January 24, 2012
Robin Van Persie has written a full page exclusive for The Sun this morning defending Arsene Wenger’s decision to make THAT substitution on Sunday.
When Arsene makes a decision, it is based on a lot of information that everyone else might not know about and he will never betray.
I admire him so much for that.
As he said after the game, he doesn’t have to explain his substitutions to anyone.
He also explains away his own reaction to the substitition.
I was not having a go at the boss on Sunday — I was just sad to see Alex leave the pitch as he just gave the assist for our only goal.
I was not questioning his judgment — I know it’s not my place to challenge what Arsene Wenger does.
Hmm. Excuse me if I’m not entirely convinced. I don’t think the reaction we saw from RVP on Sunday was that of a man who was just ‘sad to see Alex leave the pitch’. I was sad yesterday lunchtime when I realised my smoked mackerel had gone off so I’d have to eat radishes and houmous instead. I didn’t react like Robin Van Persie on Sunday.
That was a guttural reaction of anger and frustration. The reaction of a man who’s seen his team go backwards in the last year. The reaction of a man who knows that his career is short and that his chances of winning trophies are receding by the day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s come out in the press to essentially apologise for that reaction and remind us that he still respects the boss. He’s the captain of this club and it’s his job to show a public face of unity amid the hysterical press response. I’m just not that convinced by his claims. And unless some serious action is taken over the next six months by the boss that he defends so vociferously I think it’s pretty clear that Robin will take his immense talent elsewhere.
It’s hard to know what to believe this morning.
Everywhere you look papers are littered with stories claiming insider information on what’s going on behind the scenes at Arsenal.
Can you ever remember seeing a reaction to a simple substitution like this before? In the ground or in the press? It proves one thing. Those people who are saying there’s never any point in booing are wrong. The crowd’s dissatisfaction with that decision boiled over on Sunday and there’s no way that the club can ignore the fallout of that. If there’d been no crowd reaction, if we’d all just politely applauded The Ox’s contribution and welcomed Arshavin onto the pitch then there wouldn’t be this outpouring. It would just be yet another defeat to Manchester United. Nothing new. We had our chances, we didn’t take them.
This is something else.
Rumours abound that Arshavin could finally be forced out of the club. I think it seemed pretty clear that we were planning to hold onto him until the summer in the hope of getting a decent price. I actually think one of the reasons for his late appearance on Sunday was in the hope that he might score a high profile cracker and bump the price up a little bit. Now I think our hand may be forced somewhat. The boss has to ask himself how much use a clearly demotivated Arshavin is going to be to this team. Can you imagine the reaction if he starts next week against Villa?
I would guess a deal wouldn’t go through unless we had someone to come into replace him and it may well be the case that we don’t have anyone lined up. On the other hand this latest turn of events may just give us the prompt we need to push a little bit harder for a target. It would be typical of this club to have a player in mind but to be waiting until the summer in order to save a few quid. At this point we should just spend the extra money, bring in the player, ship out Arshavin and give a much needed double boost to the squad.
Let’s wait and see.
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