I am not unrealistic.
I certainly never assumed RVP would extend his contract with us. At best, I thought we had a chance, but with the odds and the world against us slightly. I was sure though, that if our captain left us, it would be in a respectful way, and his legacy with true fans would be a good one, because we really do appreciate our great players and what they have done for us. In this case, we have been blessed with a sublime performance for almost two seasons, and led back into an all important champions league spot.
I say his legacy would be intact, because, like most thoughtful people, true fans try to consider the decision he has to make, all the options he needs to weigh. I have already heard many Gunners express their understanding that he wants to be at a competitive club, with a chance of trophies, especially entering into his last big contract. Many even understanding that he should not have to ignore superior financial offers, no matter where they come from.
But, some things have occurred recently that just don’t seem to add up. I am aware that so much is rumour, speculation, and many, simply lies.
Maybe some disinformation? This is what is giving me some hope after a doom filled week on the subject of Robin’s future.
You see, I also understand the many reasons that he might want or need to leave us. But some of the reports we are getting just don’t add up, at least with the people we know that are involved. We heard about a very important meeting to take place with Robin, Arsène, and Ivan. I hope no one expected smiling and handshakes as they all emerged from the house. But, we might have expected a positive, hopeful, or respectful statement crafted by public relations people at Arsenal, to try and ease our worries, and/or pain.
Instead, all we received was silence, and ugly stories of a cold confrontation with specific numbers thrown around, as if there were reporters in the room. Now, if that were the case, and if indeed it is true, that’s just the sad truth about modern football and economics. And we will all have to be mature and accept it. Our club will have to make the best deal they can to improve our situation if we can’t go forward with our season saving leader.
But, as I said, there are things that just don’t make much sense, according to what we know about the parties involved. Do we really think that Wenger and Gazidis walked in and insulted Robin with a shockingly low offer? You know that through back channels, all parties had a general idea of what was coming and expected. Do we really believe that Van Persie basically demanded the huge numbers being thrown around in the media, and that everything fell apart immediately?
Of course that’s all possible. It seems the way the sport is going, and the plight Gunners seem destined to endure from now on.
But I choose to be skeptical of most of these negative reports. Firstly, of course, because I don’t want it to be true. But more importantly, something just doesn’t seem right at all. The stories were so numerous and negative, it almost felt like a punch in the stomach. The feeling you get when you have been betrayed by a friend. I’m not comparing the possible situation to betrayal, just personalizing the feeling of when someone that you think you know fairly well, really smacks you with something you never expected. By that, I’m referring to stories of a tense meeting, with large salary demands,and the club saying “take it or you’re staying for another year anyway”.
It’s a little hard to fathom because of the obvious respect and affection Arsène and Robin have built over the years. This includes sticking with him through many injuries, and the faith that Wenger has shown in him, and of course the skills he has helped him develop in a system that contributed to him becoming the player of the year, not to mention fair wages for most of the years.
Instead, my view is this :
1 Robin van Persie is not completely motivated by money ( of course it’s a big issue, but not the only one )
2 The numbers are not as far apart as reported by the media, or leaked by rivals trying to sow discontent. Especially when you add the loyalty bonuses into the weekly wages, making the disparity smaller. Also the fact that the club owns the player for another full year, in which he would stay on his smaller salary, no loyalty bonus, and threat of injury which could hurt his value going into his last lucrative contract later. Although I doubt it was threatened in a sinister manner.
3 Robin made plain his demand for serious improvements to the squad, as well as retaining with raises, Song and Walcott, who he constantly praises, especially regarding their assists.
4 The club laid out some details on plans for improvements to the squad, and asked for some time to accomplish some signings other than Podolski, which is a good start. Time will be needed to unload some contracts also.
5 Mutual agreement not to talk to the press, to facilitate and protect deals in the works. In, or out.
6 Lastly, I just can’t see RVP demanding a salary so large from any team, that would really weaken the amount of any transfer fee that we could receive. That would be a little disloyal, and would also be a dis-incentive to sell him now, if that really is his preference.
So, with all the mysterious silence, and all the rumours, where will the truth end up?
As always, probably somewhere in between… But I hope for all of us, it’s closer to my bright estimation.
Written by JNYC