Money, its a gas. Don’t give me that do goody goody BS.
There are ways of ending a relationship amicably or fifty ways to leave your lover. But Robin Van Persie chose a entirely different route altogether by publicly denouncing the club and as per Amy Lawrence made some outlandish demands during his talks with the Wenger and Gazidis. It left the Arsenal manager with no other option but to negotiate his transfer. There was irrefutable evidence that the club was putting up good money to bring in quality transfers which lays his central tenet to waste.
Such statements are usually made to force the hand of the club and to kick to the curb any emotion that might cloud your judgment. No, RVP had made up his mind that he did not want a Cesc Fabregas like saga where the player had to say laudatory things to his mentor and the club that shaped him while the signs all pointed back to where he began his footballing career. It slowed things down to the point where Arsenal had literally to engage in hand to hand combat with Barca for three whole summers before Fabregas finally ended up in the Camp Nou.
The thing going for Fabregas was that he was still very young when this all began. For RVP, there is no such luxury. He’s hitting 30 years of age, massively injury prone, with time running out. Putting out feel good vibes and platitudes would have put a huge degree of confusion in the proceedings, slowed it down, and then both camps would have battled back and forth with more Sir Alex like public pronouncements about how Arsenal were violating every bit of confidentiality and putting up barricades on doing business. Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs would have been inducted in the PR war. With Juventus basically shooting themselves in the foot and City not biting, the roads led to Old Trafford.
The whole situation reeked of potential acrimony going all the way to the end of transfer deadline and beyond. Then dealing with a disgruntled, menopausal striker, who if the gun laws had been less restrictive in the UK might have thought of going postal. Meanwhile all the chatter would have been about how Arsenal were afraid to cede the Dutchman to their onetime rivals. On the pitch any sign of drop off in performance or injury, faked or real would have been taken as a sign that RVP had checked out of the club. The whole thing would have led to one conclusion. It would have been wise to get rid of RVP when we had the chance and make money while at it.
We have to thank RVP for that. At least he chose to be honest about leaving the club and whether it is for trophies or money or both, he goes to a club that keeps those assumptions honest. Utd is a winning side and they have a very high ceiling on wages when it comes to their top players. We were spared any nostalgia about a rivalry getting in the way of doing good business. Perhaps Kenny Dalglish was onto something when he said success should be re-defined away from just winning titles.
What really doesn’t get talked in all this while we are still beating Arsenal with a broomstick becoming a “feeder club” is how City has spooked Utd into taking such a huge risk with a 29 year old semi crocked striker who has had one and half good seasons and is sure to keep the physio staff busy overtime. A perfectly good transfer policy has been jettisoned because Utd has seen young players with perfectly inflatable resale potential bypass them. It is unsettling when a 20 year old like Lucas Moura is snapped up by PSG for £40m without even considering Utd’s shiny brochure of accomplishments. You are forced to go to the market to buy some knockdowns but the market knows you might be coming and they take away the clearance sale signs. RVP’s desperation to get out of the club fed into Utd’s desperation to keep abreast of City. Result: Arsenal get a £24m check.