RvP: At Last, The Truth We Already Knew, Is Out

In a statement which reeked of agentspeak, Robin van Persie confirmed his intention not to renew his contract with Arsenal, as is his right. Amid the acrimomy, let us not forget that he remains an Arsenal player; he has not yet left. Whether he takes to the pitch against Sunderland on the opening day is another matter.

In the statement on his personal website, he claimed,

it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward

Money is not the root cause. Sorry, Robin, I don’t believe you. Like all of us, your head has been turned by the lure of fantastic riches. Like all footballing heroes before you, a mere mortal not a giant among men.

Presume for one minute though that amongst the double-talk, the reason he stated is the truth; he does not agree with the club’s philosophy. It is late in the day to decide this and if he really did disagree, he was not giving his all on the pitch as he claims. He was unsettled which meant we did not get 100% effort; 95% was pretty good, as it happens.

What are those differences though? At club and international level, he has seen first hand the success 4-3-3 can bring for the Spanish sides whilst the failures of Arsenal and the Netherlands are painful for (us and) him. Did he want the pragmatism which influenced the Spanish this summer, to be more prevalent at Arsenal? Would he prefer 4-4-2? That seems unlikely unless his admiration for Dennis Bergkamp led him to believe he would be more usefully employed in a similar role?

Did he want named individuals in? A player cannot dictate that. He might not like the signings the manager makes but he cannot demand his best friends join. Those reasons do not add up. Once more, the circle ends when you reach money. To paraphrase Scroobius Pip:

Samir Nasri? Just a player
Cesc Fabregas? Just a player
Robin van Persie? Just a player

Am I disappointed with the decision? Of course. Am I surprised? Not in the slightest. Everyone knows where he stands; we all know that this is his last season at the club, presuming of course that he is not sold beforehand. A late sale in August, no more than two days before the window closes, would be hugely disruptive for his new employers. The international break starts on September 2nd, inconveniencing them in trying to integrate him into the squad. Above all else, it has to happen when Arsenal are ready.

There are wider issues to be addressed, which is where the truth becomes unpalatable. van Persie is one of the game’s top strikers and he wants to leave Arsenal. I am sure that aside from money, a prime motivation is in wanting to win silverware. His statements about respect are guff. There is none. It is what he has not said that makes more sense, underlining the sheer lack of self-awareness.

I have always defended van Persie when he was called a crock but the desire for medals at the end of his career illuminates how costly his absences have been. Injured in equalising at Wembley; missing for most of the 2007-08 season when the club should have won the title. He scored seven in his fifteen Premier League appearances; it is not inconceivable that had he been around for fifteen more games the necessary points might have been secured, vital goals scored to regain or retain momentum. He will never admit this; he cannot for it identifies his own contribution to the collective failures.

Arsenal reacted in a manner you would expect.

We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfil his commitments to the Club.  We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal’s best interests in mind.

They have been planning for this all along. My own suspicion is that they have one major signing to make and there will be one another whom could best be described as a squad player. More importantly, the club has to tie down Theo Walcott’s contract to give some stability to the remainder of the summer. Too much speculation surrounds players at the best of time.

Equally they have to manage contracts more efficiently. Consecutive seasons with players being allowed to drift into the latter stages creates uncertainty. It leaves the player with the option to invoke his right to rundown the contract. Wages will become an issue that I am sure the club are beaten with but those who choose to make such a point show their lack of grasp in the economics; Arsenal cannot compete with the £200k salaries quoted. Even if you remove the ‘deadwood’ as they are disparagingly referred to, would the club be better in deploying that money one player or on two of say, Podolski’s level? Is Podolski at a lower level than van Persie? That latter question will be answered over the course of the German’s time at the club.

The final issue on this comes down to the captaincy. It must pass to a player who is committed to the club; van Persie is not and therefore should not be given the honour. For Arsène, it is an unimportant role; he wants a team of eleven leaders. But there is a symbolism for fans and that should not be overlooked.

’til Tomorrow.

462 thoughts on “RvP: At Last, The Truth We Already Knew, Is Out

  1. What about this pre season games against Man City in china, that should be fun. Can we sell to Man City?

  2. more like this frank…hello olivier do you want to sign for the Arsenal?? sacre bleu no you have rvp when vill i a play! dont worry rvp is fucking us over for all our loyalty we showed him you will be our new main man….show me where to a sign le boss..

  3. Gael Clichy
    Samir Nasri
    Cesc Fabregas
    Robin Van Persie
    Nicklaus Bendtner
    Theo Walcott (possibly)

    These players were the very heart of our team for the past 3-4 seasons.
    All seasons in which we seriously choked at some point.
    Finals, Semi-finals, Quarter-finals all bolloxed up for one reason or another.
    And THEY have the balls to say they are leaving to win trophies, not for the cash?
    I think I would faint if any of them had reall balls and admitted that together as a team they were just not good enough.

    Before this group of players we had The Invincibles.

    This group should go down as The Inevitables.

    As every time they had their chances (many of them) they Inevitably buckled under the pressure. In hindsight, it explains why AW always mentioned mental strength, he knew they did not have it but was determined to try and instill it in them. Was it thrilling to watch? Of course it was!! Hell, even the Spuds fans were watching the Arsenal-Barca games. And to think of all the criticism Almunia got for his mistakes, when all along he was surrounded by talented but non-believing players when the chips were down. I will never forget those first 21 minutes against Barca when they ran us ragged, only to come up against arguably the most villified Arsenal GK of all time, and he stopped everything they threw at him. Again and again and again! Big Al stayed and fought for his place no matter what and not once came out and talked shit about the club.

    Sagna Kos TV Santos
    Arteta Song Rosicky
    Ox Giroud Podolski

    Le Coq
    Park (why the fuck not!! even if it is just to confuse the opposition!!)

    Robin Van Who!?

  4. BRF,he did if Arsenal had told him they wanted him to see out his contract.
    I think they did .I also think he was told he did not dictate policy,and he was miffed that they didn’t see him as indispensable.
    He has thrown his toys out of the pram in order to get his big money move now.Not next year when his stock may have dropped.

  5. I would also like to see Yennaris given a chance to play in Theo’s position at some point. He has really impressed me when he has played. Not often I know but he is quick, a very good passer and likes to run with the ball. Homegrown player aswell I believe, so he won’t affact the squad limitations.

  6. And what is RVP going on about not having won any medals? Does he not have a World Cup Final Losers Medal? Greedy bastard!! How many medals does he want!?

  7. Robin peeked this year.
    He had a year like Dennis had in 98.But he is not Dennis and it lt will never be seen again.No matter where he plays.
    He was outshone by Rosicky in the last third of the season.
    We will miss him ,but don’t be fooled into thinking what we will miss is this years model.That has had its day.

  8. ” Also, Philmar, never say that everyone can be baught, even if you can. We have a manager that has proven that wrong, no? ”

    Sure Paul and there’s that jesus bloke, Buddha amd Mother Teresa and that Gandhi guy who I understand was rubbish at heading the ball. Too bad we didn’t sign any of them when they were available. 😉

  9. George!! What are you slating one of our players for?
    Surely there are other players on our squad that peaked , oh say 4 years ago and were outshone by Rosicky the WHOLE season.

    Just pushing your buttons, relax 😉

  10. Well you may be kidding Philmar,but there is a deal of truth in your jest.
    And it saddens me to admit it.But the truth was there to be seen by all .Even me.

  11. Many good posts this evening.

    @ PG, sorry for the delayed response to your 7:19 pm comment. Yes, I would agree – I am much less angry about the RVP developments. It helps that the club has given the impression that they are far more in control of events this summer compared to last. And you’re right, it was the thought that RVP was a better human being than Fabregas and Nasri that had me thinking he would stay, so that aspect of it is certainly more disappointing.

  12. LSG

    well, people here are only bayern munich fans when they are winning.i mean aside from the other gooners i know from the pub, i have seen quite a few people with arsenal merchandise. like the polo tee, once even a duffel bag. and once a little girl in the jersey. .

    and come to think of it, i have never really seen anyone wearing stuff from man utd or liverpool.

  13. In a strange way, this whole saga of us losing one or more players every year reminds me of the interesting discussion earlier in the week about survival of the fittest. With the football landscape having changed so dramatically by the oil money, Arsenal’s biggest chance of success may come from being the best to adapt to that new environment. If the new reality is that we will lose players every year (in some fashion) and, most years, we can sell them for a huge profit, then I think we can adapt to that better than most clubs. AW has arguably done better than any other manager at consistently unearthing gems. I can still see the club winning titles and trophies, just not necessarily regularly. Of course, it may be that the “gap” in salary level compared to the oil-financed clubs is reduced after the stadium debt is cleared and perhaps if FFP ever begins to bite.

    I recall some comparison of optimists and pessimists in a study. It turns out that the pessimists were more accurate in their view of the world, but the optimists were more successful. Food for thought!

  14. Wenger is a liar & Gazidis is a snake. Hill Wood/Fizsman/Carr & Bracewell-Smith left the club 300m in debt & sold out to Kronke, leaving the fans to pick up the bill. We have to sell our best players year after year & Kronke doesn’t have to invest an additional penny hiding behind the cloak of self sustainability.


  15. Good and valid points Limestone, I agree for brevity’s sake my position is overly simplistic.
    Bottom line is that the board probably has asked Wenger if he feels keeping Robin for one final year will win us the league. The fact the team/Wenger have bought Giroud and Podolski suggests to me that the answer was ‘no’. I honestly don’t think the team is trying to win the league but trying to ensure Champion’s league position until the debt is paid off. Every time a star player come to the wicket to renegotiate they are sold. the team can’t/isn’t willing to match financial dopers wages. The team hasn’t risked losing the transfer value for any of them even when we were closer than the 19 points we are from first.
    I don’t think we are close to winning the league. We need to makeup 19 points on BOTH Manc clubs. Purpleface Manure always comes back strongest when he’s been bested and Shitty have shedloads of funds to buy even more players this year.
    I suspect Arsene the economist and the board have deemed the best interests of the club are served by cashing in on Robin. Keeping him might get us within 5 or 8 points of the top spot but would we beat BOTH Manc clubs? i doubt it. We can’t even guarantee Robin next season won’t be more like his first 7.

  16. It will be interesting to see what happens with both United and City this year. It wouldn’t come as a shock to me to see United decline (further). They have an amazing will to win, but I don’t think they have strengthened enough. City could run away with the title, or they could just as easily implode. I think Arsenal are in with a reasonable chance.

  17. Limestone.

    You and I have always agreed that the club should start thinking about football results and spending money to improve results is money well spent. However the time to think about that was when we were making contract offers to RVP. Keeping a player who clearly does not want to stay has been negative in almost all cases. Had we offered him an extra 100,000 per week for 4 years it would have cost the club an extra 20M. 20M is about how much we could probably sell him for. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to keep him for 4 years and spend 20M rather then give up that much in transfer fee?

  18. Bill ,so by your maths that is 40 million for a 29 year old injury prone shit stirrer,sorry striker.
    Plus his existing wage 16 million so 56 million pounds for 4 years from him?

  19. So vP will be off if someone can offer some money, which is not 10 or 20 million. ….pounds. More like 40 unless it is the Blue Manchester and then it is 80 million. Double is fair for them.

    There is no hurry, we don’t need 20 million for him and he is worth that for a season as long as he stays fit, it is such a big pity that he was not able to stay fit for more seasons as he is an excellent player.

    What about his choice of club? It must be an emotional attachment as I don’t see them winning that much in the following years that he leaves.

    Goodbye vP this year or next and thanks. Giving our best player away last year meant we finished a place higher in the league with a better squad and Given Spains success without strikers……

  20. Of course, Bill. We have tried to pay top wages for young talents but that hasn’t produced loyalty and has exposed us at the top end. Transfer spending is inefficient compared to wage spending, as Arsene knows. That’s why he made those comments last summer about wages and the problem with competing at the highest level without being able to come close in wages. But the club wouldn’t or couldn’t do much. That was the time to make a big offer–maybe they did, but we don’t know.

    Transfer spend helps other clubs while wage spending goes straight to the player and helps attract them up your club. During our recent heyday we offered the highest or second highest wages in the PL and we won tons of titles. Now we can’t match certain clubs but our flat wage structure had tied our hands further than was optimal.
    Keeping your best players is the best way to succeed and spend efficiently. No doubt about that.

  21. People are often under the mu’s impression that AW would not spend so much on wages for players. He doesn’t have such qualms if the player gives his best to pay what the market requires. Sure ge’ll bargain hard and try to get the best deal for the club but it isn’t a matter of principle if you listen to remarks he has made on this–he doesn’t begrudge the players their rewards because they create most of the value, obviously. No one needs Kroenke or Gaxidis to enjoy the beautiful game– they only need players and coaches.

  22. LSG – Good points as always but you should also remember that our sponsorship deals with both Nike (kit supplier) and Emirates (sponsor) run out in 2014. Nike already extended their’s a few years ago and prsumably would like to do so again. I am sure the Emirates would be open to an extension deal too. Between the 2 deals we earn 13.5m a year. Nike $8m, Emirates $5.5m approx. Compare that to Liverpool who earn $20m from sponsorship and have a $25m kit deal with Warrior Sports. That is more than a $30m annual gap in income. Or to put it another way, a player like RVP every year (wages included). Just like when it comes to RVP’s contract, were we wanted to open talks before it ran out, I am sure both companies would like to do the same if they wish to retain their status with The Arsenal. I won’t even mention how much money we could be getting if we renegotiated the stadium sponsorship aswell.

    I do not think it is a coincidence that after 12 years absence, we start playing in China again. Talk about product placement!! The one country in the world right now that can afford to throw money around like there is no tomorrow and who shows up but The Arsenal. Playing the reigning PL champions no less. (Bloody good move that!) With all the billionaires in China these days buying up football clubs and former star-players (Anelka is a prime example), I wonder if any Chinese companies would be interested in slapping down $30-40m a year to have their name emblazoned on The Arsenal’s jersey? And if memory serves me correctly, most of the world’s textile businesses are in Chine these days so supplying the kit deal too might make a lot of sense.

  23. I would also point out that with the new TV rights deal, The Arsenal would stand to gain an extra $30m in that area alone. (approx.) And as we, unlike almost all other clubs, operate at a profit this money would be available for new players/contract increases to existing players. The future is very bright fellow Gooners, very bright indeed.

  24. Excellent thoughts, Irish, on the China question. Can you imagine what that game would be like if RvP goes to City?!?! How much would you put down that Frimpong, if fit, plays and goes in hard on RvP, Chilellini style? Sorry, oh he’s out for 4 months? Oh my!

    But regarding the sponsorships, commercial income and new tv deal, I refer to those above in my comments suggesting Arsenal can afford to prioritize football success and take a few reasonable risks to position itself to capitalize on those deals. CL finalist and league winner? Let’s go for it. Sign Theo and Song and bring in some midfield talent–a creative attacker. Make RvP play for us next year and so on.

  25. LSG – RVP has to go. He personally released a statement on his own website, virtually forcing AW to sell him. Totally classless. I am still pretty shocked he did it to be honest but what is done, is done. With a midfield of Song, Arteta, Diaby, JW, Rosicky, Ramsey, Le Coq, Frimpong I think we need a creative midfielder. M’Villa was looking to be the one but his off-field antics put AW off. I still think we may need another striker though. Dzagoev from Russia would suit me fine. He is only 22. Plus Denilson looked to be on his way back but then that reversed itself and he is staying another year at Sao Paulo, to me that might mean we have someone else coming in. Time will tell I suppose.

    As for Frimpong taking out RVP, will that happen before or after he upends the little bitch himself, Na$ri?

  26. Having heard all sides and opinions on this, once again, absolutely amazing site I am now convinced (a) Arsenal was planning for this and has made its contengencies (b) the sums had been done, it makes financial and maybe football sense if we run down the contract compared to an 8-10m bid, unless an offer in excess of 15-25m arrives (c) vP was leaving anyway, this season or next (d) vP is under immense pressure because Arsenal won’t release him.

  27. Irishgray:
    “I would also point out that with the new TV rights deal, The Arsenal would stand to gain an extra $30m in that area alone. (approx.) And as we, unlike almost all other clubs, operate at a profit this money would be available for new players/contract increases to existing players. The future is very bright fellow Gooners, very bright indeed.”

    But what’s the guarantee that it would be actually spend?

    I think you should install comment plugin from http://intensedebate.com . It will be very easy to have a debate using that and answer to specific post. Just a suggestion.

  28. “But regarding the sponsorships, commercial income and new tv deal, I refer to those above in my comments suggesting Arsenal can afford to prioritize football success and take a few reasonable risks to position itself to capitalize on those deals.”

    Isn’t that what they are doing? We’ve bought 2 players already and it’s only 6 days into the Transfer Window. Rumours are rife that this is not the end of it either.

  29. In any other business, what he has done would be gross misconduct and he would be sacked without notice. The tabloids must think it’s Christmas, dups!

  30. Bibin – Unlike you mate I don’t need, nor do I want, a guarantee that The Arsenal will spend every penny available to them every year. It is simply the idea that we could have an extra $30m every year, plus another $30-35m conservatively from renegotiated or new sponsorship deals re kit and Jersey name rights, that makes what the likes of RVP and Usmanov are doing truly laughable. This is the reason Usmanov had that letter published, if he does not try and get Kroenke out now before the next round of sponsorship comes in, he never will and he knows it. Can you imagine The Arsenal having $75m plus to spend every year on new players and/or better contracts for existibg stars? I can and so can a lot of other people. For some reason most of them are not gooners but are spuds, Chavez and lance(both blue and red& and it scares the shit out of them!! As well it should)

  31. No one is asking a guarantee of spending every year. But you need to spend this season, and that too very badly. When Cesc and Nasri left last season, RVP stepped up his game. But that’s a guy who has been playing in EPL for sometime. Podolski and Girrourd will take some time to adjust regardless of their talent. So at this moment, if RVP leaves(holding on to him is a no-brainer ) then you may need to spend some cash. Will Arsenal do that?

    Again the 30 million additional revenue is a double edged sword. I mean if you have 30 million extra, then ManU, Chelsea, Spurs, ManC also have similar amount of extra money available. Which will only help in driving the price of players upward and actually may not help you in signing more players.

  32. Nope….I can’t do this. I can’t stand behind a player for 8 years and then just give it up.

    I have to back both AFC and RvP until I know the real truth behind all of this. Something smells very fishy.

    One last chance, Robin…clickclickclick

  33. Frank – Unless his account as been hacked (which is unlikely as the club have responded) you are really burying your head in the sand there mate. The truth is he wants to leave. For more money and a increased chance of winning something. As an Arsenal supporter that is shit, but it is the truth.

  34. Good for you Frank. That’s the kind of never say die spirit we like! Bit more of that on and off the pitch this season and who knows what we might achieve. If RVP isn’t flogged off and we have a blinding season, then who knows?
    Anything is possible.

  35. Got to be more complicated than that, Andy. If he wants to move, I want to know why.

    What was he offered by AFC way back at the end of the season? Why are his family’s remarks at the time so out of line with his current position? Very odd for a family man.

    Who wrote the website piece, because it reads as though it was written by a ‘communications’ person?

    How come R&W Holdings put out such a comprehensively damning letter which was also produced by a’communications’ person and would have taken a long time to construct….within hours of RvPs website entry?

    What is the connection between those two events? Is there a connection between RvP and R&W? Because it looks as though there is.

    What is AWs position in all of this because he seems to sit in two camps.

  36. Amazingly reliable happy hacks engaged in some disinformation? If true, regarding AFC, it wouldn’t be the first time. Nor the last.

  37. It is possible that Robin is sitting in the middle of maelstrom which has been brewing for some time and is not necessarily of his making. Maybe he is the agent of change, the catalyst.

  38. No I don’t think that the hacks are doing anything other than reporting. They are delighted to have the column inches and air time. The main protagonists are all connected to Arsenal, Finsbury, and some of them are very happy to use new media as a weapon. Fans and pundits are pawns, so are the players…and so is our captain.

  39. Frank – All decent questions. And you could well be right, there may be more to it than meets the eye.

    Personally I believe that he belives at the stage of his career he needs to move in order to win things. The upshot of that is the huge wages he can now command which he won’t get at Arsenal. I really like RvP, but am really disapointed that he has not really paid the club back after the stood by him during his numerous injury problems. But that is modern day footballers I think.

    I would imagine AW is both hugely frustrated and feeling let down in equal measures.

  40. All this rubbish reminds me of Amy Lawrence’s exclusive: ‘Footballers argue in dressing room’ I was shocked. Imagine the pampered and inflated ego’s of the likes of Gallas & Nasri, Balotelli and a few blades of grass and Tom & Jerry arguing? I was as distraught as I was when I read the, er, the ‘statement’ by the Lion of Uzbekistan.

  41. Interesting Frank. I remember thinking yesterday that someone must’ve pulled a serious all-nighter on that R&W letter, otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible to get it done as a spontaneous response to RvP’s statement, considering that was published towards the end of office hours anyway. After the initial emotion dies down, it’s true; you wonder to what extent it was orchestrated.

    Were R&W expecting more outrage? Demonstrations outside the stadium?

  42. This is bigger than one player and bigger than arguments in the dressing room or a desire for medals. The battle royal for AFC has started to hot up. I hope that RvP is not the first casualty.

  43. Its a bitter pill to swallow when a man turns out to be nothing like the picture in your mind.No,sadly someone we all hoped to be a great captain and an example to the twats who had previously let us down .Has turned out the biggest cunt of them all.A combination of Brutus,Judas and Samri Nasri.

  44. Passenal, yes, I think that is what Arsenal are doing in fact and it is why I have been fighting the corner to suggest that they might keep RvP for next season.

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