Open Mike Monday: Robin Van Persie, Goal Tech, Ganso, Andre Villas-Boas, Rangers

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterJuly 9, 2012

Open Mike Monday: Robin Van Persie, Goal Tech, Ganso, Andre Villas-Boas, Rangers

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    The beginning of the new club season is still six weeks away. It hardly feels so far.

    Big news never stops in football, and this week the headlines were dominated by goal-line technology and the Robin van Persie contract saga.

    In the case of goal tech, most can agree on basic facts. In the case of RvP, that's not quite the case.

    Elsewhere, Andre Villas-Boas got a second chance in the English top flight. Rangers, meanwhile, are only looking for a fresh chance anywhere they can get it.

Most Jilted Club

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    Robin van Persie last week released a statement on his official website. The statement said he would not sign a new contract with Arsenal.

    Rather quickly, all hell broke loose online.

    Depending on which club you support, the RvP saga might have stirred a number of different emotions.

    For neutral fans far removed from RvP, his current club and his growing queue of potential suitors, the situation might arouse only curiosity.

    Contract sagas, rising salaries and player movement are nothing new in football. But considering Arsenal's financial prudence and the less-than-strict financial prudence so often flaunted by one of Van Persie's potential suitors, the situation is starting to feel like a referendum on the current state of football finance.

    For Manchester City, then, this must feel like little more than another exciting transfer chase. Arsenal and their fans are only collateral damage in a sky-blue revolution.

    For Gooners, though, it's yet more confirmation of an ever-more-depressing reality. Seemingly half of Arsenal's 2006 roster already plays for Manchester City, and now another star and captain is on the verge of a bitter departure.

    What's worse, it's hard to know who to blame.

    Losing Cesc Fabregas hurt. Seeing Sami Nasri leave enraged.

    Watching RvP take step after step toward the door doesn't really do either. It gnaws.

Most Overdue News

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    Goal-line technology is on its way to the World Cup, and it's about time.

    FIFA announced last week that goal tech will be used at the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The announcement followed unanimous approval from IFAB for the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems.

    The news is outstanding, but as we all know, it's also tardy.

    Two years ago, Frank Lampard missed out on a goal and England might have missed out on a result against Germany at the World Cup.

    And this summer, Marko Devic missed out on a goal and Ukraine might have missed out on a result against England at Euro 2012.

    Enough. Mistakes like those will soon be a thing of the past.

    As will technology-resistant figureheads who refuse to see reason.

Fiercest Storm Brewing

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    Believe it or not if you want, but it's true. Guys not named Neymar also play for Santos.

    Just don't tell Santos, apparently.

    Paulo Henrique Ganso, an up-and-coming 22-year-old Brazilian star, soon will no longer be one of those non-Neymar guys playing for Santos.

    The reasons are not surprising at all.

    Here's what Ganso's representative is saying, per ESPNSoccernet: "Ganso is upset with the club. They put together a project for Neymar but forgot about Ganso. He wants to leave but stay in Brazil for at least another year."

    So it turns out that a team is more than one player after all. Now we see if Ganso can be lured to Europe a couple years before he had planned.

Youngest Big-Name Retread

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    Football is full of retreads: Managers who bounce from job to job in the same league (or at least the same country), quitting here, getting the sack there, leaving one club, joining another.

    Clearly, Andre Villas-Boas isn't there yet. The 34-year-old Portuguese last week signed with Tottenham Hotspur, his second English club.

    So why does he strike so many as a retread—and at such a young age?

    Maybe it's because AVB struggled so famously at Chelsea, grappling and scuffling with his veteran players all the way to his all-too-predictable demise.

    Or maybe it's because Roberto Di Matteo succeeded so famously with those same players, winning the FA Cup and Champions League on the strength of one resolutely parked bus and a veteran-friendly management style.

    Regardless, all that is distraction from what could be a great hire for Spurs. Then again, it could be another disaster.

Most Humbled Scottish Giants

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    Poor Rangers.

    First it was administration. Then liquidation. More recently, it was the devastation of being shunned by the Scottish Premier League and the indignation of having multiple preseason friendlies cancelled.

    It's come to this: Rangers, the once-proud giants of Scottish football, are bracing for the news about which lower-tier division they'll play in next season.

    Regardless of rooting loyalties, this is tough to watch. Having Rangers—newco and all—outside the Scottish top flight is bad for the Old Firm rivalry, bad for Scotland and bad for football fans.

    Here's wishing Rangers a swift return to the top tier.