Shock: Robin Van Persie declines to renew contract

This sums up the Gunners mood today
In a nightmare for Arsenal and its fans, Robin Van Persie declined to renew his contract leaving the club with no alternative other than to sell him to the highest bidder although he still has that final year of his contract to see out. This paves his path to the Etihad in a by now familiar pattern of exits.
Van Persie’s meeting with Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis did not even go into his financial terms or a contract. It is now crystal clear, RVP doesn’t think the club is doing enough to gain back its silverware winning glory days.
“In this meeting,” he said, “it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward.”
RVP’s addition to the exodus of marquees is further evidence that the players, the one’s most critical to the club’s success, remain unconvinced of Arsenal’s model. They want their hands around a trophy, to be considered amongst the elite, and as vindication of their talent and hard work. At 28 years, RVP is not getting younger and is entering his final years as a striker. With each passing year, in the coldest, most practical terms, the 2005 FA Cup was all he had to show for his eight year Arsenal career.
This is as disappointing a day as any that one can remember. One knew how special Van Persie was when in his first injury free season he lit up the Premiership and single handedly drove the Gunners to third and the final CL spot. However, one always felt deep down this day would come, Arsenal getting found out again. A familiar recrimination of clubs with more money, more hunger, more intent, proving more attractive.
Throw in some bitterness to that disappointment because fans supported Van Persie through those injury plagued years and underwhelming performances to his first real season of breakout success, and his reaction to that was to entertain no further negotiations on his contract.
Lets play his remarks back.
“In this meeting,” he said, “it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward.”
Van Persie clearly took over the meeting in a hostage situation. “It has again become clear” is an indication Arsenal had its chances to measure up but failed that smell test.
The club in response, was measured:
” We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfill his commitments to the Club.”
So here we have it. Arsenal a club that sells its business model to stockholders and UEFA but fails in its most fundamental level to convince those who measure success in different milestones. On the other hand, the club has a surfeit of players who seem to take advantage of this abstraction to grind out their personal agendas. It appears with each passing year, financial fair play rules that in reality were put in place to discourage this sort of behaviour have proved ineffective.
What Arsenal have done better before this season’s start is to prepare better for such an eventuality. At least on paper. We have Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, potentially taking over the goalscoring responsibilities but only the most foolhardy will believe that they can match RVP’s output on their Premiership debut. Theo Walcott has improved his goalscoring record and this season will probably add more. But to really over turn RVP’s point that Arsenal is a losing club (in actuality that is what his argument amounts to), the club needs an insurance of another 15-20 goals to really challenge Utd, City, Chelsea, and Spurs. Cash out on RVP in a quid pro quo as he’s made this an exercise in bluntness and dip into the market for a striker with preferably Premiership experience.

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