Arsenal owes RVP a thank you. In possibly his final act as a Gooner, Robin Van Persie has been a Captain to the end. By announcing that he does not intend to extend his contract with the Club, RVP has given Arsenal the gift of flexibility, freedom, and reduced a lot of pressure on the Club.
This is Part I of a three Part Series on the RVP announcement.
Gooners: wear those Robin Van Persie kits with pride. Because even if the man does leave us. His legacy remains. RVP has helped Arsenal on and off the field. Here are three reasons to say thank you.
1. First to announce. By announcing first (not having the Club do it) that he did not intend to resign, RVP reduced the amount of pressure on Arsenal immeasurably. Gooners will now look to RVP’s explanation as to why he left, not ask Arsenal why they failed to sign him. Sure, Arsenal might have done more before, i.e. win a trophy during the last few seasons, but that’s the past, we’re talking today. RVP’s announcement eliminates any issues associated with Fabregas or Nasri. It also allows the Club to move on quickly, with the transfer season only now just opening.
2. Different approaches. RVP did not make a big deal about the lack of trophies. He also did not make a big deal about money or pay. Instead, RVP put forth a thinking man’s reason. One rational Gooners will respect: he disagrees on the direction of the Club. Whether you agree or disagree with RVP’s announcement it doesn’t matter. RVP clearly stated he did not agree with the direction of the Club. That type of decision making is critical, and if we’re honest, one of the most important factors for a player. If a player is not part of the Club’s project, or doesn’t believe he fits into the project, he should leave.
Looking around RVP isn’t the only one thinking that way. Hazard joined Chelsea, over other wealthy clubs, based on the same reasoning. That demonstrates that players, at least some, are starting to realize, that money is great, but the “project” or vision for the Club matters for them to be happy and have a fruitful career. And, from the Clubs perspective, the Club’s vision has to take precedence over any one player. Look at what happened with Fabregas.
Thus, if RVP doesn’t agree with the project, for his sake and the sake of the Club, he should leave.
3. Leaving the door open. Continuing with this theme, RVP stated clearly that he met “several months ago…” and disagreed with the Club’s direction. This statement leaves a door open for another meeting where the two groups (Arsenal and RVP’s team) can meet again and come to an agreement.
Taking RVP at his word, and there is no reasons not to, his decision is not about money. It’s about direction and trophies. If that’s true, RVP likely wants to see certain purchases occur. Giroud and Podolski obviously weren’t those purchase -there’s more to that though, see Part III of this series – but there are likely others he wants. Should Arsenal make another purchase, e.g. an M’Vila or Biglia, that would allow RVP to come back without recanting and losing prestige.
Put simply, both sides can win. Granted, I don’t think this is likely. But the fact that it’s possible means that RVP has done the Club a great service.
In the end, whether RVP stays or goes, I don’t know. Maybe he runs out his contract for the season and watches what happens. But I do know that RVP, in possibly his last act as Captain, continues to lead the team.
Part II talks about why RVP’s captaincy was so important.
- Part I How RVP is trying to Save Arsenal: Three reasons Van Persie’s announcement helped Arsenal
- Part II Image of a true leader: RVP should have been Captain 3 years ago
- Part III RVP might be right: A new direction means RVP might not be needed