Well I’m not exactly going to feign surprise, all of us Gunners knew this was inevitable the moment RVP released that statement.
My only real surprise occurred when he released it, because I genuinely think the board of Gazidis and Co. were surprised.
Whilst it’s often the easiest avenue, I’m not even angry with RVP. Yes, he could have picked a more suitable club. Yes, Arsenal have stuck by him through injury - But it’s the nature of athletes to be ambitious, whatever Wenger/Board told him convinced him that Arsenal don’t intend to match spending/ambition the likes of Chelsea, City, United or even Liverpool have seen.
My guess is we have to wait until RVP retires & releases his memoirs, before we know what was said in that meeting that persuaded him Arsenal have no ambition.
I would have been mad if he’d gone to City (They probably would’ve paid him at least £50,000p/w more) because it’s so contrived and such a cliche after last few years. (Adebayor, Clichy, Nasri)
However, Robin has always tried 100% when he was match fit. If you don’t believe me, view his stats from last 8 yrs) I also believe he was a good Captain for AFC and I like that he was pushing people like Wenger/Gazidis to sign more players.
For that, at least, I am grateful.
I am however angry, in fact livid, at the Arsenal board. They treat their fans with complete disdain, charging some of most expensive seats in WORLD football, and yet re-invest precious little of that capitol back into the squad.
Every year we have this same saga: *Player linked with move away* - Arsenal say “we’ll hold ‘em to contract” - *rumours continue, dragged out for months* - Board wheel out Wenger to give kiss-of-death speech, on him expecting said player to stay… - *player leaves.*
Where does this stop?
I’m sick of it, and I’m sick of being treated like a child, with a complete lack of respect from the board. We receive absolutely no news from them until the last minute. I want a board with honesty who’ll tell us, if necessary, that we’ll have no spare funds till the Emirates is paid for.
I want Wenger to say on day 1 “Chances are we’re going to lose <Insert any player likely to go next> this season, but this is what we’re going to do to counteract it.” (If anything)
Instead we get this childish tug of war - with #AFC publicly denying we’re going to sell, so we can milk every last penny from the transfer.
Whilst RVP leaving isn’t the end of Arsenal in player terms (although without him, I shiver to think how we’d have coped last season) it is much more significant at a club level.
By this I mean how it appears to our rival clubs in the footballing world. For the second/third year running Arsenal have offloaded their star player(s) to a rival club. This is the biggest statement of non-ambition Arsenal could display, and in doing so could have severe ramifications amongst the dressing room.
How does this look to Alex Song, who provided RVP with all those assists last season? I am sure the only thing keeping him from Barcelona’s waiting doors has been RVP still being at Arsenal … what now? How about Walcott?
It’s been fantastic to see Arsenal active in transfers so far, but as usual we are getting players who are a gamble. Podolski has struggled at club level in Germany, Giroud did well in a poor French league, yet can’t get in poor French national side, and Cazorla? I’m sorry, who? He played for a team that just got relegated, and again struggles to play for Spain. This gamble may pay off, for Arsenals sake I really hope so.
Last season (admittedly with high injuries) we played Carl Jenkinson for 9 games, a player who is so out of his depth, Charlton didn’t want him in first team…. yes, I said Charlton.
Couple this with our signings/loan of the following…
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
- Joel Campbell
- Chu Young Park
- Andre Santos
- Per Mertesacker
- Yossi Benayoun
- Mikel Arteta
Take a minute to read the list… Finished? Now, as an honest fan of football or ArsenalFC, tell me how many of these players would have seen the light of day in “The Invincibles”? Hell, how many in the entire squad?
It is a clear contrast of where we were, and where we are now, in terms of player standards and club ambition.
I keep reading on #SkySports that we’re going to win the Champions league, and the Premier Leagues because of 3 signings - It really does help me realise, that I am still a sane human being, albeit a ranting one.
Last season, should have acted as the mother of all wakeup calls for Arsenal - Finishing 3rd was a gift, and was mostly an undeserved one.
This season I’m not sure if we’ll be so fortunate, Spurs showed a huge threat last season and Liverpool can’t afford to be that careless again. (As I write this, I realise I’m picturing 3rd/4th spot: Good to see Arsenals ambition is spreading!)
Maybe I worry too much, maybe our new players will silence my criticisms/doubts and Arsenal will be dominant this season, unfortunately the cynic within will never let me believe that.
Arsenals board letting one of the few squad players who would have made the invincibles team, join one of our fiercest rivals, is a worrying prospect as an Arsenal fan.
I’d happily be proved wrong.
What are your thoughts on the whole debacle?