Goodbye RVP

As an Arsenal fan, I feel very unmoved by the Robin Van Persie drama.  Our star forward, coming off an outstanding season in which he single-handedly won us many games, is pushing for a more lucrative contract with another team.  Despite the fact that he has a year left on his contract and we would desperately like to resign him, his public statements last week are essentially forcing us to deal him now.

Too much has been written elsewhere that is of a largely typical character: he’s a sellout traitor, he’s a gold-digger, etc.  But I would be glad to see him go.

He has a great year for us, but in the eight years he was with us, he had exactly two full seasons of high performance.  The rest were either his early adjustment years or marred by injury.  He is 29 years old, which means he has a few more peak years, but probably not the 4-6 years that he will want for a contract.  These things make him something of a risk to throw a bunch of money at.

More than that, I don’t blame him for leaving if that’s what he want to do.  In the real world, people leave jobs all the time for all kinds of reasons.  Maybe he wants more money, maybe he wants a better chance at a trophy, maybe he just wants a change.  I don’t care.  If he wants to move, let him.

On a larger level, we at Arsenal need to evaluate why we keep losing players at the peak of their careers.  Is it the lack of trophies in the last seven years that makes them leave, or is the fact that they keep leaving the reason for our lack of trophies?  Either way, I harbor no ill will towards individual players.  I don’t root for players; I root for a team.



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