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Posted by Sam Limbert on 07/05/2012

Let's be honest, deep down we all feared that Robin van Persie wouldn't sign a new contract. As Arsenal fans, we've seen these situations all too many times in the last few seasons. If Robin had decided to go quietly, we'd have accepted it and understood his desire to leave. He'd have gone with the respect of the fans for giving everything for Arsenal, and would have been remembered as a great player for the club. Yes, it would have been massively disappointing for fans, but we'd have lived with it.

Then there was this. Robin van Persie's statement on his official website was damning of the club, and horribly misjudged. I'll be surprised if van Persie wrote it himself, because I'm struggling to believe that he would be so blunt about the club when financially we don't have to sell him, when he's still club captain and when the statement wasn't expected by the club.

Most Arsenal fans have been through the mire enough times in the last few summers to not take van Persie's side of the story and not have sympathy for him. I can understand some fans siding with him about the different directions of the club, but ultimately Arsene Wenger is never going to spend the same amount of money as clubs like Manchester City. He never has done, never will do, and wouldn't want to compromise Arsenal's financial position. Wenger's stand point on this shouldn't have been news to Robin van Persie. He's been at the club eight years, and were it not for Wenger's policy, Robin wouldn't have been given the chances he had as a youngster, wouldn't have been backed despite his injury problems, and wouldn't have become the striker he is today.

I fear Robin van Persie has been badly advised both in what to do with his footballing future, and in making this statement. Being cynical, I couldn’t help but read it as there being a financial reasoning behind it. That has then been emphasised today by Alisher Usmanov’s letter to the board that emerged, with him questioning the direction of the club and why we keep losing our best players. The whole saga seems like a power struggle, and it’s being played out in an ugly public way. Usmanov said he doesn’t want to create conflicts in the club, he’s done just that with the letter. Robin van Persie said he has huge respect for Arsene Wenger and the club, however he’s disrespected them by making his position at the club untenable and by criticising them in the statement without notifying the club that such a statement was forthcoming.

In the world of modern football, despite what Robin mentioned in the statement, there seems to be a larger financial motivation to everything players do. Look at the van Persie case. If he stays at Arsenal, he might be bluffing to get an improved contract offer as it’ll realistically be the last big one of his career. If he goes, he’ll earn more than he did at Arsenal. It’s a very cynical view as to why he released the statement, but I can’t get away from the image of his agent getting some pound signs in his eyes and persuading him that he can do better. Trying to hide that behind the club’s strategy and wanting to bring the club back to glory days, doesn’t wash well with supporters. If his goal really was to bring the club back to glory days, he’d stay around and help do that.

The part of the statement that really annoyed me was where he said he personally had a great season. It’s undoubtedly true that he personally had a great season, but it seems to me to show a complete disregard for the rest of the squad that he was a part of. It’s probably cynical of me again, but Robin is effectively saying that we need to spend more on top class players because he doesn’t think the current players are good enough. Without Walcott or Song’s assists, Robin wouldn’t have scored some of the goals he did. We know last summer’s transfer activity wasn’t ideal, but we finished higher in the league and had more points. It was only a small improvement, but it was an improvement from an unlikely position. We’ve made some good early statements in the transfer market this summer with Podolski and Giroud arriving. Personally I believe you can show ambition as a club without spending money, but it seems that’s not good enough for some players.

The biggest shame in all of this, is that we didn’t think Robin van Persie was that type of player. Personally, I thought more of him. Are things really so bad at the club that he had to effectively publicly demand his sale? I highly doubt it. Robin van Persie could have gone on to be an Arsenal legend if he’d stayed and gone on to achieve his self-written goal of taking the club back to the glory days. Instead he’ll just be another good player that left when the going got tough, or when a bigger pay packet was available. We can’t argue that because of the money City spend, there is annoyingly a bigger chance of them winning trophies, but it isn’t the be all and end all. He only has to look at himself to know Arsenal can develop lesser known players into world class ones.

I might be wrong in my assessment of the statement, however apart from trying to force a move now, I can’t see why he did it. Maybe Robin was trying to get fans on his side by hoping they’d agree with him that we should be going in a different direction. However fans are strongly embedded in the ‘Arsenal Way’. Arsene Wenger has sold players with a poor attitude before, and he’ll do so again, however good they are or important they are to the team.

So where does it leave Arsenal as a club and van Persie as a player at the club? The Arsenal statement released in response last night was understandable, and I think there’ll be an angry internal reaction to the van Persie statement. However finite what van Persie said might seem, I fear this saga could run and run during the summer. Understandably, Arsenal shouldn’t want to sell him as there is still time on his contract and as he’s a world class striker that we’ve built ourselves. However how can he walk back in the dressing room when he returns for pre-season after effectively saying the team aren’t good enough? How can he captain the team when he’s public expressed disagreement with many aspects of the club? The way it’s ending is ugly, but I think it’s best for him to be sold quickly so as we can move on. Giroud and Podolski are a start, but we’ll need to reinvest the money we get in another striker, and to improve other areas of the squad. We’ve also got to persuade other players not to follow Robin out the door.

However we shouldn’t just give in to Robin’s wishes so easily. We need to get the right deal for Arsenal Football Club, not for Robin van Persie. He’s still under contract, and if he has to play for us again, he could have to make an embarrassing U-turn. Plus if he goes, we know that it’s still unlikely to get a full season out of him. We’ve got one out of him in eight years. We’ve been loyal to him, but unfortunately that isn’t being replicated when there are other carrots being dangled in front of him, be those financial ones, or ones from agents, or from other clubs.

I’ll finish with two quotes that Robin van Persie would do well to remember. On signing his current contract, Robin said “My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt. I just can’t see it now because I love this club so much. If you look at the last five years, look at the steps I have made every season, if you look at the support the boss and the whole club gave me, the fans gave me, my team-mates gave me – this is the right decision”.

Football heroes come and go, and can be replaced. Legends are those that are remembered forever. Robin could have been one of those if he followed what he said when signing that contract.

A certain legend, who returned gloriously last season, once said “If you play hard and respect the shirt, they remember that.” Thierry did that, and will be remembered. Robin has disrespected the club and manager, and will be forgotten.

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Comments

Posted by JH on 07/05/2012

Well written, well done.

Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Posted by I.Nace on 07/05/2012

Hi Sam! Very well written, completely agree. He is a great player, but this was the only full season that he did extremely well in 8 years at Arsenal. I am not going to judge him or any other, but no one is bigger than the club, even Wenger. One thing though, we should look more to the English contingent to wear, respect and feel the shirt. So far only foreigners have left for obvious reasons at their peak? I anticipate another tough year, says my brain, but not my heart. Let's hope and see.

Posted by rees on 07/05/2012

this was awesome. all the team reviews as well. they took so long to come out! i was literally refreshing every 5 minutes wanting to read the next one, your comments on van persie are pretty much what i took out of his fans address as well. for a club that put so much faith in him, and he does that. i thought much higher of him, but from what ive seen on giroud, i think arsenal will surge on, and hopefully challenge next season, and also. i dont think we need yann mvilla. yes he's talented but i dont think arsenal as a side need him, the only thing we need to do is release our deadwood players who never play, the ones we play reserve team ahead of, and use that money to offer our stars better contracts, to stop this same mistake from happening over and over. i think if we get a full season out of frimpong, he will be an ok backup for song, with arteta teaching wilshire positioning and such, i think arsenal will surge next season,

Posted by amin on 07/05/2012

let RVP go... using the money to buy a second striker or attacking midfielder, vertonghen and hloris. settle!

Posted by Paul S on 07/05/2012

I pretty much agree with what you said Sam.
It's very gutting if he 'did' actually write that statement...like not sure what he was on when he wrote it and why it was so direct and disrespectful when all he had to do was say 'So long and thanks for all the fish' so to speak.
But hell...if he wants to go...sell him and he can play for that bunch of soulless talented sods that play in light blue...no passion but lots of money and the chance to win something...which will mean nothing when he looks back on it because that whole squad lacks spirit!

Posted by Bob A on 07/05/2012

Good well written article I hope RVP reads it , it is all very well saying you want to winner some silverware, but lets remind him the time a medal will last, in ten years time people will say Robin who??? but if he had signed a new contract he would have be one of the immortal with probally a statue outside the Emirates then in 50-100 years time people would still know who you were.
Also you would have been given the key to the stadium after your career, and everybody would have wanted to shake your hand and talk to you for the next 50 years you have just blown all of this for a medal .

Posted by Jeje on 07/05/2012

I concur to your write up. I think someone somewhere is misleading RVP. If I were Arsene Wenger, I'll teach him a bitter lesson, by not using him (RVP) at all, and I'll not sell him. A player needs to be made a scape goat in AFC. Enough of this rubbish, please.

Posted by bantayehu on 07/05/2012

this is what arsenal board or anyone closer to mgt hve to say....please let's at least now think arsenal's weakness than always attacking players.

Posted by Southernmost US Gunner on 07/05/2012

If I was mean-spirited, I'd sell him to some outfit in China or Dubai just to make him squirm. That said, PSG, Barça, or Real should acquire his services. Even if Man$ity have the top bid, we should prioritize not selling him to a League competitor. Losing 3 or 4 million quid is worth not voluntarily strengthening our immediate competition. With 20-25 million pounds from him, we should invest it and the other money we have on someone like Edinson Cavani, Fernando Llorente, or Salomon Rondon. Then, we need to shore up the defense and add cover for Bacary Sagna in case he isn't fully healed or decides to break yet another limb. Take the initiative and invest heavily for once. The best revenge, they say, is a life well lived. So let's go out and win some trophies!!!

Posted by Roland C Rozario on 07/05/2012

Heroes Are Never Forgotten!
A very good article and I sincerely hope all gunners supporter read this.
I am certain Van Persie will be best forgotten after he lives.
He Is No Hero, No Legend ..... unlike Thierry Henry. Remember when he donned the Arsenal shirt on his return! He had a tumultous HEROE's Homecoming.
That's A Hero The Club and Supporters Never Forget!

Posted by Kwame on 07/05/2012

spot on. couldn't agree more.
It's really a shame that V. persie had to leave under this circumstance. Wish him well and lets move on as a club by selling him and re-investing.

Posted by Georg on 07/05/2012

Dont blame RVP for Arsenal FC's lack of ambition. TH was a legend and rightly so. He won trophies with us! What has RVP won with us? Jack sh1t! What Cesc win with us? Jack Sh1t. What did Nasri/Adebayor/Clichy/Toure win with us? Jack sh1t.
Please dont retract from a simple fact known by all football pundits and anyone for that matter; Arsenal FC lacks the ambition to compete with the best for silverware. We have proven our decline year after year. RVP is the icing on the cake. He has not been disloyal. Every man would love a salary increase, who can deny that but the fact is Arsenal FC has shown no desire or ambition to compete with the likes of the Manchester clubs or even Chelsea for that matter! Utter disgrace. Arsenal FC is not a business, it is a football club and the sole purpose should be trophies. I wish RVP the best and he deserves trophies no doubt.

Posted by siggy28 on 07/05/2012

I'm really not sure that your pointing the finger at the right man here. Who can blame RVP for wanting to leave a club that hasn't one anything for 7/8 years and despite that fact continues to sell its BEST players. To blame the dutchman for the stagnation of Arsenal FC is simply ridiculous because without him last season, who knows where you would have been!!!
The simple fact is that you have a manager who has,imo, lost the plot(and has done for some time). How is it possible for a club, once considered UTDs biggest challengers, to now be HAPPY to simply scrape into the champion league. We are told every year the same old rubbish about how the current crop of players are good enough to compete for honours over the coming season, like we're honestly suppose to believe that, only to be left knowing what we knew already, that it quite clearly is'nt. Arsene,imo, has become far too arrogant in his approach to being manager and seems to be on some self-serving crusade in which he can ...

Posted by Davesraves on 07/05/2012

A champion team will beat a team of champions.

I think this is the saddest departure I've ever seen since I first went to highbury n 1958. I don't mean I'm sad it's just such a sorry way to leave.

Posted by Ryo on 07/05/2012

I feel betrayed everytime those players make those politically correct statements after signing or extending their contracts and then proceed to behave otherwise when better offer comes calling.

Posted by colinc on 07/05/2012

very good written article and one which changes my opinion slightly, i honestly don't think it is about money but agree without the players supplying him the ammo his season. but like you said everyone has concentrated their efforts into acchieving this end and we must not lose sight of this fact, it is disrespectful of vp to disregard what song ,walcott and the rest have contributed to him getting to this stage where he can leave without recognition of his team-m colincates.

Posted by flashygunner on 07/05/2012

Splendid,wonderfull write-up. I paticularly luv,, that flashback to his statement. Seriously, I support the boss, rvp must be made to stay at all cost to stop the trend-a la luka modric.

Posted by Harjon Silaban on 07/05/2012

Welcome Giroud and Podolski.......
And good by RvP.......

Posted by CK Chan on 07/05/2012

Arsenal is fading and fading fast losing key players every season.

Fans cannot have a say or vote, but skipper will and rightly so to steer the club to the winning mode. Leaving is not the right approach, voice out the policy and strategy, if the Sr mgmt fails to comply, then sorry it is not a key player leaving a good club, other way round, leave him no option.

May Robin tell us the grand plan?

CK

Posted by LB on 07/05/2012

RVP is clearly making the wrong decision, at least in my opinion... I completely agree with you Sam, there is a right way and a wrong way to leave a club, not to mention, a club that is one of the greatest in history and made him who he is today. I think AW and the board should sell him and move on. There are many great players out there that would love to be a gunner and we have money to go for the "big names". Think of how many players have left the club in the past, not able to replicate there Arsenal success. I feel for RVP, he will probably dread his decision soon after he leaves. It's not the end of the world though, lets move on Arsenal! Push for the title next year!

Posted by Steve B in StL on 07/05/2012

Agreed, Sam. I say let him go, for two reasons.

First, he'll be the most valuable player on the market, and there are plenty of teams willing to pay ridiculous sums of money for him. He can't be replaced, but for $40M we can surely find a couple decent players (1 striker, one attacking mid) capable of scoring 15 goals each in all competitions, in addition to Giroud and Podols

Second, he's getting old and, as you mentioned, we've only had 1 healthy full year from Robin since he's been at the club. Statistically this means that he's highly likely to regress to his average rate--meaning he'll probably spend a significant chunk of his remaining years on the treatment table. I believe in the old aphorism, "form is temporary, but class is permanent," and while RvP is undoubtedly a class player, his form has historically been very temporary, with long injury spells in between.

I would be sad for him, the club, and the game if he left, but thats just how modern life works.

Posted by Izzo747 on 07/05/2012

Well said. Couldn't agree more.

Posted by siggy28 on 07/05/2012

...by where he validates his position, as still being one of the worlds best managers, by winning major honours on 'the cheap'. What kind of manager, who is meant to be on the ball, lets the contract of three of his best players (nasri, cesc and now RVP) contracts run down to the final year before offering them a new one? What kind of manager resigns himself to losing those players only to drag there impending departures out to one week before the transfer window closes and then sales without seemingly having any sort of contingency plan?! For me, the signings of yossi benyaoun (a bench warmer at chelsea), park (who he obviously does'nt rate himself), mertarzaker ( cheaper alternative to G.Cahill) and di santos (Who is a downgrade on clichy) were simply embarrassing and added very little apart from depth to an average arsenal squad. It, for me, is simple arsene has been at a club that has allowed him to go stale for far to long. He needs a fresh challenge at a club...

Posted by pvo78 on 07/05/2012

Well said Sam. RVP has known this whole time that Arsenal doesn't run the way Man City is run. If he truly wanted to leave to win trophies, then he should've left years ago. And that statement did diminish his legacy greatly in my book as well.
As for the future, the rumor is that Man City will pay 22 million for him. Let's say that happens. Play Wenger for a bit. How do you reinvest the money in the squad?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Another striker, and a centre back to compete with Per, Verm and Kos.

Posted by colinc on 07/05/2012

let us all accept now what this team did in the second half of the season, give them some credit for making van persie have the unbelievable season he eventually finished with. they can make olivier giroud too along with podolski.with the good players recovering from injuries too will brighten the season hopefully. lets not let this beat arsenal. colinc

Posted by Robert on 07/05/2012

RVP is about to get a serious lesson in the footballing world. He was so successful at Arsenal not only because he's a world class talent but because he was the fulcrum of the team, which was entirely built around him. How will he feel being slotted into a Man City rotation? Or not having a team entirely run through him? His performance at the Euros indicate it might not go so smoothly.

He needs only remember two words -- Alexander Hleb. He left searching for trophies and greener pastures, and ended up ruining his career. RVP should have asked Hleb for his opinion.

Posted by Sainty on 07/05/2012

What a sad, sad way to end it. RVP had the kind of year that people would have talked about 15 years from now. Tons of goals, many of them heart stopping and game winners, and a great display of leadership on the field in a year when so many things stunk. This makes me suspect this year was a fraud year, and that deep down he is no different than Nasri; brittle and self centered.

I truly hope that AW doensn't drag this out like the previously mentioned wantaway, as another early season of turmoil could be fatal. Sell him, move on, the jersey will always receive more cheers than the player, and true gunners get that.

Posted by abiola on 07/05/2012

So funny how some of AFC supporters actually think its right for RVP to publicly do this to Arsenal. There's no doubt He(RVP) deserves to win something as a player like every other player....let us not forget he won the FA cup in 2005, what has he done for the club as a player since then apart the last season Mafioso's perfomance? The Dutch national team has won nothing ever since my brain can remember, if this is all about the trophies....I think he should also quit the nationa team

Posted by Omg on 07/05/2012

Wow, what tripe coming from such a blind gunner.
Rvp has the right to feel frustrated at wenger and the clubs diresection, as they aren't willing to even buy a promising player such as hazard (something that would have kept rvp, and other good players at the club).
You suggest that arsenal can just hold rvp hostage to his contract for another year, however, that spitefulness is no way to treat your star player who, by himself, won arsenal 27, yes 27 points in the epl with his goals, and, without which, arsenal would have finished around 10th.
So, in short, change the philosophy, or have it changed for you (ie become a talent creating, but never top, successful club).
Good move rvp, I hope you score many goals upon your next fixture against these spiteful, selfish, miserable gunners.

Posted by Skydog on 07/05/2012

Not many Arsenal players who left the team can still perform. I don't think Van Persie is that outstanding. He scored so many goals because he suit Arsenal way of play and most midfield players feed him with opportunity. I agreed with Palour that Arsenal should cash in from him and invest in Cisse of Newcastle. Think that Cisse is physically strong, can score and hard working. Find that he may suit Arsenal style of play. Just move forward and forget about Van Persie. He can be replaced. Feel that Giroud and Podoski are not good enough. We really need a good striker to replace Van Persie.

Posted by TopGooner on 07/05/2012

Obviously the RVP situation has split the Arsenal camp in two, those who share RVP's view and those who share yours. When something like this happens the truth is usually somewhere along the middle line.

Yes, perhaps it would be wiser for RVP not to make that statement but he certainly agreed with every word written.

Who's to say that if Henry was in RVP's position today, he wouldn't have done the same thing. Henry's time made him a legend because the team then was actually good enough to challenge for honors so he had no reason to leave. Unlike today, where I think our realistic goal is to finish in the top 3 and perhaps win get a good run to win the FA cup. Because of this he decided what he decided.

I really don't want to see the fans who had sung his name many times over to suddenly have a hatred feeling towards him or any former player. You have to remember, this is still a job and it is not that different than moving from one company to another.

Posted by nitin on 07/05/2012

why players such as gerrard shearer are becoming extinct commodity. they havent won that much with liverpool and newcastle that much but still known as leagends. Wenger is so loyal to arsenal he is father figure in that dressing room. is he giving to much freedom to these players? Nasri maybe remmembered as a member of a team who won trophy after so long but what RVP will gain eventually if he goes to city and won will he be satisfied i dont think so.

Posted by WestVillageGooner on 07/05/2012

Exceptional write up Sam - your best in my opinion.

I admit I had the same thoughts as the read van Persie's statement. It's too bad that he is leaving, but if he truly believes the things that he said that I think it's better that Arsenal part ways with him.

Just to point out - van Persie seemed quite willing to call out his teammates (albeit indirectly) and claim that they weren't good enough. But when his teammates were the likes of Robben, Sneijder and Huntelaar, he only managed to score one goal.

For his sake I hope he does better where ever he goes. Although I guess I'm the bitter type - I'd love to see him fail.

Posted by andrew kiken on 07/05/2012

I am a Barcelona fan, but the only English team worth watching is Arsenal. They play the most exciting style. So, this emphasis on trophies is a bit riddiculous. There are two trophies that matter the Premier League and the Champions League. Those who keep saying that Arsenal does not win trophies every year, would it make you feel so much better if you traded placed with liverpool and won the carling, or fa cup?

Arsenal almost advanced in the Champions league this year, after an incredible deficit, The year before they were one of the few teams to ever show an attack against barcelona if only for a half.

Van Persie is a good player, but he benefits greatly from arsenals possession style. There are only two teams in the world van persie can score as many goals as he did with arsenal real madrid and barcelona. I believe arsenal has had bad luck with players leaving. If I were a top finisher, I would want to play with arsenal.

Posted by GoonerB on 07/05/2012

Good article. I disagree with some of the number 9 type strikers being mentioned to replace him. I think in Giroud and Podolski we have 2 players who can do this and both are powerful forwards with good goal-scoring stats. Podolski can play from wide but I would like to see him played centrally where I believe he will be a lot better. How about him behind Giroud. RVP gave us creativity and link up play as well and he is really an attacking midfielder / wing forward who was recently converted to a number 9. personally if he goes then I would look for another player like this. Someone like Reus. Reus we probably won't get now which is why I disagree on selling RVP. At £30m I would consider it but at £20m I wouldn't. I am not sure of the figures but he is maybe on £80kpw now and we were looking at £130k plus a £5m signing on fee. The difference between that and the £80k next year is £2.6m so if he goes for free rather than £20m now we lose £12.4m. Keep him and identify new targets this yr

Posted by Tiew lei lomo han kar chan on 07/05/2012

Who does he think he is!tis dun even make it to the world top 10 players

Posted by Checklist on 07/05/2012

NO ONE is Indispensable, we saw it coming and it was long overdue.

He's won nothing? the more the reason he should leave(he shouldn't have kicked the ball away in 2011 Champs league).

He played well this season to invite $$ interests in readiness to leave. His exit will create space for others to shine just the way Fabregas's exit allowed him to shine.

Bye RVP, I wish you well & the best ahead.

Everyone NOTE, This Is Arsenals Greatest Season !!!

Posted by John Barnes on 07/05/2012

This morning I was humbled by a fellow gooner. He like myself has been questioning the direction of the club since 2006. He presented me with some sobering facts - Arsenal have the 16th highest wage bill in all of sports - thats worldwide! Shocking! My argument of a self sustaining model was debunked by this statistic. Let's face it if the goal is indeed self sustenance why pay average talent so much? If our wage bill is indeed this high where is the return on investment? Every single club in the 15 spaces above Arsenal had very recent trophies to show for their place. It begs to question - what in tarnation is going on at the club? Is Wenger paying too much for average talent? Does Gazidis shoulder some responsibility? Also, supposedly we were to focus on development of homegrown players, other than Wilshere where is the return on investment? All very sobering indeed. I am stunned by RVPs assertion but there are unanswered questions. Sam do you agree?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. There are questions to be answered by the management, and I can understand why RvP might have wanted to ask those questions, but he didn't have to come out with the public statement he did. All of that could have been done and dealt with internally and our respect for Robin would be intact.

Posted by Johnstone Katuku on 07/05/2012

Excellent article. @Georg, what do you mean when you say we lack ambition? Players should stop this kind of nonsense. If RvP feels he is so special, why isnt he winning trophies with Arsenal himself? Maradona did win trophies with average Napoli and Argentina!

Posted by Bruno on 07/05/2012

I understand both sides. Rvp wants trophies.City pays and gets them. Its win win. Gunners for life. For seasons we don't win gold or even silver medalist.We are runner up. The club got 1/8 seasons. He is my favorite but make no mistake this is business.Gunners > player. The problem I got we lose arguably a top 3 in the league striker and we won't get a class player in return. More amateur hour like walcott or chamakh. I liki the signings but our team is on life support. Get huntlaar or a trade deal plus money with a striker or striking midfielder.

Rvp signs last contract for silverware and gunners don't get it done.

Great business gentlemen.

Posted by veekey on 07/05/2012

this is how dis issue alwayz occur evry season,loosing our best player is now arsenal wayz. I want everybody to 1 thing,d ecstasy of the fans toward d club are depreciating everyseason jst lyk a placing she-buttet in a sun,coz i think d board should b blame for dis not VP.....robin should go ....may b d current arsenal philosophy can change for bettter.....

Posted by mustafa on 07/05/2012

Sam, good article as usual, but as one of the contributors said, you are pointing your finger at the wrong man. Wenger, Gazidis and the board should get all the blame. What did they do with money when Na$ri, Fabrega$, Clichy, Adebayor and others left? Why don't they strengthen the squad with like for like after selling? Why dont they get rid of the deadwood in the squad and improve the salaries of those who remain? Arsenal has been waning, and I think RVP is right, he should go to clubs showing ambition to win trophies and paying better salaries rather than finishing his career at Arsenal for the sake of being a legend who won nothing. THIERY HENRY KNEW HE WOULD NEVER WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WITH ARSENAL, he went to a club which showed more ambition and won it.

People should stop being hypocrites. How many of us have left our previous employers for a better pay? for career development with firms showing ambition to develop their employees? GOOD LUCK RVP! GIROUD, BE MY NEW ASSASSIN.!

Posted by Tyler on 07/05/2012

He was the one play I thought wouldn't do this. I knew he would leave, but the way he left is just ugly. I've always felt he was a bit classless on the pitch. Quality yes, classy no. But I never thought he would be this classless off the pitch.

Sadly, the money we get for him probably wont be reinvested into the squad. Ugh. Sad times for the club.

Posted by gunner138098 on 07/05/2012

devastated that RVP is leaving :(.he made us wait forever only to reveal his desire to leave just when we were building a team around him!that's how he repays the manager that kept his faith in him even he was injured/off form for most seasons!he has one good season & he kicks at the club that worships him!wenger went out of his way to quickly sign two quality players & was making enquiries about two more & still that didn't show any "ambition"!!!and he says he's a true gunner at heart!My questions are:
1)why are we the only club destined to lose our best player every season?there was a similar case with rooney but man u didn't end up losing him!so why are we different?do you think the management make them leave(low wages) so that they can make profit ?.do you think it'll be Theo & TV next?
2)do you think Giroud & Podolski are enough to take us to the level where RVP took us,if not beyond cos wenger is unlikely to re-invest the money to buy a player of RVP's class

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Your first question is similar to the one posed by Usmanov to the board in his letter. Honestly, I think it's because we can't offer the same wages, and we haven't won anything for a few years. Players see others getting success and want a piece of it so club loyalty can go out of the window. I don't think Giroud and Podolski are enough, but they're a good start. At least we're not starting with nothing if and when he goes.

Posted by John on 07/05/2012

If by english contingent u mean people like cashely cole then i disagree,truth be told robin made a mistake but i think its time some one lift the lead on what going on in the club,we are now arsenal plc instead of arsenal fc

Posted by Matt V. on 07/05/2012

You're absolutely right that Arsenal need to find another striker WHEN Robin leaves and it needs to be one from England who won't need the obligatory 4-6 months to adjust to the unmatched pace of the Premiership. I'm glad all this is happening now instead of late August so we don't see a carbon copy of last season's horrific start. I like the team if everyone is healthy. Wilshere, Song, Arteta, Diaby, Rosicky and Ramsey can do the job in the midfield. I like the attacking options with Podolski, Gervinho, Walcott, Ox, Giroud (who won't be a flop) and a striker to be signed later. The back line still worries me. The quality is there but it doesn't always show up. There will be a top four finish and maybe a cup for Arsenal next season but the Premiership crown is staying in Manchester I'm afraid.

Posted by Shakabula Gooner on 07/05/2012

Sam,

In addition to agreeing with your even-tempered analysis of the situation, permit me to share my more emotional reaction to the news here:

My feeling upon reading RvP's statement was akin to hearing of the untimely and accidental death of a loved one: pain, sadness and hollowness from deep within.

Unfortunately in this case, there will be no grave and no wreaths; instead, there will be the even sadder spectacle of seeing him turn out in another club's colours: a death at some personal level; and desertion, as in a forced dirvorce at at another level.

I mourn RvP's choice. but I loved him as our player, our captain, icon and MVP in 2011/12 to disrepect the memories of him in an Arsenal shirt with abuses and vituperations.

Nonetheless, I didn't think he had it in him to pull a poorly disguised "nasri" on the club he professed to love (and its fans) but then in life, when the chips are down, only very few men fail to disappoint.

RIP RvP.

Posted by Roy Sujanto on 07/05/2012

Remember, Wenger had the near-perfect formula for winning trophies, til Chelsea splash their cash around and now you get a second blue team doing that, hence the formula became harder to materialize into trophies.

So, cash is the new king now. Who can blame RvP? If you are a player, you would want to cash in at your peak. You ain't got a long career, plus you get the added bonus of playing in a club that is seriously challenging for trophies. What are the better options?

If you need to blame, blame the new trend.

But then again, you could say the same condition applies for Man Utd, yet they are still able to consistently challenge for trophies. In this case, you may argue, Arsenal got a new stadium, which hinders them from spending and forced to promote young players, and now they are starting to get on track... or maybe, Wenger's pet formula isn't working anymore, in terms of winning trophies in England? But a solid business model? you bet!

But I still love this Arsenal Way best!

Posted by titansgunner12thman on 07/05/2012

I can't disagree more with this article. RVP has been loyal. Yes, he has played 1 good season in 7-8, but he has arrived, and now that he has reached the paek of his powers, he sees the ARsenal for what it is- A selling club with no ambitions to win titles that matter. Let's call a spade a spade. I understand the frustrations of most with this matter, but to blame RVP is short sighted. WE can see the slide in results and the play on the pitch illustrate a team in freefall. That's all down to the management.

No, I don't want Wenger to over spend, and I wouldn't ask them to. But they should invest in the club. They have not been and we see where we are. What is the end result of this policy? To me it leads to the clubs demise as a top football club in the world. Once that happens what will it take? An owner that will spend and a manager that tries to win trophies. Right now we have neither, and coupled with the crazy ticket prices, how long will fans support the team?

Posted by Rd on 07/05/2012

Not An Arsenal fan but i like their style of play and have mad respect for Wenger. And i love your blog... But you did not state who exactly would you like to see at Arsenal since robin is leaving (Batman?). Could you please give your opinions on who they should get (I mean realistically, coz for example Neymar is NOT an option).

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Honestly, I don't know who we could bring. I'd like someone that has pedigree in a top European league, or preferably in the Premier League, but there just aren't many of those strikers around. Possibly Cisse from Newcastle, or Dempsey, although he isn't a natural striker.

Posted by curtis on 07/05/2012

Sam: first off thank you for this blog. I didn't really know what to make out of RVP's comments so this really helped. Secondly, who is a realistic striker target now? What about benzema or cisse from Newcastle?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Cisse is a possibility, although I reckon Newcastle will ask for big money. Benzema has been good for Real Madrid so they'd also want big money. It's a bit dependent on how much we get for RvP.

Posted by Anonymous on 07/05/2012

I have to disagree with you Sam.
RVP almost single-handedly got us to 3rd last season, where would we have finished without his goals? He is also right to question the quality of the rest of the squad, you certainly did in your blog all last season. Obviously he doesn't feel AW and Mr Gazidis are able to make Arsenal a competitive team at this time, so if he wants trophies in his career I say let him go get 'em!
What bothers me is the trend of our best players leaving for the same reason and the club not replacing them - I feel Mr Kroenke is a businessman rather than an Arsenal fan and as long as people are buying tickets and shirts he won't invest enough to win anything.

Posted by John Barnes on 07/05/2012

Wenger (as much as it pains me to say) must shoulder some of the blame. He has allowed his frugal, economically viable, self sustaining ideology to cloud his judgment. 3 things must happen (as I see it) if Arsenal is to return to glory:
(1) Offload dead weight and supplant with top talent from within Prem - at the salaries some of the duds are making I’m sure chaps from Newcastle, Stoke, Fulham, etc. would jump to come to Arsenal
(2) No player receives more than a three year commitment - sell in 2nd year if no return on investment
(3) Adopt the La Masia model of Barcelona - core of players from within with only exceptional ones from outside (ala Dani Alves)...Send them off to play in 2nd div instead of reserves as soon as possible. Barca's B-team has even won Spain's second tier. According to Wiki La Masia currently has 300 players enrolled. I'm sure many young English/British prospects would love to be Arsenal trainees. La Masia has paid dividends for both Barca and Spain.

Posted by Dhama Charles Moris on 07/05/2012

If I were Arsene Wenger, I will start today naming a new club Captain in Vermalaen, and keeping RVP on bench as a fan for the 12 Months and letting him leave on bosman's contract, after all by that time he will be approaching 30's who cares and his footballing carrier would have been done, Cesc was very disciplined enough. RVP same on him after even spending most of the 8 years in the sick bay, additionally he thinks without Alex Song and Theo Walcott he was going to score all those goals, same on him

Posted by Ryan on 07/05/2012

I say we call Robin's bluff about winning trophies and propose a player-swap deal with Dortmund. RVP for Lewandowski. RVP has stated he wants to win trophies; well Dortmund are back to back Bundisliga Champions and won the German this year. Lewandowski is basically a younger, more durable if less polished, version of RVP who has expressed an interest in playing in England. Everybody wins. Thoughts?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Personally, I don't see something like that happening as we'd want money + Lewandowski for RvP.

Posted by Alecc on 07/05/2012

I have a nasty feeling this is turning into Samir Nasri all over again. As far as van Persie being misled...I suspect he's intelligent enough to know what he said and how it would be taken. It's one thing for us, the armchair pundits, to question the quality of the squad; it's quite another for the club captain to do so very publicly. To say nothing of what he said about the club itself. I understand the whole concept of loyalty has gone out the window in today's money-driven age, but he didn't have to go this route.
Unfortunately he's painted himself into a corner and I can't imagine him ever wearing the Arsenal shirt again.
Sam--I enjoy your blogs. Keep up the good work!

Posted by Lo Sbandato on 07/05/2012

I blame it all on Chelsea winning the CL. RVP must look at them and say "If that shower of goons and has-beens can win the Champions League, why can't we?"

John Barnes - "Sell in 2nd year if no return"? Where would RVP be with that plan in place?

Posted by roman urbanski on 07/05/2012

totally agree, great article
i love arsenal for who and what they are not cos they win trophies every season, united's and barca's good run will end and someone else comes up for a while
despite all their money chelski and city have no history or culture the way arsenal, liverpool, villa, everton, even newcastle do
noone wants their team or even believes they can win every trophy every season
arsenal are a great club

as for rvp, 1 great season out of 8, but his form didn't go with him into the euros, despite the great service from great players
apart from the previous season he's always had an issue - arrogant and temperamental, injury prone, promises a lot but doesn't deliver, drops his heads when things don't go his way
not an arsenal legend just a very good player with too much attitude
sell him as quick as possible but for a great price so as to not antagonise the dressing room, it doesn't matter where he goes
he will be a squad player on the bench complaining about lack of chance

Posted by Shariq Dhanani on 07/05/2012

Well written and I agree. It is a really sad saga. We have seen it before and we have moved on. This one hurts a lot a he has always been my favourite player at the club I love. I cannot imagine him in a different shirt, loved this player .. sad day.

Posted by JURE on 07/05/2012

If Usamov took over Arsenal and gave Arsene a unlimited amount of funds to spend on players would he still be frugal?

What I'm asking is Arsene frugal out of neccessity or is he just hardwired to never overpay, never take unneccessary risk?

Posted by InfantryRed on 07/05/2012

Laud the article, Sam...as genuine as always...on to more disturbing matters...I reside in Saint Louis, Missouri and have heard all too well about Stan Kronke. I cant help but believe this is all his fault. The man, however wealthy, is an absolute robot. He does not know the Arsenal way and I say that with absolute confidence. He talks of having a competitive product on the pitch but doesn't take the time to show, OUT-RIGHTLY SHOW, his faith in his players with his presence. I do not believe Robin feels this way...it's just too wishy washy of a statement made by someone who declared absolute love for the club. I will be scorned by this if Robin leaves...I thought he was our captain...I thought he was MY captain...I hadn't felt love for a Gunners since Thierry and my heart was broken upon reading the article last night...I still cannot believe that Robin feels this way...it just doesnt seem real. His legendary status will never be returned...even if he returns to the Emirates...

Posted by Aaron on 07/05/2012

Everyone can sit here and say RvP is a traitor, leaving the club when going got tough, bad attitude, and on and on. But the real fact of the matter is that Arsenal hasn't won any major trophies in several seasons, and honestly doesn't look poised to win any in the coming seasons. RvP is a quality player who can play for a team that has a trophy winning mentality. Far be it for us to say he has a bad attitude for wanting to win. Perhaps if Wenger and the rest of the squad had that winning mentality, they might actually challenge for a trophy.

Posted by Patrick on 07/05/2012

Well written article. You read VP's statement well. For me, it may not be about money, but it is about selfishness. For Robin to subtely blast his teammates, and blatantly blast the club, shows that he does not care for them, but only for himself, whether it's about money, titles or whatever. He used to be my favorite player. Now I'll still wish him well, but he WILL be forgotten.

Posted by Michael on 07/05/2012

Not only has he made it look bad on Arsenal, he's also put them in a position to get screwed over. Now that he has announced this, every club could now hold out a year before convincing him to join, now for free. If he so loved the club, he should have kept it publicly quiet until Arsenal shopped him around a bit.

Posted by utkarsh tripathi on 07/05/2012

I remember many arsenal fans standing by torres' point of view when he left us last year.Try and man up buddies,this is exactly what it feels like to have your talisman snatched from you,try nd look at it from his point of view.He is not getting any younger and is still trophyless,whiles he is at national duty even players like luuk de jong have something to show for their talents but not him,every new season is supposed to be the season where the boys at arsenal finally come of age and becom men,but its just not happening,and he was frustrated.So he left,deal with it..

Posted by Simon on 07/05/2012

I disagree with the article. You can question RVP's loyalty all you like but the fact is Arsenal, as a club, has regressed in recent years. The club seems content to play for third spot when it used to fight to win trophies? Wenger's youth policy has failed. The argument, by many Arsenal fans, that those players who left Arsenal to win trophies did not excel where they went has been disproved by the successful exploits of Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy at their new clubs. The Arsenal board and shareholders are content because the club makes money. Wenger is content because he has a job for life. Only the fans want to see trophies. They pay exorbitant prices to watch their team play a good brand of football that excites but wins them nothing. The fact is this club used to win trophies but now scrapes for the third spot and that is not the hallmark of an ambitious club. If this club were serious about winning trophies, they would keep their best players, not lose them!!!

Posted by Jean on 07/05/2012

A very well written article. RvP has got a very short memory indeed. 7 years in treatment room, and Arsenal stood by his side. Now this is the way he pays back the club, the manager, and the team mates that put tremendous faith in him. I was being wrong to think he had some personality, he hasn't got any class!

Posted by Obi on 07/05/2012

Personally, I knew early in the season he was playing his way into a bigger payday, at another club.

He even refused to let his kid join Arsenal's Academy for reasons that, in my in my mind, were a load of rubbish, as he knew he was going to be moving on come summer.

He was great though, albeit for a season. Have to thank him for contributing immensely towards rescuing Arsenal's season.

But he is human. And humans are innately flawed beings.

Posted by Sam, Jakarta on 07/05/2012

This RVP issue makes be feel stronger that Dennis Bergkamp would'nt say or do anything like RVP said or did. So, I fully agree with you that (while I believe DB will always be remembered by Arsenal fans), RVP will soon be forgotten.

Posted by idris akinsuyi on 07/05/2012

in my own honest view i think van persie just bit the fingers that fed him the fans,the manager,the club,the players all stood by him during the roughest times in his career now he has suddenly become the most sort after player in the league forgetting how he started.well the boss should cash in on him and bring in more experienced players.nobody ever thought chelsea could win the champions league in a season where they spent the least money.i know this season is going to be our turn to shine van persie or not we would survive as a club no player is too big come to think of it we lost cesc and nasri and we finished third if we sell van persie we would win the league up gunners.

Posted by Gunnerfan4Life on 07/05/2012

Sam - Very well-written article. However, I respectfully disagree with you on some aspects. As much as I am infuriated by RvP's statement, I have to admit that he did single-handedly deliver 3rd place to us last season and for that we fans do owe him some gratitude. However, I think that the Arsenal board is a complete sham of profit mongers who know nothing about football. Unfortunately, Wenger's hands are tied because he is not getting any funds. I would honestly like to see Kroenke gone, and Alisher Usmanov appointed chairman. Then 1) we would have more funds invested in winning; 2) RvP would stay and 3) we could dispose of imbeciles like Hill-Wood and Gazidis who cannot tell a football from their backsides.

Interested in your thoughts...

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I can understand your viewpoint, but I'm still dubious over Usmanov's stance towards the club, and the direction we could end up going if he were in charge. He said he wants all of this change in his letter, but doesn't propose a way of doing it. Even then there would be no guarantees of RvP staying.

Posted by LP on 07/05/2012

Well written.

The rest of the Arsenal team should feel disappointed, as they funnelled the ball to him to achieve such great season.

RVP has erred with poor judgement. No recognition to the team or the club.

Success is not measured by how much money is spent in achieving the ultimate prize.

Man City and Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG are destroying the foundations of football.

The fans are required to over pay on ticket prices to accommodate the hollowness that football is fast becoming.

Posted by TassieGunner on 07/05/2012

I don't think the point is about Robin Van Persie at all - it is aout Arsenal.
What is it about Arsenal that makes the captain want to leave?
Viera, Henry, Fabregas and Van Persie have all wanted to leave, why?

Posted by Steve on 07/05/2012

I'm with you on this Sam. I've been a passionate gunners supporter for 30+ years, and I love the fact that we are a proper football club - not a Russian or Saudi billionaires play thing. Sure I wish we were winning trophies every year too, but I for one would be gutted if the club were run like Chelsea or Man City. One day the owners of those clubs will get bored, and what happens to them then? I want to be watching the Gunners compete for the next 30 years, bringing on talent, winning trophies and sticking it up those clubs who try to buy instant success. Thanks for the great season you gave us last year RVP, but I've already moved on.

Posted by sree on 07/05/2012

Nice write up buddy!!!!! RVP is not a legend!!!!Lost total respect on him!!!!
Just by having a single great season, he will not be a legend. I feel footballers who doesnot have respect for the club should be kicked out!!!Kick him out soon, time for us to make some money and spend on Mvilla or some good striker.

Posted by Cris on 07/06/2012

Sad day......ANY chance of him staying?

Posted by Rob (Mad) on 07/06/2012

Pride . Glory and Honor. Faith. Revered . Money talks. Trophies. Greed . Smeared.
The only shirt I see him in now is ones with $$$ signs on them.
Even if they win a trophy, like Nasri, or Clichy, they will never feel like fabric of that club .
Nomads eventually, not belonging .
Enjoy the taste of money Robin. You will never be a legend of Arsenal . Liked and thanked for service , congratulated on your achievements. But with tainted annoyance.
A supposedly special person chosen for Captain , deserting the club . Thierry was a bad enough loss, and never played against us in the EPL .
This is a character build you need to consider.
The smears will be black otherwise. G'bye, hope ya fill ya vault with money not tropies.

Posted by Akin on 07/06/2012

While I respect your viewpoint and understand your disappointment at Robin's statement, I can't help but disagree. Whatever Robin could have achieved with Arsenal would only be valuable to Arsenal. You say he could have become a legend or should have stayed true to his contract and not disrespected Arsenal. Being a legend without winning any trophies is nothing special...even crewe has those(no one outside crewe cares). Should he have stayed to lead the club to glory, perhaps but even your beloved Henry didn't do that(UCL) so why do you hold RVP to different standards. Did he do wrong by giving the fans his reasons for leaving so early in the window(however much the fans don't like them) unlike fab and Nasri,I don't think so. Arsenal stuck by him through injuries no doubt but I think last year more than pays back for that. Can you honestly guarantee that even if he stayed that Wenger wouldn't put him on the bench once he turns 30 like he's done in the past?

Posted by Glorious Arsenal on 07/06/2012

Robin who? The frail dutch international that came to us tainted with steroids and took eight years to have a solid season. Dennis Bergkamp makes him look like a Mayfair floozie.

Posted by AfricanGooners on 07/06/2012

Respectfully disagree. Don't try and bring Thierry into this. Difference is Arsenal were winning back then. When we started losing Henry left to win a CL with Barca.

Secondly, you blame Cesc. Then Nasri. Now RVP. And soon Ox-Chamberlain. When will Arsenal fans realize that it's the club to blame. Players would stay if Arsenal showed ambition.

Making top 4 is what we are reduced to. Chelsea came from behind us & won the CL before us. Man City will DEFINETELY win it before us. Meanwhile fans are still praying for Arsene to find the next Messi. Guess what? Even if he does, like RVP, that guy will leave too.

The board doesn't care about winning. They own equity in the club. So as long as their investment grows from £5m to £15m, they could care less about how many trophies Arsenal win. Yet fans sit back, pay these people the most money in Europe and it doesn't even end up being paid to the Van Persie's. No, it ends up to the HillWoods. Yet Van Persie is not a hero?

Posted by Subra on 07/06/2012

No player is bigger than the club, Honestly we knew he was going to leave..The least he could have done is leave like Cesc. Be honest instead of making such statements
The other thing to note is that we have almost cleared our debt for our stadium, whereas clubs like chelsea would need to start spending on it, so I'm quite hopeful that in the next 2 years this would have gone a full cycle..Nothing to fear and no player exodus

Posted by Joseph on 07/06/2012

great article. In Arsene we trust.

Posted by ChrisM on 07/06/2012

Whilst gutted I also saw it coming but I did not see the absolute 'car wreck' that the it has turned out to be. Whilst fault lies on both sides the only van Persie has emerged with bllod on his hands, we should forever refer to this point in Arsenal's long and distinguished existence as 'The Ides of July'. I have long been of the opinion that if a player truly wants out then he should go, but the way van Persie has orchestrated his exit leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. But all of the bile and vitriol aside he can (and will) earn millions more per annum for the next four years by moving on and he can't really be taken to task for wanting to secure as comfortable a future as possible for himself and his family. May I throw up this hypothesis for discussion, might RvP's leaving actually be a good thing for Arsenal in the long term? Were we planning on being too reliant on our 'talisman' and possibly not strengthening the team elsewhere. It could turn out to be a good thing!

Posted by Anonymous on 07/06/2012

hi Sam, it amase me at the in depth and mature analysing in your blogs, despite your young age(well, i assume not more than 30). Fans and like will probably judge emotionally, especially we had just received such a shocking news that 'he' decided to go, though we had quietly anticipate but hope to proven wrong.

Posted by Artur on 07/06/2012

Nice article, Sam.

I agree that no player is bigger than the club and that good players come and go but legends remain.

It's true that the club has regressed in recent years (though I'm somewhat encouraged by the arrival of Giroud and Podolski) but for the club captain to make such an announcement is blatantly selfish. I'm not sure if we'd now face increased difficulty in signing new players after such a bad PR move by the captain.

Moving forward, the club should carry out his transfer early (and as you say, only in the best interest of Arsenal) before he goes and injure himself in pre-season and we can't fetch a good price for him. Then we'd be stuck with a deadwood who can't and won't play for us when we could have easily replaced him earlier.

Posted by Raza on 07/06/2012

Agree with everything you said Sam; couldn't have put it better myself. This line just sums it up.

"Robin van Persie could have gone on to be an Arsenal legend if he’d stayed and gone on to achieve his self-written goal of taking the club back to the glory days."

Giroud In. Podolski In. Kos, Song, Arteta, TV5 already there. More players likely. Those should have been enough to give us a decent title shot.

Sam, do you think we should go for Dempsey now? Versatile, proven in PL, experienced, relatively cheap.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I personally really like Clint Dempsey and would like him at the club, however he's not an out and out striker.

Posted by Eric Johnson on 07/06/2012

RIP RVP

Posted by Aneesh Chandoke on 07/06/2012

absolutely horrified by his quotes.never looked as if rvp saying this.the man Ive idolised and I considered an example for rest of the footballers who follow money but now I feel he is just like rest of the players.I am ready to wait for 3 4 years more to see arsenal back to glory but the players who don't want to play should all be removed.I am sure Vermalean will follow him out in 2013 or 2014.not sure about Walcott as well.If wenger replaces Rvp with a goal poacher everything can be fine.one attacking midfielder and one quality striker and bang..we can challenge for major honours.

Posted by Tapela on 07/06/2012

we do not want the Nasri kind of debacle. AW must let RVP leave now and invest the money by buying Cisse and one good central defender. Im not sure if Peter M is the right guy for Arsenal play.

Posted by Gabriel Binda on 07/06/2012

I'm surprised Wilshere or Frimpong haven't said anything yet. Usually they are the first ones to speak out against players that want to leave.

Posted by Aaron Mark Hendrix on 07/06/2012

Cant understand why all of you are so suprised that he said what he said.Well,at least he said it now,instead of mumbling somethin after he left right?At least you know how he feels.And I'm sure you will let him know how you feel too.But the fact is this,he is the best player at Arsenal right now.He had a great season.He's the captain.And also this,he doesnt regard his team mates highly,he doesnt wanna finish 3rd or 4th etc again,he wants some big bucks,and he dont see that comin anytime soon.Podolski and Giroud are not top drawer guys either.He wants some BIG names in.Well that's obvious,but really,I feel it's time to cash in on him anywayz.I believe(could be wrong) that he's spent more time not playing than playing,always not lasting a season,and also,he's not world class,just very good.There are plenty of very good players out there,and for the 30-50mio that you could get by selling him,you could get 3-5 very good players in,which will more than suffice.He's been a good servant tho

Posted by Debashis Kundu on 07/06/2012

Good decision taken by Van persie. Literally speaking under Arsene Wnger, Arsenal has no future. You Arsenal supporters just overlook this fact and do baseless argument. Good Luck Van Persie. Shut up Arsenal fans.

Posted by T Nhidza on 07/06/2012

well written and you were spot on. out of the 8 years we have had him, we have done nothing but being patient with him. he is a very fargile player who hardly plays a full season and considering last season was his first full season without an injury, this is how he repays the club and manager. i am glad he was a flop at euro. let him go we can easily replace him.

Posted by James Mutaka Kroll on 07/06/2012

I too I am shocked of Van decision to Leave Arsenal.Thou as Arsenal fan and admirer of Van I am afraid that he is prune to injuries and it's only Wenger and the players who has managed to Leave with him.As a club fan it's only Arsenal who stands to benefit if they let him go.Believe me if Van gets injury come this season,he will stay for the whole season without playing especially as he is almost 30years old.

For Van, your new destination may not be as comfortable as at Arsenal,be prepared for it.Your ways of playing you will need 2-3 years to adjust.
Arsenal players have been supplying you with the passes to score- I am wondering which top club will be willing to depend on you alone to score-Think about.May be try bottom clubs.

It will be sad and heart breaking to see you sideline or on Injury in whatever club you go as no one thinks about you as it has been the case in Arsenal Club.

For the Club Management,stop sleeping and enjoying Money-We need more defenders and Midfielders too

Posted by oscar on 07/06/2012

not arsenal fan, totally disagree with you sam
1)Rvp is injure not underperform. if rvp is underperform n wenger back him. now rvp leave when he is at top form then rvp is disloyal. when rvp injured n wenger back him, now rvp want to leave when not injured, this is not disloyal.
2)rvp want to leave n wenger press him so much n make publicly ask loyalty from rvp, that force rvp make public known n shut wenger down.
3)rvp single handed put arsenal in 3 n ucl spot.arsenal get a lot of return in term of investment.
4)as great player who doesn't want more money n win trophy which arsenal cannot afford.
so..just gracefully let rvp go n no hard feeling.
WAKE UP arsenal fans, yr problem is wenger. he should resign if he still has dignity when 3 yrs in a row without trophy. did he fix defence problem? no. newcastle get cheap n quality player so no excuse of financial stuff.i understand if everton etc clubs did not win trophy, but club as big as arsenal 7 yrs without trophy is a laughing stock.

Posted by Hillary on 07/06/2012

I am a bit suspicious with the timing of RED And White holdings' statement.They want to get sympathy from other shareholders and fans, which is quite unfortunate.if they really cared about the team they should have resolved their differencies internally unlike the RVP way they just did.It shows the technique has been authored by the same author!!I personally think that RVP is being used to settle tribal wars within Arsenal's shareholding.Players always come and go.RVP only blossomed because Fabregas(the focul person in the team had gone).We can always unearth another inhibited talent.What do you reckon Sam?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we can always hope that Wenger will find another fantastic player from nowhere, he's certainly done it before. I think the van Persie issue was the catalyst Red and White wanted to then question the current board to try and get more fans siding with them to give them more power at the club.

Posted by Ferenc Nemeth, Hungary on 07/06/2012

Thanks for your article on this issue. I am deeply devastated by the fact Van Persia does not want to extend his contract. I think Arsenal should keep him until next summer, he will be 30 by that time, that could change his mind to remain at the club and performances next season could also determine his fate.

Posted by TopGooner on 07/06/2012

Any gooner who thinks that current management is doing a not-bad-of-a-job must surely think again. Why did David Dein leave the board - who we all know has nothing but love for he club and if you look closely, this was the start of Arsenal's demise? Why did Lady Bracewell-Smith leave? There is something seriously wrong in the upper level, a lot of political in-fighting no doubt.

We are sheltered by this because the miracles Wenger is doing. If this was happening at any other club, supporters would be holding protests a long time ago.

We as fans and investors of the club have to open our eyes and make our voices heard. If we go on like this, I can see ourselves become another L'pool-like club where the only thing we can look forward to is our past.

Posted by Gheorghe on 07/06/2012

Is thea any guarantee that wereva he's goin their r trophies as simple as it sounds...he seems to hav a warthog memory of forgeting to soon when Arsenal stood by him during his injury plagued seasons...

Posted by immanuel chi nwozuzu jo on 07/06/2012

i'm a nigerian who loves arsenal football club so much,all these things happenning to our great club ,is disheartening to say the least.i respected van per sie so much,i thought better of him,its disappointing to get dis from him but i think the club is not and should not be total exhonorated from all these,cause its strange for a player of van persie's calibre to be allowed until one year left on his contract bfor presenting another one and a cheap one too,van persie should get 200pounds a week,coz he's better than all those collecting that amount in the premier league,including rooney,there is dis popular saying in ma country,soldier go,soldier come barrack remains,arsenal will always remain a great club,irrespective of wether van persie stay or not.

Posted by Moshimoshi on 07/06/2012

I dont think its a bad decision to let Van Persie leave at this point of his career. Yes he did scored 30+ goals this season and it helped us to reach UCL next season but if we can cash 20mil on him why not? We have bought Giroud and Podolski and they are an awesome attacking option with or without partnering Robin. Somehow i feel that Wenger knew of Robin's decision to leave long before the EURO games and that is why he bring in Giroud.

Walcott should also follow Robin out following his inconsistant performance last season. HIs stats was quite ok though but i think we need some fresh blood in the team.

One option could be to bring back Carlos Vela and form a strike force with Giroud. He did quite well during his times in Spain last season.

If we can get lewandoski from Dortmund that will be great too! In fact we need someone like Messi to emulate Barcelona. Someone like Ganso or Lucas Moura to develope into a attacking midfield/striker kind of role.

Posted by LFC on 07/06/2012

From a LFC Supporter:

Arsenal probably among the top in the list of the great football institutions. RVP is not bigger than your club.

PLEASE SELL HIM OFF !

Cheers :)

Posted by Gutbukkit Deffrolla on 07/06/2012

RVP was here when Thierry Henry returned. He saw the idolisation. He saw the hero worship. He saw what would await him if he played out his career with us, tried to get his trophies with us, and became an Arsenal Legend... and he was completely unmoved, apparently.

It doesn't really bother him. He has other priorities. That's understandable, I guess. But, Arsenal have priorities too and he is contracted to play for us for another year. We should make him do that.

He will have to perform as well this year as he did last year, or his dream move "for trophies" may not happen. It doesn't take long for the richest clubs to find a new wunderkind or to forget a crock or a has-been.

Who knows, perhaps he will win the PL or ECL with us this season, and then he can leave us to "win trophies".

Posted by Henry on 07/06/2012

well written and you hit the spot. I think Mr. Wenger should Not Sell RVP, but rather keep him on the bench for the rest of the season, just like what Roberto Mancini of Man city did to Carlos Tevez. Only make him practice and travel with the team every day until the season end.If Mr. wenger do that, players will stop disrespecting the Club (Arsenal FC)like shit(sorry for my language). I know we need the money to reinvest in the team, but we have other funds to do that. Let just keep him,and show him that, we made him and we can destroy him.

Posted by Scott Jumeaux on 07/06/2012

Its weird, I expected to read this thread and just get annoyed about how many "fans" write in and say "sack the manager and board, get in a rich owner and show ambition". Well about 80% did make this comment, but they have probably only just started watching football 3 years ago so they can be forgiven. But to the 20% who showed their respect and love to Arsenal I thank you.
Arsenal have been in the top flight of English football because they have some of the most passionate supporters and some of the most sensible managers and owners. I love the way Arsenal try to play, I love the passion and love that Arsenal fans bring to every game; and I love the honour and legacy that every drop of sweat,blood and tears that every Arsenal shirt has been through. I cried when Henty returned, I cried when Rosicky made it 3-2 and I get emotional every time I see my gunners take to the field.
Winning is good. Trophies are nice. Money is always welcome. But nothing compares to the legacy of Arsenal

Posted by gunner138098 on 07/06/2012

caught offside.com just reported that arsenal has agreed a deal with lyon for hugo lloris,the keeper!!!any truth in that?they were also the first to report the giroud transfer so may not be all hoax!if true it's a shame cos szczesny was the best in his generation and was doing well for arsenal!what do you think sam?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Would be surprised if that were true. I think Szczesny can be our number 1 for a good few years.

Posted by Arsenal@Lagos on 07/06/2012

It pains me that Arsenal fans have started to believe the BS that has been given to us by the British press who can't stand Wenger because he never buys the players they suggest and always seems to prove them wrong (almost anyway).

With all the money that Liverpool has spent in the past decade (close to US$500m if i'm right), what have they won? A solitary Champions League and a League Cup. You can see that money doesn't build a team- its a combination of good players guided by a brilliant mind.

RVP is a good player but please, he's no Messi, Ronaldo, Aguero or Tevez. He's a Gomez or Dzeko or Huntellar- with good service they can perform but can't win anything on their own. If he feels he hasn't won anything in Arsenal, he should take a look at his red card last year's Champs league or his sick notes @ crunch time for the past 6-7 years. Then he can ask the coach why he never bought an improved version of himself and put him (RVP) on the bench so that he can win titles on the bench.

Posted by i_changed_my_wife_but_not_my_football_club on 07/06/2012

Why are some of you still hoping to keep robin for the last year of his contract? He no longer has the desire to fight for the club. His mind is set on leaving. He has lost the respect of his team-mates. Sell him and sell him quick. If you dont want to play for Arsenal, go. We'll make do.

Posted by Ferenc Nemeth, Hungary on 07/06/2012

Dear All, we should convince Mr. Wenger to keep VP until next summer to learn the rule: respect your club, respect your manager, respect your team mates and your contract, and ARSENAL FANS of course! If someone has a fund for this I would happily give 10 pounds to compensate Arsenal for the profit loss and I am sure there would be thousands of others making the same "donation". Wenger and Arsenal rules, player power must be blown away

Posted by Andrew Kiken on 07/06/2012

Arsenal had just had a run oF BAD LUCK AND player belief that Arsenal is not the club for them. First, Nasri except for a few games, he was not the same player with Arsenal as he was with Man City. Nasri did not contribute much to Man City, except for his first game. Fabregas started out amazingly with Barcelona however, he faded and did little for Barca at the end of the season.

Now, for Van Persie he benefits greatly because of the possession style of Arsenal, and Arsenal feeding him great passes. Any good finisher should want to play with Arsenal. Vp is not the same player for holland as he is for arsenal. Only 2 teams will he get more chances to score than arsenal that would be barca and ee.

Some arsenal fans obsessions with titles is crazy!! Would you rather win the carling cup or fa cup so you can say you won a trophy? I think it is much better to quality for champions league. Really, only two tournaments matter most the epl and champions league. Arsenal is a great team.

Posted by babasola tokoya lagos nigeria on 07/06/2012

Van persie is a big disappointment as i never thought he was in the class or mould of nasri He has only given arsenal one good season out of 8years which he mostly spent on treatment table He scored goals because every other player in arsenal was working for him which will never happen in any other team He has removed his name from the hall of fame of legendary stature which he would have attained with arsenal than title winning It is an irony that the love that arsenal fans have for him has started to turn to hatred within a short while and i have stopped loving him and i dont even want to see him in an arsenal shirt again even if he is destined to score 200 goals a season He is so full of himself and HUMILITY IN GREATNESS is the hallmark of great legends and leaders and he is not one He was awful at the just concluded EUROS to hell with his arrogance He has betrayed arsenal who stood by him during his 7 years injury period

Posted by Hong Kong Gooner on 07/06/2012

AW is wise enough, and he knew. Most of us suspected, as we all held out some hope RVP would stay. With Giroud's purchase after Pod arrived, our suspicion is largely confirmed. AW has already revamped the front line.

We can all see that RVP wasn't quite functioning at Euro 2012 without Sneijder performing. RVP needs a top class creative midfield to feed him like the service he got from Fabregas, and he might just get it with Pirlo as a teammate.

We have had far better players left before, so let's not treat this like the end of the world. Getting good money from selling RVP is just as important as getting rid of our list of average performers (and there're plenty), and use the money wisely and quickly.

Sam, any suggestion who to buy with the money -- Modric? Moutinho? Montolivo?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. With the RvP money, we should look to buy another striker, and possibly another defender to go with Per, Verm and Kos.

Posted by Alexander on 07/06/2012

Sam you were very harsh on van Persie in your article. The primary blame should be on Wenger and the board not on van Persie. Yes van Persie did not score all those gaols without Song and Wallcot. You also forget that players like Brenthner and some others have wasted similiar services.Arsenal is run as a business and geared to favor share holders. The main owner, an American is not so interested in soccer like most Americans, he is there for profit. Whether you like it or not Usmanov would be readier to spend money even without repayment for the success of Arsenal. The board likes the chief owner because he allows them to do what they like and Wenger even was happy that he would be left free to handle his work as manager.For Arsenal to thrive again, Wenger should go.We fans cannot live in the past. The board has to be changed. Hill wood and Glazidis should move to real busines and Wenger should look for Job in finances and economics his real profession.

Posted by Lalah D Naija End Gooner on 07/06/2012

We always move on from these disappointments. Nasri, Fabregas, Clichy et al. Every time they predict we'll fall further down the table but we surge on. We will survive this one too. You can bet on it

Posted by GunnerForEver on 07/06/2012

Sam...enjoy reading every bit of your post. If RVP wants to go, fine, show him the door. However, i think we as a fan expect too much from him as well. In modern football loyalty does not exist, end of the day its a business. Saying that, i would have had much more respect for the Man if he would have just come out and say look i want more money. I can't blame the man for taking better offer, but almost certainly if he is not truthful about it. oh well, i guess he is going dutch... but this star Exodus has to stop sooner rather than later....

Posted by anon on 07/06/2012

Sell RVP and buy Daniel Sturridge or swap RVP with Edin Dzeko. But we still need another good goalkeeper plus CB and DM.

Posted by Ab on 07/06/2012

History suggests that Wenger saw this coming and had a back-up plan. Whenever a striker has left the club, he has plugged the hole with a winger who has been at the club for a little while. He did it with Theiry Henry, then RVP and I assume he will try to use Theo Walcott this year

Posted by Jack Conway on 07/06/2012

Another great piece Sam. RVP was great and deserves a vote of thanks for his work as a Gunner but I say 'don't let the door hit you on the way out.' He just had the best season he will ever have and if he thinks sharing attacking duties with Aguero, Tevez, Balotelli, Dzeko etc is going to further his career than I say go for it. Now there are reports that Theo wants to leave. Don't let the door hit him either. Ox is already better and should be playing in that spot. Get top value for Theo and RVP and off they go. Bring in another striker and one or two defenders and let's see what happens. Guys like Frimpong and Coquelin need space to grow and Ox and Jack are the absolute future of English football. People please stop comparing Van Persie to Thierry Henry. Even in this great season RVP just had he wasn't anywhere near as dangerous as Thierry. Fabregas had a fair reason to leave and I still root for him when he plays. I won't be rooting for RVP.

Posted by James on 07/06/2012

A beautiful article, very soul searching.RVP shows that if he had been fit for the previous seven seasons he would not have stayed at AFC this long. But because Arsene Wenger is a principled man and kept faith with him and gave him every support while he struggled with injuries, this is the reward from van Persie! He has suddenly realised the lack of ambition at the club because he has been fit to perform for one season! Thank God he has woken up from his sleep. We wish him good luck but he should remember it is not many players who leave Arsenal and perform at the same level elsewhere. I believe in the Arsene Wenger and the AFC philosophy. The madness will soon come to an end and the results of this philosophy will stand the test of time.

Posted by anthony on 07/06/2012

Sam, as usual your articles are thought provoking and inseightful.
Question though, Ifyou love playing football and are at a club where you will always play, why leave to another and only geta 15+ mins,in a few match?(Nasri case at MC).It is clear players of today are only thinking of money, No more love for club exist. When they are given an oppertunity to develop in a club the next contract the sign will see them looking elsewherefor BIG money. Owners must now sell their vision fortheclub with action, big war chest. Chelsea ownerdid not stop until hewon the UCL. the world knew thats what he wanted> What do we as fan of thid great clun know of theie ambition... on;y to qualify for CL. Very poor. Thank you RVP and wish you much success, May Mr Wenger plug the back line and the new strikers overhaul RVP tally og goals last season and deliver us trophies.We have the OX, Walcott can go if he wants.
Sam what of Mertesaker? will Djouruh be sold"

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Obviously we can't fully know what goes on inside the mind of a footballer, but it does seem strange that some of them are happy to play less. Again, it makes the cynic in me think it's only about money for some.
I hope Mertesacker stays as I really like him and I've heard nothing to suggest otherwise. Djourou recently signed a new contract so will also be surprised to see him go.

Posted by Jay Imandi on 07/06/2012

He's 28 and 2 years away from 30. You want this fella to hang on until he's 30 when Wenger will give him a year's contract at a time like he did to Bergkamp, Pires and Ljungberg. You must think he is retarded. You're happy for players to leave only when their best years are behind or for their careers to dip after they leave. That's cruel. Even with La Masia, Barcelona bought Villa for €40 m and Alves for €32.5m. If you think they are stupid, check their trophy cabinet. Arsenal is interested only in an Anelka like bargain: buying for £500k and selling for £22.3m. Their business model is excellent but unfortunately, it cannot win even a plastic cup, as the Carling cup is called in Nigeria. The theory here is Wenger has substantial shareholding in Arsenal, so it pays him for the club to win trophies only when they do so without the company making a loss. I don't believe it's true even though it makes sense.

Posted by Rashid on 07/06/2012

Okay lets not get distracted here the fact of the matter remains what he said is true and thats what the Board should try and work on right now keeping the players they have by showing more ambition, the timing and way it happened may not be right alright but doesnt change the reality, and even history goes on to show that all the Captains that have have, him being a fourth in row, that in itself says something, went on to bigger and better things indeed, Vieira went on to win two scudettos with Juve,Champions league and another title or two with Inter and now a Director with Manchester City of all the places, and thats after trying to reconnect unsuccessfully with Arsenal, Henry, A champions league and a few Primera Titles under his belt within a year after the move, Fabregas, i dont know anybody who has won so much within such a short period.The man is 28, has done his part and wants to go win things as well, he has served his purpose, talk about loyalty and legendary status doesnt

Posted by Ethan on 07/06/2012

I am not surprised by RVP's decision especially with the successes from Nasri and Cesc after leaving.Worse off, he is no longer young.
I believe AW already sensed it and that's why Giroud is here.We had many forwards why another one.
Problems now are who shall be our next captain.Arteta will be my pick though Song or Koscielny could be good choice if not for the possibility of being sent off.
We have now lost the next Bergkamp.We need a replacement.
AW's transfer and wage policy are not totally wrong.They just take time and now need some changes to improve.Players are now more loyal to money which has also promised success on the field.AW is still the best in fishing out talents at a bargain though it has been tougher these days with inflated prices.Just a few flops are not enough to spoil his records.He just need to be more aggressive to secure his champion team first.
For their decision,I don't think we should not have statues for RVP and Cesc in future.Let's wait for our next hero.

Posted by milleryogi on 07/07/2012

Well said. From hero to zero in a matter of moments. Hope the extra $ makes up for that. Quitter

Posted by niteowl on 07/07/2012

The problem with Van Persie is that he's always been a brittle, selfish, spoiled primadonna (often criticizing the coach and teammates on the Netherlands' national team)... people didn't see him until this event, as hel oves Wenger, but dutch supporters are well aware of that.....
and like others said, he did great on an Arsenal team built around him, but he's absolutely terrible in the orange shirt, looking actually pathetic at the recent Euros...
It's sad that the latest generation of dutch talent has turned into a bunch of spoiled divas so full of themselves they think they are Gods rather than human beings,(Sneider, Robben and Van Der Waart among them)
but ultimately, Arsenal fans, good riddance, you'll miss his goals maybe, but long term you'll get rid of a cancer that was slowly eating away at the spirit of your team (and who now showed his complete lack of respect for both coaches and teammates at Arsenal)

Posted by Gunner on 07/07/2012

Nice blog and some good comments here. btw theo hasn't long left either or song lol if people really side with atan and the board (who all made a tidy sum) then you're wearing blinkers. Im glad robin is standing firm on this why? because i only trust wenger. wenger said last year you cant sell your best players and be considered a big club, what did they do? sell. so now wenger says lets bring in giroud and podolski etc and keep robin "at all costs". we've already had quotes from giroud saying he is not robins replacement, we were led to believe our squad will be strengthened so we can compete for the title but it seems this is not their plan. robin has been with us long enough to know how they operate, it wouldnt suprise me if wengers leading comments meant he knew what was to follow. wenger and the team kept their side of the bargain and got us 3rd place, lets see if they have the sense to invest in our team so we can compete for the titles.

Posted by john on 07/07/2012

ur right jack but why man city who have d wealth n money to spent if hes not going 4 money. where was man city n chelsea 5yrs back doing d likes of th, wiltord,Lb etc. arsenal have nurse rvp to where he is n i dont c him breaking thro in any other english league. he needs to things twice.

Posted by henri on 07/07/2012

In truth, we all watch Arsenal games knowing that RVP is one careless knock away from a 5 month injury, that is why am not worried if he goes, but all the other players must be offered 5 year contracts, I really hope RVP stays but if not, then Insha Allah!

Also, the start of this season does not appear as bleak as the last one-and we all know it, last season most of us were hoping/praying for 4th at best!

Watch out for Ryo!

Posted by MP on 07/07/2012

Thanks RVP for your contribution to the team. Your quoted statement reflects your hopes during that time of signing I believe not necessary of situations that may arise.
Who is next to leave Walcott/Arteta or Sagna perhaps? We have been critisizing players of leaving clubs forgetting that wining silverwares and of course better wages are motivational factor in every player 's career. You will think of revising this well written article should things remain as they are at the moment at Arsenal FC.

Posted by OMA on 07/07/2012

SAM:I, for the first time do not agree entirely with your article.Though Van Persie was wrong in making those statement,as a professional and as a captain,yet it is fair to state here that this is a man who doesn't have time on his side, besides,the blame should be on the Arsenal board not V.P ,for leaving,we forget we haven't won a single trophy in 7 years,who wouldn't want to win something in his career even if he loves a club? We may be fans,but that doesn't mean we should be selfish. The simple truth is the club currently lacks ambition,times have changed and as such money is very important in football today.How can we win anything if we cant compete financially with Man U,Chelsea or Man City?,this is the Premier league we are talking about here.Nasri and Cesc left last season,same with VP this season,all for the same reason;they all want to win something for themselves and the FANS.This will never happen if we cant hold on to our star players period,lets hope Wallcot stays.

Posted by odiri on 07/07/2012

well written Sam. Well i felt gutted when i read RVPs statement. Yes, he single handedly moved us out of relegation but truth be told what should we say about Song,Arteta, Rosicky, Walcot or even Kosciency? Those guys were the real heroes, they came through when it mattered. I still remebered when we lost against Liverpool at the Emirates.AW was left standing under the rain after the match, or was it the 8-2 humilation suffered at Old trafford? Yes, RVP scored lots of heart stopping goals but he wouldn't have been able to do that without the contribution of his teammates, fans and the coaching staff. Yes, its taking us 7 years without a trophy but has any other English team with our so called mediocre players made it to the quarter final of the Champions league yearly? Dont get me wrong, RVP is a good player but not yet a GREAT!! Arsenal 4 now and 4 ever.

Posted by Leopard5994 on 07/07/2012

Great article Sam! My thoughts exactly. I suspect that those players (Viera, Nasri and RVP etc) who blamed the club for not being ambitious enough were either lying at the time or else were displaying a significant level of emotional immaturity. Considering what they had around them (style of play, team mates), they should have fought to achieve whatever sporting aims they claimed to have. As for the press, a crisis sells papers so it works very well for them to continue talking tripe.

rvp is RIP. Arsenal Remains!
Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Posted by Rashid on 07/07/2012

Its the Arsenal Board who are the villains here, RVP is merely a smokescreen and scapegoat, if anybody disagree, i guarantee you all we will be back here next year talking about the next captain or any other Marquee player or players same time next year, set about making yet another exit, while other EPl clubs are reinforcing, interestingly enough after the success of the Euros, Arsenal is the only team once again making headlines for the next season for all the wrong reasons, think People!!

Posted by Thomas on 07/07/2012

There is no one biiger than the club. If RvP wants to leave, tell him thank you and then let sell him to the highest bidder. Let's move on. There are other players who will fill the void. RvP had one great season. He will not have another one, like the last one.

Posted by bash on 07/07/2012

I completely agree with V‘persie wanting to opt out. Lets face the facts, who among us would turn down a better paying job with greater career prospect?! RVP will never become an arsenal legend, because as things stand arsenal would not win a major trouphy in the fore- seeable future. Take off the ‘arsenal coloured spectacles‘ Sam and only then u can make an objective analysis

Posted by american gooner on 07/08/2012

RvP is still a great player and I will continue to follow him after he leaves despite the insulting personal statement. We do need to sell the deadweights from the team, but I think the forward/attacking options are enough (assuming Walcott doesn't leave). With the new signings of Podolski and Giroud along with the wingers: Walcott, Gervinho (I hope he can find the net more often), and don't forget about MIYAICHI! We need to play the Ox as a #10 which I think will be his position in the future. It would be nice to sign another striker, but AFC are stingy and there are more pressing needs like some defense!!

Wilshire should be a boost coming back assuming a year off hasn't affected his confidence and form. I hope that we can bounce back and win something next season just to show Robin what he left behind.

Bon voyage RvP...

Posted by Skydog on 07/08/2012

Arsenal fans must stop all those nonsense in questioning on the board direction and don keep asking to spend a lot of money on players. All these fans do not hv the club interest in heart. If we spend 100 million pound on players plus their high wages, the club may be in bad debt the following season and hv to start selling their talented players. The board and Wenger direction is right. The club need to self substain for long term. Yes, we want to win trophies but using our way to win it. All fans please be realistic. Arsenal won't be able to compete with mancity and Chelsea financially. But we can win trophies if we stay as a team and play as a team.

Posted by Charvakan on 07/08/2012

RvP did the club a favor. The last thing we needed was more Cesc-like drama. Now everyone knows where they stand. This is a business; footballers are talented laborers with a very limited career which could end at any time due to injury. Van Persie and the club have kept faith with each other. After seven years without a trophy, it is reasonable for him to think that he needs to go elsewhere to win something. Fair enough. He'll never be worth more. Cash in, buy talent, and prove him wrong, then. No one will be happier for Arsenal than Robin van Persie. Let's be adults about this.

Posted by gunner138098 on 07/08/2012

Sam,is the swap deal RVP=VILLA+15m for real?i know wenger wanted him a few years back but he turned us down,so will he be happy at Arsenal?also he seems to be a spent force & does not contribute much to the goal tally,moreover he is injury prone & nowhere as sharp as RVP!don't you think Lewandoski would've been a better replacement?
Why are we constantly being linked with g.keepers?first it was a norweigian gk,then it was Lloris,now Emilio Viviano from serie A!i thought Scez n D.Martinez would've been enough!do you think we need another keeper?
Any update on Squillaci's proposed move to Bastia.should that go through,do you think we should sign another defender?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think the Villa rumours are optimistic, and I've heard little any deal for Lewandowski. I think we might need a back-up keeper to Wojciech Szczesny. Nothing confirmed with Squillaci yet, although there were rumours that they couldn't afford his wages. I'll be surprised if we sign another defender.

Posted by Wesley, Singapore on 07/08/2012

Well written, Sam! The last 2 paragraphs really struck a chord with me. Heroes can be replaced but legends will always be remembered! For those who believe that Arsenal should spend beyond their means to compete with the Man Citys and Chelseas, let's see what happens when the Financial Fair Play really kicks in. While other clubs have become mere toys of the billionaires (Man City, Chelsea) or profit generating companies (Man Utd), Arsenal remains an institution of football.

Posted by Anonymous on 07/08/2012

Arsenal lack ambition end of story. Abromavich never gave up uno when we all thought he was mad. Arsenal are achieving there goals too uno making money and being proud number 3!!! why some people have eyes but don't see is beyond me. All the best RVP you are a great player and you owe nobody nothing.

Posted by DJohnnie on 07/08/2012

I will have to disagree with your thoughts for the first time since you started this blog.

While I truly wished he decided to stay with us, I can't blame him for being frustrated if he did write the message. No one's saying we should match City's spending, but we should at least be smart in the way we operate, namely in the following areas:

Player salary - how many below par players (such as Denilson, Vela, Bendtner) do we pay high salaries to which result in uis having less to pay the good players.

Transfer market - How many times did Wenger and the Board delay approaches to top players which then resulted in them joining other clubs?

Business side of the club - How far behind are we to other EPL clubs in terms of commercial revenue (sponsorship, etc) because of the conservative and inept approach of the Board?

Re-signing players - How on Earth did Wenger and the Board let top players' contracts run down?

The Board has failed the club. All Arsenal supporters should see that.

Posted by stan on 07/08/2012

RVP has actually not said his leaving, pls analyze his statements critically, you people should stop being sentimental or biased, he also has the club at heart and wants it to move forward, his the captain, let him lead the club to glory, cos thats why his complaining, wait until 2weeks time after he meets the board again before u people comment.
U CANNOT KEEP DOING THE SAME THING AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT, SINCERELY WE FANS NEED OUR CLUB TO BRING BACK LAURELS AS WELL.

Posted by Zanda on 07/08/2012

I have no ill toward the statements made in this article as most of them are true. RVP probably shouldn't have said or gone about saying the things he did in the manner that he did but as an Arsenal supporter it is disheartening that we don't really want to challenge for trophies. Year in year out we beg and hope that something happens. Watching the progress of Man City and Chelsea with the injection of cash and the turn arounds at these clubs the same could be said of my beloved Arsenal. But we choose not too, no discredit to Song, Theo or Koscielny but its improbable to continue to ask him to continue to drag this team along. I hate to see him go but I am also frustrated at a lack of silverware and would really like to see a team that would actually be able to challenge for top honors, a team that has the depth to endure an entire season. Don't make RVP the scapegoat for what we've come to expect from AFC. Mediocrity and excuses as to why we can't win anything anymore. Its a sad day

Posted by wa on 07/09/2012

SAM;The points you make in your article are well taken.I do disagree that pointing the finger at RVP.When Gadzidis made the statement after the first meating with RVP before the EURO that the team had under perform for the season.NO ONE called him out on that ridiculous statement.RVP as captain led this team from the front,he won games for us that we had no wright wining ie [LIVERPOOL].If their is one person who has earn the right to question the direction of the club.It is him.Reading his statement he did not close the door on his future with Arsenal and one other thing.Arsenal does not have a problem going forward.IT HAS A HUGE PROBLEM DEFENDING.I have been studying tapes of games for the pass three years,and their is one common thing with most of our losses.DEFENSE.Fixing this does not require braking the bank and the players know this.So don't blame the messenger,but does who watch their bank account grow while allowing the players and fans to go trophy less for 7 years

Posted by makun olayinka on 07/09/2012

Being a captain make you the leader of the team acknowledge the effort of your team mates poor altitude from a good captain. Good article sam

Posted by nighttrekk on 07/09/2012

Good article. that being said i have no qualms about any player leaving the club for percieved greener pastures (Alex Hleb comes to mind)but please do so in a mature and respectful manner. Arsenal FC have kept faith with RVP through the lean, dark years and for that sole reason deserve to be treated with some measure of dignity.

i recall some fans who are supporting RVP's comments were the same fans who sllghted Wenger for keeping a player on the books from whom the club got so little returns. how come RVP didnt have a problem with that aspect of the clubs operations. if you wna tmore money and get it elsewhere say so and we will respect that. but dont come out and insult our intelligence with such insolent remarks...

Posted by Deven Vythelingum on 07/10/2012

That's a good analysis from Sam. But with all respects i believe Arsenal should have come to a deal with RVP long before.And if there were info that he had already an offer Arsenal should have known that he would not sign an extension. If he has chosen the money and glitter against the shirt then he should be sold outside UK. No need to hope again.Arsenal has to move on. It costs to get talents and to maintain talent. If we want to compete for silverware and be strong contenders we should have a strong team and also to stop this exodus should make some firm decision.
Arsenal should become a very strong team and we all know that we play the best football in the country but many a time at crucial moments we cannot keep a result. We should therefore bring in players who could achieve that. We need strong and experienced defensive support and back up on goal. Lloris. M villa and a world class striker. Cavani, Dzeko, will be most welcome. Let us prove that those who left were wrong.

Posted by Cristobal Raveau on 07/11/2012

Fantastic response! I wish RVP could read your article and feel ashamed. Arsenal FC will continue to fight for their principles and we have better players than RVP, let's remember that one great season doesn't mean he will have the same success elsewhere. I didn't hear his name in the EURO2012, maybe its a sign.... Sell him and lets move on to our club!!!

Posted by Dapuma on 07/11/2012

What about taking berba and 20 million pounds then investing it in Dempsy - that would work well for utd and arsenal against chelski and citeh - old enemies unite

Posted by Robert on 07/11/2012

I didn't find anything objectionable with RVP's statement. This is dealmaking, I can see how RVP thinks he's worth a lot more money and he wants the club to spend more to win championships. There's nothing wrong in bargaining for that. But as several commentators have noted, this was his best season. He's had injury trouble and players have a funny habit of not performing as well after getting a new fat contract. Arsenal is acting smart in not giving it to him but if Man City wants to flood him with petro-bucks, mazel tov to them.

Posted by Fil on 07/12/2012

RVP could stay... just sign VDV and/or Sneijder. Did both not mention willingness to leave? Is Arsenal still sitting on their Fabregas/Nasri money? Doesnt the Dutch team need more cohesiveness that playing together @ club level can provide? Aren't they all close in age 28/29? Seems like a no brainer.

Posted by ZaCh on 07/12/2012

I'll be a Gunner for life but I see nothing wrong with RVP's comments. RVP does not believe that the club intend to win the League, the UCL, or the F.A. Cup. He believes that the club is content to place in the top 4 and make $$$. I happen to agree with him. Sam, do you honestly believe that the club intends to win the League this year????

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I do honestly believe the club is intending to try and win the league this season. I think they do have ambition and that RvP has misjudged the ambition of the club because he's only looked at it from the fact we can't compete with other clubs around us in terms of transfer fees and wages.

Posted by Sanusi on 07/13/2012

Thanks Guys for your comments. We faithfull Arsenal fans is never bothered about RVP's exit from the club. Afterall, at the beginning of last season, he himself cannot tell anyone this is what his story is going to look like. but glory be to God. All that is expected of RVP is to at least reciprocate for the way Arsenal stood by him all the times he collect salary for nursing injuries year after year.

Still more to come.

Posted by Samuel Angol on 07/13/2012

Sam, it's been a while. The Van Persie affair is a very emotional one. It seems that you are upset that he has refused to sign a new contract even though you claim to have had a lurking suspicion that he would end up walking away. In the weeks leading up to Euro 2012, I remember reading statements from RVP's wife and parents wherein they confirmed that the Dutchman would be staying at the Emirates. So to read that he wasn't renewing last week was something of a shock. I don't fault RVP for feeling the way that he does -- it feels like at the moment, Arsenal are a club in perpetual transition. How much longer can we keep paying nominal fees for players and realistically expect to win trophies? I fear that Arsenal FC have become a glorified feeder club for the richer sides in England and continental Europe. Unless there is a drastic alteration in our recruitment policy, we may soon become irrelevant in the grand scheme of things...

Posted by Jude on 07/14/2012

I completely DISAGREE with you Sam, While you have backed your statements in this article, that is only one side of the coin.

Like a previous comment stated, What have Arsenal done with the sales of Nasri, Clichy, Adebayor, Toure, and the list goes on and ON??

The business model has long been sustainable, they simply have not used it atall, we have over 7 dead weight players in Arsenal, WHY don't we sell already?

Arsenal in the past 3 years has never needed to spend a coin from the transfer kitty to secure a good signing our sold players more than make-up for the pay. What about the huge tickets the fans have to pay?

What RVP is saying is simple, buy ESTABLISHED Names, Like Sneidjer, so everyone knows we have AMBITION. I support Usmanov and RVP, and Nasri and Clichy and Fabregas and the rest, GAZIDIS and WENGER have no thirst for thropies all they want is a fatter bank account, and I will not be a party to that.

Posted by gunner138098 on 07/14/2012

it's sad to hear of Theo's intentions after RVP:( this has become a trend with Arsenal now .Wenger is v.good at picking stones off the street and turning them into crown jewels only to lose them when they are shining bright!!sad,sad,sad!Sam,do you believe the wage structure needs to change cos otherwise we'll always lose our best players in their prime.ok we don't have the petro bucks to invest in top players(although a team with Arsenal's pedigree should try to sign at least one established player who can make a difference)but we should at least try to do everything possible to keep our stars and that does not mean having heart to heart talks only!players play for money and why should they not leave if they feel that they get only half the wages they deserve & players with half their talent get twice as much elsewhere?when they do that Wenger says that they are not being loyal!but loyalty should come from both sides.have we even tried to chop off the deadwood and increase the wages?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we were going to break the wage structure for RvP, but overall, I think it's important to have it in the club as it means we don't overspend in that area. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the deadwood went, but we can't just release them, we need to find takers.

Posted by pat mcewen on 07/15/2012

this author is awesome. bleeds arsenal red through and through. we'll persevere bc we're arsenal, damnit.

Posted by sporegunner on 07/16/2012

Matthew Le Tissier spent his entire career with Southampton and though he never won anything, is rightfully considered a Southampton and BPL legend.

If RVP thinks he needs to win something to be considered great he is hugely mistaken.

Posted by john Holder on 07/18/2012

He should really listen to his wife, not his agent

Posted by James on 07/18/2012

Do you think that if we dont sell him hed play with the same passion he did last year?

Posted by Xendi on 07/20/2012

Sam...Tho a bit lengthy, you have lucidly n succinctly said it the way it is. It is all about LOYALTY and its resultant reciprocity. RVP take NOTE!

Posted by BlaineW on 07/22/2012

I'm a huge Arsenal fan and I have to admit I'm very torn about RVP leaving and I don't know why. I didn't care when Toure or Clichy left. I especially didn't care when Adebayor left. I didn't even care when Nasri left. I cared when Cesc left, but I sort of understood why. I didn't necessarily agree with it, but I did sort of get it. For some reason, though, the thought of RVP leaving hits me harder. I know he's only managed one full season for the Gunners and my buddy, whose a Chelsea fan, calls him Mr. Glass, but I was so happy for him last year and for AFC for the way he carried Arsenal nearly every single week, nearly single-handedly it seemed at times. Honestly, I'm still trying to deal with my thoughts on his impending departure. On one hand, I do believe that no one player is bigger than the club. I believe this. On the other hand, I'm extremely tired and frustrated that my favorite players leave my favorite club year after year and yet despite this, I'm a Gunner now and forever.

Posted by Johnny on 07/25/2012

No player is bigger than the club? Van Persie is Van Persie and the club is the club. No surprise that he is leaving considering he is already 29 but has only won a paltry FA cup with us and unlikely to win anything else should he stay. While many fans talk about the loyalty Arsenal show him despite his many injuries, people forget that it was really Wenger pleading him to stay the last time we offered him a contract (helicopter). If Arsenal is to pride itself as a classy club, I urge all gooners to show some class and remember what Van Persie has done for the club rather than his manner of departure. Also know that if he is loyal enough to leave Feyenoord/Excelsior, clubs which he grew up playing with, he can also leave Arsenal. As for his letter, its about time someone gave the board a wake-up call about the direction this club is heading. From invincibles to simply being content retaining 4th place every year, its really looking like a never ending slippery slope.

Posted by Hassan on 07/25/2012

I like u're artical and i understand. I heard about signing Carzola so i think he will be a replacement 4 RvP. Thax we love Arsenal as a clab and not a player.

Posted by Colby on 07/26/2012

For me, Pato is the type of player we need in the squad, so not to let RVP move away from arsanel, wenger should make a good offer for him and bring him down to the emirate stadium.

Posted by Fattmatt99 on 07/26/2012

Sam,
Another well-written post. Any thoughts on updates, as it's been a few weeks now? Primarily, what's the story with our supposed "dead weight?" Chamakh traveling, Bendtner still listed on the website, unable to sell Denilson, etc. Sorry to see Vela go; I liked his skill and he could have been a poacher for Arsenal had he the proper work ethic and desire to live in London.

Can Lansbury and Coquelin do a job until the time when (if?) Rosicky and Captain Jack return? And yes, I'm advocating Jack for skipper - next year. We need a leader who is Arsenal through-and-through, with no thoughts of ever playing elsewhere. Plus, he's got a tailor-made song for singing.

Posted by Abdullahi Gombe, Nigeria on 07/26/2012

Fine piece of work. But it got me confused as to what exactly is your interest in Arsenal fc. To me you sound more like a shareholder rather than a football fan, at some point I was beginning to believe that you are particularly proud of those eight trophyless years. Come on Sam, not every fan can be like you, to watch football at most expensive stadium every year and the only thing you get to show at the end of it is the the chance to participate in another next. Sam I don't mean to be disrespectful but it appears you did not follow Arsenal last season, otherwise whycould you be so shotsighted to make such conclusions? Every true Arsenal fan knows had Robin Van Persie got injured after january we will struggling to make the top ten. That's why Ferguson is Knight, even with a strong and healthy attacker in Rooney he is interested in RVP and more. By the way, what makes you thinks Wenger would have bought these two players had Robin sign a new contract before the Euros? One thing you cannot deny is money or not most of the players that left Arsenal sighting footballing reason eventuall get something to back their claims in a season. The truth is that whether this is the only full season he had played, Robin Van Persie was never a doubt. People like you may continue to delude themselves but a football club just like every sport is all about silver wear not good balance sheet.

Posted by TewKS on 07/27/2012

I am an arsenal fan not because they win/not win trophies, but because of the philosophy of how they run a football club.

Posted by Olalere on 07/27/2012

Liked minds see together.we've really shared the same view on the RvP transfer saga.He'd shown the whole world how ungrateful and disloyal he could be to the great club that stood by him all the way to stardom.
Arsene seems too soft on these guys and that is how he is able to bring them up but they have betrayed him on several occasions now.To punish RvP, and to pass message to others that may want to follow him,sell him to any club aside his preference probably Europa club or Lens where he will live to regret his actions.
Arsenal are much bigger than these characters and we need to get rid of them as soon as possible.If the club won no trophy in the last 7 years,they should have seen themselves as part of the failure due to incessant injuries,weak mental strength,inconsistent performance, andlack of discipline.They should stop blaming others for their failures.He would be pardoned if he tendered his apology on time though his leadership quality had been exposed to questions.

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About
David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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