3 Reasons Arsenal Should Move On Without Van Persie

Toni OkikeSenior Analyst IIJuly 9, 2012

3 Reasons Arsenal Should Move On Without Van Persie

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    Robin Van Persie is a name that was on the lips of every Arsenal fan last season. 

    His goal-scoring account opener against Udinese, the consolation goal in the 8-2 mauling at Old Trafford, the brace at Bolton that made him become a centurion, the brace off the bench against Stoke, the hat-trick at Stamford Bridge, the array of goals in November and Arsenal’s last goal in 2011 against Queens Park Rangers.

    The Flying Dutchman ended 2011 on an all-time high, blasting 34 goals in the Premier League alone.

    In 2012, he picked up where he left off. Despite a tumultuous January for the club, he slammed in four goals with that notable penalty brace against Aston Villa.

    There was still time for a hat-trick against Blackburn, a superb curler against Tottenham, a brace against Liverpool, the chipped penalty against Wolves and a brace against Norwich.

    All 37 goals and 15 assists endeared Van Persie into the hearts of Arsenal fans, and the “he scores when he wants” tune reverberated round the Emirates and other football venues.

    His efforts didn’t go unnoticed, as he amassed a personal collection of trophies…awards ranging from the PFA Player of the Year to the FWA Player of the Year, as well as Arsenal’s Player of the Season.

    This summer, he changed from the Red and White of Arsenal to the Orange of the Netherlands where he endured a woeful campaign with his teammates, crashing out of the first hurdle with no points to show for it. 

    Shortly after the dust from Euro 2012 had settled, Van Persie hit Arsenal hard by dropping the “bombshell”,

    This is an update for the fans about my current situation. I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club and as agreed with Mr. Gazidis and Mr. Wenger, but since there is so much speculation in the media, I think it is fair for you guys to know what’s really going on at the moment.”

    As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the Boss and Mr. Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.

    I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.

    I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.

    I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC. Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch. I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last 8 years.

    As soon as Mr. Gazidis is back from his 2-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments.

    This statement from Arsenal’s captain caused an uprising amongst the Gunner faithful, and the issue of “loyalty” came up faster than the time it took Usain Bolt to get that 100m world record.

    I delved into my Twitter timeline and witnessed Robin Van Persie come under some barrage and vitriol from the same fans that sang his praises last season.

    Some wished for him to carry his “Euro 2012″ form into his potential new club, while others wanted him to break a limb or two. 

    Van Persie only stated that he’s not going to renew his contract and Arsenal has respected that decision, but the forward still has one year to run on his current contract. 

    However, Arsenal is confident that he will fulfill his commitments to the club.

    Should Van Persie decide to seek greener pastures elsewhere, here are three reasons why Arsenal has to move on. 

1. The Money Generated Will Be Used to Improve the Squad

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    Say what you must, but it took an 8-2 spanking in the hands of Manchester United to open Arsene Wenger’s eyes in the worst possible manner to make those deadline day signings.

    Had that depleted Arsenal squad escaped Old Trafford with a draw or possibly a win, Wenger would have believed that his team was capable enough to challenge on all fronts.

    This summer, Arsenal has learned its lessons and the club did very well to pro-actively sign Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. However, the money generated from the sale of Van Persie can get a very decent striker plying his trade in Europe.

    Strikers like Fernando Llorente, Klass-Jan Huntelaar, Robert Lewandowski and Edinson Cavani, among others, can be purchased with the funds generated from the sale of Van Persie.

    Let me take you down memory lane about a club called Atletico Madrid. They had a prized asset called Fernando Torres but engineered a move for Sergio Aguero after his sale. When Aguero arrived in the shores of England, Atletico swooped for Radamel Falcao.

    A move that was worth its weight in gold.

    As Beyonce stated in her hit track, no one is irreplaceable

2. Another Player Will Step Up, It’s the Arsenal Way

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    As I will always say, Arsenal is like the mythical creature, Hydra, if you take one head out, another will pop up.

    Since Arsene Wenger took over the helm of affairs in 1996, he has tutored three generations of players. In his first generation, he had top quality in virtually every playing position which propelled his team to win the League and Cup double in the 1997/98 campaign.

    The second generation was his most exciting, as Thierry Henry, Robert Pires et al went on to win another League and Cup double in 2002. In 2004, they achieved an immortal status after going through an entire season unbeaten, winning the Premier League by a far mile.

    The present generation is filled up with talented players with massive potentials, but the team has clearly struggled due to injuries, suspensions, bad luck and poor officiating. Key components of the squad have left to ply their trades elsewhere.

    The end of the Ian Wright era signaled the start of the Thierry Henry dynasty. The King ruled Highbury and the Emirates with his va va voom football before passing the baton to Robin Van Persie, but the striker kept nursing niggling injuries, causing Emmanuel Adebayor and Eduardo da Silva to share that burden.

    Their exits coincided with some good fortune for Robin Van Persie who has managed to stay fit for the best part of 18 months, scoring a boatload of goals in the process.

    Should Van Persie decide to leave Arsenal, Giroud and Podolski will have to step up their game because they’ll have big shoes to fill.  

    It took Arsenal fans up to eight years to see the best of Van Persie, but I’m tipping Giroud and Podolski to make instant impacts.

    Let’s not forget that a new striker might also be purchased.

3. We Are the Arsenal

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    Robin Van Persie joined Arsenal in 2004. Arsenal still had its fans that supported the club that time, and he was touted as Dennis Bergkamp’s long-term replacement. 

    The fans of this great club composed songs in his name, paid season tickets to come and watch him play, bought his jerseys, idolized him, and have expressed their love for him throughout the years.

    The club paid his wages, stuck with him through his countless injuries, honed his talent, gave him the best support and molded him to become the world-class center forward.

    It’s okay to be hurt and angry but Robin Van Persie has made his decision.

    Let’s stop the abuses and respect his decision. Put yourself in his shoes, Arsenal can’t keep stars. Whose fault is that? 

    Look within the club you support. Now is not the first time this is happening.

    Football has changed. and loyalty from players is dead. They want trophies or money, and at the moment we can’t/won’t offer either. 

    A third place finish is not a trophy, but the way we celebrated it last season shows how far we have fallen.

    Van Persie wanted ambition; we signed two forwards but it wasn’t enough for him. I need to check a dictionary for the meaning of the word “Ambition.”

    He scores when he wants…he also leaves when he wants.

    If he decides to leave, we have to move on.

    Soldiers come and go but the barracks remain intact forever.

    Arsenal is like a ship, Van Persie is a passenger. The ship will keep sailing.

    Players come and go, disrespect us, leave for money. Who sticks by us? The same man who deserves to be stuck by. 

    A man that ruled out a move for the vacant position in his national team because he’s forever loyal to Arsenal.

    Arsene Wenger.