenal.

        I don’t care about morality. It isn’t an absolute. Everyone decides what they can or cannot live with. RVP made the choice that he could live with disrespecting the club who’d given him everything, and who were willing to make him their highest ever paid player. He chose to dishonour his contract which he was only too happy to sign when his injuries were an issue, and he chose to release a statement to push through his transfer, which lied about the club and disrespected his teammates and his manager.

        For me, that is not a choice I would consider ‘moral’, and if it isn’t moral, it can’t be called ‘right’. But that’s just me.

      4. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

        Did RVP act like a complete asshole towards Arsenal and Arsenal fans?

        Yes!

        Did RVP make the best decision for himself and his family given his circumstances and also the current football culture?

        Most probably

        I don’t know what’s moral and what’s immoral but I do know a cunt when I see one – and that’s what RVP is to me.

      5. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

        I think you’re overstating the case in Van Persie’s favor. I mean, if you want to talk about security and shouldering burdens, you might also mention the investment Arsenal made in a player who rarely contributed for seven seasons. We continued to pay him handsomely while he didn’t play…for a long, long, long time…and we were willing–in the form of a new contract–to continue to pay him well into the future, despite this history of non-contribution.

        I completely understand the frustration with how Arsenal do things. We’ve been talking about it ever since the club began pursuing this business model. Thing is, though, by painting this pathos-laden portrait of a captain, soldiering on and shouldering burdens against all odds, I think you’re doing exactly what the rest of us do when we paint a moral gloss on him.

  8. +12 Vote -1 Vote +1jacob

    i feel abandoned by van persie. i have a different feeling towards him than i do towards nasri or even fabragas. i feel more let down than angry towards him. i remember that barcalona game as one of my favorite memories since i started following arsenal in the 06/07 season, im only 15 now. i remember on interview shortly after and it stands out to me still today.
    in the interview he says:

    “It’s so difficult to pick a personal highlight from the year, but a couple of events stand out, such as beating Barcelona at the Emirates.
    “That has become a really nice memory. Everyone who you ask about that game smiles in response.
    “I remember the day after that game, an older guy, who was about 75-years-old, came up to me in the village where I live.
    “He said to me ‘I don’t want your autograph, I don’t want my photo with you, all I want to say to you is that I have been an Arsenal fan all my life, and last night’s game against Barcelona was the best Arsenal game ever.’
    “He said it was the best Arsenal evening of his life, and when you can give people something like that, it really is something special.”

    this is an interview that will always stand out to me, just for a different reason now. i really wonder how much of what he did was real especially in his final season. the statement for the fans was probably the worst part of all of it, partly because of the way he disrespected us but most of all arsene.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1Dick Swiveller

    I really can’t say it was immoral of him to skip out after years of support, improper and a real dick move sure, but not immoral.

    He wanted more money and a shiny trophy, which it looks like he’s going to get, so the move is justified from HIS perspective and expectations. I don’t think you can say there is any universal justice being administered but I’m not sure that’s necessary to say if something has been ‘justified’.

  10. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

    “is Robin van Persie “justified” in leaving Arsenal last summer if United win the title?”

    There is no black & white answer to this. He didn’t cover himself in glory but neither did we in the way we have conducted our business in the transfer market or set our wage structure. I am an Arsenal fan so I will always think of RVP as a traitor. In the darkest corner of my heart, I will be wishing for some serious injury to befall him so he can spend the rest of his footballing years in the Utd. infirmary, but that says more about me than it does about RVP. I think RVP did want to win things at Arsenal but more than that he wanted to win things for himself. It’s unfair to single him out for that because that’s something most footballers want – especially when you are one of the best strikers in Europe but have no trophies to show for it. Both him and Cesc gave us 8 years. So did Henry and Vieira. The difference is the latter won trophies before they moved on so we don’t hold their departures against them – at least not as much. It seems unrealistic to think that you will get more time than that from your players these days. Most clubs experience the same thing. Barca are the obvious exception because of 1) they win the most trophies and 2) the catalan nationalism is strong within its players.

    I’m sure in the minds of neutrals, RVP will is already fully justified in leaving Arsenal regardless of whether Utd. win the title or not. I hate him because I feel he disrespected the club and the fans. However expecting footballers to have some kind of a moral high ground is like expecting to find gold in a coal mine (it could happen but highly unlikely). Was it immoral on his part? Probably. But morality shouldn’t even be the question here – only what’s practical. I’m sure that’s what the player asked himself when he decided to leave for Utd. and that’s what Arsenal asked themselves when they decided to sell.

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Nikki

      I’m sorry but Arsenal did not just decided to sell to Man Utd, but they were forced to sell to Man Utd. The one thing that people seems to look is Arsenal sell RvP and Rvp leave Arsenal. Both of this things sure can be compared to every players and also legends that Arsenal had been sold. But it seems that the main point of the question that Tim asked seems to be disregarded. RvP did not just left Arsenal, he left to our direct rival. Arsenal did not happily decided that they were selling RvP, they were forced by the conduct of RvP. So, morality is the exact question, I believe. Why? Because if it was practical, he should have gone to Juventus. Lastly, not every footballers are disloyal or doesn’t have a morality towards their club, look at Barcelona players, Totti, Zanetti, Maldini, Scholes, Bergkamp, Drogba, etc. They all can take the right choice for the clubs and their status are just like RvP before he came to Man Utd.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

        Nobody forced us to sell to United – that’s just simply untrue. We didn’t have to sell. We could’ve held him to his last year of contract and let him rot in the reserves if we really wanted to show some balls. Instead we decided to cash out because we would much rather get the 22MM or than get nothing for him when his contract expired. That is definitely driven by a practical issue rather than a moral one.

        And to say that the practical decision for RVP was to go to Juventus is again assuming a lot. He has family in England and by all accounts wants to stay in England after his footballing career is over. You can’t just pick up and leave to another country when you are settled somewhere else.

        Lastly the players you mentioned, those are players from the era just gone by. The spectrum has changed. I already mentioned Barca being the obvious exception to this.

        Do I fucking hate RVP for going to Utd? Absolutely. But we are as much to blame as he is. We can’t use to departure to absolve us from our failures.

        We loved Cesc, then we hated him
        We loved Nasri, then we hated him
        We loved RVP, then we hated him
        We almost hated Theo
        Whose next? Ox? Wilshere?

        There is no moral question here. I mean – Tim gave us one but in reality there isn’t. It’s only a question of whether we, as a club, has got what it takes to adjust to the current football market – not the other way around.

    2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Gunman

      I get what you mean but its simply Untrue . I dont feel hatred towards Viera or Cesc or Henry and there’s a reason . Those guys actually gave years of theier career to us . U are right in saying cesc gave 8 years of his career to us whereas in Cas of RvP its simply Untrue. In fact We gave him 8 years inspite of his injuries to develop into a better striker a better player and a balanced person , and the moment he had 1 good season he fled off . Its not justifiable at all Imo plain and simple .

  11. -5 Vote -1 Vote +1timao

    i don’t think we can blame Van Persie for leaving. I mean, seriously what chance do we have of progressing against Bayern now? It was always a tall order calling for a massive slice of luck to fall our way and with our current defensive injury crisis, even this faint hope is gone.

    And our defensive woes are at the heart of the matter. Santos always looked like a risky bet and he didn’t come good. Same thing for Squillacci. They were long shots who failed to prove the world wrong in its assessment they were not good enough for the premier league. Koscielny and Mertesacker are likewise, players which no other top side showed any interest in recruiting and who we got on the cheap. They are both good players on their day but they have flaws which top opponents will always expose. Vermaelan has not lived up to his early promise and has been responsible for some amazing howlers, selecting him as captain was clearly a mistake as he appears to lack the necessary qualities to be effective in this role. The replacement to Gibbs is cup-tied. Jenkinson is very raw and his inexperience was mercilessly exposed at the weekend.

    At Man Utd Van Persie is playing in front of Ferdinand, Vidic, Rafael, and Evra. Backing them up are Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Johnny Evans and Buttner. Any of Utd’s second string of defenders would be an automatic starter in our back line. This is one of the key reasons why Wenger has alienated so many supporters.

    This is not about being outspent in the transfer market, it is simply a strategical failure. Van Persie would very likely have stayed if he had believed that Arsenal would become a competitive team during his playing lifetime.

    Dixon, Bould, Winterburn, Adams, Keown enabled Wenger to build his reputation. Lauren and Campbell were good while they lasted, Van Brockhorst, Silvinho and Cole were all allowed to leave prematurely. As were Flamini, Lassana Diarra, Gilberto and Edu. Duirng Van Persire’s Arsenal career Wenger has sqaundered the talent of almost every player capable of adding steel to the defensive side of Arsenal’s game.

  12. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1FunGunner

    The key word is “forced”. Does anyone claim TV is being forced to take the injections? He wants to avoid mid-season surgery at least as much as the club does, I would think. Wasn’t Wenger being asked about pain-killing injections that time, anyway?

    As to the RvP question, I agree with GoonerNC.

  13. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Northbanksy

    Arsenal didn’t have to sell RVP. Infact had they not, it might well have have been Arsenal at the top of the EPL right now & in with a far better chance than they have in the Champions League. If they finish outside of the top 4 this season it’s going to look like a monumental mistake both financially & for the standing of the club.

  14. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Nikki

    I just don’t understand the people, including here, that seems to justified his move to Man Utd. It’s all come down to trophies and money, they said. But Man Utd did not offer the best package, they did not offer the best chance of getting trophies. The one who offer the best package and chances are Juventus. They have one of the best team in Europe and have a really great chances to at least get a treble at the start of the season. Even if you want to compare a regular jobs with a footballers, unless you are just as much of an immoral person like RVP, we should have the decency to not go to our direct competitor for our last company. I would go to a Juventus like company who will over the best term, but no RvP choose to do the wrong thing and for that he is immoral.

  15. +11 Vote -1 Vote +111 cannons (@11cannons)

    I find the ‘desire to win trophies’ as a laughable excuse by recent departees from the Arsenal, largely because had they stayed we’d be looking at a trophy winning side.

    Winning a title with United will no more justify van Persie’s behavior than not winning it would make him any less of a cunt.

  16. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Uncle Mike

    “The guy publicly undermined the club and the manager that placed a great deal into furthering his career. I give precisely 0 f***s that he brought us cash or that he wanted to win or that he he is going to win this year.”

    This is true of Robin van Rat. It is also true of Cesc Fabregas. The methods were different, and there was a variation in the excusemaking (van Persie isn’t FROM Manchester, but then neither are most of their fans), but we tend to rip van Persie and let Fabregas off the hook. Funny, but I must have missed van Persie’s backheel right to a United player that cost us a cup tie.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Gunman

      The only difference being Fabs actually gace 8 good years to arsenal Fc and if he actually tried to win something here and dint succeed he has every right to move on . Where when it coms to RvP he Arsenal gave him 7 years of nurturing, developement and arsene helping him with his character flaws all for him to fuck off at first oppurtunity he got. For me its not about how they behaved… Cesc actualy gave a lot to arsenal , whereas Arsenal gave a lot to RvP and when it was his time to do it for arsenal he left for personal glory. Plain and simple unjustifiable imo. And justify this by saying he had to do what was good for him then you can plain and simple justify most wrongs in the society that way.

  17. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1craig

    GoonerNC, Jo Peterson, and Jacob said everything I want to… Except one thing: we’ve gotten into this before, and for me, it is personal. If you can really look at how he acted and be ok with that, we have a different way of viewing the world and the way people are connected to each other… and honestly, I don’t much care for yours. I still respect a lot of your opinions, still think many of you seem like good folks. But in this case I just think we think of reality differently and no matter what we say about RVP, it’s only arguing over what shape shadow is on the wall when we actually disagree about what is making them.

  18. +1 Vote -1 Vote +11NiltotheArsenal

    This may seem juvenile in it simplicity but since I was child I’ve never been quite able to come to terms with the expectation that a supporter to be loyal to his/her club and pay some through the nose for the privilege to do so, and for a player to show zero loyalty to the same club and get get paid handsomely to do so.

    Steven Gerard and Ryan Giggs are treasured by their respective tribes in a way that Robin van Persie will never know.

  19. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

    @ Uncle Mike:
    A few differences…
    We always knew Cesc was leaving and where, it was just a matter of when. And Barca is not a direct rival of ours. RVP going to ManU doesn’t just weaken us, it strengthens our rival, and thus makes it doubly hard for us to succeed.
    Cesc was also at the top of his game for most of his time with us; there was little more we could have expected of him in that time. RVP gave us a season and a half of delivering on his injury free potential, and then he fucked off.
    In both cases, I blame the club and Arsene for not doing more to augment their talents. But Cesc had a lot more class about it in the end, which is why most supporters don’t hate him in the way they hate RVP.

    1. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1canadarse

      I’m sorry but your perspective on Fabregas (shared by many a Gooner) is totally and utterly naive.

      Let me be clear about this. I respect what RvP did, far, far more than what Fabregas did. At least RvP was transparent to our faces about advancing his agenda to leave and forcing his way out. RvP at least had the honesty to burn his bridge in public for all to see, and pay that price like a man. He’ll never be loved here again, he knew it, and he accepted that cost. Fabregas on the other hand, was downright clandestine about his exit, lit his fuse from within and clearly was trying to have his cake and eat it too with the fans. He still wants our adoration and appreciation, despite doing far far more harm to our club than RvP ever did.

      Fabregas was the newly minted Captain of this club, in his mid-twenties, and had 4 years (signed until 2015) to run on his deal when he decided to pull the plug on his Arsenal career. With RvP’s contract running down, nobody can claim they didn’t see it coming. But when a player has ink on paper that has them under long term contract, you make big decisions about building your team around that player. If Arsenal genuinely thought they could build a future around RvP knowing they didn’t have him under long term contract, the suits in charge of our club are even dumber than I already think they are.

      But Fabregas is the ultimate villain. He was the most talented player on our squad, our Captain, in his prime years and under long term lock and key when he decided to call our bluff and test our mettle. And quite honestly, we failed as a club in a miserable and spectacular way. The only reason, and I mean only reason, Fabregas was able to engineer his exit, was because we didn’t have the ambition and the stomach to buy him competition. Plain and simple. We let him walk, because we are whores to profit instead of whores to trophies.

      Instead of Fabregas being open, honest and genuine about his intentions, he used his buddies to do his dirty work in the media for him. You think all of those Barcelona players were tapping him up in the media because they had nothing better to do with their time? They did it, because Fabregas asked them to do it.

      And we could’ve put a stop to it all, and kept Fabregas here for the remainder of his contract (2015), performing at his very best. How? Simple. Buy him competition. The only reason he was granted his wish to leave is because he knew he had no competition for his place on the team and if he whined, sulked, was tapped up and faked hamstring injuries, we would simply cave and sell him.

      But again, it could’ve all been prevented with one simple buy in the transfer market.

      Imagine for a moment, instead of granting Fabregas’ wish to leave, we instead chose to buy Juan Mata that summer. Then, we call Cesc immediately in for a meeting. We tell Cesc we are concerned about his attitude and his fitness, and given how important creativity in midfield is for us and how we play, we felt it necessary to bring in another CAM to give us ample options and cover there. So now, instead of being a slave to Cesc’s demands, we now have a player that could conceivably either play with Cesc, or if necessary, play for him if he chooses to sulk or fake injury again. Remember, Cesc has about 4 years left on his contract, zero leverage for an exit. Remember, Cesc wants to be a critical member of the Spanish Nat’l side and can’t afford to not get games for prolonged periods. And do you know what would’ve happened to all of that tapping up in the media, or those long faces in training, or those mysterious hamstring injuries? Gone. Instead, articles and interviews would’ve been written about how much Cesc loves Arsenal, loves being Captain and how much he can’t wait to win things here. If we had ambition, and had bought him competition, Fabregas never would’ve been able to afford to pull what he pulled. He called our bluff, and instead of choosing footballistic ambition and excellence, we chose profit. And that’s exactly what Cesc banked on when began staging his coup.

      And Cesc was right. He got exactly what he wanted, he’s eating his cake. Because some of you, still adore/love/forgive him. RvP? Not so much.

      1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        Agree about Cesc and his manner of engineering a move away, disagree that this somehow makes RVP’s approach more admirable, and disagree on your interpretation of the club’s approach. Just because you don’t like the outcome of Cesc leaving, doesn’t mean that any alternative approach the club could have taken becomes the correct one. I also disagree with people who say Cesc was let down by the club in terms of not buying quality players. Cesc Fabregas was one of the prime beneficiaries of the policy. He is the last one who has a legitimate right to complain about it. Whether the club should have bought better/more players is a separate discussion to Cesc’s departure as far as I’m concerned.

      2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1ignatzuk

        Agreed. The way that Cesc engineered his departure from Arsenal was very damaging. Not just because of the immediate damage it caused to the squad, but because of the trend of players leaving that he kickstarted. All the other players knew the team was being built around him, all the other players knew he was going to leave for Barca one day, and so when that day came, it was like a signal for everybody to move on.

        If I blame the club for anything, and if anything characterises Wenger’s biggest blindspot, it’s that they were totally loyal to this player who had publicly stated that his true loyalty lay elsewhere. They made him the centre of all their plans and they had no strategy for how to replace him. In retrospect, that was monumentally stupid.

        The sad irony of it is that I do believe Cesc was honest about his position, and it’s not necessarily his fault that Arsenal somehow wasn’t listening. Compare and contrast with van Persie, who never gave anyone a reason to think that he wanted to leave, who declared his loyalty to Arsenal, who was given years of support from the club, but who turned around and spat in the club’s face at the last minute.

  20. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

    Trophies, money,2 reasons why RVP might be ‘justified’ in leaving. Tangible, desirable things which bring happiness, or at least security and comfort. I suppose it depends on what you want to win. If his world view is limited to that, then he might be justified.

    If you aim for also having something else in your life, which mostly cannot be measured or quantified, then, even from a personal standpoint, RVP cannot be justified. I guess RVP’s and Arsenal’s aims just differed. And by this I don;t mean that Arsenal don’t care about winning trophies. We have a philosophy, and a manager that endorses a philosophy by saying it is never about winning at all costs. Think what you may of the Arsenal business strategy and the details, but I find it worth something that we don’t believe winning justifies everything. Would it be ok to dive to win a cup? What about breaking someone’s leg if that’s what it took? Paying off referees? Where do you draw the line if winning justifies all the decisions you take in your life?

    So if winning the trophy is the criteria on which RVP’s actions are to be judged, then I don’t think trophies justify anything. Trophies are simply a reaffirmation/recognition of something. In itself, a trophy means nothing, hence justifies nothing.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1alabamagooner

      Agreed, Shard. I just refuse to believe that winning and being a decent person are mutually exclusive. And you have a point; it does depend on what you want to win, and what you value in life.

      It reminds me of the young married couple, where one spouse works the 8-5 so the other can finish school to become a doctor or lawyer or whatever. And once they have that professional degree, they ditch the loyal spouse for the younger nurse/secretary, or worse, for another professional that “just has more ambition”. Ok, maybe you’ve outgrown that relationship, maybe you just don’t love them anymore. But how you leave matters. You loved that person once, and they stood by you when times were tough; you owe them at least a modicum of respect.

      That’s what bothers me about RVP. Not that he left, but how he left. As Tim has said, it was just one giant f**k you. And Arsenal really deserved better than that.

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    I will never begrudge anyone for making decisions they feel are in their own best interest. At 29, RVP certainly had that right given the club’s contract extension policy when your clock strikes 30. We can ask one of the best RBs in the game, Sagna or ask Bergkamp when that bell tolled for him what his opinion was. Who knows, RVP may very well have reached out to Bergkamp in coming to his decision. I certainly hope so rather than have him listening to Ibrahimovic about not staying ‘safe’ at one club for your entire career.

    RVP’s approach to his decision may have annoyed some but I think it was done to cause a ‘clean’ break rather than have a drawn out soap opera filled with false hope that he could still stay.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

      I’m not sure the over 30 policy is really a policy at all. By all accounts we were ready to offer RVP a 4 year offer. Gallas, and Rosicky have gotten extensions taking them to age 33 or so. In any case, I think the policy was for over 32, and not 30, and I don’t think that really exists anymore. Once we stopped being in the top tier of wages, the rolling one year contract stopped. As far as I recall the last such contract was offered to Pires. What hasn’t changed is the principle that you have to be more cautious offering long term contracts to older players. That just makes sense. RVP is on a 5 year contract. Good for him, but it remains to be seen if he’ll still be considered a great signing 4 years hence. And his approach was to ensure that the club couldn’t keep him anymore. Something Arsenal, for all the criticism of being more interested in profit, might actually have intended to do.

  22. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ssinderias

    For everybody who compares footballers to us regular folks, and speculates that we would do the same as RvP if another job offer came along for more money, I would like to outline a big difference.
    Footballers who make it at that level, are 1%. The rest of us are 99%. They are subject to a higher standard of scrutiny and morality than the rest of us. The standards are different.

  23. Vote -1 Vote +1Jaymin

    Arsenal is a special club. When players leave Arsenal to go to clubs like Barcelona, or City, or now even United, it is because they are selfish, and ungrateful. The fact that some of them still have years left on their contracts, and Arsenal makes no effort to keep them in what would be an easy endeavor given that, hey, they have years left on their contracts, is not indicative, at all, of any possibility that Arsenal might actually actively desire that they be sold, as part of a strategy to maximize the value of its assets.
    strategy to maximize the value of its assets.
    when the Vermaelens and Artetas of world football come to Arsenal from smaller clubs like Ajax and Everton, it is because they need to take the next leap in their careers, to play with the elite. When van Persie and Fabregas et al leave Arsenal to go to clubs that win trophies, reaping Arsenal football club tens of millions of pounds which it greedily laps up and then stashes away, it is because they are greedy mercenaries. van Persie, who single-handedly (-footedly haha!) kicked Arsenal into the Champions League, refused a cheaper contract with Arsenal, half of what was on offer elsewhere, and instead requested a move to a domestic rival who paid its players more, and, therefore, was likely to keep them, and inevitably lift trophies. He maybe didn’t understand why Arsenal would not match the offers coming in, after all, when he was growing up, Arsenal were a top-tier club. nonetheless, the offers did not come in from Arsenal. So he engaged in some dastardly and underhanded muckraking. and now both he and Fabregas are going to win league titles, and Arsenal is going to struggle for its ultimate ambition this year: the FA Cup and 4th place.
    WIlshere is a special player. Special players leave Arsenal to go to clubs like Barcelona, or City, or now even United. Now he is a lion, a symbol and a rallying voice of hope. When he goes gooners worldwide (and there will be fewer of them than there are now) might very well say that he has done so because he was greedy and ungrateful. It doesn’t matter. There is only one voice that speaks in football, and that is sporting success. the mythology is drowned out by the strong baritone of the Sky/Fox/BeIN/ETC noise tubes which beam the exploits across the world. The only way to success is good players, and the only way to get and keep them is to pay them competitively. Accepting $100 when someone else is offering you $250 is insanity. Neither party cares about you, this is no mom and pop economy anymore. van Persie’s ligaments pop, and Arsenal tells him “so long, and thanks!” same as United will do if his injuries reemerge. We are becoming the most whining fans in the league, every song we sing is now one excoriating a former player, including one about wishing a former striker had been shot dead in Angola. Turn the anger where it belongs, as Canadarse has eloquently stated above.

  24. Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

    You know what would be great? A Tim’s stats-driven analysis of RvP this season witn that lot and last season still with us. Just to know if the club made the right decision.

  25. Vote -1 Vote +1ignatzuk

    What RvP did pissed everybody off because he demonstrated a complete lack of loyalty or respect.

    I don’t know if a lack of loyalty and respect can be called immoral. Maybe yes, maybe no.

    What I do know is that as an Arsenal fan, and also a fan of the player, I wish he had shown some ambition and loyalty and stayed with the club. But it wasn’t to be. Deciding that he wanted to leave was his choice, and one that’s easily defended from a career perspective. But he dropped a long way in my personal estimation, and it’s interesting that it’s not only Arsenal fans who now think he’s a total dick, most neutrals also do, and even a few United fans I know are a little sheepish.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Cliffy

      Justice will be served if Arsenal thrash ManU with a six goal difference and RVP gets to play 90 minutes and miss a penalty…

      Looking from the fans side…thats when we can forgive RVP for not being loyal to the club..

      From Wengers side.. I think RVP will have to carry that burden through out his life..No trophies can justify the wrong done to Wenger..

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