May 15, 2012
You don’t get a lot of time to just sit and enjoy the buzz, do you?
I’ve still got remnants of adrenaline swishing through my body from Sunday’s efforts and yet I wake up this morning to tabloid tales of transfer woe and the latest imminent Arsenal crisis. Oh well. That’s football. Better deal with it I suppose.
Tomorrow morning Robin Van Persie is apparently going over to Arsene Wenger’s house for tea, English muffins and crunch talks over his future at the club. The BBC even seems to know his exact time of arrival: 10.30 BST. BST no less! In case we thought they might be still giving out times in GMT and expecting us to add the hour ourselves. Heaven forbid we wouldn’t be 100% sure of the exact moment of his arrival.
According to various sources we also know exactly what Arsenal intend to offer Robin as an incentive to stay at the club. A signing on fee of £5 million and a club record salary of £130,000 a week. That’s £27 million over the four years plus the signing on fee takes it to £32 million. Not a bad little deal I would say. And seeing as we in the public already know so much about the deal you would have thought there isn’t a great amount left to discuss. I imagine that by 12.38 BST we should see the two parties emerge from Arsene Wenger’s front porch clutching the negotiated treaty, smiling and waving at their grateful public. Or not.
Most news outlets aren’t too confident of a deal being done tomorrow and Robin heads off to training with the Netherlands side on Thursday so there are fears that he won’t make a decision before the Euros which would mean yet another typical Arsenal summer of fear and loathing, of having to make plans when we don’t know if our best player is staying or going, of waking up every day to tabloid tattle of tapping up from City, Madrid, Barcelona and all the other usual suspects.
Want to know my opinion? Why not? It’s my blog, right? That’s what I’m here to offer. I think he’ll stay. I’m delighted that we’re sitting down with him so early in the summer because it allows both parties to have an honest discussion about what they want and how they intend to get it. There’s will there on both sides to make a deal, I’m sure of that. Arsenal know that they’ve waited long enough to get an injury free Robin Van Persie on the top of his game banging in the goals at the highest level. They wouldn’t want to sell him now. Robin Van Persie knows that we all know that he’s an Arsenal fan at heart. Yes the money is important to him. And yes he could probably get more elsewhere.
But what Robin cares about is winning trophies in his career and the big discussion point over this morning’s breakfast meeting will be whether or not he can achieve his dreams at Arsenal. I hope and expect for Robin to demand to know Arsene Wenger’s exact transfer plans for this summer. Who’s he going to bring in? Where’s the quality that’s going to have us challenging on all fronts next season? Where’s the squad depth that’s going to keep us going through our inevitable injury glut next January?
In some ways Robin Van Persie is the most powerful man at the club at the moment. He’s in a position where he can demand that we show ambition. And if we don’t then he’ll be off. But I truly believe that the time has come for Arsenal as a club to emerge from the restraints put on us by the stadium move and a self-imposed youth policy. And I believe that with the Cesc and Nasri sagas of last year still fresh in the memory we’ll do everything we can to avoid taking another monumental step backwards.
Because here’s the thing. Sell Van Persie and we need to replace Van Persie. So any money that we get for him goes straight out the door again on his replacement. But is the replacement going to be a 37 goal a season striker? Pretty unlikely I’d say. So we’re already slightly to a fair bit worse off than we were last season.
So Van Persie holds the cards. And I hope that means that he emerges from his breakfast not just with a bumper new contract, not just with croissant flakes all over his shirt but also with the guarantee that Arsenal will do what’s necessary to bring in the quality and experience that we need to challenge for the title next season.
Some people are claiming that the money on the table is too much for a player who turns 30 next year and has a history of injury problems. That his form can only go one way from here and that’s down so why sign him on an extremely expensive four year deal? I say sign him anyway. If his form dips after a couple of years sell him then. We’ll still have a couple of years on his contract and there’ll be some club, possibly Russian, prepared to take him off our hands for a handsome fee.
One man who Arsene Wenger will be hoping can help convince Robin to stay is new signing Lukas Podolski who’s been saying all the right things in his first interview with the official site:
Arsenal are a great club, here in Europe and all over the world.
At the time the transfer negotiations started between the two clubs, the decision was made really quickly. I’m now looking forward to the challenge at my new club and cannot wait to start after Euro 2012.
I had a very good season with Cologne, I played well and as a result I’m now going to Euro 2012 with lots of confidence.
After that, I will be joining up with my new team-mates at Arsenal and it is my goal just to do my best and be successful there.
For anyone still confused about exactly where Lukas will play next season…join the club. He himself doesn’t seem entirely sure. But he doesn’t care. He says he’s versatile and that’s good to hear:
In Cologne, I played as a centre forward and also as a playmaker.
In the national team I play wide on the left, I honestly don’t mind where I play, as long as it’s in a forward position. But it’s always the coach who decides where you play and I will do my best wherever I play.
Interesting to hear him talk of his role as a playmaker. In addition to the 18 goals he scored in 29 league appearances this season Podolski also provided 7 assists which means that he was involved in 25 of Koln’s goals and they only scored 39 in total.
It’s the kind of record even a certain Dutchman might be impressed by and hopefully something that he’s being reminded of as Arsene Wenger puts the kettle on tomorrow morning.
If You Liked This...
- Still time to turn RVP situation into a victory
- If Robin goes to United, don’t blame Arsenal
- Vermaelen’s captain, Arteta his deputy + early team news
- Gazidis to lock Dortmund officials in the Diamond Club until they agree to sell Goetze. Possibly.
- We’ve been screwing City over for years + Big day for Bendtner