Robin Van Persie should have been captain three years ago. So with his seeming impending departure, now is a good time to reflect and learn. The worst thing the Club and Gooners can do is underestimate the value and impact of RVP. RVP’s time, experience, and even departure has taught us a lot.
This is Part II of a three Part series on the RVP announcement. Read Part I here.
For the last 5, wait, make that 7 years, Arsenal have lived along an emotional roller coaster. The choice of squad captain summarized it all: Gallas to Fabregas to RVP. Did I miss anyone in between there? If so, it just makes things worse.
RVP’s leadership and commitment led the club in action as well as words. When your captain scores 37 goals and carries the squad and never gives up, neither will the rest of the squad. Even with last season’s horrific beginning, it’s no shock the squad recovered form and pushed to the top 3.
Losing that presence will be a big blow. Gallas was emotionally detrimental to the team. Fabregas should never have been given the armband -sorry, but it’s true. RVP should have been the captain once Gallas left and he spent last season proving it. So now that he’s leaving, Gooners (and Arsenal for that matter) should reflect on the qualities he brought and what is needed going forward.
For the new captain to succeed, they must have what RVP had, what every Club Captain has to have: complete commitment to the Club. So while RVP might be leaving us this summer, his mark on the team will last for at least another generation, but likely much longer than that.
1. Experience. RVP carried the Club to a Top 3 finish when all seemed lost. Remember when RVP missed that penalty in the ManU scrimmage? At the moment, he felt the miss more than as a lost opportunity, but as a failure in leadership. The question was how would he respond. His season speaks for itself. But that moment, when he could have broken, he didn’t. And even though things got darker, he stuck with it and led us to the light.
2. Teacher. RVP taught younger players what it meant to be a Club Captain. A lesson that will likely carry through for the next 10 if not 20 years as the youngsters finally had a “man” to teach them. Gallas was a failure as a captain, he caused more turmoil. Fabregas was a failure because everybody knew he was leaving and the captaincy was a weak attempt to strengthen his ties to the Club.
RVP taught the youngsters, finally, what it meant to be a team, to live and breathe Arsenal. To man up when it counted and never give in. Wilshere, Ramsey, Chesney, Gibbs, Frimpong, Chamberlain, they all lived that. One more season would be better. But lets take what we can get.
3. Commitment. RVP protected the Club when announcing his departure by taking all of the pressure off the Club. RVP didn’t trash the Club or make it a long drawn out affair. He also let the Club negotiate from strength to bring in Podolski and Giroud. Cough cough Nasri.
4. Fan Favorite. RVP taught Gooners what we’ve been missing when we sacrifice the Club, commitment, and development for quick solutions and mercenary players. What more can we ask?
- 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