Dutch Auction Begins As Arsenal Set Off On Tour
Don’t get me wrong, Robin, I appreciate your performances in an Arsenal shirt. I adored the goals; I was as mesmirised as the defenders you left in your wake or as bedraggled heaps in the penalty area. They will not be forgotten.
You’ll never get one of these:
Remember those who you have played alongside in your time at the club.
They ought to:
Will it feel hollow to know that a part of London will forever belong to these men? Will your money bring you comfort?
You choose to be remembered as one who put money above all else. When the roll call of Arsenal Legends is called, your name will noticeable by its absence; so will Cesc’s, so will Nasri. You’ll just be good players who passed through the marble halls.
Heads will always be turned by money, it would hypocritical of me to chastise you for that. And yet I will for there is no comparison to the ordinary man in the salaries, in the size and nor in occupation, in the adulation that thousands, nay millions, point in your direction.
I understand the desire to win trophies but where is your admission of culpability in failing to deliver them for Arsenal? Maybe you have disagreed for some time with the club’s financial policy but do you think that we bought this excuse? Where was this last summer? Vocalising now, trying to tap into the supporters psyche with your excuses was a fundamental misjudgement on the part of yourself and your advisors; you don’t support Arsenal. If you did, I offer your heroes quote:
I really like Arsenal. But you, do you really like Arsenal? Or just with trophies?
We know your answer.
And so the mating ritual begins. Reports emerge of three bids for van Persie’s services, none coming up to scratch. It is the same as the Samir Nasri scenario last season. Now the peacocks feathers are shown; the end game is in sight. How many of three will drop out remains to be seen. I wonder if the price is the same for all three. Do United and City have to pay a premium for being in the same competition? Do Juventus get a reduction for the opposite? What of Milan, do the same rules apply? I can reveal that there was a fourth bid; Clive Allen reckons two-bob ought to be enough to buy van Persie.
The dishonesty of his website statement bit to the core; a lesson Andrey Arshavin‘s advisors have apparently taken to heart: his next move, most likely this summer, is for money. His time at Arsenal effectively came to an end when he went on loan earlier this year but fair play for telling it how it really is.
Another summer, another key player departing against a backdrop of allegations of refusing to tour. A de facto strike? Sorry, that is one reason for his omission that I do not buy into. Unless of course, someone can prove it is true. A deal is close to being struck with one of the interested parties and he can fly off to whichever part of the world they are currently in to join his new team-mates.
As that sad song reaches its end, the funeral dirge of an Arsenal career, we look forward. What do Arsenal need to replace their central striker? Gilles Grimandi observed that Olivier Giroud was signed so that Arsenal were not backed into a corner this summer; that is probably true but it is not a statement of confidence that he is the replacement for the Dutchman. I believe he was signed to give more variety in attack, the much-vaunted Plan B if you like. Media stories link Arsenal with Llorente or Lewandowski; truth or dare, Arsenal. Dare.
Equally though eyes need to remain on the ball. Any deal with van Persie is not out of the blue, red or black and white. The club has known it is coming and have no doubt already been talking to other clubs about him. It is an unwelcome distraction and signals what ought to be a busy time for the negotiating team; the manager wants to avoid a last-ditch transfer tackle, people behind the scenes need to ensure that there is no repeat of last summer. Heads would have to roll if there is, slack work impedes squad preparations.
Still, at least the sun is shining.