Robin van Persie has revealed on his now crashed site that he would not be renewing his current contract at Arsenal.
In doing so van Persie has left Arsenal with no leg to stand on when it comes to negotiating a price. The best Arsenal can hope for now is a bidding war, so they will be hoping that he doesn’t pull a Cesc and say definitively that he is only going to sign for one club as the would be truly disastrous.
It seemed clear that he wasn’t going to stay at the club as he had enough opportunities to state that he would stay at the club, so it begs the question why wasn’t this handled better? With no press release from Arsenal and only an independent statement, it seems that he has gone round their backs. Personally I am disappointed with the actions of the Arsenal captain, as with the critical remarks made it also leaves Arsenal with eggs on their face.
Who, if Arsenal are still looking to sign players, is going to want to join a club where their own captain questions their direction and resolve? If van Persie felt that he was being held to ransom, which doesn’t seem likely to me, then there are still better was to handle the situation. Surely he should understand as the club captain that any statements he makes are going to reflect the club, and any statements he makes about the club are going to be scrutinized by the world of football.
Arsenal fans and the club may well feel let down by a player that they have stuck by down the years, but at the end of the day this is a job for him, and if he is looking for greener pastures then he has to do what is best for him. As a player for the club and captain at that, he should have kept the club in a better position to get as much money as possible for him, whereas now he is going to be vilified, especially if he signs for any Premiership side, as a self serving in it for the money and personal gain.
It seems rather strange that in the statement he says “I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club” but has now come out and told the world that he wont be renewing his contract and Arsenal haven’t released a statement. You would think that if he has held his tongue for so long, that it could be held for a little while longer.
“This is an update for the fans about my current situation. I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club and as agreed with Mr Gazidis and Mr Wenger, but since there is so much speculation in the media, I think it is fair for you guys to know what’s really going on at the moment.
If you are not going to explain yourself fully, then why say anything at all?
The biggest slap in the face came when he said “Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”
Adding “I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.”
“I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC.”
“Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch. I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last eight years.”
Light at the end of the tunnel? No!
Strangely this was also in his statement “As soon as Mr Gazidis is back from his two-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments.” why release a statement when you Chief Exec is away on holiday? Wouldn’t it so more respect to the club that a joint statement is released?
So where does mean for Arsenal?
When Arsenal signed Lukas Podolski I felt that was a replacement for Robin van Persie and it is no surprise to me that Arsenal have also signed another striker, Olivier Giroud, but with Theo Walcott in a similar position to RvP with his contract running down, will Arsenal be looking to capitalize on him as I am sure now van Persie is going, Theo may well be wanting out also.
If Wenger is looking to keep Walcott then he is going to have to promise him the world an more, and the fans will be wanting a strong showing in the transfer market from Arsenal to fill the gap left behind but also to propel the club forward, as if any more clubs get taken over by Billionaires Arsenal with or with out their business model and FFP will not be able to compete.