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Where Did it Go Wrong for Robin van Persie?

There’s no love lost between Arsenal fans and Robin van Persie.

The Flying Dutchman had scored 132 goals in 277 appearances for the Gunners and he was touted to at least come close to Thierry Henry’s goalscoring record at the club because of the alarming rate at which he was scoring goals. In his very first game against the Gunners, he scored after a Thomas Vermaelen error and he was rather apologetic but as he played more games against his former employers, the relationship got soured.

In his first season at Manchester United, van Persie scored 30 goals for his new team with 26 of them coming in the Premier League. Those goals in the League helped Manchester United to their 20th Premier League title and of course, the end of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson’s career with the club. The incoming manager, David Moyes, favored the Dutchman to lead the line ahead of Wayne Rooney but the injury demons that haunted him in his early seasons came back to haunt him. He still managed to score 18 goals that season, one behind top scorer Rooney (19). Under Moyes, United endured their worst spell and in al honesty, it was fun seeing them struggle the way they did.

It was last season that things really went bad for the Dutchman. He just couldn’t stay fit and while many were thinking that he would come back to his best under his former national manager, Louis van Gaal, things didn’t pan out that way. Whether it was down to LVG’s tactics or the issues with RVP, things went downhill for the Dutchman, even to the extent when he was stripped off penalty duties when he missed a spot kick in Manchester United’s 1-0 shock home loss to West Brom.

Van Persie scored a meager 10 goals for Manchester Untied last season and after some speculation regarding his future, BBC Sport has reported that he’s closing in on a move to Turkish giants, Fenerbahce. As you expect from Arsenal trolls, van Persie has been mocked on social media in the wake of his proposed move to Fenerbahce. If he leaves Manchester United this summer, the club will have only two recognized strikers in Wayne Rooney and James Wilson, even though Memphis Depay can play through the middle when the need arises. He has scored 58 goals in 105 games for United.

The question on people’s minds would be – did he make the right decision leaving Arsenal for Manchester United in the first place? If he stayed at Arsenal and signed the contract the Gunners offered him, he would have been instrumental to the team in their 2013/14 Premier League title challenge and he would have been part of the FA Cup triumphs.

With the influx of exceptional talent into the club, van Persie would have formed a lethal partnership with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott but he’s set to play alongside the likes of Emmanuel Emenike and co. lol! At least, seeing David Ospina around would make him reminiscence on his Premier League days.

At 31, his career was on the wane and this move out of the spotlight was probably the best thing for him. At least, Fenerbahce is in the Champions League and anytime they lock horns with rivals, Galatasaray, van Persie would come up against Lukas Podolski, one of the players that was bought to replace him.

He has laid his bed, so he has to lie on it.

Farewell from the Premier League, Robin van Persie.

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Van Persie Wins the League, Arsenal Scraps For Euro Qualification – Reality Check

A bitter pill to swallow

In the tail end of last season, Arsenal exhibited the kind of form that showed what champions were made of. After two horror away outings against AC Milan and Sunderland that saw the Gunners eliminated from those competitions, Arsene Wenger’s men had only the Premier League to fight for.

When Arsenal needed some players to stand up and be counted with qualification for Champions League football the ultimate prize (shamefully), some men proved their mettle for the Red and White Army. Thomas Vermaelen stepped up with some vital match winners against Newcastle and Everton, Alex Song continued to turn on the style with some trademark assists, Tomas Rosicky was on a renaissance and at the top of the pile stood Arsenal’s talismanic perpetual goalscoring machine of the first kind – Robin van Persie.

After shipping in 30 goals in the Premier League, winning the Golden Boot with a plethora of individual awards, Arsenal were faced with their biggest decision in the summer. We all know how everything panned out and I’m certainly in no mood to take you down memory lane.

With a lethal goalscorer gone, many had tipped Wenger to go for the Falcaos, Benzemas and Lewandowskis of world football, but the manager had proactively purchased two players that would fill into the big shoes of the departed goalscoring machine. The earlier purchase was a renowned German superstar that had already notched up a century of appearances for his nation while the latter purchase came into the limelight after his goalscoring exploits helped his team to their maiden Ligue 1 title.

While Lukas Podolski enjoyed a pretty decent start to his Arsenal career with goals against Liverpool, Southampton (damn, what a free kick!) and Montpellier, Olivier Giroud struggled to find his feet but managed to break his duck against Coventry in the Capital One cup. As the season progressed, Podolski popped with a couple of vital goals while Giroud went through his purple patches of goalscoring form as well.

While Robin van Persie scored 37 goals in his final season at Arsenal, the combination of Giroud and Podolski have amassed 31 goals thus far and with the Frenchman bracing himself to serve a three-match ban following his red card against Fulham (Arsenal has appealed to the FA), it’s fair to say that his goalscoring hurl is over for the season, except he intends to repeat his brace against Newcastle on the final day of the campaign. Podolski on the other hand, will be given a chance to spearhead Arsenal’s attack (Wenger believes he can do it) and he’ll be odds on to add to his current tally.

Judging two players that came from relatively different football cultures, I must say that Wenger struck gold with his new forwards and many things will be expected of them next season, as they’ll have no excuses of adapting to the rigors of the Premier League.

Looking away from the goalscoring exploits of Podolski and Giroud, I tend to ask myself what went wrong for Arsenal this season. There was the issue of instability in goal, some atrocious and shambolic defending, individual errors, below-par performances for some players, toothless attacking outings against teams that smothered the Gunners, tactical errors from the boss as well as the regulars – injuries, suspensions and bad officiating from the Premier League’s incompetent referees.

Van Persie on the other hand, joined a team with a wizard of a manager, a vital blend of exuberant youth and experienced old hags, stellar defensive performances, a feared home ground, undoubted favor from the referees, and of course, Shrek. While Arsenal continued to struggle with those perceived weaker Premier League sides, Manchester United dispatched them in ruthless fashion and the fact that the Gunners are currently 22 points behind the table toppers is damn right puzzling to say the least.

While the Gunners remain hopeful for Champions League qualification, they continue to look over their shoulders as Chelsea and Tottenham continue to breath down their necks. If its any solace, both London sides will clash with each other for their game in hand and every hopeful Gooner is in alignment with the assessment that three wins from Arsenal’s remaining four games can guarantee Champions League qualification.

We tend to forget that these four games are against a Manchester United side hell-bent on reaching and probably surpassing Jose Mourinho’s long-standing Premier League points record for Chelsea (95 points). There’s also the potential threat of Queens Park Rangers and Wigan floating on relegation waters and they will be hoping to get the points they need to escape the inevitable drop. With only 37 points in the bag, Newcastle isn’t still assured of their Premier League status so I don’t expect them to roll over and play dead for Arsenal.

Despite the hugely impressive performances of late, Arsenal’s nervy win over Fulham was a major cause for concern as the players failed to capitalize on the numerical advantage provided to them by Steve Sidwell’s aberration of a tackle and it was really awkward to know that Fulham was closer to scoring an equalizer than Arsenal extending their lead.

At this point in time, many people didn’t care how the Gunners played against Fulham because we got all three points but you don’t need any soothsayer to predict the outcome of what will happen if the Gunners replicate such a performance against Manchester United at the Emirates this weekend.

Some football fans like Wilson Dike believe that van Persie deserves a guard of honor at the Emirates, as we couldn’t give him what he wanted and he got it somewhere else, citing that a player of his caliber deserves to win the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson took what seemed like a risk to buy a 29-year-old attacker with an injury record more glaring than the lack of hair on Howard Webb’s head but after taking that risk, he has reaped the rewards.

24 Premier League goals for a striker worth 24 million pounds. 1 mil per goal? HYFR.

While it hurts like hell to see van Persie and Manchester United win the Premier League yet again, Arsenal fans remain optimistic that next season will be better than this campaign. A phrase that has been repeated for the past eight years.

I really hope that Arsenal would do well to qualify for the Champions League, then we wait patiently to see what Monsieur Wenger has in store for us this summer.

Sayonara.

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A Gooner’s Perspective IV: Life after van Persie

What a shame

When I take a peek at my BlackBerry messenger, I see Manchester United fans taunt me and several Gooners out there with pictures of Robin van Persie signing his bumper contract, hanging out with Shrek and of course, unveiling the jersey vacated by OleGunnar Solskjaer.

Solksjaer was heralded as the “baby-faced” assassin because of his predatory instincts in the box but he was vastly remembered for his never-ending injury woes that ultimately cost him his football career. I have a hunch that some Arsenal fans have wished the same for van Persie.

I shared my humble opinions on this van Persie issue countless times on this blog but I felt it was high time I got the opinions of three selected Gunners. May I introduce,

@Dondeonbeke: Gideon is a very wayward barrister that’s a die-hard Arsenal fan. In the past, he was very smart…then school happened. Oh well.

@Alexmustii: Alex can be likened to Nicolas Anelka not for his old age, bald head or celebrations like a retarded vulture….but for his penchant from moving from one location to another. He’s a fun-loving Gooner that loves making friends.

@iChyChy_: ChyChy is the self-acclaimed Chilolo I of Africa. She’s also a cute Goonerette, Twitter celeb *yimu* and you can find her anywhere there’s dodo. -__-

Unlike the last episode were the meeting venue was undisclosed, we agreed to meet in the Food Court at the Palms. After the engagement, Gideon and Alex were discharged and I went to see Batman: Dark Knight Rises with ChyChy (famzing noni!) -__-

*Enigma orders pizza from Pizza Inn*

*ChyChy arrives at Food Court*

Enigma: Hey ChyChy, you look fab! :D *searches for Yeezy* -__-

ChyChy: Thanks Enigma.

Gideon: *pings Enigma* Bros, where you dey na?

Enigma: *looks around* Ogbeni, I’ve seen you.

*Alex steps in*

Enigma: Finally, we’re good to go.

ChyChy: Enigma, I thought @Gingerstiff was supposed to join us?

Enigma: Don’t mind Eli Cohn joor! Baba dey form busy. Make him go look bush -__-

*Waiter arrives with Pepperoni Pizza*

Gideon: Hmmmm…smells good.

Musty: Yeah. Enigma hope you’re not going to do like Nicklas Bendtner and pay for this pizza.

Enigma: Loooooool! I’m a gbo gbo gbigs boy na….I can like to buy the pizzeria if I want to.

ChyChy: *yimu*

Gideon: Bendtner said the same thing and still didn’t pay for the pizza.

Enigma: Guys, let’s dig in. *orders drinks*

Enigma: Today’s episode will be focused on van Persie, that mofo that left us to join Manure United. Before his poorly-timed statement on the 4th of July, what was your take on van Persie?

Alex: I saw a hero who despite setbacks of several years with injuries finally became prominent in his striking role. I could have sworn that he was someone who wouldn’t ditch Arsenal even if his ancestors ask him to do so.

Enigma: *In Pete Edochie’s tone* YOU DON’T MEAN IT.

Gideon: I saw RvP as the kind of captain we’d been missing since Vieira, a man who loves the club and understood what it meant to be not just a player but a Gooner.

Enigma: SuperStory *yawns*

ChyChy: Mehn I loved Van Persie! Always thought he would stay forever but then……. people leave!

Enigma: It can cause painment bah? :(

ChyChy: Yeh! :(

Enigma: How did you feel when he said that he wasn’t going to renew his contract with the club?

Alex: When he said he was not going to renew his contract, I thought he had a good reason on the fact that he wanted Arsenal to strengthen its squad.

ChyChy: I didn’t feel anything actually, just thought maybe it was all a media hype or a way to draw Wenger’s hands so he would buy.

Enigma: Hmmmm, you guys are in the same wavelength. Gideon, did you think that he released that statement for Arsenal to strengthen up?

Gideon: Boy, was I pissed! It wasn’t the fact he didn’t want to sign a new contract that got me angry anyway. He came out and openly questioned and disrespected Arsene Wenger and a club that had stood staunchly by him through everything. I wanted him sold immediately!

Enigma: Ahn ahn, why evils?

Gideon: *shrugs*

*Waiter returns with drinks*

Alex: Finally…Enigma, where’s your Alomo na?

Enigma: Alomo in Shoprite? Make I half -__-

ChyChy: Hehehe

Enigma: What’s your opinion of him after his move to Manchester United?

Gideon: My opinion of him is pretty poor but I also realize it’s a moot point. He’s not an Arsenal player and that’s that. He disrespected the club I love and that is unforgivable.

Enigma: End of story. You can’t fit to shout bah?

Gideon: At all my brother.

Alex: He is just like them Ca$hley, Na$ri, Cli$hy and to an extent, Fabrega$. C*nts and betraying bastards!

Enigma: So much evilry for RvP!

ChyChy: He was one of the ‘rest’…..Betrayers!

Enigma: That was just wrong tho…Moving on, what are your pros and cons of his sale to Manchester United?

ChyChy: Still unsettled to answer.

Enigma: Eiyah…..pele!

Alex: Indifferent.

Gideon: Pros: We get an unhappy player off the books. We got a fantastic deal in offloading a usually injury prone 29-year-old in the final year of his contract. We can now concentrate on the beginning of the league with players who actually want to be here. CONS: We just lost our best player, make no mistake about it. And we strengthened the enemy in the process. That was gutting and still a bit painful. We’ve lost a shed-load of goals in the process as well.

Enigma: *Snores*. Gideon, you sef ehn?

Gideon: wetin?

Enigma: Nothing oh, before you burst for my head like that ISO 9002 Certified Bottle breaker, Yeezy. -__-

Enigma: Who is your ideal replacement for van Persie and why?

Alex: Llorente.

Enigma: Why?

Alex: Llorente -__-

Enigma: Hian…, ChyChy, what about you dearie. Who’s your ideal replacement for RvP?

ChyChy: No one can possibly replace him! He’s in a class of his own! But maybe Llorente or Lewandowski might come near!

Enigma: Lewandowski na net burster sha. I was really impressed with him last season.

Gideon: Ideal replacement? I can get creative and wishful right? The only player that can singularly replace RVP’s goals in Europe for a CF is Falcao. I do love him but I’d say he’s far out of reach. Atletico aren’t mad.

Enigma: Gideon, there’s a big difference between a wish and a miracle. Falcao ko, Super Falcons ni.

Gideon: Guy, park well.

Enigma: Gaan French kiss a cobra.

ChyChy: Can we move on please?

Enigma: *In a soldier’s voice* Ma, yes ma!!!

Alex: Enigi, God is watching you!

Enigma: -__-

Enigma: What’s your take on Arsene Wenger and the Board after they sanctioned his sale to Man Utd, despite fooling us that they were going to keep him?

ChyChy: When I heard it, my first thought was “Oh Gosh not Man U…any club but not them“….. But then it’s obvious we the fans tend to forget that football is also a business and we are the ‘consumers’… We mostly don’t have a say!

Alex: They fooled themselves!

Gideon: I always expected him to be sold as soon as he released that daft, half witted statement. So, my opinion of the board is actually pretty high for getting that much for him considering only Manure were really interested in him. As for Wenger, I actually do feel sorry for him. He sometimes comes across as a naive schoolboy who thinks the high school hottie is in love with him because she smiled at him 3 days ago. I believe he’d almost started to believe RVP could stay for one more season and sign.

ChyChy: “He sometimes comes across as a naive schoolboy who thinks the high school hottie is in love with him because she smiled at him 3 days ago” Looooooooooooooooool

Enigma: What are your hopes for Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski?

ChyChy: As an Arsenal fan I’ve high hopes. I hope they score many goals as well but they have to settle and fit in first! Right?

Alex: Yes ke!

Gideon: Podolski is going to be an instant hit! His shooting ability is unrivalled by any forwards we’ve had at Arsenal in ages. Accuracy and power combined beautifully. As for Giroud, I envisage he’ll take a bit longer to get into the flow of things and then will bang in a boatload from October onwards.

Enigma: Dondeon oh!!! And I thought that Mallam Ramsey was bad enough with his plenty plenty English. -__-

Alex: Poldy and Giroud should hit the ground running so that the club do not miss or feel the absence of van Persie.

Enigma: What does the future hold for Theo Walcott and Alex Song?

Gideon: Theo will sign a new contract. He’s English, knows he won’t get as many opportunities elsewhere. He’s a smart guy. Song, I hope we sell. not because i don’t think he’s a great player but because i think with our midfield dynamic with Cazorla as the offensive point, Song’s forward play becomes redundant and he doesn’t do enough defensively. I’ll miss his physical strength in midfield, but not much else.

Enigma: So much evils on Song, I’m sure that it was you, Gideon, that helped him to clear out his locker.

ChyChy: It’s clear they gonna leave someday too…but hopefully not now!.. Song ain’t all that so no big deal…..Walcott too! So whatever!

Alex: Arsenal should surprise us and hold onto both Song and Walcott long term.

Gideon: Cool story bro.

Enigma: Apparently, two out of three in this gathering want Song out. I guess I’ll join the bandwagon. Song can like to sod off with his freakish hairstyles.

Enigma: Who else do you want out of Arsenal and why?

ChyChy: Squillaci and Djourou! No Reason…I just don’t like their faces, it scares me! LOL.. Not really!…. We don’t need Error prone players at a time like this!

Enigma: Comparing Squillaci with Mikael Silvestre is no different from comparing Homer Simpson with Peter Griffin in terms of stupidity. They even shared the same number with Pascal Cygan, oh well.

Alex: Enigi, heeeeeeevuls!

Gideon: Song, if for nothing else than the fact he’ll be Darren Dein’s last client at the club. For those wondering why that’s important, DD is RVP and Cesc’s agent as well. Put simply, he’s a c*nt!

Enigma: Errrrrrr, I thought that RvP’s agent was Kess Vos or something? Like it matters.

Enigma: We’re almost done guys, two more questions to go.

ChyChy: Yeah, we gotta hurry up. The Batman move will start in a bit.

Enigma: Our Batman movie bah?

ChyChy: -__-

Enigma: *yimu*, Oya name your expected XI for the Premier League curtain raiser against Sunderland.

Gideon:
Szczesny
Jenkinson                    Koscielny                        Vermaelen                   Gibbs

Song (Coquelin if he’s sold before Saturday)
Arteta                    Cazorla
Walcott                                             Podolski                                           Gervinho.

I happen to have a sneaking suspicion the boss will play Nico Yennaris ahead of Jenkinson though; he’s more technically advanced than Jenks. ha! what the fuck do i know eh? lol.

Alex:

Szczesny
Koscielny                    Mertesacker                        Koscielny                   Andre Santos

Song
Arteta                    Cazorla
Walcott                                             Giroud                                           Podolski

ChyChy: Same starting XI with Alex, with the exception of Andre Santos. I’ll pick Gibbs.

Enigma: Finally, what are your expectations for the forthcoming season, with life after van Persie?

Alex: The omen and odds are in our favour this season looking at past trends when Arsenal did win titles, such of these things occurred, therefore i believe in this team and they will surely make us proud and filled with smiles come May 2013.

Enigma: Then in May, we would say that next season will be better than this one bah? *gulps*

Gideon: With the squad depth we have at the moment, I’d consider us dark horses for the title. I expect we’ll take the FA and Capital One cups a bit more serious this season as well seeing that there are other youth tournaments for our youngsters. so, an FA cup win and second in the league I think. I’d much rather we won the league though. and oh, another painful semi final exit in the Champions’ league.

Enigma: I hope it won’t be to Manchester United like the 2008/09 season.

ChyChy: We are stronger and we gonna prove our critics wrong!! Amen!

Enigma: Amen! Thank you so much for sharing your perspectives on life after van Persie.

Gideon: You’re welcome bro. Good job with the blog.

Enigma: ChyChy, shall we?

*Enigma joins the queue for popcorns and soft drinks*

*Enigma walks into the movie theater with ChyChy* Famzing at its peak

*Gideon swims to Warri*

*Alex travels (yet again) to Port Harcourt* Anelka noni!

You can follow Gideon, Alex and ChyChy on Twitter.

Sayonara.

 

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