Robin van Persie: Hero or Villain?

Yesterday afternoon, Arsenal captain and talisman Robin van Persie announced that he was not signing a new deal. He stated that the subject of money had not even been approached, and the difference of opinion in how to make the current squad into a trophy winning one was the reason behind his decision.

On the surface, for me anyway, I thought this was a perfectly reasonable explanation for his decision not to extend his current deal, and essentially leave the club this summer. He has been at Arsenal for 8 seasons, and only has the FA Cup to his name. Looking from this from an objective point of view, he has seen teammates such as Ashley Cole, Kolo Toure, Gilberto, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry, Mathieu Flamini, Eduardo and even Adebayor leave and win honours with new clubs.

Van Persie is 28 and doesn’t believe that Arsenal can win things.

And what is wrong with that? Of course, fans will look to loyalty but he has been with the club for 8 seasons and as far as I’m concerned, given everything when he’s worn the Arsenal shirt. Arsene has admitted that coming 4th in the Premier League is like winning a trophy and this is a team that couldn’t beat Birmingham in the Carling Cup Final. Of course we were unlucky in the Champions League Final against Barcelona in 2006 and if we had won that we would be in a different place than we are now, but that’s a different argument for another day.

Many, many Arsenal fans have said on more than one occasion over the past 7 seasons that with this current board and this current manager, that we won’t win trophies. That we are a feeder club, a club that can’t compete financially, both in terms of transfer fees and wages, Arsene is too stubborn and won’t sign the additions we need to really challenge for honours, and so on.

Don’t you think these things filter out to the players?

We all think that players are in their own little bubble but Van Persie was an Arsenal player that really did love Arsenal – he showed it when he wore the shirt, he showed it when he did social events and showed it off the pitch as well. He involved himself in more things that most other players and you could tell he loved being at Arsenal. But it’s clear we don’t match his ambition and is that his fault?

The response from the majority of Arsenal fans has been less that complimentary. Many fans point to loyalty, citing that we and Arsene supported him when he was suffering from injury problems year after year. They also say he’s a mercenary just after more money. Then a few get really personal, talking about supporting him through his rape accusations and say how he’s a disruptive influence on the dressing room, has a massive ego problem and we should get rid as soon as we can.

This much is clear though, the response from Arsenal fans pretty much eliminates any possibility of Van Persie making a u-turn and staying at Arsenal, and extending his contract. With the feedback Robin has been receiving on Twitter at least, all bridges have now been burnt.

From my point of view, I’ll be gutted that he’s going just like I was when Cesc left. Whatever you might say, we’ve seen him mature into an outstanding player and last season he gave me, and us, some simply wonderful and emotional moments. Some of those goals were right up there with some of my favourite ever Arsenal strikes, the last minute winner against Liverpool in that smash and grab, the goals against Chelsea (and the one where Terry fell flat on his arse), and so many more. Say what you like, but he was sensational last season for us.

But on the flip side, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that he leaves. We have already prepared for his exit with the signings of Podolski and Giroud, and we still have a talented midfield with Song, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky and Walcott that will create chance after chance for our new strikers. And in all honesty, I just cannot see Van Persie recreating the form he did last season. Before last season his injuries kept him from having any sustained run in the team and his goalscoring rate was so outstanding that it would be a massive ask for him to even come close to doing the same again.

He hasn’t shown the consistency that Cesc, Titi, Bobby or Dennis did over a number of seasons. If he did then I would be even more disappointed but maybe the time is right to sell him before he gets injured again and while his stock is high. Although another point many fans outlined was that he’s essentially halved his value but signalling his intention to leave.

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6 thoughts on “Robin van Persie: Hero or Villain?

  1. I suspect I am the only comment on here, becuase the majority of Arsenal fans will have turned at your initial paragraph.

    I’m afraid you have mis thought out how to present your immediate reaction. which should have been a long way down the article.

    Either RvP has something lined up, or this has back fired on him in a way couldn’t have imagined – ironically i think it might be the latter. He could eaisly have agitated for a move silently and in public simply stated that at this time he did not feel able to sign a new contract.

  2. RVP has made a statement that he don’t want to sign a new contract with Arsenal,
    I say sell him ASAP to the highest bidder,
    The chance of him ever having a whole season injury free again is very slim,
    No point keeping a player thats not 100% committed to the club,

  3. As a Spurs fan I think you’ve all jumped on his back too quickly. I actually agree with Piers Morgan that Wenger and the other guy whose name I can’t spell because I’m a spurs supporter and we have no intellect, need to actually show RVP some intent and put their money where their mouths are. Sure finishing 3rd last year over us probably felt to many of you like you’d won the world cup, but to someone like RVP he want’s to be remembered for winning things and he wants his trophy cabinet to be full. Remember Rooney? he did the same thing to united cos he wanted to be part of a winning team, he wanted to see some intent and it worked! Don’t get on RVP’s back cos he will get pissed off and leave… he’s still your player and there’s still a chance he could sign a new contract… you should use all your forums to slate the management. I like RVP and hope he stays in the premier league, he’s a good player and helps make our league the best in the world!

  4. He was hailed as our savior until the last year.He was hailed when he could have left us last season when two of our best players including captain Fabregas left the club.He had interest from Barcelona for years and other clubs too.Yet he remained with us for 8 years.
    To even question his recent “actions” is a sin.
    No trophy for 7 years is too much for an average player let alone a world class player like RVP!
    If he had signed a new contract,I would have questioned his ambitions myself !
    A player of his quality needs to be winning trophies.
    Please let him leave in peace.wherever it be….

  5. Nice to see a Spurs supporter coming out of the closet and admiting he has no brains Shaun!
    I will say strange though it is that if Arsenal were not going to make it in a European competition Spurs, as a London club, would be my next choice.

  6. now now Davesraves… theirs a difference between brains and intellect 😉 I did actually like the article above and think I agree with most of it. I’m surprised how the Arsenal fans have jumped on RVP’s back though. 11 of his goals were winning goals… remove them and you would have only got 11 points (score draws not 33 points) take those 22 points off your final points and you would have finished in 10 place… don’t shoot your best player…


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