What’s that sound? Oh right… Gooner expectations crashing back down to earth like a meteorite.
Football is an emotional rollercoaster, one minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute, the Manchester Evening news is telling everyone Robin Van Persie is going to sign for Manchester United today for a substantial fee. We can all wave him off with arrogant contempt because we’ve signed some new players, but let’s face it, if we flog our captain to one of our fiercest rivals over the past 20 years, we’d really be sinking to a new low.
Why would should this upset you so much? Well, he’s our captain. Not only is he our captain, he’s probably the best iteration of a captain we’ve had since Patrick Vieria hung up his boots with Arsenal after banging home the winning penalty against united way back when in the FA Cup Final.
Simply put, this would probably be up there as one of the most disappointing modern day sales we’ve ever encountered. I hate to think what it’ll do to squad morale only a week from the start of the new season. By letting him go this week, we’re not even making things awkward for United which tells you something very important if that happens.
We need to money to balance those books.
Well, it could tell you that. Or it could tell you we need the money to go out and sign a replacement quick time. That’s when we’ll really find out what Arsenal are about this summer. That’s when we’ll find out whether we’ve really turned the corner. You can mitigate some of the loss of Robin by bringing in a shiny new striker who has world class pedigree. I don’t think we’ve quite got that in Giroud and Podolski. Top players don’t get me wrong, but they’re not cutting it when compared to Robin. No one would really, but someone like Llorente would certainly go some way to doing that.
What Arsenal have done so far this summer is prove to the fans that they do mean business for once. We’ve bought extremely well. So well, you have to wonder exactly what Robin is thinking moving onto United. The squad that we have now with Robin Van Persie involved is near enough a title challenging side. Without him, it’s slightly back to the drawing board, but again, if we pull something out the bag, we could still be up there.
I think the lack of faith from Robin will rile a lot of fans off the back of this whole debacle… I guess what grates me looking in is that I don’t feel Robin has the right to moan about the state of our squad and its ability to compete. He’s literally had one season in seven playing in it. It’s not like he’s been let down by poor team mates every season and finally he’s buckled. He’s been one of the team mates letting down players like Cesc with his poor fitness. He’s never really given us a chance. That’s the blight on his personality CV. He gave up.
On the United front… well, this is an interesting move. Robin is the first player in years that I’d describe as a great re-sign for a home team and a pretty poor overall signing for a new club. In 2009 I read an article from The Guardian that stated United had a new policy of not signing expensive players over the age of 26. This stopped them going in for Ribery. 3 years on, in a distinctly worse financial position, they’re spunking a huge amount of their transfer budget on Robin Van Persie. Not only is it a huge risk for them to take, it also represents little long term value. He is a £25million short term stop gap. His fitness isn’t going to get any sharper as he decends into his thirties. Have a read around some of the United Forums, they’re not rounding on this signing like you’d expect, they know the pitfalls just like we do.
Still, it’s not our problem what they spend their money on. What is an Arsenal problem is explaining to our fans how we’ve lost another captain to another rival. So very, very disappointing.
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It’s not over until someone signs on the dotted line… let’s hope our Captain sees some sense and that if the worse case scenario occurs, Arsenal remedy it with a big name replacement.