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May 2021

How do you replace a central striker like Van Persie?

If you think you know your Arsenal, it is time to think again. Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.

Follow Untold and the Arsenal History Society on Twitter @UntoldArsenal



By Walter Broeckx

This article is an article I waited as long as I could before I started writing it. But I had to start it at some moment in time  so well let’s just get it on and start typing now.

The first note I have to make is that I will start from the situation when I write this and just checked and Robin Van Persie is still an Arsenal player. And Wenger has said he wants to keep Van Persie at Arsenal. So I will start writing it that way. And I also will try to avoid bringing in too much feelings.

Last season was…. well you could say Van Persie’s season. Not that I am saying we were a one man team (I reserve that privileged one-man-team title for another player in fact) but Van Persie was Van The Man grabbing all the headlines during the season. He scored and kept on scoring. He was not injured and kept injury free all season. Wenger used him but gave him a few days off every now and then when cup games had to be played. But in the league he was always present.

He started 37 games and the one he started on the bench he came on later. And he scored 30 goals. And he gave 12 assists. So he was responsible for some 42 goals for Arsenal last season. Those are impressive numbers. We cannot and I will certainly not deny this or brush it under the carpet. Robin Van Persie was immense for Arsenal last season.

It was his first real injury free season in 8 seasons. It was in fact even the first season he was able to start more than 25 games. So we have been waiting for it for a long time and when it finally happened it was great to see. He scored a few spectacular goals in the season. He also had some tap in goals, but not many headed goals as this is his weakest point.

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Some goals wouldn’t have been scored by other strikers, simply because they wouldn’t take the ball like he did. The volleys against Liverpool and Everton can be given as an example. I think only a few people would have gone for the volley on that moment.  Just like his goal against Barcelona the season before. Those where world class goals and only world class strikers would have gone for that and delivered.  Others maybe would have tried but would they have scored? Hard to tell.

Now I don’t want to boast too much but I wrote an article before the start of the season 2010-2011 (2 years ago) and predicted that Van Persie would stay fit and would start scoring goals. That was a moment when some doubted Wenger when he told that he would use Van Persie as the main striker. He then got his last injury on his ankle after only playing one game, making my prediction looking stupid. But after that he came back and never got injured again. Well not that we know.  Well after all what was fixed by the surgeons I think there was nothing more left to tear, break or rip.

If we now keep an eye on the current situation (Sunday afternoon) Van Persie is still an Arsenal player and Wenger has said he wants to keep it that way. Will he be able to reproduce another season like that? Yep, I’m sure he can. If he stays fit he will bang in another 30 goals next season. But that would only be the case if he stayed injury free of course and if….he stays at Arsenal.  Because he can go to any team in the world but will he get the same service and the same support he finds at Arsenal? And by support I don’t mean from us but from his team mates.

Because (before his statement) he was the undoubted leader and face of Arsenal. The captain leading the team. Will he still be viewed like that if he stays? Only time will tell if the event would occur.

Will we miss him if he is sold? Yes, we will. I do not doubt that one moment. He has that something special in his game so just saying we will not feel it, is a bit too easy. We have to take in account that brining in a new striker in his place will take a bit of time to get settled again.

Giroud is the player that has the most similar presence on the field. He is bigger than Van Persie and would be bringing a bit more aerial threat to the team. But can we expect him to just step in and do what Van Persie did last season? It would be great but I think it will take a few weeks or even months to make him as effective as Van Persie was.

Because we have to remember that when Wenger moved Van Persie to the central striking role, he wasn’t the instant hit. It took both the team and Van Persie a few weeks to really get the feeling on how to play together. This will be no different when another player is brought in to his place. So we have to keep in mind that whoever will be put in his place gets the time and patience to take on that role in a different way.

Giroud looks the most likely and natural player to take that place in the centre of our attack. The top scorer of the French league, a left footed player, big and strong and technical on a good level. He should have everything to succeed if he can play the ball around with the rest of the team. Podolski could also play at that position but I think he was mainly brought to make our left flank stronger and score goals from there and provide assists to a central striker.

Those are both two good player but we have to realize they come from a different league and have to adapt.  We still have Chamakh and Bendtner on our books but it is very likely that at least one of them will go away with Bendtner the most likely I would say. Will Chamakh regain his early form when he first came and Van Persie was injured? Time will tell.

Or will Wenger do something unexpected. He could bring Theo in from the flank and play him in the central role. Some think Theo would be able to play there, some think he will not. Again time will tell if he will be used in that place or not.

And who knows maybe we see a new rising star coming out of nowhere? Maybe Afobe suddenly starts impressing in pre season and is given a chance?

But to find out the answer to all those questions we first need certainty about what will happen with Van Persie. If he stays, fine but I don’t think he will be kept captain. And if he goes… we will have a lot of goals to replace. But with the service any central Arsenal striker gets we will always score goals.

Wenger will have the options in his head already. Whatever they may be we will just have to wait how things develop.


65 comments to How do you replace a central striker like Van Persie?

  • It seems to me that whether RVP goes or stays he has to be replaced because

    a) there is every chance that if he stays he will be injured for next season or will fail to produce the amazing form of last season

    b) if he goes we need someone to replace him anyway.

    Banking on RVP is a risky strategy – maybe he could do it again as you suggest Walter, but maybe not. It only needs one thug to target him and he is out – so we need another player.

    In the ideal world RVP would stay, and a new player would come in, working alongside him, gradually fitting himself into the system.

  • Giroud is a perfect fit, but definitely need the time to get use to the team around him, it would be nice if he would get some support with a play maker behind him, and supply from the wings.

  • qureshi

    Firstly i’d like to say is well done on the article walter, to the point and well put there! another thing is that tony u should know that giroud is the direct replacement to van persie and i dont think the boss will bring in an another striker and il agree to it to a certain extent.what we can say is van persie cant be directly replaced and that a new dimension has to be brought in i.e giroud and podolsky. another point id like to put forward is that what we need is stability in the midfield be it with existing players or a new addition that to time will tell and that we do need a creater in the midfield that to can be someone from our midst or a new addition for e.g a player like ganso or cazorla but thats the headache of the Boss.

  • He’s already replaced. Giroud, Podolski. End of story!!!

  • Titanium

    when fabregas wanted to leave, arsenal were like playing with 10 men.. no point in keeping someone who doesn’t feel at home.. let’s move on and find another player.

  • you buy giroud and podolski and a creative midfielder and throw in a deadly beast of a defensive midfielder. QUESTION ANSWERED!!!!!!

  • mas

    The lastest interview by Wenger almost made me phsically sick. ‘Arsenal policy works’ he said. How? By selling our best players every year? By replacing them with inferior players? This self sustainable model is well and good but at some point we have to invest in quality or we’ll be just another business enterprise and worse we’ll also be left behind on the footballing front. There is no doubt he is 100% behind the board’s self financing nonsense going by his latest statement. He does not have one hand tied behind his back nor has someone put a gun against his head. He is simply stubbornly against the idea of buying a world class player as it’s an insult to his coaching ability and possibly against his principle too. I’m sure the profit sharing clause in his contract has got nothing to do with this ‘profit first’ policy. After all he’s a man of integrity or so L’m told. All this moaning by Wenger reminds me of a child in a playground who got his toy snatched away and sand kick in the face yet would not do anything because it’s against his principle. The board and Wenger are a greedy bunch of cowards.

  • mas

    I have to disagree with your points on that wemger has already got someone in mind. the weakest team selected for the Asia tour an man’s here are talking about europa LG.

  • davi

    Park seems to have been forgotten completely. Personally I still think it’s possible for him to play an important role at Arsenal. As much as I do think Chamakh is a capable player, I was dismayed at times last season at seeing him come on when we were chasing a goal, because the likelihood of him scoring was so low, particularly when coming on like that. As a striker, he has one major fault – he just doesn’t like taking on the keeper when 1-on-1. In Park, we have a striker who doesn’t really lack anything compared to Chamakh (strong, great in the air, links play well), but also has that confidence in front of goal. Why he had so few chances is beyond me to be honest, but next season might be different?

  • Stuart

    The same way that we replace Henry.

    More and more I’m starting to believe it’s not the players that make AFC so good, it’s the Wengerball style that makes the players. Quite naturally (and some may say ignorantly) the players at the front are the most likely to score and are put on a pedestal however the rest of the team have played their equal measure in getting them there. I think a fair percentage of the accolades have to go to the other players for getting RVP there.

    Once he goes, the next player to benefit from the system will emerge and we ma be very surprised who it turns out to be.

  • Stuart

    * replaced

  • goonergerry

    Arsenal are in the same place with RVP than we were with Nasri last year. AW wanted him to stay and see out his contract and Kroenke flew in to a Board meeting which confirmed the decision to sell. I can’t see why his attitude is going to be any different towards the sale of RVP.

    I can’t see that its the club’s interest to sell him to either of the Manchester clubs. Losing him is one thing but making the 2 clubs who finished 19 points ahead of you last season even stronger in the process is a double whammy we could do without. I’d rather the club sell him to Juventus for 5 or 6 m less.

    I agree with gunner 357- RVP going will mean we have to change our pattern of play-and we are going to need some midfield reinforcements to stop leaking goals and to create more goal threat from midfield.

  • SouthernGunner

    If we’re going to sell RvP, this could be the perfect time to so, more than any other season gone before. People wanted him out a few seasons ago due to his injury record, but we wouldn’t have gotten a lot of money for him then, and I doubt there would have been many teams of similar stature to Arsenal that were interested in him then. But after the season he’s had, winning Player of the Season in the EPL and scoring the goals he did, the timing of this transfer specualtion could be a blessing in disguise for the club. Of course, I’d love him to sign a new contract, declare his love for the club and stay. But a new contract doesn’t prevent a player getting injured or guarantee they’ll play as well as they did before.

    It is possible to keep hold of a player for too long. It happened with Cesc and maybe even a little with Thierry, where perhaps it would have been better for Arsenal had we moved them on a season before they did. Maybe this is the perfect time for Arsenal to move along a player whose probably played his best for us already.

    Just a thought.

  • bc

    As good a return as rvp got last season he also had the most scoring chances and likewise the most misses. in fact in order to score his 30 goals he.had an incredible 142 goal scoring chances. compare that to walcott podolski giroud vela and bendtner and all jad a better conversion rate last season. in fact giroud walcott and podolski added together had less goal scoring chances yet between them scored more goals than rvp.

    i have no fear that between walcott giroud podolski chamberlain gervinho + 1 more we can score as many goals as walcott rvp gervinho chamberlain chamakh and arshavin scored last season. who that other 1 will be i am unsure but providing its not park and is more experienced thqn ryo or afobe we will score more.

  • Lee

    We replace him when he’s injured and we’d have to replace him if he retired. This is an inevitable event, with only the timing thrust upon us. No player is irreplaceable, so it’s best we cash in now and use the money to buy players who want to be there. If his heart isn’t in it he’ll only be half the player anyway. And he hasn’t always produced…..

  • Benglian

    I think Chamakh might yet come good. All he needs is to regain his confidence… The latter half of the season when he did come on I thought he played well, he didn’t score, but he did contribute well. If he gets a run of games…

  • Maverick

    Slightly off topic but does anyone know what ‘N’ stands for in fixture listings………obviously A = Away H = Home but Arsenal have a lot of ‘N’ in theirs and even one for one of the Asia tour matches so it cant mean not known or something like that because the match is obviously away from home (unless it is a typo for that particular match)

    Forgive me for sounding dumb but i haven’t really paid attention to that because as far as i can remember it has always been A/H or P for Postponed never seen N before though

  • Limpar's Wand

    If Adebayor can score 30 goals in a season for Arsenal, then that says quite alot. Rvp played every game, got the ball whenever he asked for it, and the whole team developed to provide him with chances. His inability to beat a man for pace was really telling at times. Decent finisher and some silky touches, but never a world beating striker. I wouldn’t even put him in an Arsenal team of the last decade. He’d fight for a spot on the bench with kanu and reyes.

  • Limpar's Wand

    ^^ Neutral?

  • Maverick

    @Limpar’s Wand, see what i mean… it me or is this a new thing? I have never seen ‘N’ before and when i looked at Arsenals Fixture listing and N’s were littered through it including fixtures we know where we are playing (Asia Tour) i am left a bit confused.

  • walter

    No it was there before and just indicates that it is on a “neutral” ground or not yet known. I think most CL games have now a N behind it

  • Wolfgang

    Very elementary,really.Don’t fight for the epl crown. Just aim for 3rd/4th place. That will be enough to satisfy Wenger and the board.
    Then at the end of every season sell the next emerging stars,Jack Wilshire,Song,Vermallen.
    Thtat’s it. Make Arsenal the nursery fo the big teams.

  • Goonerbeall

    I am deeply disappointed to lose RVP but seeing that hes going and all schadenffreude written all over comentators i wd like to offer this thought to all who Wenger bashers: RVP might surprise you and fail torep
    roduce the form at Arsenal. His performance against Spain in South Africa was not much to write home about nor was he any better at Euro. That with Arsenal hoodoo might see him becoming another Berbatov playing secpnd fiddle to others. watch and you’ll see.

  • bc

    I know everyone would like rvp to stay and fear how we replace him. but what if he stayed then got injured against cologne and was out as usual for six months. how would we replace him then? and with what?.
    i repeat it looks like half of last seasons first 6 strike force is staying and half going walcott gervinho and chamberlain are staying with rvp chamakh and arshavin going. last season those 3 scored 40 goals between them. now we have already replaced 2 of them so as long as the 3rd player plus giroud and podolski can hit 40 between them we really are not worse off. in addition i am sure that walcott chamberlain and gervinho will better the 19 goals they shared last year. Even if u include benayoun and park with their 7 goals that means 8 forwards scored 66 goals between them.

  • Wolfgang

    In answer to the question,don’t.The board and WEnger ‘s strategy is to make the club self sustainable.If the club keeps on underperforming and underachieving,there will be problems.
    Take the case of sponsors.The latter want to be associated with winners.If you are not a winner ,your market value goes down.I understand a number of sponsorships are due to expire soon. This will be a golden opportunity to make a statement of intent.
    If your skippers wants to jump ship,that shows how far the gunners have fallen from the dizzy heights of 2004.If nothing is done,Arsenal will descend into free fall.By then it will take gbp many millions to stop it.
    Of course football is an unpredictable game. When Henry left,90% of fans said they would decline.However they were wrong until spring 2008 when I saw the image of Eduuardo ‘s leg dangling on holiday in Penang.Hopefully the same scenario can be repeated with a happy ending.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Wolfgang……..The LeGrove,AAA anti-Wenger website is that way!
    This is a site that tries to be astute and intelligent, something you missed back in Kindergarten.

  • Arsenal need to do something about the ease with which their star players are allowed to leave the club. Van Persie is behaving in this way (i.e. trying to force a move) because he’s seen Hleb, Fabregas and Nasri do exactly the same thing-and eventually get what they want. It’s a well worn path. To stop this, Arsene needs to be more ruthless with the players when they refuse to sign a new contract. Someone needs to be made an example of. Then the other players (like Song, Thomas Vermaelen and even Jack Wilshere)won’t think they can leave the club without a period of extreme discomfort. At the moment, it’s far too easy.
    As for Van Persie, he’s behaved very poorly. From all the wispers, it’s clear that Van Persie favours a move to Man Utd. In order to get him, United are prepared to play dirty. That’s why they decided to put their bid for him on their official website. They know that City want to get rid of Dzeko and Adebayor before they sign another striker. What United are trying to do is force a deal through before City are able to do buisness. It’s a snide way of operating, but it’s entirely consistent with Fegie’s behaviour over the last twenty years. This is the man who will do anything (fair or foul-usually foul) to gain an advantage. Personally, I don’t think it will work this time. If I were a betting man, I’d make City strong favourites to get Van Persie. I don’t think United have a lot of spare money. They won’t go over a certain amount for Van Persie (probably around the 15 million mark. While City will pay much more. That’s why United are trying to do a deal quickly. Hopefully, it won’t work.

  • Adam

    How do you replace a central striker like Van Persie?
    I don’t think you do. I think you move forward in a slightly different direction. There are probably players out there who could do a job similar to Rvp, one or two better but not the same. Each player has his own characteristics which he brings to a side. We are slowly losing our best boys at controling a game. I hope those remaining step up their game. (hope Diaby has a great season).
    At times i wonder if Wenger knew he was going to lose certain players so gave them more responsibility to make them more attractive to potential buyers? (just a theory)

  • Wolfgang

    This is in answer to domhua…..This maybe an anti Arsenal everything site but the truth hurts.Wenher has caused the gunners yo go into free fall . Unless he can start winning games and trophies,the jury is still out.
    I would like our astute manager to get the gunners going and challenging for the epl until the 38th match.
    Let’ s be frank. Red faced wouldn’t have the bravado to make an offer for Drogba in his prime.RVP wants to leave because
    Arsenal,in his opinion,cannot challenge for the trophies.That is unless Wenger cam prove otherwise and win something.

  • Adam

    @Wolfgang, I believe sponsorship deals are built at flat rates with bonuses for duration in a specific competition or winning that competition. So basically the further you go in a comp the more money you earn. I don’t think rich businesses are stupid enough to give a club a massive deal for 5 years just because they won a cup the year before. It helps the clubs position yes, but it’s not the be and end of all. Please remember no side has yet retained the champions league so for a sponsor to give, lets say Chelsea a massive deal just because they won the Champs league last year the likely hood of them retaining the trophy is minuscule. So the sponsor is unlikly to get the exposure that they want with chelsea.

  • mark

    It would be stupid for RVP to go to Manu. They don’t play in the style that suits him. I can’t really see Arsenal selling him to Manu or Mancity unless they are willing to pay 30 million.

    The gunners have already gotten the players they need to replace him if needed. Good forward planning by the manager and his staff!

    Clearly it would be good to keep him. But I would not want to seem him sold cheap. Yet if he is not sold in this transfer window the price goes down for the next transfer window.

    I do think the system makes the player in Arsenal’s case. Lots of players who have done well with the Gunners have not succeeded with other teams. This could also be the case with RVP. Yes, he can score some wonderful goals but he does that because of the 10 other players on the pitch!

    Mancity have succeeded because of financial doping. If one gave any club unlimited money to buy and pay the best players they can win. Not always but often.

    Manu this past year only got second place because they got plenty of help from the referees.

    Take away financial doping and make the referees fair and competent – then the league winner would have been different!

  • kc

    Replaced and forgotten.
    All the noise arsene is making is trying to get the highest possible price for him.

  • ARSENAL 13

    lets forget the brilliant goals he scored….. Rest were all simple ones. Theo and Gervinho did the hard work and RVP finished (lets not take that away from him though). No other midfielder was brave enough to ignore him and have a go at the goal…..well other than Ramsey, who missed and is now the fav of the boo boys.

    Will RVP score 30 goals again, if he leaves ARSENAL that is, NO. Its the system coupled with his clinical finishing that delivered 30 goals. YOU take the system out…….

  • Aussie Jack

    “How do you replace a central stiker like van Persie?”

    Van Persie is what I call a `johnny on the spot ` player and many, if not most, of his goals were created by close lead up support players. That`s taking nothing away from RVP, all he had to do was push the ball into the net with the inside of his foot and claim the reward and the glory. Other than that he was very succesful with finding the target from free kicks, so what am I saying? Purely from a footballing point of view he`s no Messi, he`s not a loner who can create his own opportunities, he just takes advantage of what is given to him.
    If I were asked ” how do you replace a player like Messi” I would have to look to the heavens but with RVP someone like Giroud will do very well if he gets the same service.

  • Armin

    Maybe some conclusions can be made from squad Le Boss took at Asia Tour. I really expected both Podolski and Giroud to be taken and given RvP role in those two games (which I cant wait to see, life is getting boring without Arsenal), but no Le Boss brought only TheO.
    I honestly dont think TheO is in better shape than Poldi and Giroud and need less time to work on fitness after EC, no way, I think we gonna see TheO tomorrow in RvP boots.

  • Gunner4evr

    Accordin to press reports,RVP wants 10million gbp.I thought Arsenal’s offer of 5 million loyalty plus 130000 pw. for the first year.There is gap of gbp 3 million for the subsequent years.
    IF Wenger is serious about keeping him,why not pay him what his talents deserves. After all he has proven himself.

  • Aussie Jack

    @Armin…Don`t believe all you read mate….I`ll go further, don`t believe anything you read.

  • Aussie Jack

    Just a thought on players in general. If they are so desperate to leave and the price is right, hit them with a buy back clause to come out of their own pockets. RVP has a year to run on his contract. His salary is (?) 90k per week that`s 4.68 million per year. We`ll accept that plus 25 million for your transfer. Bye.

  • Gerry Lennon

    I wrote early on last season, when the discussion was on the lack of goals, and said ‘the main problem with our strikers is, perversely, RVP himself’. By that I meant he was not an straightforward No9, and finding a partner that suited his style of play was difficult. Gervinho looked to be the best we we have had …
    If he goes, then it sort of makes that difficulty of who works well with our No9 go away? Early on in this saga, I assumed that Giroud or Llorente was an either/or choice, not both? I cannot see that changing now?? No doubt the loser of the bidding war may well snap him up?
    If he stays I see more problems in getting the midfield line-up right? But as that is unlikely, unless they offer him my thought – 2 year contract at £150k pw(subject to bonuses, clauses,etc), and a £10m ‘loyalty’ payment at the end of it? That would come to around £17m. He may still get another club when he can go on a ‘free’, which is pretty close to those ‘reported’ demands … and he would not have to move house?
    If we did, say get anonther winger(and keep Walcott), I quite fancy a 4-4-1-1 with Podolski playing behind/to the left of Giroud, with ‘X’ on one wing, Walcott the other, and having Myiachi and AOC as replacements/alternatives.
    Just a thought?

  • Charlie

    @Stuart I hope you were joking. Arsenal haven’t won anything since Henry left so saying we’ll replace him like we replaced Henry just isn’t funny. I’m not so annoyed about him saying that he wants to leave now but he MUST NOT BE SOLD TO A RIVAL !! Fair enough he’s lost to Arsenal, that was a break-up letter, but at least make the best of a bad situation by refusing to let him improve our rivals. The thought of Van Persie alongside Rooney next season makes me feel depressed.

  • Charlie

    As for the question at hand the blow of losing him is softened by the purchase of Giroud and Podolski who I see as definite hits at the Emirates. Giroud likes the ball to his head which will mean some changes to the way Arsenal play because it’s a long time since the main striker has been a serious threat in the air (I don’t consider Chamakh or Bendtner as main strikers).

  • sammy the snake

    Who needs Robin when we have Wenger?

    That will only get us to third, but any way.

  • Mark Ibrahim

    Question: How do you ask how to replace a player like RVP?
    Answer: You Do Not.
    Look, the fact of the matter is RVP is world-class. It’s no accident that he did so well last season. He has always been talented but we’ve been deprived of his brilliance due to his incessant injuries.
    It is our human nature to soften emotional blows with defense mechanisms. In this case, we do so by comforting ourselves with the thought that he was good but not Great… it was really his teammates that did all the work… “all he had to do was push the ball into the net with the inside of his foot and claim the reward and the glory” etc.
    Players like RVP do not grow on trees. That type of football intelligence & talent is extremely hard to come by. And even if you do manage to land one, it takes years to cultivate a good understanding between teammates. It was the same with Cesc. That’s not to say that noone can ever replace their influence, but it’s damn hard to, and that’s the tragedy of the situation.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think the not taking Podolski and Giroud might have a few reasons.
    Van Persie has to train a week with them now. Can imagine Podolski saying: “So Robin, you really think we are not good enough?” And than look at him with that cool German look on his face. Per will clip his ankle by accident..Arsenal will make a fuss about RVP being injured…buying clubs running away from his glass ankeles.
    Koscielny will just look at him like he does with all the strikers he has put in his pocket and say: “You really don’t want to play against me in the league”.
    Giroud will bang them in, in training, and then ask Robin: “so tell me how did it feel to be main man last season, just so I can get used to the feeling”
    Half way August Robin is still a bit “injured” and sitting in the stands while Arsenal with their German influence does what always happens with Germans on the pitch: at the end of the 90 minutes they win. Robin biting his fingernails whilst Vermaelen is the new captain and waiting for the super big money deal to come his way but after his ankle injury even Man $ity is having second thoughts on spending that money not knowing when he will be fit.
    Giroud scoring, Podolski scoring, Theo scoring, Diaby completely fit and bossing midfield like he has never done before…SCRATCH……. oh dreams can be sweet 😉

  • Stuart

    @ Charlie,
    I am deadly serious. If you put us not winning a trophy down to Henry leaving you are seriously living in cloud cuckoo land. RVP emerged as our and the leagues top scorer.

  • Gunner 4 evr – the simple reason is that RVP is 29, he is dependent on pace as well as everything else, and that will go. He also has an awful injury record, and the chances of him staying fit and active through his next contract are limited. So retaining him will cost the club a lot which could be spent elsewhere on more productive players.

  • Stuart

    @ Maverick,

    N = Neutral or Venue Not Yet Known

  • Mark Ibrahim

    @JOHN: I Agree with every word of your first paragraph. It’s all well and good to want to cut your losses and prevent disharmony but there is point, which we have definitely reached, where a line needs to be drawn.
    If it were all up to me, I would take the hit and force him to honour his contract. If he decides to get unpleasant about it and doesn’t want to play, than I would put in him play with the reserves. I’m not being unreasonable of capricious because it will all be of his own doing and as you rightly say, we need to nip this kind of behaviour in the bud. Show our players and other clubs that we are to be respected.

  • @Walter you might be right somewhere of course in your dream,but all in all if Ade and Chamakha can score with Arsenal just imagine what Podolski and Giroud plus Gervinho will do to teams.
    I mean in The Arsenal you just need to stand on your two legs and you will score,Arsenal really simplifies scoring.
    They make it look easy.

  • Armin

    I actually agree we cant replace RvP. Not because he is gift from Almighty (God, Allah, Buddha, Tom Cruise, comrade Lenin), but due simple fact that everyone have its own personality, in life or football pitch, doesn’t matter.
    So with Robin we will probably lost something, but we will gain new things with Oliver and Poldi. Will it be enough? It is lottery, same as signing new contract with Robin would be lottery. There is no guaranty RvP will ever have season like last one was, same as there is no guaranties Giroud will/wont score 35 next season.

    Was RvP talismanic? Yes he was, same as Ronaldo was in Manure, and so on and on. Every season there is new talisman, two season ago it was Vermaelen, and Cesc, and Ade before him, and Henry, and … New season, new heroes, life goes on. Only Arsenal is eternal.

  • Stuart

    I feel that keeping RVP could turn out to be a double hit for us.
    If we sell him, we can invest the money in a new up and coming player (who is already doing well).
    If we don’s sell him, quite simply, we can’t get that player AND the chances that RVP wont play much of the season due to injury are high.

    In short, we will probably lose RVP anyway but not reap the financial benefits if he stays.

  • Legolas

    our problem if we will sell RVP below than 20 Million we can’t reinvest the money with same quality player because they will cost us more this is the problem .

  • Armin

    Strange thing is that nothing is certain, Chavski invested 50 millions in Drogba replacement, Newcastle 35 in Tores replacement but still more goals came from player we almost bought for pocket money. So who knows…

  • bob

    As a general note, I think some of us are penny pinching with the zillions, as if it’s out of our own piggy bank under the mattress. (I mean choose your poison, er benefactor, but there is money.) Fact is we who dwelleth in the darkness of fan-dumb don’t know squat, and that’s by design. But what does seem clear – to state the obvious – is that THIS season we do have 35M or so from our very hard-earned Champions League slot; which, LAST season, we were not sure of until we went through. That seems to be a huge difference, imo. So we can rant on about sustainability as if only not spending big will achieve that; or we can rant on about how only spending will bring like for like when RVP finally leaves. But it does seem like there’s 35M available, at least, from the CL alone, and surely more to come with RVP’s blood sale. So where’s the worry about filling some needs in some balanced combination of promoting from within the ranks and buying outside. Is it worry r’us, 24×7, or is AFC actually doing rather well, thank you, in the potential to fill our actual needs (such as an essential creative midfielder, to name but one). Then again, who am I to take away anyone’s blissful month of constant worry about this or that penny being lost. Enjoy.

  • Charlie

    @Stuart. We haven’t won a trophy since Henry left and he is Arsenals’ all-time leading scorer. It’s not down to him leaving because he wasn’t the same player in his last couple of seasons so I doubt we would’ve won with him but can you honestly say you think he was effectively replaced ? I think it’s clear that he wasn’t but it’s also clear that he was never going to be.

  • Gunner4evr

    I agree with Mas. The fm is deluded if he thinks his philosophy with kids will help the gunners to challenge.The kids need experienced ones as well and not inferior players bought on the cheap.
    If the gunners can’t compete for the epl,I believe and all fans believe ,no more time be given to him to see his project to fruition.Too much time has been wasted.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Everyone who thinks that Arsenal can win a bidding war for ‘proven talent’ is unbelievably deluded.
    So, given that proven talent is not an option, which would you rather we went for, the Liverpool approach of buying players who are not and most likely never will be good enough or taking lots of punts on wonderkids in the hope that one or two work out.
    For those wheeling out the wage bill argument, our wage bill isn’t even the third largest in the league, as I recall, two clubs finished below us this past season who spend more on wages. Both the clubs above us have a lot of dead-weight players on their books, City have an entire second eleven on more than most of the whole squads in the league.

  • Stuart

    That’s true but at the same time, who was RVP when Henry was here. We will have someone come to the forefront of the team and take on the goal scoring responsibility that’s for sure. IMO, the Wengerball style doesn’t seem to allow for more than 1 top goal scorer but it’s the style that makes them the top scorer not the quality of player so who know who will take the gauntlet and be the most natural successor.

  • rusty

    I just can’t believe that people (there are a couple upthread) would seriously argue that Arsenal should give in to RVP’s contract demands. A long-term deal for a 29-year-old is a tough sell based on the aging curve alone, but when you add “… for a player who’s averaged 25 PL appearances over the past seven seasons”, it’s only a bit shy of madness.

  • Gunner4evr

    Last year Wenger said if you sell your best players ,you cannot be considered a big club.Nasri and Feb left.Now with RVP about to move he says the support you get indicates if you are a big club.
    I believe Arsenal cannot be considered a big club.He is deluding himself but not the fans. If RVP finally leaves,it will be the final nail in the coffin for the big club status.Of course if he can win the epl or cl,then the gunners could be back on the road to big club status.
    I fear for Arsenal with this guy in charge.If he can’t fix the flaws in the team ,he shd have been fired long ago. Enough of his excuses.

  • Gunner4evr

    Last year Wenger said if you sell your best players ,you cannot be considered a big club.Nasri and Feb left.Now with RVP about to move he says the support you get indicates if you are a big club.
    I believe Arsenal cannot be considered a big club.He is deluding himself but not the fans. If RVP finally leaves,it will be the final nail in the coffin for the big club status.Of course if he can win the epl or cl,then the gunners could be back on the road to big club status.
    I fear for Arsenal with this guy in charge.If he can’t fix the flaws in the team ,he shd have been fired long ago. Enough of his excuses.

  • bob

    Rusty, All,
    Much is being made of RVP’s being 29 years old as if close to being over the hill. However, given that his injuries mean that he has NOT played so much – indeed, like other players whose injuries were recently deducted by a UA analyst here when assessing them – RVP, in fact, is younger in “football years” than someone who has played through those 8 seasons with relatively little down time. Indeed, RVP has been injury prone; but I don’t think he’s actually 29 in football years. So, imo, that part of the get rid of him analysis needs to be re-examined. The injury record may be enough to clinch the argument; but the 29 years is being overstated.

  • Gunner4evr

    Wenger bought RVP for 2.5 million. If Arsenal are smart,don’t sell him to MU for 20 million.Unless red faced pays 30 million,then let him go.Otherwise for less than 20 million he will help the rf win the epl and and who knows even the cl.
    Assuming he doesn’t go this August,his value will decrease but he will be one year older.Let him go anywhere he wants. If Arsenal sell him for less than 20 million,they are indeed a nursery. Arsenal must play hard ball and go on from there.
    Btw it’s not guaranteed 100% he will continue to score 37 goals again.Neither is it 100% sure the two new Arsenal strikers will score the goals to fire the gunners challenge for the epl.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    He may have less miles on the clock than a regular 30+ games a season player BUT that usually refers to the number of minor injuries picked up by a player that affect his body as he ages. RvP will be suffering the lasting effects of his major injuries over those 8 years as much as a 30+ player.
    Don’t take my word for it, look at Ledley King.

    I’d be happier betting on the new boys to score 30+ league goals between them than for Robin to score 30+ by himself. Giroud is paradoxically a big physical striker who doesn’t score that many tap-ins yet scored prodigiously. Podolski is also a physical striker who doesn’t score many tap-ins but has a very good strike rate – mostly from distance.

    In fact a front three of Poldi, Giroud and Theo has a bit of everything. A physical reference in the centre, a player who makes the LB drop deep and one who makes the RB come out to stop the keeper being blasted.

  • Gunner4evr

    If the Daily Mirror is to be believed ,the board have over ruled Wemger. The Fm wanted 30 million but the board are willing to accept 20 million. This shows the ambitions of the board as far as football is concerned.
    I hope he goes to Italy because gunner fans like myself cannot stomach it if he starts scoring for red faced and helps them to win games.
    So the notion Arsenal are becoming a nursery for the big teams is becoming true especially if any offer below 20 million is accepted.If that’s the case the gunners don’t have to buy players. It’s easier to fight for 3rd and 4th place.