Any Arsenal fan who watched the home match against Manchester United this past Sunday will remember Robin van Persie's obvious discontent at the substitution of promising debutante Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for faltering Andrey Arshavin after 73 minutes of causing problems for the United defense that eventually culminated in assisting van Persie for the tying goal. Any Arsenal fan who watched that match will also remember agreeing with the apparently irate captain.
Van Persie, who has recently become very active in the social networking world, released a statement on Facebook claiming that he still has the utmost faith in Arsène Wenger and would never dream of questioning a game-time decision. In his statement, van Persie assures everyone that the discontent that he showed on Sunday was merely a manifestation of his disappointment that the promising young player that had assisted Arsenal's only goal of the game was headed for the bench.
"I have a lot of respect and admiration for Arsene Wenger," the Arsenal captain stated in a very long Facebook status update. "The manager and I are fine and my relationship with the club is good."
In his statement, van Persie made it clear that he is having no problems with Wenger or with anyone on the team. Fans, however, are still living in discomfort. With van Persie's contract up soon, no one wants the leading scorer in the Premier League to have any reasons to consider leaving the Emirates. He insists that there is no controversy at Arsenal.
"It's important the Arsenal fans know that."
Van Persie's eagerness to ease the fears of his fans is encouraging, but no one will breathe easily until he pens a new contract. The fact that Wenger has also made it quite clear that he will not be buying anybody in the January transfer window also has done nothing for the discomfort of the supporters. The club that prides itself on its harmony now seems to be in tumult, and that is perhaps why victory has been so hard to find lately.