“Hi guys, I just wanted to let you all know (that my agent will be peddling my agenda and talking to the media quite a lot)” should have been the line that was used by Robin in his statement a few weeks back. Once again Arsenal fans everywhere are taking yet another battering over this, quite frankly, nauseating saga. And so it emerges this morning as The Mirror are the latest red-top-rag to pick up the relay baton and use it as a giant stick to smash us all with.
Darren Lewis (you might remember him from such stories about how Spurs now have bigger fish to fry than Arsenal and are a better side) is running with a story that says Fergie thinks he’s ‘got his man’ at £20million and is confident a deal can be done. The back pages emerged last night on Twitter and the whole Arsenal blogspere exploded. I don’t need to tell you about Darren Lewis. He’s the publicity hungry journo that only seems to appear on Sky Sports News when the transfer market is open. He’s the bang average writer who’s drivel has turned off Arsenal fans all over the country. And he’s been wrong on more occasions than I care to remember.
So why on earth do I seem to care so much? The honest answer is that I don’t. Daren Lewis can ‘do one’ for all I care. I won’t be buying The Mirror today or even contributing to their ‘page visits’ stats for their precious advertising revenues. What I care about is Arsenal and how this painfully slow process of scything off our captain like a piece of blistering skin from the body that is Arsenal Football Club seems to be affecting people like me. Because I believe there is no way he’ll be at Arsenal on 1st September.
Unfortunately for us, there’ll be no Wayne Rooney-esque U-Turn, because this is about money as much as it is about trophies. But unfortunately for us the curious case of Robin van Persie is not as black and white as Rooney. His statement in 2010 was made during the close season for transfers in October. It was a clear tactical ploy from the player and his representatives to force Mandhester United’s hands. It also meant that speculation, whilst inevitable, was not as fever pitch as it currently is with Robin – all the media organisations, once the story broke, knew that nothing would probably happen until January 2011 at the earliest. So there was time to broker a deal and perform a change of heart. And by-jingo was a deal done and a statement made.
Secondly, the situation i.e. “I want to win trophies and i’m not sure Manchester United is the place to do it”, was more clearly seen as a money-motivated bit of PR because Manchester United under Fergie are clearly one of the best teams in the country and have consistently won trophies. Unfortunately for us, you cannot say the same, and so this idea of winning trophies being a players only motivating factor provides a perfect ‘get out’ for players like Nasri and RvP – and yes I am lumping them together in the same bracket. Our lack of silverware is proving the perfect smokescreen and our CAPTAIN is using it to his advantage. When we were winning trophies in the early part of this century, what was Patrick Vieira’s motives for constantly touting himself to Real Madrid? Had Manchester City’s millions existed back then, I bet we would have still encountered the same problems we are doing now; although to a lesser extent of course.
Thirdly and finally, Arsenal don’t have the wage structure in place to make a ‘blow you out of the water’ offer to Robin like United did for Rooney. So let’s not kid ourselves into thinking there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
And what about the CAPTAIN’S comments about always being a gunner? This I have always found the most laughable. I consider myself quite well placed to call myself a ‘gunner’. I blog about Arsenal, I pay to watch Arsenal and I talk to other Arsenal fans about, well, Arsenal all the time. I know that for footballers it is their job and they don’t look at the football world in the same light as fans. I’m not suggesting they should or naive enough to think they would. However, I do take umbridge with players when they make comments like that. I’d rather they just didn’t say anything at all. It strikes me that if he was a ‘gunner’ and had a genuine affection for the club, he would not be looking to strengthen the rivals of the same team he professes to love. Trying to look at it from a players perspective, If I was an Arsenal player right now but I felt the club wasn’t going anywhere and therefore I needed to leave, I’d explain that to the fans but give them assurances that I would not do anything to impact the ability of the club being successful without me. In other words, you wouldn’t see me in the shirt of another Premier League team, unless I was making a last ditch attempt at a comeback at the age of 35 for a mid-table side.
Pull the other one Robin, it’s got bells on.