Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Some More Thoughts on RVP

If Robin Van Persie leaves for Manchester City or, worse, Manchester United, it is not he who should draw the ire of the Arsenal fans.

It is the Arsenal board and the Arsenal manager.

If Van Persie is being disloyal to the fans and the club, then there is a strong argument that they are being disloyal too.

In fact, more so than Van Persie, one could say that the only thing they are loyal to is the money.

Arsenal can still take charge of this mess in one simple, but effective way. They can take a stand and say they will not do business with other Premier League clubs.

They can wait for an acceptable offer from Juventus, and let the captain go to Turin.

Letting Van Persie go to Manchester further compromises Arsenal's competitiveness in their domestic league.

It hammers home the point that Arsenal cannot compete at the top of the Premiership table.

The realistic and the disillusioned already know this to be true, but losing Van Persie to Manchester United would be particularly galling evidence of it.

At least if Arsenal sell to City, they have the reasonable excuse that they are essentially being cheated by a club that doesn't play by the rules, a club that never truly earned its place at the summit of English football.

But if United win out, it underlines Van Persie's ambition not to play for the most money, but to play for the biggest club. A club that Wenger's Arsenal were once able to compete with, but now can only view from below.

Something of a counterargument to the above would point to Wenger's obvious and repeated loyalty to his players, whether they remain at Arsenal or are on the way out. He has never been one to stand in the way of an individual's desires and maybe we are seeing it again with Van Persie.

Maybe Wenger wants the Dutchman to go, wherever the Dutchman wants to go.

And the only important thing for Arsenal football club is to make the greatest possible profit from the deal.

We are talking about a sport that has become defined by money and the power it confers; in the face of all this, Arsene Wenger has held onto his ideals better than most.

Whatever his public pronouncements, he knows that Arsenal cannot win the Premiership in the coming season.

But maybe every time he milks a deal for all that it's worth, maybe every time that happens we are actually building towards something.

Maybe not the ultimate decline of the club- maybe, in fact, a day when the team can compete again.


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