RVP plans his Emirates getaway if Arsenal scrape along
” I still have almost two years left, so for the moment that’s fine. I’m happy with my contract. I can’t look into the future. I can’t see us talking now because we are so busy. “
What exactly in these words sets off the exit alarm? Arsenal’s centurion maker has put himself in the spotlight but his statement is nothing more than standard negotiating procedure. And it’s all true. A welcome Bolton win is the first time Arsenal have looked a semblance of their brand of football. The players need all their powers of concentration to try and finish fourth. It’s not exactly time to distract themselves from a hard road ahead. Yes, there are plenty of clubs who would love to have Van Persie, including one that has benefited heavily from Arsenal’s talent investment. These words could be construed as an invitation to come and get him. But it also leaves the door open for Arsenal to meet certain requirements, whether through an improved contract, or a title winning commitment.
The one thing we’ve learned so far is that the board will put Wenger under no pressure. He is pretty much free to define what success is, in fact, he’s shown a willingness to move the goalposts quite expediently. Absent any real threat to job security, the only way to get his attention, is through the fans and players. Wenger has dispatched the former with a dismissive tone saving his discomfiture for the ongoing trope of a club forced to see its best players head for more salubrious climes. It’s harder to employ that approach with players because they ahem … have more weapons in their arsenal and the hindsight gifted by a number of departed colleagues.
Wenger defends his choice of RVP as captain but he has made this post at best a placeholder; at worst, highly political. The captaincy has been offered as a sop for five years running as a way of assuaging dissatisfaction and not as reward for real leadership qualities. Van Persie knows its a game. It’s not much different from the ambiguity that Wenger has employed in the past with regard to transfers. Keep them guessing pays off big time.