It’s that time of year again… (Originally on YAMA)

Posted on July 13, 2012



Bang on schedule, eh?

It’s been a hectic few days for the club, but this is just another Arsenal-esque embargo and to be quite honest I expected it, just not in the fashion we are currently experiencing. This week we’ve had Walcott linked with a move away from the Emirates (unlikely), we’ve also had the letter from Usmanov to the board and the day before said letter was sent, we had the worst news in a long time: Van Persie refuses to sign a new deal at the club.

Everyone’s had their say on the matters listed above, so I’m going to have mine. Van Persie, as the club’s captain, should not be issuing a statement behind the club’s back – it’s just not okay, no matter what angle you look at it from. It is downright disrespectful and it put the club in an awkward position which they handled brilliantly with the statement they released on the club website.

But have we brought the roof down on ourselves? Compare it to the Fábregas scenario and the answer is yes. Why so? Because of the power we have given him. This always has and always will be a fault for any club – especially The Arsenal. Giving Van Persie the armband was a mistake – just like with Fábregas. After Cesc’s departure, a lot of people said Vermaelen should be captain and now it looks to be a reality, just not in the way we intended wanted. Once Robin had the armband and a year left on his contract, he was going to be a hard man to keep, and with his recent statement it looks as if we have to sell him, although this could be him trying to get more money – poor advice from his agent (Kees Vos) if that’s the case. Nonetheless, he included the following in his statement: “Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.” So really that rules out my last point, which must mean he has HUGE reservations about the club’s level of ambition, and to be honest he does have a point. We can’t just spend money on Podolski and Giroud and expect Van Persie to stay, our “transfer ambition” has been non-existent in recent years, last season’s panic buys were necessities and not statements of intent or ambition.

However, Des Kelly had this to say in his recent Daily Mail article:

“Just because City have more money than any club in the world, that does not make Wenger less ambitious. Maybe he is just realistic.”

It’s a good point. But we do still have money that needs to be spent fairly soon if we want to be taken seriously next season. Giroud and Podolski are not to be overlooked, but without Van Persie we probably won’t be as threatening, and as he’s our captain, we won’t be as united as we were for much of last season.

But is there a silver lining? Well, it depends how optimistic you are, in this case your glass would have to “have some left in it” rather than be “pretty much empty” – which draws me to the recent evens down Carrow Road. A similar scenario occurred with Norwich’s main man, Grant Holt. The former Shrewsbury frontman announced he was leaving Norwich after a fall out with the club’s hierarchy, less than a month later and he signed a new three year deal. Could the same happen with Van Persie and Arsenal? I think not, but it’s worth a mention for the optimistic Gooners out there. Holt’s age (31) has left him with pretty much nowhere to go, whereas Van Persie’s talent and cut-price (due to his contract length – one year left) means he has many takers.

Who we sell to is down to Wenger and his crack team of transfer geniuses like Ivan Gazidis who has done some fantastic business over the years…  No but seriously, it’s down to them, and I think Wenger has learned his lesson NOT to sell to Man City, but there’s a chance he’ll be left with no choice. Think of it this way, Man City are the richest team in the world and are reportedly willing to offer Van Persie wages around the £220,000 a week figure. Nobody apart from Real Madrid, possibly, could match that. The worst part is the fee, City have the power to outbid anyone, and it’s likely that we’ll sell to the highest bidder. This won’t end well. If Van Persie ends up at City he’ll have no respect from any Arsenal fan, if he ends up at Juventus, he may have still have some respect left – the statement he issues lost him more than expected.

As for the Walcott links, it isn’t worth worrying about. There are better players out there, but if he does renew his deal I’ll be happy – he just about found his way into the good books with his performances in the second half of last season.

In regards to Usmanov’s letter to the Arsenal board, it seems like a takeover (or even just a seat on the board) isn’t in the best interests of the Arsenal faithful – I disagree. We’ve sold three of our best players in the time that Silent Stan has been here, and to be quite frank enough is enough. In a previous article, we outlined the reasons why we think Usmanov (and Red & White Holdings plc) would be a good addition to the board.

Here’s a snippet:

“It is evidently clear that the current model isn’t working. We are bereft of new ideas. We keep trying to do the same thing over and over and it doesn’t work. Hasn’t worked and won’t work unless someone brings something new to the table.

Alisher Usmanov is on record as saying that he “loves” Arsenal.  He’s also thrown the gauntlet down by not selling his 29% stake in the club (Red & White Holdings) to Silent Stan during his brisk takeover of the club. The fans need a voice on the board, and that voice is Usmanov.”

I’m aware I may have echoed the words of DAG and Alex in their previous posts on similar topics, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed reading. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions (attack me) below. Usmanov seems to be a very popular debate topic. And as for Van Persie…