Adios, RvP Talks & Love For The Club Never Dies
This is the BBC from London. A great Arsenal career has ended, the king is dead. Long live the king.
So Carlos Vela has left Arsenal. Did he ever really arrive? The flicks, shuffles and shimmies that offered a glimpse of a bright future have faded as he became something of a forgotten man – aside from when the party invites were handed out – and found a life more suited in Spain. Real Sociedad have announced his signature, Arsenal that he is in final talks. So long and thanks for the chips. His replacement might be M’baye Niang for whom Arsenal have agreed a fee with Caen. It largely depends on whether the lad’s head is turned by money on offer from Manchester City or the relatively real prospect of appearing in first team action at Arsenal.
It is a morning of interesting contrasts, nu skool and old school footballing love. The media is obsessing on whether Robin van Persie is going to have a meeting at Arsenal over the next few days or not; on whether Arsenal has booked a seat for him on the flight to Asia at the weekend or not – have they even applied for a visa; on how Arsène will deal with the topic when he faces the press for the first time and the subject comes up. My money would go on, “He is an Arsenal player, captain of the club and I know nothing else other than what I don’t read in the newspapers“. All this from a player who loves Arsenal Football Club. That’s the love of today, the sort that gets under your skin but never into your heart.
Although a reported £130k per week will obviously make the situation more attractive but is it enough? Do you know, I don’t care. Whatever the outcome, Arsenal have to look after their own interests and support the manager’s view. He probably still believes that he can change the Dutchman’s mind if he wants to leave. The club should support that and forgo the financial losses (or opportunity cost). If Arsène believes that van Persie can provide a season of 40 goals once more, let the manager keep him as that player and try his damnedest to coax an even better season out of him than last.
It is an easy observation to make from the sidelines but in this time of money, there is a danger that the sporting aspect gets overlooked in any decision-making process. What is best for the football club? Whether you like it or not, that decision has to rest in its final sense witth the manager. He is the one who has to manage the squad, the inter-relationships within that group; he will know if the Dutchman is a destabilising force.
And yes, turning down £15m or whatever the club might have received is a difficult decision. It is not easy but a line has to be drawn with the money men. They cannot be allowed to consume every single policy at the club. I am sure that some of the hierarchy feel betrayed, are dismayed by the statement on his hastily reconstructed revisionist website. Those same people bemoan the old school love of the player who came from the terraces.
If they want to know where that love has gone, look no further than the Reserve Team Manager, Terry Burton,
It was difficult to leave Sheffield Wednesday because we had a very successful end to last season. We got promotion, winning 10 and drawing two of the 12 games we were involved in and it is a big club in terms of where it could go.
That’s what he gave up. Why?
But the fact it was Arsenal was the pull. I supported Arsenal as an 11-year-old, and stood on the North Bank and occasionally went to the Clock End. I came to the Club as a 12-year-old, when Billy Wright was manager, so there is an association there that goes back a long way…It remains a fantastic club and I have always felt that. It is great to be back.
There you go. A bit Jumpers for Goalposts but that is what is sometimes missing from today’s football. Wearing a replica shirt is easy, anyone can do that. Having a club get into your heart is an altogether different matter. Yes, today’s players tell us of their love for a club – any club – and it seems that now it is as easily transferrable as themselves. A lack of sincerity.
Burton‘s advice to youngsters and reminscing of the Billy Wright era dovetails nicely with Vela at the beginning of today’s post and also of the post at Arsenal On This Day. Talent opens the doors, hard work is the wedge that keeps them ajar, application of both propels you through.