by Daniel Snowden

So, a few days after issuing his incendiary statement the dust has still not settled on the Robin van Persie affair.  I thought by now I would have calmed down, but in fact I am still massively angry at what he has said and done to the club that he is still the captain of.

For those of you who have escaped this miserable weather and been out of the country, let me refresh your memories. Late on Wednesday night, seemingly out of nowhere, a statement appeared on RvP’s site saying that he would not be renewing his contract as he and the club disagree on the way to move forward. He also stressed that financial matters were not his priority at all.

Now, let me remind you that while he is the club captain, he is not the owner or manager, nor does he have a seat on the board. Speaking out on the club’s strategy is not the concern of playing staff.  Of course he may have concerns, but the media is not the place to air them. Also, how must the other players feel, when the man who is meant to be their leader turns on the club?

And if bringing in the Ligue 1 top scorer and a German international with 100 caps already is not progress then I don’t know what is.  No, it looks as if he has made this statement to make his position at the club untenable, to force Arsenal to sell him now. He is coming off the back of 18 months of amazing form, and this is probably his final chance to score a massive contract and the money on offer elsewhere is going to be better than what Arsenal can afford, something RvP is well aware of.

Don’t forget that this is the first time he has managed to go through a whole season without a prolonged period of time out injured as well. The club has stood with him through his injury plagued career, offering him new contracts when he was not fit to play. On top of this he was supported all the way though the rape allegation in 2005.
These allegations were of course unfounded but the club’s support at what must have been a difficult time should not be forgotten. Arsenal have shown him nothing but loyalty, and it is time that was repaid.

RvP’s does not want to see out the remainder of his contract, he wants to go now and get the big money while it is potentially on the table, but I for one hope the club does not cave to his demands. However, keeping him for the final year does not really look to be an option after his statement, which is what I would have done had he just said
he wanted to explore other opportunities etc and it is up to the club to decide what to do. However, I think Arsenal should now make a point of not selling him to Man City.

If Na$ri is worth £23 million in the final year of his contract – and remember he was nowhere near the same level as RvP – then Arsenal should be able to command £30m for him. However, that is assuming that Man City are in the bidding race, and I for one would not let them, not this time. Arsenal have sold Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Clichy and Na$ri to City, and this has to stop now. The first two players were
not major losses and the third still does not know where to stand in relation to his centre halves, while the last has shown he is an odious little s***. And now Rvp has shown his true colours.

The thing to do would be to decide on a reasonable price and pick up the phone and start phoning Europe’s major players. PSG, Juve, Real, Barca, Bayern, Malaga. Once the options are in, give them to RvP, and let him know that City and their oil money are not on the list, and they won’t be. If he rejects a move, then that is up to him. It is not restraint of trade, so he can’t want walk out on his contract early, as happened it Italy recently.

Arsenal have got to stand tall here, and actually put principles ahead of money, for a change.

The thing is, I can also sort of see RvP’s point. Sort of. He is a player at his peak, and Arsenal need to get lucky with injuries (for both the club and direct opposition) to put together a credible challenge for the league. RvP does not want to take that kind of chance, and while he is at it he might as well make as much money as possible. That’s the immediate view. But this does not take into account what Arsenal have done for him to this point, and it is time he repaid that debt.