Is it good that RVP is leaving? The media love to scream blood in the water. And losing a player of RVP’s calibre is always painful. But once the tears and emotions are over. Arsenal might just yet survive. Indeed, losing Fabregas and Nasri might have been a bigger challenge. Now, after years of transition, Arsenal might finally be turning the tactical corner so needed. Out with the old, in with the new. RVP is the last of a generation. A generation that, like it or not, was coming to an end at Arsenal.
It’s never good when one of your star players leaves. Especially not one that scored 37 goals and carried the offense. Let alone your captain. But even in the darkest of times, there are positives. If what RVP says is true, he disagrees with the direction of the Club, some of that might be tactical, as well as financial.
Does RVP fit into Arsenal?
RVP position. RVP’s preferred position is more similar to that of his hero, Bergkamp. He has openly stated his preferred position is as a link up player behind a striker and in front of the midfield. This type of positioning is more of a 442 structure, even though Arsenal have moved away from that as teh default position.
Arsenal’s summer purchases, Podolski and Giroud, brought this into stark question. Where was Arsenal going, tactically speaking. Podolski and Giroud were not purchased to sit on the bench. But formations with them just did not make sense.
4213: Front three of Podolski, Giroud, and RVP doesn’t make sense.
4231: Podolski, Rosicky, RVP three, with Giroud up top doesn’t make sense either.
433: Podolski, Giroud, RVP lineup does not make sense. Also where’s the attacking midfielder?
So either Arsenal fully expected RVP to leave and prepared for it. Or, there really is a change of game plan coming.
RVP’s positioning is also = true when he plays for the Dutch. Watching RVP with the Dutch squad, playing as the target man in their 4231, we can see he struggles a bit. He’s just not a natural target man in that sense. And, when the Dutch offense begins to stutter, you can see he’s a bit left out of it and has difficulty getting back involved. This was true before the Euros as well. Even back in 2010.
But he scored 37 goals!
But GOA, you say, 37 goals! Come on?!
This isn’t a question of talent. RVP has that in surplus. But he also had the ball. RVP was the go to player at Arsenal. Some of it was because other players weren’t up to scoring snuff. But honestly, it helps to be the focal point of the offense. Put another way: RVP should have scored a lot.
What’s impressive is that he scored so many goals with the focal point of the defense on him only speaks to his incredible talent. One has to wonder what he would do with the official Euro ball (the Tango 12) during the course of a season.
But the point remains. RVP was asked to score, and he did. The real issue is the failure of others -looking at you Walcott – for not taking enough of the scoring burden. Although to be fair to Walcott, his assist level was quite good.
Going forward, on paper at least, since none of it is proven, a front line with Podolksi, Giroud, and (one of the following: Wilshere, Rosicky, Gervinho, Walcott, Chamberlain, Ramsey even) makes more sense from a collective or team effort. More threats and, most importantly, styles that are more complimentary. The players are just unproven. Which takes to the conclusion.
One good season?
Wenger, apparently, has been quite clear that it is unlikely RVP will have another season like he did last year. In terms of probability, that’s probably true. And, for those that are crying in their morning cereal about RVP’s leaving -Usmanov, as if that’s his real agenda – a glance at RVP’s history is a bit more circumspect.
I don’t want to say anything that hints of being critical of Van Persie. I like him too much. I’m only noting that last season was an anomaly. Normally RVP is has massive injuries. This year he didn’t. Why? I have no idea. But how many of you, like me, worried all last year that an injury was just a weird sprint away. Or cringed every time he fell? Or wondered, out loud, can RVP do this again another season, or were we all just witnesses to a magical season? This has to be taken into account. As much as Podolski and Giroud are unproven. As dead as Gervinho was returning from the ACN. Would RVP be able to replicate his form another year?
So yes. It’s sad. We don’t want Van Persie to transfer clubs, at least not to a Premier League Club. But Arsenal are more than any one player and will survive.
- 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