There are a fair few Arsenal fans a little quick (for my liking) to brand people traitor when they leave the club, especially given the amusement they find to this day in Tottenham supporters and their dislike for Sol Campbell, but the case of Robin Van Persie does seem a little bit off to me. When Cesc Fabregas left, many people said he was deserting the man who had made him and had faith in him when he was released by Barcelona, but the other side was the seven or so years he has spent representing the club, combined with the chance to play for the best team in the world under his boyhood hero, Pep Guardiola.
Robin Van Persie, on the other hand, has managed about 200 games in his eight or so years at Arsenal, and very much owes his success to Mr Wenger. Bought for less than a tenth of an Andy Carroll, the Dutchman has had one truly stellar season in that time to the five or six managed by Cesc, and has also suffered heavily with injuries. Wenger persisted with the player and finally got results, trusting RVP with the armband and the lead strike role, and looks to be getting about half of the player’s true market value in exchange, and probably the chance to face him in a City shirt.
I think this could be a bad move for a number of reasons, and the key one is tactics. The season just gone was the best Van Persie has ever had, and then he went to the European Championship and it all went tits-up for him. A lot of writers have speculated that this is down to the Holland team being designed to get the best out of Robben and Sneijder with Van Persie the finisher, and that Arsene Wenger is the man who has unlocked the undoubted talent of his Dutch maestro.
Of course I could be wrong, but as the Arsenal fans view the slightly inferior replacements they’ve been presented with (I know, 100 caps for Germany, yes) I can see them seething more than ever before. If RVP catches less stick than Samir Nasri that would be a terrible injustice, and I fear this could be a huge mistake for him.
Image credit: Ronnie Macdonald