The Robin van Persiegate Saga: What the Gunners Think About it
“I have been at the club for eight years and I am proud of that. I am a true Gunner. I love this club and that is no secret.”
“I will sit down with the manager and president at the end of the season and we will have coffee together.
“We will talk about many things but I already do that quite often with the manager anyway.”
These words were culled from the player that carried Arsenal’s goalscoring burden on his back the way Atlas carries the Pandora’s Box.
If he wasn’t in existence and his amazing haul of 30 league goals was taken away from the total number of goals Arsenal scored in the league, the Gunners would have shared the same number of goals with Swansea (44), a team that finished the league in 11th place.
Van Persie has been a class act all season long, and he has handled himself admirably amidst the media vulture barrages in regard to his future. Towards the mid-point of this concluded campaign, van Persie was approached by Arsenal’s hierarchy with contract talks imminent, but he stalled till the end of the season.
Days after the enthralling curtain closer against West Brom that sealed the Gunners Champions League fate, the figureheads of the club braced up for a “crucial meeting” with van Persie, with his future being the agenda of the meeting. I’d hoped for Alex Song to accompany van Persie that fateful day, knowing that he could assist him, but they reached a deadlock.
Many Gooners started questioning van Persie’s “loyalty” but this masterpiece of an article by Lady Arse gave me a path to follow regarding this situation. I strongly suggest that you read it to get a “path” too.
In my own humble words, I gave five reasons why van Persie shouldn’t be begrudged if he decided to leave Arsenal which included:
- Arsenal’s lack of transfer activity in general
- Failure to replace key members of the squad
- Present deadwood playing for the club
- The heavy burden of goalscoring and,
- A player of his talent deserves better.
For reasons best known to Chuck Norris, Master Yoda and probably Loki, I want to place myself in van Persie’s shoes.
I, a young talented footballer had a tumultuous start to my career but I found solace in the hands of a man I can call my father (Wenger). He took me in and handed me a chance to work with the best elder brothers around (Henry and Bergkamp) and they did their possible best to tutor me in the right path before handing over the baton.
However, I suffered more injuries than the amount of times Lionel Messi fires a shot on target and I couldn’t fulfil the massive potential everyone believed I had. There were calls for my head on a plate, but my daddy stood by me and never stopped believing that I’ll come good.
After going to the bowels of the Earth, using horse placentas and what have you, I started 2011 with a bang and finished it with a bigger bang. Within months, I became the headline of every back page as I smashed records on the go. In my second season of full fitness, I guided my team to a third place finish but at some point in the season, I publicly declared that without them I’m nothing.
Now that my father (Wenger), brothers (teammates) and extended family (fans) need me the most, I’ve told them all that my stingy Scrooge of a daddy has to bring in new brothers before I can extend my stay. I also declare that I’m not really moved by green paper.
This my esteemed readers, is the Robin van Persiegate saga and here’s what other Gunners think about it.
In January, Le Forehead Gervinho said,
“I don’t want Robin van Persie to be sold. Arsenal is a team that needs great footballers and leaders on the pitch.
“And Robin is a player that pushes his team-mates to work more and do more during a match. It is a dream to play with him. He is the captain, the leader of the group, there is no doubt.
“I could see it from my very first day at the club. I believe when our adversaries see Robin in the team, it is a huge psychological shock.”
Arsenal’s newly-created backbone, Mikel Arteta is convinced that he’ll stay:
“He is completely unaffected by interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona and not thinking about his contract renewal either.
“Now he is very calm and is not nervous about anything. I know he has said that in the summer he will consider things, talk it over and take the decision that he will take.”
Goalkeeping legend in the making, Wojciech Szczesny, declared that he’s here to stay:
“We are trying to make the most of it while he is here, he is a great captain and leader of the team and we are very pleased to have him.
“I’m personally confident that he will stay at Arsenal. That is where he belongs and that is where he is at his very best.
More recently, Bacary Sagna shared his views too:
I honestly don’t know and Robin is the only person who will know that and I’m not sure that he’s even sure. I can tell you that he has a great desire to win games and to play in the Champions League.
‘We want more players to come to the team.
Finally, the much-maligned Aaron Ramsey gave his take on the situation:
“He has proven this season what his value is to the team with the goals he has scored. It’s important to keep those sort of players at the club.
“He was our top goalscorer, won the Golden Boot and the Player of the Year awards, so any team would want to keep him. Arsenal are no different.
“He hasn’t given any of the other lads any indications on what he is going to do. Nothing has been said. But, hopefully, he will stay.”
These Gunners have shared their views regarding the enigma shrouding van Persie’s future.
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