Robin Van Persie: Gunners Need to Focus on a Future Without Star Striker
Playing with Robin van Persie for one more season isn't going to help Arsenal in the coming years, and they have to expect Van Persie's intentions are true. He claimed on July 4 that he doesn't plan to extend his current contract, and they must plan as such.
That process starts with the preseason. Arsenal leaves for Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. According to Guardian reporter David Hytner, Arsene Wenger still plans to have Van Persie on that plane.
Arsenal are preparing to take Van Persie with them, reasoning that, as with Nasri last time, he is a fully fit member of their squad. The situation will change only if he is injured in training or a potential transfer becomes significantly more likely.
I understand Arsenal's point of view, but putting Van Persie in their preseason lineup isn't benefiting anyone besides the star striker. It's not benefiting the club's long-term plans, and it isn't benefiting the other Gunner players.
Arsenal's lineup will look better on their tour of Asia, but who cares if that isn't going to translate into success when the action really matters? I'm not saying that the Gunners won't win without Van Persie (they will). I'm saying that it doesn't matter how good their lineup looks during this five-day stretch.
The primary goal of the preseason is to get in shape, become familiar with new teammates and gain some momentum in the media.
The Gunners would be wise to spend their time acclimating newly-signed striker Olivier Giroud with his fellow attackers. He's going to need time to adjust to the English Premier League's rigorous landscape and poor team chemistry would hinder that process.
I know Van Persie isn't officially gone. Wenger and the Gunner brass haven't received a substantial offer, and Hytner speaks to that in his report.
City appear to be the only club with the means to pay a massive fee and salary for a player with a questionable fitness record who turns 29 next month but there remain obstacles even for them. Their ranks are bloated with expensively paid strikers and they must sell some of them before they can consider a move for Van Persie, which will not be easy.
Emmanuel Adebayor is poised to sign for Tottenham Hotspur but either Carlos Tevez or Edin Dzeko might have to go, too, along with Roque Santa Cruz. Uefa's incoming financial fair play regulations are on the minds of the City board.
Maybe Manchester City will make a bid, or maybe they won't. It's impossible to say for sure at this point, but it doesn't change this fact.
If Van Persie's already waffling on his loyalty to Arsenal, what makes you think that it won't always be an issue? How can you really trust a player to motivate himself after he clearly announced his intentions to desert his current club?
You can't. It's that simple.
It's hard to tell a player to stay home, but Van Persie's statement greeted this situation with open arms. He cast the first stone and Wenger must answer with a clear message.
Van Persie isn't bigger than this team, but playing him in the preseason would suggest otherwise.
If Van Persie decides to come back then you adjust, but for now you have to judge which way the wind is blowing. In this case gusts are blowing straightaway from Emirates Stadium for this 29-year-old striker.
Wenger must adjust accordingly.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?