There has been a lot made of the response from Arsenal fans to Manchester United, and Robin van Persie, winning the Premier League.
When Samir Nasri won it with Manchester City, the clear response was one of hatred towards him. But can you say that about Robin van Persie?
The fact is that every footballer is after the same things. Money, success and playing amongst winners. Robin van Persie spent 8 years at Arsenal, won an FA Cup medal and nothing since. Yes, he manufactured a move away from Arsenal but can you blame him? Out of all the players that have worn an Arsenal shirt since 2005, I wouldn’t class him as a money-grabber. You could say that about Adebayor, Nasri, Clichy, Song, Hleb and Gallas, but not RVP.
Certain players, such as Cesc and RVP gave everything to Arsenal whenever they wore the shirt. The only thing I care about as an Arsenal fan, is that when players have the honour of wearing our shirt, that they give 110%. I could say that about Kolo Toure, I could say that about Cesc Fabregas, and I could say that about Robin van Persie.
There are even players still at the club who supporters know aren’t putting in effort they should be.
Over the past 9 years since I started this blog (7 years in this current form) one thing I’ve always talked about is having winners in the side. We haven’t had many over the last few years but The Invincibles team was full of them. With players like Henry, Pires, Vieira, Bergkamp, Freddie et al, you knew winning meant everything. You could tell in the way that they would celebrate goals, celebrate victories and celebrate winning trophies.
And since then, I could only say that Cesc, RVP and Jack fell into that same category.
So for RVP to move on and win something justifies his move to Old Trafford.
We cannot keep being blinded by the smokescreen. We haven’t won anything for 8 seasons now, and we cannot complain when we have winners in the side. Our problem is that we don’t have enough. It’s hardly surprising that players coming to the peak of their careers at 28/29 years of age who have had season after season winning nothing, wanting to move to a club with more ambition.
And that’s what it comes down to. Cesc and RVP have moved on and won things. We’re still fighting for a Top Four position in the league. It would have been wonderful if they stayed and won things with us but after 7 years without even looking like winning the league (except for the 2007/2008 season) we’ve been well off the pace.
And as you all know, Sunday sees the arrival of newly crowned Champions Manchester United to The Emirates, where the club have announced that they will be giving United a guard of honour.
It’s a “classly” move by the club but it’s nothing more than a PR stunt really. I, like all of you I suspect, hope that we absolutely stuff them.
Manchester United have a knack for taking their foot off the gas once they’ve won something so hopefully they will still be in a party mood and we can take advantage. Sunday holds the biggest challenge on our mission to play Champions League football next season so hopefully we can get the 3 points we desperately need.