If there’s any word that I could use to describe what I’m feeling in regards to the recent news that RVP will NOT be renewing his contract with Arsenal this year, the word would be “torn.” And by that I mean that I am torn between two camps of thought: One being that, “Hey, Robin did his time with us and it’s fine for him to seek new challenges,” and the other being, “Well goddamn Robin, of all the times and WAYS you could’ve done this, you choose to do it THIS way? What the FUCK man!!”
Okay, so I guess I’m NOT torn between these two trains of thought over his departure. I’m torn because he’s gonna depart like Samir Nasri…and that’s not cool at all…
Some of the comments found on Phil McNulty’s most recent entry into the Arsenal is Fucked Blog Series are a mix of Gunner hating troll talk, psuedo-Gooner self hatred (i.e., the “Wenger Out” crowd or the “We’re not ambitious enough with our spending” gang), classy and calm diplomats who love the club and wish Robin well, and disappointed fans who expected more sound behavior from a man we all proudly called Captain last season. The trolls and psuedo-Gooners can go fuck themselves for all I care, and to be fair, I wish RVP the best for his future, but unfortunately, much of the talk that he laid out on his website gave the impression that, yes, he somehow cannot fulfill ANY of his future ambitions with us. After years of injury turmoil and fervent support, Robin finally gave us a Vantastic year of goal scoring glory that will probably live on in my mind forever. However, with Robin’s very public display of displeasure at how the club is run, he has sullied his image as an Arsenal faithful and has tragically placed the fanbase onto another summertime precipice (Oh, and Usmanov can shut his face for all I care).
It’s hard for me to add anything new to what’s already being said by the Gooner blogoshphere, but the common thread we all have is that we’re all under this sullen cloud of disappointment. Arseblogger stated his displeasure with RVPs behavior as an ungrateful affront to our club and manager, saying that his “lack of respect for the manager, the club and the fans is what stings, not his desire to seek pastures new (even if the pastures he seeks are so hard to take).” Tim from the 7amkickoff gave us a great open letter to Van Persie, reminding us that loyalty is paved and cemented through the hardest of terrain, and not through the greenest of pastures. In his letter, Tim hits the back of the net hard with this anecdote here:
One of the lessons that I have learned as a man is that no matter how hard the relationship is, no matter how vociferous the disagreements, you don’t simply walk away from the people you truly love. It’s easy to love someone when the sun is shining but a real man is there for you through the dead of winter.
Both of these bloggers have made great and vocal views about RVPs conduct, and quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more. Some of us live in hope that RVP will change his mind. Some of us will call for Arsene’s head after this “monumental disaster” and question our ambitions (Fabregas was by far the worse to lose last year compared to Robin mind you, and Giroud & Poldi are GREAT signings). However, the rest of us sane Gooners will do the smart thing and be composed during another round of the “silly season.” Yes it sucks to lose our Captain, our “talisman,” our ace, and at many points during his career, our “Man of Glass,” but if this is what he wants, then to hell with it. If he wants to be sold, sell him abroad. Done. If he wants to stay in England, let him go to Chelski or Merc City. If he wants to hold us for ransom, then let’s see what he’s got.
At this point now, I’m not ready to consider RVP as a dead man in my eyes, but goddamn, he’s getting there. Why couldn’t he have left like Drogba when Roman refused to renew his contract? Hell, even Park Ji Sung left for shitty QPR with more class than RVP (and strangely enough, less public fallout too, thanks to all the Red Devil loving media, right?). Our outrage is less on Robin leaving but more on how he’s doing it. Eight years is a long time for a footballer, and loyalty is a tough order to ask for, but to be remembered as someone exemplary in TODAY’s football climate, rife with money, sugar daddies and spoonfuls of disloyalty, is something few would aspire to. Robin had the chance to reach that status, and he has chosen not to, which is acceptable, and expected. To seek new challenges is not a new story for any footballer after a number of years, and Robin is no different, but had he done it all in a manner befitting the club, it could’ve been a different story. Robin Van Persie, he goes when he wants…