Arsenal FC: Is Robin Van Persie Going About Things the Wrong Way?
The Arsenal skipper finally came out publicly to announce that as of right now, he will not be prolonging his contract at Arsenal FC. With his public announcement comes a lot of uneasy minds as well as more speculation.
Since his breakout season last year, it has been well known that Arsenal would have a difficult time in keeping van Persie at the Emirates. The high demands in world football have changed the game, and there is now much more money to be thrown around for players like van Persie.
With a total of 37 goals in all competitions for Arsenal, van Persie has been pursued by the bigger clubs in Europe. The financial power of Manchester City is a cause for concern for Arsene Wenger, as he knows Arsenal cannot compete with the new owners of City.
What must be frustrating for Arsenal fans is that for some time now, every offseason has seen massive amounts of speculation in regards to their best players. Arsenal fans had to deal with the Cesc Fabregas soap opera every summer for about four years until he finally departed London and made his way back to Barcelona. Now, it's Robin van Persie's turn to be in the spotlight at the Emirates.
For a player who has declared his love for the club as well as for the fans, many will agree that his public announcement may not have been the greatest decision. The Dutch international made things public on his personal website, five long and painful paragraphs for any Arsenal fan to read.
This announcement serves as an advantage for van Persie, as he now has the upper hand in the negotiations between himself and Arsenal, but why did he go about it this way?
When Cesc Fabregas left Arsenal, he had made it more than clear for years that he wanted to one day return to his childhood club.
Although Arsenal was in the middle of a sell-or-no-sell dilemma, Fabregas always stayed loyal to Arsenal as well as their fans and made sure to not make any public comments about the club itself. The former captain always said he respected the club, their fans and Arsene Wenger.
The current Arsenal captain went about things in a completely different manner. Not only was his public statement a massive blow for Arsenal fans as well as the Arsenal board, but what followed his announcement could make matters worse.
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov released a public letter stating his discontent in the Arsenal board (via BBC Sport). Usmanov has been looking to take over majority of the Arsenal shares for quite some time now, and he could not have planned this letter any better.
"The tight financial regime is leading to manager Arsene Wenger selling his best players and having to continue to find cheaper replacements," said Usmanov. "They complain that we are faced with losing our true marquee player because we cannot give confidence that we can win trophies."
Usmanov's letter may fuel the fire between himself and lead Arsenal shareholder Stan Kroenke. The American owner has come under fire quite a few times since he has been part of Arsenal, and the possibility of van Persie departing could really be a cause for concern for Kroenke.
Has Van Persie gone about this the wrong way?
Many Arsenal fans will be wondering why Van Persie decided to take things public instead of showing more respect for the club and for their fans. The Dutch striker has been at Arsenal since 2004, when Arsene Wenger brought him over from Feyernoord at the age of 21.
In his time at Arsenal, head coach Arsene Wenger has stood by van Persie after his continuous spell with injuries. He's played eight seasons at Arsenal, but only three of them came with more than 15 goals in all competitions for the Gunners.
So now, one standout season when Van Persie was able to avoid any serious injuries leads him to put himself above the club in a sense. While in his public announcement, he states that his decision isn't based on money, his actions are slowly leaning toward that.
Van Persie believes that the way Arsenal is going about things, they are not setting themselves up to win trophies in the future. With the team Arsenal ended the season with and the additions of Lukas Podolski and Oliver Giroud, he still feels that way?
Not only will these two players add experience to Arsenal, but they would also take a load of pressure off of van Persie. Still, he believes it's the wrong approach.
If Arsenal were to bring in another solid center-back (and with the return of Jack Wilshere), they could very easily be considered a contender, yet van Persie doesn't believe so.
Arsenal fans have always stood by a very injury-prone Robin van Persie throughout his career at Arsenal FC. His public announcement has generated some internal issues for the Gunners, as Kroenke now will have to think long and hard as to what his response will be for Usmanov.
Will Stan Kroenke make it financially possible for Van Persie to stay?
Kroenke now has the chance to prove either that he should be in the hot seat for Arsenal or that he needs to let someone else take charge.
What will be interesting to see is if Arsenal feel the pressure and decide to do what they did last year, which was sell top players late in the transfer window.
How will Arsenal fans react to this announcement from van Persie, as well as the Usmanov letter going public?
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