So it has happened. Again. The smug smile from our rival supporters, the jokes at our expense, the frantic last minute transfers and the unstable beginning to the season, it has happened so often that you would think it wouldn’t matter anymore, that I had become immune to it all. And yet, this time it hurt more than ever. Losing a star player is bad enough but to lose him to your rivals is what makes it intolerable. And doing it a bunch of times is not going to make it any less painful.
I have no idea what Wenger – or Gazidis? – was thinking when he approved the transfer of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United but whatever it was, it doesn’t make sense to me. After making this, Wenger even goes on to defend his move,
“At the end of the day, (selling to a rival) was the only decision we could make.”
Seriously? If he were to ask me, I could have given him at least a dozen other options. For one, don’t put all the offers in front of the player and ask him to choose. Either let him move to a club outside the country or rot in the reserves. Doesn’t seem to be a difficult choice to make for the player, especially for a 29-year old, does it? It shouldn’t take more than a second to choose between the two. The sale to a foreign club may fetch a million or two less, but believe me it’s worth the difference.
Don’t even get me started about Van Persie. He goes around saying “I’ll always be a gooner” the whole season, puts up his picture as the No.1 Arsenal fan wearing the No.1 fan jersey and everything, and when the time comes for him to prove his words; he publicly criticizes the club and Arsene Wenger supposedly disapproving of the way the club is moving forward. Or was it his wage amount that wasn’t moving forward to his liking? Because I’m pretty sure he was informed about the impending arrival of Spanish International Santi Cazorla in addition to Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud who had already been signed.
So what do you do when you “disagree over the way the club should move forward”? You go around lambasting the club and then join their strongest rivals so that the club moves backward and not forward. That’s how you prove yourself to be a gunner forever, isn’t it Van Persie? And to think that he called himself the Number 1 Arsenal fan. Did someone say hypocrisy?
If I weren’t at the wrong end of it all, the whole episode would have perhaps been humorous. It is not a case of sour grapes as these United fans take it to be. Despite the transfer, I would still say that Van Persie is a really good player, though not a great one anymore in my eyes. To be considered a great player, one needs to have character to go with capability. To be considered a legend on the pitch, you would need to be a good player on and a good person off it.
Don’t give me the He-moved-for-trophies junk. If trophies was what he wanted – so desperately so as to ignore all the club has done for him – he could still have moved to Juventus or PSG or any other non-English club. If he isn’t respected anymore at the Emirates, he has none other than himself to blame. He can’t expect the fans at the Emirates to respect him when he hasn’t shown any consideration for the club or the fans’ feelings.
Speaking of which, whatever has happened to the Tony Adams, Maldinis and Steven Gerrards in football these days? The Gerrards have been replaced by Ibrahimovics who change their clubs like they would change mobile phones. And what has happened to beautiful football? Arsenal have played the most beautiful football there is but players seem to reject them only to join clubs whose football isn’t exactly what I would call attractive. Chelsea seem to have come up with this idea of putting 10 bodies behind the ball and for some reason the players have no problem joining them and playing such football. This is nothing personally against Di Matteo, but I am not really looking forward to the day when two teams put all their players in the penalty area and stand waiting for a chance on the counter attack. It wouldn’t be a very good day for football, that.
Never mind the beauty of their game, after a draw in the season opener against Sunderland; I guess Arsenal can do with another striker. But Arsene Wenger seems to have his own ideas. So to recover from the sale of one of our key players, Wenger decides to go ahead and sell another one. I have always been a supporter of Wenger but I’m not too sure selling Alex Song was a good idea. But he does manage to find effective replacements for players every year – who we eventually lose to City or Barcelona or some other club – so I’m off now to read about the progress on the Nuri Sahin deal and begin dreaming of that elusive trophy again.
Come on Gunners!