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July 2021

RVP – it’s just that Nic Anelka thing all over again

By Tony Attwood

I appreciate that to many Arsenal fans of a younger vintage, or perhaps converted to the cause by the success and high profile brought to the club by Arsène Wenger, might not remember or even know that once upon a time we had a forward called Nic Anelka.

But Anelka is important in the history of Arsenal, because he established a pattern that we have seen repeated many times since – and which we are seeing now with RVP and his transfer.  A pattern which, in fact, has been the bedrock of Arsenal’s success in staying in touch with the Billionaire clubs.

In February 1997, Nic Anelka aged 17 joined Arsenal for a fee, eventually agreed at £500,000.  When Wright was injured Anelka took over and was significant in the Double win in 1997/8.  Indeed he scored in the Cup Final – which endeared him to many hearts, despite his seeming lack of interest in the club or its fans.  ( I can remember watching Anelka score for Arsenal at Coventry, and seeing his total lack of celebration or enthusiasm as he trudged back to the half way line, saying to my mate Roger, “that kid has real personality problems.”  Not my most definitive psychological profile, but one that was made long before we started calling the lad “Le Sulk”.

Having won PFA Young Player of the Year Anelka demanded a huge hike in salary (I seem to remember his brother was his agent) and all sorts of other stuff too – so Arsenal transferred the lad to Real Madrid in the summer of 1999 for £22.3 million.   He won the Champs League with them, but quickly fell out of favour and started his tour of the clubs of Europe, as Real Mad threw away some money transferring him back to PSG, who in turn ended up paying about 30 times what they had sold him for, eventually selling him on once again for less.

This “sell a player on for a mega profit while bringing in the next likely lad” was new to us then and seemed curious.  And what we now see as the normal “Arsenal is a selling club” nonsense, was started up by rivals for the first time.

However what us old timers remember is that Arsenal used a bit of the Anelka cash to build the new training facilities, which were the foundation of our new youth policy.   Oh and we used half of it to buy Thierry Henry in the same transfer window.  (T Henry worth half N Anelka!  Amazing!)

The pattern has been repeated over and over again, with players coming in on the cheap and being sold on for crazy prices.   Even what seemed to be pricey purchases like £11m for Henry (“pricey” it seemed because at the start he had difficulty in locating the goal) turned out to be bargains – especially when we recall that Henry, with injuries, was sold to Barcelona for €24 million – and cost them almost half a million pounds a game thereafter.

Vieira went on to Juventus, who were then relegated in a match fixing scandal – again for a huge profit.  Barca got caught also with Hleb and Overmars – the latter being sold to Barca carrying an injury which eventually finished his career.  He cost Barca €40.6 million (having cost Arsenal one fifth of that amount) and managed just 99 games in those four years – which when his salary is added in, worked about at around three quarters of a million euros a match.

There are many more examples – but in one case, Flamini, Arsenal were caught out by a player refusing to re-sign.  It didn’t do Flamini much good – he managed 78 appearances in four years with Milan, many as sub.  But his salary of 22 million euros over that time has made each appearance cost Milan over a quarter of a million euros, and helped push them into financial difficulty and a need to restructure to meet FFP regs.

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Flamini of course only had one great season with Arsenal – his last – but even so  Arsenal were, I believe, determined never to be caught again in this manner , and so decided to deal with players who wanted to leave, before the contract ended.

So players near the end of the contract were to be sold on but always at a massively high price, that allowed the club to bring in more money to buy more players.  And it was to get this high price that supreme reluctance to sell had to be brought into the mix.   No, no, no, you can’t have Nasri!  No!  OK, all right, because we’ve got Arteta for a lot less both in terms of salary and fee paid.

However one question arises from this ploy – namely why do the clubs fall for it?  After all they must know that most of the Arsenal sell-on players cost them a fortune, and don’t play that many matches – and of course eventually get sold on for a much smaller fee (or in the case of Hleb, are virtually given away).

(Actually there is a second question – why do some people believe that Arsenal are reluctant sellers – but that’s for another day).

The answer to the first question is that the clubs are buying not just for the player’s worth, but also to impress the media and the fans.  The media love transfers because it ups the level of sales of the papers.  And the fans want to see their club being “ambitious” (a word introduced into the footballing vocabulary by agents who are also keen to promote their clients’ interest).

So RVP to Man U gives a chance for lots of “Arsenal in despair” stories, although very little in terms of commentary on the fact that Man U have just paid £22m plus four years of mega wages for a player who next summer they could have had for free.

Also they have just paid £22m for a player whose injury record is awful.  True he played 48 games last season, but before that he was much more restricted.  Of course if you are quite sure that he will reproduce that approach again this coming season, that’s good, but even so, the cost is about £60m in terms of transfer fee and salary.  Is RVP worth £60m for the gamble of one brilliant season and several slipping away seasons?  I doubt it.

But Man City have backed Man U into a corner over this one, through all their purchases, and Man U fans are happy because they perceive that they have got one over on both Arsenal and Man C.   But in fact it is quite possible that they have done neither, tying Man U into a very expensive player who they will never be able to unload if he ever gets injured again.

Initially I had the feeling that this blog was the only place where the vision of selling players from Anelka onwards was seen as a brilliant positive move.   However I was amused yesterday to see the joke going around that Mr Wenger had been arrested for stealing £22m from a befuddled old age pensioner.  Maybe others are starting to see it this as another example of the Anelka Principle.

Which takes us back to Anelka himself.  What was better – to take the money and spend it on Henry and our new training centre which is still considered one of the best on the planet, or should we have held onto a player who didn’t want to be with us?

Of course we don’t know if RVP will be injured in game 2 and only manage 10 matches a year for Man U (while still taking his salary).  Of course we don’t know who Mr Wenger has up his sleeve in terms of the next transfer.

Time will tell, but in the past Mr Wenger has been right (think of players from Bentley to Adebayor) – little to no cost to bring them in, huge income on selling them on.  The past speaks hugely in Mr Wenger’s favour – my guess is that he has indeed done it again, and that RVP’s name will slip away from the Man U hall of fame, just as the memory of selling worthless shares on the New York stock exchange will hardly be recalled as one of the club’s finest moments.


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125 comments to RVP – it’s just that Nic Anelka thing all over again

  • Comment just forwarded to me from a Man U supporting colleague at work – this comes from the Independent

    I’m a little confused. Why does he need yet another striker??? Surely a midfiled that operates out of wheelchairs and prams needs the money more? First time I’ve seen a short-term, panic buy by Ferguson. And I suspect it will be a mistake.

  • davi

    “First time I’ve seen a short-term, panic buy by Ferguson” – I don’t know if you’d call Berba or Tevez panic buys, but he basically got a good season out of each of them and then dumped them on the bench. Expect the same with RVP.

  • Antonius

    Excellent post!

  • sebjob

    Arsenal are unlikely to earn the money on him that they earned on Anelka, and Overmars who from my recollection got to Arsenal on a bosman transfer. And including high salary through many years of injury it is unlikely to be a profit, but he had one and a half good season which went in our profit. He is certainly world class, just disappointing that his character was different than many of thought. Podolski is an amazing player, one for the big games

  • tomstoned

    well how low has this blog sunk…same as anelka..are you for real ???…let me lighten you…real plays in ?? take a quick guess…Spain..or ?? and Manure last time i checked plays in the premier right ?? its really not the same now is it…selling to one of our worst rivals..makes it ..hmm somewhat different..
    but it goes along with The New Arsenal…making cash and sellng our top players every summer…and if Song goes too..great !!money money money..
    get a grip Tony and just try to pretend that you are a Gooner !

  • Goon Der Ber

    Man, you have me as a fan .. I am ;loving your humour and insight .. Please, keep it up ..

    Yes, sometimes you get a tard too pessimistic, but that is also Ok .. I agree with you, Wenger has just successfully mugged fergie and ManU ..

  • David

    I agree in part with the argument you put forward Tony and I don’t doubt for a minute that Arsene looked on helplessly as Van the man made his way up the M1.

    However, as you mentioned with the Anelka sale, I do hope we see this money being invested. Not necessarily in one of two ‘marquee’ signings, but certainly somewhere, such as improved training facilities.

    On the Man United side, I do think the Van Persie purchase is a reckless reaction to Man City’s spending power and merely shows up the fact that they don’t have a bold long term strategy to take on the financial might of ultra weathy benefactors. I just hope we see ours bearing a little more fuit…

  • Don

    The trouble is we replaced Anelka with Henry, Overmars with Pires.The replacements were better players.The truth is now we havent replaced Henry or Pires.Look at last years starting line up only one player Sagna would have got into the 2002 and 2004 teams.To me United were average last season but nearly won the title because of their manager.The Utd players fear him.Its the opposite with Wenger

  • Sean

    Wow, I have read dozens of write ups about the RVP saga and his eventual sale, but this one is by far the most refreshing.

    The lack of credit that Arsene Wenger gets is quite criminal and I think he will only be fully appreciated in hindsight when he is long gone and we are mid-table.

    Great post!

  • GazzaEsq

    Excellent article as usual Tony. I agree that it is astute bit of business by the Club. I lost all respect for Mr.van Persie after his statement regarding the Club’s ambitions not matching his own ! Added to the fact that he alledgedly tabled a ridiculous set of demands financial and “suggestions” regarding playing staff, we are best shot of him. I believe we saw the best of RvP last season and he will never replicate 2011-2012 in a United shirt. Fergie bought him in an attempt to prove he is still top boy in Manchester, and in hindsight may regret it. I think once he has time to think about it Mancini may well be as relieved that RvP “got away” as many Gooners are that the whole sorry saga is concluded

  • Tony

    Henry was not a clinical striker when he joined Arsenal..Wenger has always been able to find suitable replacement for departed players..Except last year when Cesc and Nasri left at last minute..I believe Podolski will score more goals this year, his conversion rate at Cologne last year was much better than Van Persie, and that was without Cazorla

  • Odhis KenyanGunner

    Wenger’s policy is ”Willing Seller Dumb Buyer”. I promise you he is Rolling On The Floor Laughing (ROTFL). Am sure this was the kind of moment Le Boss was waiting for, RvP having been a costly baggage with his incessant injuries for so long. And so now Prof. Wenger not only recoups all the expenses of the last EIGHT yrs (!), he gets a profit too! LOL. In Arsene I (forever) Trust.

  • Greg

    I remember bumping in to Nic Anelka in Leicester Square one evening, in the late 90’s, on his own. When I asked him what he was doing with his evening (thinking he might say he was waiting for friends before heading off to the cinema, or the theatre), he replied “Nothing, I’m just standing. Standing here.” Strange kid.
    None of which has any relevance to anything, really 🙂

  • nicolas

    I’m very happy how this turned out. I firmly believe that Giroud will win the league for us! Also I’m hoping for more transfers to go down; Bendtner, Arshavin, Chamakh, Squillaci,Park, Landsbury etc. to leave. Then a couple of guys in(sahin?, Luke Shaw?) and we are ready to win the title!

  • Don

    How can it be good business to sell Song when he has 3 years left on his contract?

  • Odhis – agree – you can always tell when Wenger is trying to unload a player. He says, “I don’t believe he will leave. I don’t want him to leave. He is very important to us….” and all the time you can see that little smile at the corner of his mouth…

  • gooner murphy

    @ Tomstoned

    Tom I think you are Indeed “Stoned” MR Wenger has already spent the region £30/40 mil if not more on three players so selling RPV was good business for Arsenal And I for One trust Mr Wenger’s judgement on all matters football
    SO long R P V thanks for the last year.

  • tomstoned – let me try and explain.

    The issue is entirely whether RVP plays well or not for Man U. If not, because he loses form, can’t fit the formation, or is injured, we have just brought in a load of money and can buy another player. What’s more Man U have just wasted a load of money (as they have the salary costs) and that is a loss to them.

    We gain, they lose.

    Of course if RVP turns out to have four mega seasons with them, we’ve lost. But it is all a gamble – I think we might well win on this one.

    What you don’t take into account is the fact that I was trying to point out in my post – although obviously not clearly enough.

    If we use that money to bring in a younger genius, we’ve won.

  • gooner murphy

    R P V Robert Paid = Value

  • zuer

    Thanks for the article, Tony. Many of us – the fans – are short-sighted and unable to see the bigger, clearer picture. Far less, to be able to reflect the past. Kudos.

    Robin is gone. Gone since he issued ‘that statement’. We all should expect him leave. I am actually relieved that he is gone, because of what he has done will be detrimental to the club.

    So far, we have had one of the best preparation to the coming season.. the moaners, the media and the AAA had NOTHING TO BE UNHAPPY ABOUT.. Oh my, how happy they are to have something to be unhappy, sad, miserable, angry about.. RVP gone.. to Manure.. hence this gives a chance for lots of “Arsenal in despair” stories.

    What do they expect, Robin don’t want to be here.. he made that clear to Wenger and to all of us. Every club will jump at the opportunity to have Robin at their club but not everyone willing to pay the asking price. Bar Manure.. There you go.. Wenger can sell to them or keep Robin. It his decision, and without a doubt in the best interest of the club and for the harmony of the dressing room. If it is better for us to keep him, then I believe, Wenger will hold to him. To critic Wenger’s every decision is very easy.. especially if you are bent on BEING unhappy…

    Just accept it. Move on. He’s gone. Trust in Wenger. He knows. Though many of us have the illusion that we know better. Don’t fool yourself.

    Selling to Manure, Wenger must make sure Arsenal will finish above Manure in the table.. or else, this decision will haunt him and give these unhappy people ammo to slate him further.. I believe we can pull it.

  • as

    DON: “The trouble is we replaced Anelka with Henry, Overmars with Pires.The replacements were better players.The truth is now we havent replaced Henry or Pires…” – What rubbish!

    Are you serious DON? did you really know back then that Henry ws better than Anelka and Pires better than Overmars…if you did you should work for Wenger or something!

    When we sold Anelka to RM, he was one of the hottest talents in the world…and we lost him and replaced him with? a guy called Thierry Henry, who in most peoples eyes was inferior, average and a career semmingling going nowhere…or so we thought! and Overmars…an established top quality player sold, and replaced by Pires…Pires who?…we all know now!

  • James

    This is a fine article as far as it goes, but Arsenal fans will delude ourselves if we believe Pursey only has 1 season left in him / was never going to stay fit anyway. He’s the kind who can play on till 32 yrs old quite easily, his game is not about speed its about vision & technique, neither of which are going to degrade soon. The injuries are behind him I think, his body type has changed since the seasons when he was continually out. Remember DB played on for years [no i’m not saying he’s in the same league as Dennis but he’s similar] I fear they will get their money’s worth out of him & more, of course hope i’m proved wrong & he flops there.

  • SammyNelsonsPants

    “If we use that money to bring in a younger genius, we’ve won.”

    Giroud / Cazorla / Poldi.

    yeah, we’ve won 🙂

  • bob

    You are hardly the only or best keeper of Arsenal’s historical legacy. Another named Ray Parlour had this to say yesterday about the shredding of that legacy: “It’s been years since Arsenal sold a player to Manchester United,” he said. “I think it was Frank Stapleton [in 1981].
    “They were always our massive rivals and I know we sold a lot of players to Manchester City but Manchester United were always our rivals and we didn’t want to help them.”

  • zuer


    ah to be happy.. good for you. many people nowadays don’t have the capacity to be happy about anything. bless you..

  • Brian

    I always love such blogs, confirms to us what we’ve known for awhile, Arsenal is a financial statements club. Winning actual silverware means very little to the coach (more like CFO) and unfortunately, the writer has jumped on to the bandwagon. While the points are valid, there is an unbelievable blindness to the fact that most of these players you thump your chests so heartily about selling on for a profit, went on to win trophies with their newly “mugged” clubs. (with the exception of Hleb, that has always been a bizarre move to me). Anyway, enjoy the money in the bank, its resulted in cheaper season tickets, right? No, A championship winning team? No. But don’t worry, for us Mugged Man United Fans, we shall keep hoping that the RvP transfer turns out to be an Anelka ALL OVER AGAIN. 🙂

  • Gisli

    Your blog post was a rose amongst cabbages.

    People don´t seem to realize the absurd economic behavior of big football clubs and moreover how unique Wenger has been in terms of handling his resources.

    I don´t think any other manager on this planet could have handled his situation (resources going the training ground, the new stadium) and still managed a championship league qualification every single year…every single year…

    And Wenger has had the chance to cash in at a club such as Real Madrid, where he would have had blank cheque (secured by the Spanish government of course) for transfers. But he choose to stay, because he is committed to the club and the project.

  • @zane_k

    Your mind is really really really sound! You know tht this was a very good deal! Arsenal is stronger now than last season even without him! We need to back the team an Wenger 100% he is Arsenal! All those FM heads wannabe managers nincompoops always complaining and stuff jst go over to city or chelski PLEASE! I enjoy the way we play Gooner4Life IN WENGER WE TRUST! PrrrPrrr

  • bob

    Don’t you see, mate? The Real Answer will come, oh at any time within the next four years, when a purchase, from whatever source [perhaps the 22.5M, perhaps another source], becomes the next Thierry Henry. In the meantime, any top player/agent at any time will have learned another lesson for these four years to come: the example that whenever you wish to, you can tear up your (wink) worthless contract and talk/pressure your way out of town.

    What example does this deal give to every developing star talent on this team? Action and inaction always talk louder than words; and, imo, the action of selling your want-away best player to your worst enemy speaks louder to today’s players than suggestions of a pie-in-the-sky future. The agent for 3 of our last 4 Captains, and Alex Song and Gail Clichy’s has just stripped AFC of its best assets. Yet all of this, don’t you see tomstoned, is simply slick business – we really won, can’t you see. It’s wars of Accountancy that count – like it’s the fans’ own money (until you ask anyone when the stadium debt will be paid off and are told that early repayment means an unaffordable penalty). Don’t think of planning to win matches against our historical opponent who thinks of championships as his birthright. And don’t ever think that nor saying an Affordable and Absolute NO to the perfidy of rapacious players and their vulture-agents can matter more than a quick 22M – especially when saying no can force said player into another year’s top performance because he and his agent cannot appear to have declining skills or further injuries at a time of advancing age. Got that tomstoned. It’s the new normal. (Cheers 🙂 )

  • Maverick

    I think the RVP transfer (figures been bandied around are close to 75m for the entire contract and transfer fee) was an entirely stupid one especially for a manu team that are only servicing a debt and not paying it because they cant and they had to float on the stock exchange to get exra money. What about manus more pressing needs, midfield and defense…….Smalling and Jones are not very good defenders Vidic is injury prone and getting old, same with ferdinand but yet SAF gets a 29-30 year old injury prone striker, the guy is nuts!! Also have heard about Song likely pushing for a transfer.

    It has come to my attention (can someone confirm this or deny it) that his Agent is Darren Dein and apparently he is the last of the dein crop in our club. Darren Dein is straight up scum, everything he has been involved with has shafted Arsenal…..i reckon this is to do with his dad and Usmanov and the board they are doing this to try and show up Arsenal, because they all jump ship and people that are sheep will not realise that if you look at who the agents are for these players and they are against the current board they are using the players as pawns in a game. I feel that Song will likely be sold that will clear the list of all of the Deins players and Arsenal (unless incredibly stupid) will NEVER again get involved with any players that are tied to these lot…….Arsenal are slowly ousting all unsavoury crap associated with the club, but Fans don’t realise this all they see is their star performers going, but Wenger and the Board know what they are doing and i know this is for the best of the club even if it doesnt feel like it now.

  • Sattman

    Marc Overmars bought 17-06-1997 from Ajax for £7,000,000

    sold to Barcelona on 28-07-2000 for £25,000,000

  • Dada

    Chim chiminey Chim chiminey Chim chim cher-oo!

    Who needs van persie when we’ve got GIROUD!!

    Chim chiminey Chim chiminey Chim chim cher-ee!

    We’ve also got CAZORLA and LUCAS PODOLSKI!!!

  • bob

    Yes, Darren Damien Dein became Song’s agent this past March. Coincidence that the tapping up by Barfa of Qatar’s swat team (Busquets, Iniesta, Pique) comes at this very moment as his other Arsenal captain, RvPigsty, makes his move and pays off this agent/advisor/representative’s swimming pool. He has launched a two-front war against Arsenal, and also has cashed in in the past. But this – from the perspective of the current article – is all part of Arsene’s Svengali-like ability to make a handsome profit out of a small investment. However, as to your last point – that AFC/AW will NEVER AGAIN transact with a Dein client – do you realize that Song has been with us for several years before taking on Dein this past March. There is no law against any player at any time changing agents now, is there? Unless AFC put that restriction into a contract – and unless that holds up in a court of law – Darren Damien Dein can continue to make his banquet out of our top assets, and out of the fans’ emotional investment in our heros. Yes, that’s what fans do – make emotional investments. As opposed to what bean counters do when they sell them off for the Short-Term gain that rules the roost.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I think you need to take some time away from Arsenal, as you seem to have taken the whole sordid affair rather too seriously. I see why it is that you are angry but alas that ship sailed long ago (at least last season) – Arsenal will only hold you to your contract if they can’t find a pensioner to mug or a guy who’s Engleesh isa notso-guud to hand over obscene amounts of money.
    In a way it’s better that we sell to another real world club rather than the fantasy football cartel, although it would have been better if it were Milan or Bayern for instance. MCFC and Chelsea are already in deep water with FFP, RvP couldn’t make things any worse. United could easily be dragged down by having his salary and transfer fee on the books, especially if they find they need another midfielder rather than an injury prone striker.

  • Maverick

    @bob, it just angers me that all of these people keep on saying sack the board and re-instate dein he is our saviour and so is usmanov when it is exactly those clowns that want dividends and are spiteful enough to continually shaft us and then act like it is Arsenals fault and Arsenal are crap and can’t keep players when it is those leeches that are trying to kill our club from the inside out……….cant stand the bastards!!

  • zuer

    Bob, you had solid arguments on the negatives of this transfer deals. the precedents that have been set set by the likes of Cesc, Nasri and Robin. Its bad example to the young, developing players.

    I had the early impression that Wenger aren’t allowing himself bullied by ferguson.. and are bent on keeping Robin. Now, it seem to be his transfer strategy after all. We can conclude that Wenger want to offload him in the first place.

    How do we stop this annoying trends?

    I guess the only choice we have is to win something this season, preferably the premier league.. thats the only way to stop this crazy trends, i think.. I believe we can do it.. with the addition that have been brought in, better defense form and without the catastrophic start to the season.. albeit hard, its possible. Essentially we have to do it, one way or the other.. if not, we can expect another star player gone next season.. hell, its the new reality.. i know it sucks..

  • Scrotty McBuggerballs

    Good post Tony,

    i must say that in the twitterverse, its pretty refreshing to see alot of people agreeing that this situation is purely born from RvP alone, and not turning on AW, who as you point out, has pulled off yet another master stroke.

    My only problem with your comparisson with the anelka situation is, as you say, the funds received were re-invested into player signings and training ground developement. Will this money be re-invested? Me thinks not

  • bob

    Thanks for the rest-cure advice. You may soon have your wish. 🙂

  • bob

    Before my long nap, would you ever think that you’d see the day when you would countenance, for any reason, selling your top asset to (in real football terms) our worst enemy? As a long term fan (and I do bow to that, and have well appreciated your sharp insights hereabouts) did you think it would come to your somehow doing that? All the best, mate.

  • colario

    We are told there was a private meeting at Arsene’s home with Robin, Ivan and of course Arsene. We are told money was not discussed what was discussed was ‘the future and club policy’. We are told Robin disagreed with what he was told. This being so, the future was set ‘tot ziens’ – good bye.

    Fergie the gambler takes the gamble – goals or injuries.
    Arsene the cautious planner – gets his way and Arsenal pocket 22.5M.

    The Fergie fans get to taunt us – ‘Your a selling club.’ And what can we say that equels that? I hate to say this but in my opinion ‘not alot’.

    Yes the history of great sales is there but there are cashly exceptions and trophies won elsewhere.

    RVP as has been pointed out is not the first hereo (Up until the news broke of RVP wanting away He was a hero) to transfer to manure before Frank Stapleton there was George Graham and before him Ian Ure.

    When it comes to the pocket Robin is the certain winner.

    Fergie also wins if Robin stays fit and in form and we lose. If Robin is injured or at best (for us) loses form then we win.

    With 2 weeks before the dead line has Arsene’s purchases filled the gap or do we need another player.

    Cautious Arsene is unlikely to gamble on another player.

    The next chapter of this summer of rumours and counter rumours is now being expressed. Is Alex going for a song?

    As to the knew season. Will Arsenal fans be singing the same old song?

    At the end of the season will there be a new song on their lips or one revived from past glories? – I hope so.

  • wanjoxx

    Van persie will have to really prove himself this season…otherwise he shall become another berbatov.

  • 1NiltotheArsenal

    A sound argument, Mr. Attwood, with which I generally concur. I must admit that while I thought the sale of RvP ultimately agreeable BEFORE he was actually sold, I was unable to check my emotions AFTER the sale.

    But being a supporter is necessarily an emotional thing. It’s half misery/half joy at any given moment. And our best player of 2011 (by a country mile) being sold to a traditional rival and unarguably the world’s biggest club certainly ups the emotion factor.

    Putting emotion aside again, it really does all come to down to a gamble, and the odds are against anyone repeating the kind of season van Persie had last year, unless perhaps you wear #10 for Barcelona. And #10 for Barca doesn’t play in the Premier League.

    So what will it be? Another superlative season, this time combining with strike partner Rooney for 25+ goals? Or will he do “a Torres or a Carroll” as one fellow Gooner said to me?
    If I were a betting man, I’d still double-down on M. Wenger.

  • Shard

    The focus on whether RVP strengthens ManU takes away from the real decision we were left with. The real focus should be on our team. On Arsenal. Would we have been better off keeping RVP for another year? Perhaps, but only if he was committed to playing well, was not a disruptive influence on the squad, and also stayed free of injury. If we could be sure of all of that, I’d have said we should pass up any offer for him.

    But, there is no way we could be sure of the injury factor, and everything points to RVP not being committed. (Squad harmony might have been harmed too since he basically said his teammates were rubbish)

    On top of that, no player should ever think himself worthy of directing where the club is headed. Wenger probably wouldn’t take kindly to that, nor should he.

    So, in a less than ideal situation, we had to choose between the risks of keeping him, versus strengthening a rival. In only one of those options, even if the worst happens could we have actually strengthened ourselves. If we kept him and he got injured, we’d be without him anyway(not counting any negative influence he might have had). If we sell him, and he scores lots of goals, at least we can use the money to strengthen the squad.

    In my view, we’re better off just looking at what we need, rather than what this means for ManU. Let them worry about RVP or where they stand. Even if we don’t sell to them, we can’t really stop them from strengthening. We should look to strengthen ourselves. And selling RVP and (hopefully) using the funds, in addition to the players we’ve already brought in, should strengthen us.

  • nicky

    I see far too much paranoia in a lot of the current comments, following the end of the Van Persie episode.
    They are worried that he will prosper at United and consequently Arsene has been undone by Ferguson, yet again.
    They fear that last term’s heroics by Van Persie can be repeated for his new employers and the chronic injuries of his past will not recur.
    Some even hope for total meltdown in his first season at United in order to justify our loss.
    Far better to spend time on marvelling over the new era about to emerge at our great Club.
    New blood arriving, our injury list reducing, last summer’s newbies now more experienced and many of our starlets knocking on the first team door.
    We have so much more strength and talent than this time last
    year we simply must concentrate on and enjoy the campaign ahead.

  • Shard

    Hi 1NTTA,

    I was filled with anguish imagining RVP in a ManU shirt when I first heard about the transfer. One thing which helped me get past it was to visualise Van Persie wearing the tablecloth that the Mancs call a jersey. After that, his decision seems even more ridiculous 🙂

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I can’t say I like the idea of selling our best player of 2011-2012 (debateable) to one of our most hated rivals, in fact it saddens me greatly. I also don’t like the idea that it could (emphasis on could) send a message to the younger players that you have to move elsewhere for fame and fortune.
    But we had this last year, we sold Fabregas to the throat-grabbing-diving-cheats of Catalunya and we sent a message that if you are an egotistical French narcissist in the final year of your contract, you will be sold to the highest bidder.
    Also, as Tony points out, if Jack Wilshere gets too big for his boots (not terribly likely) we’ll flog him to someone else and put Chuks Aneke into his place in the team. Every single player from the new signings to the veterans like Rosicky has to be fearing for their place in the side because there is a young hungry up and coming player who’s willing to put in the work to displace them if they won’t work hard for the team.

  • sammi giggs

    such an interesting read and especialy from the disillutioned arsenal fans. tryng to get that feel good effect out of a bad situation. you may wish ill on utd n rvp but deep down you know you have lost quality. again the supply he is bound to get at utd will be quite enormous and who knows he might easily surpas the 40 goal mark. last season utd lost the title by goal difference. SAF vowed never again and the policy at utd has alwez been score more than the oposition. we like arsenal for the quality n entertaining games we get there but you got to understand that on this one manutd have the better deal

  • @sammi giggs – thaks for a huge laugh during a sad time for us gooners. You can come back anytime!

  • Thank you to all correspondents for the kind words. It would be tedious if I popped back in each time, but I have read it all with interest – and with a lot of pleasure to see how positive we mostly are about the future.

    The AAA is of course waiting in the wings, but I am sure on Saturday we really can give the new side a real feeling that we believe in this team.

  • Mihir

    A parting ode to Robbin ManU’s Pursies , quoting Mark Twain –
    -“I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable.”

  • Markcoos

    with 22 million, could arsenal maybe buy edison cavani, his wages might be a problem, but last i looked, chelsea were looking to bid about 18 million for him. Could Arsenal buy him, and give him the wages from the sales of squillaci, bendtner and vela?

  • Andrei

    This is a marquee signing that is supposed to bring more in t-shirt sales than in trophies. RVP is a global brand that will sell well in Asia and the US. United have missed on several big name signings in the recent years and perhaps Glazers thought that United as a top selling brand were in danger of losing its appeal. So they needed a big signing like RVP to reverse the trend. The indications are that Glazers are positioning to sell United before imminent retirement of SAF which will inevitably put a significant dent in United brand. They need this boost in the team market value so from that point of view it is a good business for them.

    From purely footballing point of view there are some positives as well perhaps not as big as the excitement emanating from the United camp may suggest. First, it reduces United reliance on Rooney. They were fortunate two seasons ago when Berbatov picked up the slack when Rooney went AWOL. It is hard expect Hernandez or Welbec to repeat this feat should it happen again. Secondly, signing RVP may be enough for United to wrestle EPL title back from City and SAF is a master of doing just enough to win the title. Last season in the pivotal 1-0 loss to City United need somebody capable of singehandedly changing tide of the game something Rooney couldn’t do for them. Scoring goals out of nowhere and providing the difference on the big occasion is RVP’s specialty.

  • Tony says: “…that kid has real personality problems.”
    Big Al: He never did and never could have personality problems, because he hasn’t got a personality.

    Don says: “How can it be good business to sell Song when he has 3 years left on his contract?”
    Big Al: It’s good business to sell Song if he has 30 years left on his contract. It’s simply good business… sorry, Walter if you’re reading this comment.

    Bob quotes Parlour: “It’s been years since Arsenal sold a player to Manchester United…”
    Big Al: Stapleton was overrated, in my opinion, as these stats would seem to ‘prove’.
    Arsenal goal tally: 75 goals in 225 games = exactly 1 goal per 3 games. Not a terrific strike rate is it?
    Utd goal tally: 60 goals in 223 games = 1 goal per 3.7 games. Even less emphatic.

  • Greg says: I remember bumping in to Nic Anelka in Leicester Square… he replied “Nothing, I’m just standing. Standing here.”.
    Big Al thinks: On the periphery of Soho. Where Greg was. Just standing.

  • Nash

    Great article
    Despite all the doom mongerers, I continue to support AW and the way he does things

  • bjtgooner

    Tony, good article and perspective. I would not have sold RVP to the manures, but that is probably why I am only a fan, not a manager.

    However, we still have a very exciting squad – it is important now for all of us to look forward and get behind the team and manager as we rapidly approach the new season.

  • RobL

    Glad he’s gone after his fan message. Now to make the perfect week, Modric to Real and Kaka to Arsenal…. (I know I’m dreaming).

  • Persian gunner

    The best thing about all you guys is that you are supporting the philosophy of the Arsenal more than anything, even winning trophies!
    Here is the place of real Arsenal fans, not some FIFA manager kids, criticizing the best manager ever by their restricted minds!
    Thank you so much
    In “our way” we trust, the Arsenal way!

  • So in a nut shell every good player we”ve had we”ve sold for over 20 mil and every replacement has been for max 15mill ( max ) ambition NO, money grubbing yes

  • Asif

    @Sammi Giggs…you too from the Giggs family bro! How’s your relationship with your sister in law?

  • jaroda

    I hear on the cold war grapevine that Van Persie is a trojan horse sent by the Master of the Universe aka Wenger to bring down the steaming Manure pile from the inside using his special double agent powers.

  • Stroller

    For those bemoaning the RVP sale, perhaps consider the downsides of retaining him. Mainly of course, the fact that he’s available for nothing come the end of the season but also possible issues in the meantime like the return of his injuries and morale implications amongst the squad.(Yes an impication of his ‘statement’ was that he didn’t think them good enough to lead to success’.

    The ‘anybody but ManU’ argument is understandable but faced with the options it’s difficult to see what the club could do. Only three clubs came in for him, two of which seemed unprepared to go anywhere near our asking price.

    In the circumstances we’ve come out of it better than anycome could reasonably expect financially. Football-wise only time will tell, but the three signings so far give us improved overall squad quality and depth.

  • marin

    People have been belieiving Arsene knows for too long. He is complicit in all of this as he is paid £7m per year to oversee this annual brain drain. He lies to us repeatedly and that is unacceptable. His present actions far outweigh his achievements last millenia.

  • critic

    ha ha ha ha…gr8 article. Quite similar to the 1st one that i read on untold. It was about rehearsing again and again to win next season.

  • marin

    So our best player has gone. Next up the speedy gonsalez Walcott must go to keep that money machine going plus Bendtner which is a good thing and finally Song.Ching ching the cash machine will be in the positive again. Im so glad for you Mr Kronke. You really were worth the lockdown and the long wait. You will also be saving on polish in the Emirates trophy cabinet so its a double. Only double we will get until you frack off.

  • Rog B

    Can’t you just reply to any of these post’s in plain English instead of what you appear to use this website for? A self righteous boast of your command for the English language? Your complicated and over elaborate use of English completely smothers most people so much so that they end up forgetting what your point is!

  • Rog B

    Go on BOb throw in a few obscure words in your complicated reply!

  • The font

    Excellent post spot on

  • Rog B

    Perfidy of rapaciuos players…haha what he is saying is ‘ruthless greedy bastards’

  • bob

    Rog B,
    Stupid cow? 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    @Rog B

    You’ll have to remember to take your tablets.

  • Arvind

    There’s far too much over reaction about RVP going. Really, what would you do if you had your own firm and your star employee came and demanded you triple his salary? And keep in mind the guy is on great terms with everyone at the firm and everyone knows he will demand so much.

    Do you give it to him? Then what? The next guy will think…hey..he got what he asked for; I’ll do the same thing too. Repeat. Then suddenly you realize you’ve been overpaying too much and stop. Half the staff got paid more, half didn’t. Discontent. Favoritism rumors. Half leave. Half stay. Uncertainity. Culture spoilt. What took so long to build is gone in a year or two. Start all over again.

    A bit exaggerated? Probably. Unrealistic? Probably not; it does happen.

    Once RVP made his statement, that was it. The end. Personally, and I’m being very rational about this, there is a slight bit of regret that he chose to go to United (anywhere else would have been okay) but largely…he can go to hell now…score 40 or score 0 and I won’t care. Maybe I’ll watch even lesser ‘other club’ football than I do, but that’s it.

    The simple conclusion is..try and change things which are in your control. If something isn’t in your control, there’s no point moaning and throwing tantrums about them. RVP is gone. We have no more control on him. Its over. Forget about it. Just like Anelka, Petit, Overmars, Viera, Henry, Cesc, Nasri and possibly Alex Song.

    Will we win something this year? I don’t know. Will we compete? Yes..certainly. If you really look at it…bar RVP all the remaining players who have left/will leave are fringe players who got very little game time. 2 if Song goes. That’s NOT too much..really. I’m largely happy and eagerly looking forward to the season now.

  • robl

    Lets just all take a chill pill, unplug our PS3s and see how the start to the season unfolds – looking at the fixture list we should have a pretty good idea within the first 4 or 5 games, and if we’re on form it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.

  • Preetam

    We worry 2 much about the situation with RVP, let wait till the end of the season to deliver our verdict. If winning trophies is the criteria for becoming a legend then Z Ibra would be the greatest legend. in the footballing world. RVP was & is a creation of the Arsenal midfield. It is the midfield that will provide the ammo, Wenger is doing the right thing living withing his means. The world is looking things short term which is so bad. Just ask the Greeks/ Spaniards. Living life Kingsize is not a fault, it is when u dont have the means to which is wrong.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Excellent post Tony ,really loved that “mugging ” joke !
    This whole episode shows SAF in a different light than which
    I had been lead to believe – that he is sober (those ruddy cheeks are probably due to a well balanced diet and good use of the hair dryer !); generous to a fault (and in {and with }sprit !)while being sane and mentally agile (ie, good at mind games and other assorted tricks !).

    @ Mihir at 6:13 pm – nice and very droll !

  • Gooneraside

    Whatever happened to that bloke Flamini? Anyone remember him?

  • Mihir

    Well Wenger reportedly said that Song could leave as well. Any ideas as to who we will replace him with?

  • Mihir

    @Brickfields Gunners – Thanks! 🙂

  • Stuart

    re Marin @ 10.35
    “He lies to us repeatedly and that is unacceptable”

    Please explain to us why it is ‘unacceptable’ for Wenger to lie. Are you the over ruling master of all things football or life even? Jokes aside, I am keen to hear you back up your statement there. I am worried that you do not understand the importance of not showing your cards, I hope you don’t play poker.

  • bob

    You’re insinuating that AFC’s sale of RVP to Manure is the cause of their stock market loss? On what evidence? And are you now fully compensated for the two-team football competition to be?

  • Ong Bing

    I don’t judge this right or wrong. The fact is the player wanted to go, and the only one club that can met the price is MU.

    We can doing all lost decision by hold Robin until next summer and put him on the reserves team. But, how that situation effect the dressing room and fans?

    I think this is the best solution, and I must said, with only 1 serius buyer, and the player only 1 year left on contract, Arsene very good can sell at 22m, or Fergir too desperate? LOL


  • ARSENAL 13

    @stuart 12.29 pm

    he must be reading the ‘other blog’. The ones who think Usmanov is the solution. The ones who think sustainable model wont help you win silverware.

    RVPs exit is a message to us fans. Dont patronize a player.

    Off topic: guess what Vermi is our new captain.

  • alex

    Andrei @6.26
    Great comment.
    My view is we are selling club.I don’t see why not admit it.To say we are not a selling club and every season to see practically our best player sold to other it does not make sense.
    I am proud of it i don’t feel any shame as long the money is invested back to the club
    We are a selling club for a reason not just to annoy the fans.Until the debit of the club are completely zero or there about nothing i expect to change.We have to pay the debts and selling players is one way of doing it.There is no sugar daddy that can pay for arsenal they are all here to make money.Stan would have not put his money unless he was assured that the club will finance itself whether by selling players or other means.
    I don’t see any way out of this therefore I very much expect any first team player will be sold if there is a potential buyer.
    Wenger cannot say it openly but has to spin it a bit.He might say tried his best to keep the player but facts speaks otherwise.If a club really want to take a firm stand on a player that they really want him is to extend his contract early.Period.
    Don`t look further than the noisy neighbour on Gareth Bale example.They don’t have champion league to show or anything but they offer him good money and he stays.

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    A bad day at ther office.I have just seen JUDAS sitting next to big nose laughing and smiling and then reading his comment that “he is privileaged to be at United”.Difficult to swollow!.Just seen a little of AW press conference.AW did not look well.Loook at his eyes.It is clear he wants Song out.He has 3 years left but has left the door very much open.I am sorry to say that he(i will never mention his name)deserves all the stick we can give him.I am very conservative in my views but this guy has crapped on all of us from a big height.

  • bob

    I agree, a selling club. But No shame, as long as the money is reinvested, you state. But what proof do we have that the money is reinvested into the club? That’s an act of faith. maybe yes, maybe no. Right now the money back from RVP is equal to Podolski plus Giroud. The Carloza buy will be repaid by the other sells to be made by 31 August, starting or ending with Alex Song. That’s a zero transfer outlay. If that’s what you call reinvestment, call it a zero transfer outlay policy.

    As for repaying the stadium debt, over and over, have you an exact idea when ? have you asked? or do we blindly say, oh, right, the stadium debt. The debt that cannot be repaid too early, mind you, without incurring a penalty. So we can’t do that, now, can we? So don’t ask for anything, anymore, until it is announced some day that we are debt free.

  • bob

    Paul “the Gooner”
    Why not give a hint at the name of the Krapmeister you allude to? I think there are a few candidates for that mystery guest who has ruined the banquet we could be.

  • Shard

    So what do you suggest as a solution?

  • Shard

    GK: Szcz, Fabiansky, Mannone
    LB: Gibbs, Santos,
    RB: Sagna, Jenks, (Coquelin)
    CB: Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Djourou,

    DM: Song, Coquelin, Frimpong
    CM: Arteta, Diaby, Wilshere
    AM: Cazorla, Ramsey, Ox, Rosicky

    LW: Gervinho, Arshavin, (Podolski)
    RW: Walcott (Ox, Cazorla, Gervinho)
    ST: Podolski, Giroud, Chamakh, Park

    Youngsters: Yennaris, Miquel, Eisfeld, Aneke

    So, where do we need to spend money? I reckon a Defensive midfielder and perhaps a full back and a striker/RW are the areas that can be strengthened.

    A DM will probably be the highest profile signing required, esp if Song goes.
    Full back we have Yennaris as cover until Sagna comes back. Miquel can play LB as well.
    And a player for the RW can be found in Ox or Cazorla if we play Eisfeld/Aneke through the middle.
    Striker, if we aren’t prepared to play Park, I hope we get a 17-21 year old in.

    So I think the money that we’ve made doesn’t all need to be spent. A good replacement for Song (maybe someone who can also someone who can cover in defense) and a young striker (maybe someone like Niang)

    Besides, we might have spent 24 mil, just like we got for RVP, but since we bought 2 players, our wage bill would have increased. That isn’t zero investment in and of itself.

  • bob

    Surely I can’t solve; but, like anyone else, can merely suggest. This is my package of mere suggestions:
    First, I’d suggest that AFC tell we fans when the stadium debt will be retired – this so that we don’t keeping airing our dreams aloud and continually be told it can’t be afforded because of the stadium debt;
    Second, to buy a close-to-equivalent striker to fill the 37 goal “massive gamble” (in Arsene Wenger’s own words today, so it’s been reported) that were just shipped off to the top of the table; and look to the expectable Champions League money and enhanced marketing opportunities to pay for it. In addition, to spend it on a known quality to make up in the missed marketing/sponsorship opportunity that has been exported with Rotten van Pigsty;
    Third, we should immediately and publicly cite Barfa of Qatar for serial tapping up of our assets (; but likely won’t now, because someones wants Song out in the worst way);
    Fourth, we should stop all deals with the asset-stripper who has made a meal out of taking 3 of our last 4 captains (unless of course we continue to subscribe to/sell the hypothesis that we’ve actually been pushing Manure and Barfa into bankruptcy)
    Fifth, we should publicly object to the schedule that demonstrably favors Manure whilst disadvantaging us (and others) season after season;
    Sixth, we should get behind Walter/Dogface’s findings and
    Seventh, demand (a) full video replay and (b) full post match reporting
    I’m sure you and others can/might/will add or subtract, or not. But you asked, so, flaws and all, here’s what I think might work as a package.

  • bob

    Rog B,
    As per your last evening’s communication, I’d be happy to provide any further translation that might be needed for the sake of clarity. 🙂

  • Shard


    I disagree with the first. I mean if they decide to tell us, I’d be ok with it, but I’m not going to demand it. Why should they tell everyone their finances? While other clubs operate in complete secrecy, Arsenal shouldn’t be telling people their plans for the future. As is, the stadium debt is about a 100m as I recall. Lets say in another 6-7 years it should be paid for. (though there are other bonds etc that apparently go on for longer)

    Second, we already bought a replacement for the 37 goal striker in Podolski. If you look at their stats, you’ll see how similar they are. Plus we upgraded our second choice striker (chamakh) with Giroud. We were prepared to keep Van Persie too which means we did budget for these additions and Cazorla’s through the CL money. Now that we’ve got an extra 24m, I think that can be spent better in other areas of the pitch (as I said in my previous post) And as regads marketable players, RVP became marketable through Arsenal, not the other way round. That’s how we operate. We don’t have to have a ‘face’ to sell our brand. (Except Wenger probably)

    Third, is pointless. As a token gesture it might be satisfying but it achieves absolutely nothing. Besides, tapping up, as far as I know, has to be proved to be done in person. Media utterances about players from other players apparently do not amount to tapping up. The level of proof needed will never be met, especially when the authorities are so in favour of clubs like Barca.

    Fourth, I can see that as the only reason we are agreeing to sell Song. To get rid of all the players represented by Dein and henceforth (unofficially) enforce a no-negotiation policy with any players who might feel inclined to employ that ‘super agent’.

    Fifth, We do publicly object, as does Wenger at times. The impact of it can only be a slow one, not an instant revolution, mainly because the mainstream media will never get on board with it. Instead they will discredit that point of view.

    Sixth, I agree completely. Not something the club can do though.At least, not in the open.

    Seventh, demand from whom? Wenger has already many times called for use of video. What else can the club, or we, do other than what we are doing?

    I think the findings on Untold have had an effect. By and large people accept that ManU get favours from referees, and Arseal fans who earlier would just dismiss the idea of referee corruption now largely accept it. As I said, we are doing all we can, and I think it is having an effect. Not with the authorities, but then that won’t happen overnight.

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    I totally agree with the above.Clearly any player represented by Dein Jnr is out to do us.Song will this time next season ask for a move.I hope and it is hope that we are never in this position again.I have just seen big nose statement about judas.His words were, “we have been planning this for months”.Surprise,surprise.He knew he wanted out sometime ago.I do think this has hurt AW very badly.

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    I have just googled Darren Dein.He has represented, Adebayor.Clichy.Fabregus,Song and the traitor.The article by Bob is spot on.We will not be held to ransom by players and Dein.I see his father said back in July that he would be leaving us.

  • bob

    (1) Year after year, the club says that there’s money to spend, implying, to many (gullible) ears, that the stadium debt is not in the way of a net positive potential outlay. I don’t demand transparency; but I don’t call its absence being honest with the fanbase either;

    (2) Poldolski scored his in the Budesliga; I like him a lot, and pray that it translates into 30 goals in the EPL. But I don’t assume that equivalency as you have. Ask Per Mertesacker.

    (3) Correct me if I’m wrong, but did you not (as I and some others here did) openly call for something like our club standing up and publicly denouncing last summer’s blatant tapping up of x-Cesc by the same crew? I don’t think showing some self-respect in this area is pointless.

    To be continued…. must run now.

  • Shard


    1) What the club says is PR spin. It isn’t ‘lies’ as many like to make it out. I have no doubt there is money to spend. If at all required, money can even be borrowed (ask Barcelona) There’s nothing untruthful about those utterances. Why don;t they spend the money? Maybe they don;t think they’re getting value for it. Maybe they feel the risk of spending outweighs the risk of not spending. Besides, last season, we spent 55m on players, and increased our wage bill. Mid season we signed Vermaelen on a new deal, this season we’ve signed Koscielny, and Ox on improved deals. Thus wage has increased further. Sure, losing RVP will counter that in some part, as will any further departures. But the point is we do spend money. Just not on the things you might like to see it go on. I think we’ve bought well this year and I’m quite sure we’ll buy some more before the window closes.

    2)I never said he’ll score 30+ goals. Just that we’ve replaced RVP. There’s no guarantee RVP himself would have scored those many again. I think we’ve improved our strikeforce compared to last season, especially because adding Cazorla also adds creativity which we lacked last season. I still think we could do with another striker, but not someone like Llorente or Lewandowski. More like Niang or Mirallas.

    3) I might have. I was disgusted by Barca’s behavior, and I guess frustrated by it too. The fact remains that it doesn’t really achieve much. However much you might denounce them, the media won’t change its script, and the perception will be painted of Arsenal as being whingeing nobodies. Look at yourself. Why do you think we’re selling under pressure? With Song, it demonstrates ruthlessness, as far as I’m concerned. Be completely on board or fine, you’re off. Maybe RVP’s betrayal has hurt Wenger enough to not stand for any dithering. Get Dein out and never let that cancer back in again. Think of Song’s transfer as painful chemotherapy. It’ll be worth it if it works.

    In a couple of seasons, we’ll have some extra money to go around. That should see us be able to retain players better than we have been able to recently.

  • Gouresh

    are we in the business of winning or making money?

  • Ong Bing


    First we must make money, if not we will go Ranger.

    Winning is bonus.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Notice the difference on

    “Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Kyle for his contribution to the Club and wish him well at the Liberty Stadium.”

    “Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Robin for his contribution during his time with the Club.”

  • Wooby

    Walter – for RVP, there is probably hidden text that says “…and wish him many months in the treatment room”. 😛

  • bob

    I sorry to do this piecemeal, but I’m into this discussion amidst too many obligations, so apologies in advance.

    Back to (1). I feel that let’s say it is 6-7 years of stadium debt until its retired. Are you Ok with that as a reason for people to not push back and assert their analysis-based dreams? You want purchases too (both of which I completely agree with). Do you feel Ok with “sorry, but there’s that stadium debt? That PR (yes, I agree it is PR) is effectively saying to fans, go away. I don’t feel that an FC – which has communities and traditions of fans as its consumers – is the same as a chain store – which has abstract consumers-of-the-moment as its assembly line of customer. (I’m not saying you do.) That said, I feel that fans are owed more than perception-management and PR. We can’t demand that a club be put at a competitive disadvantage by divulging when (if ever) it will be debt free. But that comes at a price (a harsh price and one that should be acknowledged up front) when fans of good heart and sound mind try to express and advocate their points of view and get nothing back other than cynical PR pablum about the stadium debt means zip it and go away. No one – whether in the guesswork of football or in the guesswork of the film industry – has the monopoly on the good idea. And very often, as we know, its the non-football reasons that distort the field against rational decision making.

    (2) Btw, Miralas signed with Everton yesterday, last time I looked. I do dream of Lewandowski and dream it out loud. If I were in charge, I’d say take the 22.5 for van Pigsty and the 15 for Song and pair it with the expectable CL successes and spring for Lewandowski. That, of course, is why I’m not in charge and why the bean counters would put a blade between my shoulders soon as I turned my back.

    (3)/(4) Yes, I can well see cutting out Song (if and only) as a way to forever cut out Darren Dein. Long overdue. You know how I’ve long felt about his cancerous presence. I would respect AW even more if he would give some hint at that as the reason. That man’s access to the team and his serial predatory swoops have feathered his nest and inflicted real damage on us. Attempts hereabouts to pass that off as shrewd business in pushing Manure and Barfa toward bankruptcy are basically saying, look, we got a return so zip it and be thankful. That line does nothing to stop the necessary lesson that needs to be imparted to this squad and its other agent/advisors – that a contract with this club is not worthless. Darren Dein has done this with impunity; and if getting rid of Song is in fact a significant way to deliver this message – and keep the Ox, as a major example, on board – then I warmly endorse it. If it’s just a way to reach a net zero for the purchase of Carzola, I would part company with you on that.

    Ok, have to break off again, but more to come later on the other points… Cheers 🙂

  • RobL

    Bob, why would you spring for Lewandowski when earlier you made the very valid point:

    “(2) Poldolski scored his in the Budesliga; I like him a lot, and pray that it translates into 30 goals in the EPL. But I don’t assume that equivalency as you have. Ask Per Mertesacker.”

    He’s not yet in the same class as Podolski.

    Where we are right now we may as well slap Bendtner around the head and tell him he’s playing for his next contract.

  • RobL

    @ Tony, please could you delete my above comment – I’ve just sobered up and realized that life’s too short to disagree with Bob.

  • bob

    Yep, I take your point on that. I can well be mistaken about Lewandowski’s skill, even as his reputation is stunning. This short enough for you?

    Do you think I’m not trying for something constructive hereabouts? As for the ethics of being a stand-up contributor, I find your asking Tony the Teacher to e-rap my knuckles so truly brave and honorable. Why give being “sobered up” a bad reputation? Bad day at the office?

  • RobL

    No Bob, I wasn’t asking Tony to e-rap (or indeed bitch slap) you, it was a joke as you take the time to respond in depth and knowledgeably about everything and I doubt I have the e-stamina to take you on in a debate. Tequila ran out about an hour ago.

  • bjtgooner


    Re your 6.14 pm post – good spot, looks like some bad feeling remains.

    What do you think of the story that RVP was considering staying and AW then informed him that he was being sold – just a story?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think Wenger has had enough of a certain agent hanging around his players and making their head go mad…..

  • Adam

    @Walter with regards to, That did not go unoticed either. Me thinks he (RVP) pissed a few people off.

  • Adam

    OK anyone get the texts doing the rounds,

    “Arsene Wenger is wanted for questioning with regards to an Old age pensioner being mugged for £24million”.

    “Robin van Persie’s house has been set ablaze, Police suspect Arsene”.

  • RobL

    @ Adam, what – as opposed to good old fashioned Salford arson 😉

  • bob

    Today’s very good Arse2Mouse blog reports (1) there was a totally massive row and rupture at the first Team RvP & AW meeting early this summer. (2) That there’s been contact between vanPigsty and Manure (nice agro-pairing) since January. And (3) that foreknowledge of RVP’s desire to infest Old Toilet has existed at Manure HQ since the spring. If so, this Captain my Captain put on the most convincing – in fact clinically psychopathic – mask that I can remember. Having watch Cesc’s dress rehearsal of last summer, he’d learned better how to play it out, under his advisor’s cunning tutelage.

    In any case I can see (though who can know for certain) that one Alex Song has been likewise induced to ride the same head-turning toxic wave. I think the two-front economic war has in fact broken out, full blast, between AW and 3D (DDDein) & Co. And unfortunately, this predator gets his cut out of every destabilizing transfer transaction. So with Song, then, it seems likely, as Shard suggested earlier today, this cancer must be cut out for AFC’s return to long-range health. Perhaps this war is what AW meant in June when he mused how people out there were acting to “destroy” his work. Few to no people would run with that utternace and wonder out loud what Le Prof meant by that. But he was saying something, very loud but unheeded; perhaps reporting/signalling then on the seed which has taken full flower this month. It had caught me ears ever since.

    In this moment, the incision of the double-removal has especially hurt because a rotten toxic tumor – the son of the former Mr. AFC and husband of a former Mr. Spud VP’s daughter – has been asset-stripping AFC to the bone marrow. Cancer has no conscience. But in my experience, however, a traitor to the bone will rarely escape his own karma.

    Clearly much of real life is papered over with reasonable sounding words that mask the raw truth. But when AW, in today’s press conference, said that he would keep whatever went down between him and Robin “private,” it convinced me, and I would bet the farm, that this (above) is the actual background. Just my intuition, but these pampered boys have their professional Shark, and they are conscience-free as their predator betrays Wenger’s good faith and bloodies the waters with our dreams. Then they learn to fulfill the no-trophy in sight prophesy (whilst taking no responsibility for what they did or didn’t do on the pitch) to contribute to the trophyless past is their expressed reason for leaving. What a scam.

    I can’t remember wishing more the truth of our mean streets mantra: that what goes around comes around. And that the circle of karma runs through Barfa of Qatar and the Rednose XX and the son of Deing – the unholiest of trinities.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Tony, You just proved that Arsenal are a “player trading company”, not a footballing club. Is that what you were looking for?!

  • Sammy The Snake

    And of course, Arsenal are the best plyer trading company in the world.

  • iniez

    Shard, bob
    I hope after song we’ll see the last of dein, but what exactly would deter other players from joining up with him? At this point, I would guess that most players that know of dein also know that he could be their ticket out, and that’s probably why they sign up with him. And if the club plans on booting any player that links up with him, what exactly is being achieved? Wouldn’t the player (and dein) get exactly what they want? Or is this more of a detterent to players that aren’t yet privy to deins special skills, or maybe don’t even know who he is? I would agree though that this would drive a bit of a wedge between him and our club and keep his infectious words at more of a distance, but how long until he comes slithering back to whisper sweat nothings in one of our players ears?

  • Mihir

    @Shard – I think Porto and Lyon might disagree with you there! :). They are amazing player trading companies as well!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    When someone embarks on journey or a new enterprise , its always polite to wish them well .So to RVP ( and I’m sure the guys and the gals of Untold Arsenal will also join me in saying) -“Break a leg !”.

  • Shard


    Nothing stops any player from signing up with him. Except a deterrence to burning all their bridges at their current club. No player wants to move on without having a better option lined up. Dein, creates those options for them. If we treat any player as out the door the moment he signs with Dein, they might not get the deal they want because Arsenal won’t give them the platform to sing their siren song to Barca et al. It’s by no means a comprehensive strategy, but organisational discipline does have an effect and if selling Song in this manner is a signal, it’s that Arsenal can be ruthless as well and move on without you and without all the drama. In any case, we should look to have players who are entirely committed. Only someone looking to move will hire Dein. Hence we are better off moving them on, but on our terms. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

  • bob

    iniez, Shard,
    I think we’d agree that there’s no way to know in advance when a player of seemingly high character and loyalty to the club would suddenly, in midstream, decide to go with Dein or one of his affiliate vipers as their new agent/advisor. Song switched to Dein this past March and, imo, clearly knew before or soon after that vanPigtsy was on the way out. Did RVP not play the part of the loyal and caring and devoted Captain, both on and off the pitch? Even Arsene has just spoken of his 100 percent focus on the team. Well, that 100 percent concealed a 100 percent desire to get out. Alex Song had 3 years left and was growing his talents before our eyes when he then switches to Dein in March. I agree there is no way for the Ox, or anyone, to make that switch to the greener pastures that this asset-stripper can deliver. As the rules permit the most craven cynicism as standard operating procedure, it has become impossible for fans like me to trust anything any football player ever says. Contracts literally mean nothing. And the player/agent combos know their scripts and have honed the delivery to a fine cutting edge. If, on top of that – as it seems, until a further purchase, or not – we seen to have become a ruthless zero net balancing act for the foreseeable future. If that is de facto club policy, then, imo, some will feel emotionally caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. You may or may not feel like that, I speak of my anguish. And of how in June, Arsene openly stated that there are people out “to destroy” his work. That was met by the not infrequent silence that surrounds his windows on the truth. There are some life lessons – not just football lessons – in what he then said. And, imo, his yesterday’s phrase of the day was that the current situation is the “brutal reality” of today’s football scene. It has me reconsidering quite a bit right now. Greetings to Arvind (who knows what this feels like) and my continued respect for both of your earnest contributions.

  • Adam

    Song= Kick and run sports management, Same as Adebayor, Clichy, Andy Carroll and Cheick Tiote who was banded about this summer, So a pattern is emerging for this company.

    Vermaelen= Sports entertainment group, Same as RVP

    Walcott- Key sports management, Same as Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson.

  • Arvind

    @Bob: It is beyond painful now. There’s an old classic song by Pink Floyd…you might have heard it – ‘Comfortably Numb’. That..sums it up… the numb part at any rate. It isn’t comfortable.

    I read RVP’s statement today about how the little boy inside him screamed ‘Man United’. That blew me apart..frankly and really I’m not a very emotional guy. How is it possible for him to say that? After all those statements about how he could never sign for another club? And the Arsenal way of life and how the fans sung his name and all that. And his family and his kids being happy in London. And much more…which I probably..thankfully…do not remember.

    I am not unhappy because of the switch to ManU. Yes, I am..but that’s..okay, its a profession, its a job, it is just more vivid and painful coz its in the public domain. But its ok. But for an intelligent person(and I thought RVP was that) and having said all that about Arsenal all these years…to come out and talk of a little boy crying out…stinks of some of the most hypocritical drivel I have ever heard. Oh…and I’ve heard tons. Did the little boy cry out any of these 8 years? Before you f**** scored 38 goals? Sick. Just sick.

    Again, I do not grudge RVP his move. If he feels ManU > Arsenal, he has a right as an individual. But saying this rubbish, means that all what he said before was all nonsense. In one swipe he has wiped out any goodwill he had left. Maybe he knew all this and was prepared to deal with it. Fine. Go.

    So yes Bob I totally get where you come from. I do not feel sorry for people generally; I believe that one should fight and come up themselves, in their own ways, at their own pace. This time though I’m very close to feeling extremely bad for Arsene Wenger. Having put so much on the line..and tried to follow a vision…and do something the right way…this is how he gets repaid. This Bob, is what I mean by genius suffering (remember our old discussions?). Really though right now..that’s a side point. I do understand what you’re saying and share every bit of anguish..albeit for different reasons. The root is the same though…

  • bob

    Thank you, I appreciate that you’re here and what you are here and how you express it. And, of course, your take on the (not in the petty sense of the word) the tragedy of being AW right now. RVP is his inner child, which makes him an outer psychopath,in the specific clinical sense of a destroyer who has pretended to be a builder. That seductive grin has made suckers out of anyone who invests emotionally in the Captain, Oh Captain role that he played out here with supreme artistry and greater treachery. As you put it, it is sick. Be well, cheers 🙂

  • bob

    This posting has a lot of embedded insights about AW and his situation that you (and I, and anyone interested) would find very interesting (if not compelling). It goes back to the truths in our previous early interchanges. Intense, Passionate and Unique:

  • Arvind

    Thanks Bob. Just read through it.

  • Arvind

    I went and read it again. It is indeed a unique comment; not the most orderly etc…but a ton of information in it if you read through. Thnx again.