Thursday, August 16, 2012
Robin Van Persie leaves Arsenal to join Manchester United
Robin Van Persie will sign for Manchester United, subject to a medical, after Arsenal and United agreed on a fee for the Dutchman. There are so many questions that fans have been wondering about, as one of the biggest transfers between two English clubs in the modern era is about to be completed:
- I recently wrote about Arsenal fans getting used to the idea of losing their key men when they hit that golden age of 29-30 years old. But losing Robin Van Persie is going to be a major blow to them. Despite the signings they've made this summer of players like Giroud, Cazorla and Podolski, all of whom are bound to make a positive impact on the league, losing their key striker, captain and star man (again!) is going to demoralize their players. How often are Arsenal going to keep going on like this? Wenger should have waited out for Van Persie's final season to try and make him change his mind halfway through the season perhaps. Cashing in on him when the "right" amount of money comes their way shows where Arsenal's ambitions might actually be. Losing him on a free rather than selling to a rival should have been the mentality adopted to ease Arsenal fans' worries.
- There is a telling difference between Arsenal losing Van Persie and when they lost the likes of Henry, Vieira, Nasri, Fabregas and co. When most of the "invincibles" left, their talents were either fading or had not yet been reached. When Fabregas left it was because of his past affiliation with Barcelona. When Nasri left, the suspicion was that it was about the money...but none of these players were sold at the peak of their powers. Van Persie has never been this good. This is the peak of his career and losing a player that influential at this stage in his career, no matter how many Arsenal fans deny it, is a massive blow. Wenger wanted him to stay and he joined one of Arsenal's rivals.
- Arsene Wenger must prove Van Persie wrong and show him that this Arsenal side has the capability to win trophies. This must now be one of Wenger's biggest challenges yet.
- People often forget that Robin Van Persie was signed in August 2004 for the tiny fee of £2.75 million from his childhood club Feyernoord. Wenger spotted the talent and gave him the chance to join a top club. Numerous injury plagued seasons later, Wenger stood by the Dutchman and gave him chance after chance to show his true talent - which to be fair, he only did properly last season (2011/2012). That patience that Wenger had with Van Persie seems like it was never appreciated by the Dutchman. How naive Wenger must be feeling right now.
- 24 million pounds for a 29 year old Striker, who's injury prone, and has only had 1 good season is a very valid argument. But to whoever uses that argument, would you say "No" to Van Persie joining your club? I doubt it. The man remains, at the moment, one of Europe's most lethal finishers and probably the best striker in English Football. This is a huge signing! One of the biggest to ever happen in English football. - Arsenal fans must start praying their next captain is Marouane Chamakh, Abou Diaby, Park Ju-Young or Sebastien Squillaci.
- How are United going to play now? How will this move affect Welbeck and Hernandez? I personally believe having 4 top strikers is something Ferguson has been unable to handle since the 1999 treble season, back when egos weren't as big as they are today. Expect someone to be grumpy about this move and unhappy at playing second fiddle.
- What has Dimitar Berbatov done to deserve this treatment from Ferguson? Nobody will ever know, but the Bulgarian would be an asset at absolutely any club he joins and should be ready to move on now. Unfortunately, Ferguson's cold shoulder doesn't seem justified.
- The mouth-watering aspect of seeing Van Persie up front with Rooney must be terrifying for any defense. This is going to be pretty damn exciting!
- Was Robin Van Persie really needed at Old Trafford? United's main problem last season wasn't up front. Why sign a striker when the need to fill gaps in other positions is much more important? This might the rare occasion I believe that a United signing was being done for the player not to join any other rival club (City particularly) and not for the purpose of having him at the club. Often players linked with clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have been poached and signed by the boys with the huge bucks (City, Chelsea and now PSG), but this might be the first time the roles have been reversed and United have signed a player to avoid him joining one of the huge cash-filled clubs.
- Manchester United fans are excited and have every right to be. Rarely has Sir Alex signed players that are aged above 25 who have succeeded - so this is another test. Veron, Hargreaves and Berbatov (sort of) are just a few examples of that. I'm pretty sure he'd have studied this move long and hard before deciding to go for it.If the move works out Fergie will be deemed as a genius and if it fails, RVP will just join that list of players who never lived up to the hype. A win-win situation I suppose? "Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie" - how good does that sound?
- Rooney, RVP, Hernandez, Welbeck, Kagawa, Cleverley, Nani, Young, Valencia...United's front line is looking really good!
- The rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal has admittedly softened over the past few years with Wenger and Sir Alex often seen together sharing a joke or two, but don't be surprised to see it boil over again now that this move has happened. Pizzagate the return? I sure hope so!
- The one thing that this move does confirm is that loyalty no longer exists in Football. One day a player is your hero, the next day he's turning up playing for your rivals. Kissing the badge and all that means nothing anymore. Even what the players say means nothing anymore. We've seen it with Fernando Torres, Ashley Cole, Carlos Tevez and now Robin Van Persie. Long gone are the days when players will stay at one club long enough to earn themselves a testimonial game. Such a thing doesn't matter anymore when "personal ambitions" and cheques are involved. Once upon a time moves between clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea...etc were so rare that it was unthinkable as the players knew and respected the rivalries. But the more time passes, the more that mentality disappears. Never, ever, be shocked to see your hero leave your club to join a rival.