May 24 2013 Latest news:
Jem Maidment, London24’s Arsenal blogger
Thursday, July 5, 2012
London24’s Arsenal blogger Jem Maidment gives his thoughts on Robin van Persie’s decision to not sign a new deal with the Gunners
So was I surprised?
Not really. Not at all, in fact.
Let him go. Let him try and win some trophies elsewhere because he won’t at Arsenal. That’s not being defeatist. I’m just a realist. Pragmatic. My eyes are wide open.
As are Robin van Persie’s.
We won’t challenge for major honours next season. The club policy is clearly to stay in touching distance, qualify for the Champions League and reduce our debt.
So in that sense it is job done.
RVP clearly wants more. He’ll never have another season like last, that’s a given. But he may be part of a trophy-winning side, whatever he achieves personally. And it’s the medals that matter. Just ask Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy and $amir Na$ri.
Am I disappointed he wants to go?
Well the players have the power these days. And so while we stuck by him during his troublesome early days, and paid him a fantastic salary to sit on the treatment table for months and months and months at a time, if he wants to forget all that and look to the future, he holds all the cards.
It’s a sign of the times.
I’d rather he stayed, but I am taking into account his entire Arsenal career and not just last season. And on that basis, I won’t slit my wrists if he does move on. I’m just finding this annual summer charade very tiresome. The Arsenal must be very thankful they’re blessed with having a substantial – and wealthy – support. They’ll still sell out their tickets and shift those replica shirts whatever.
The club clearly have a risk averse policy when it comes to chucking around the money (unless it is to overpay existing numbnuts such as Chamakh, Djourou, Diaby, etc – all players on massive seven figure salaries).
And therein lies the real problem. We DO pay big money. But to the wrong people. Check out our wage bill for last season. £130m? Something like that.
But RVP is clearly unimpressed with this. So he wants to go. I think the sooner we get rid and move on the better. Keeping him for one final year would be a mistake, an unwelcome distraction. So let him go.
He’s been a terrific captain, a sensational striker (intermittently) and, clearly, has become a true Arsenal man. The club is in his blood. Just like with Cesc and Thierry.
And with that in mind, now for a personal plea:
All I ask is please don’t go to Manchester City. You’ll remain a hero at Arsenal if you move abroad. If you stay in England, and do that to us, you’ll have burnt all your bridges with Arsenal. It would be a step too far.
And I suspect you really wouldn’t want that.
Oh, and one other thing, can you break the news to my five-year-old son? I really don’t think I can do it …