June 28, 2012
Back in May while pontificating on the likelihood of Robin Van Persie signing a new contract for the club I posited a fairly spurious theory.
What if Robin knew all along that he wanted to stay at Arsenal but decided to use his situation not only to force the club to make some big name signings but also to throw our Premier League rivals into disarray by flirting with their affections, demanding huge sums of money, forcing them to sell key squad members and provoking internal discord before late in the summer announcing that he was staying at Arsenal after all? We get a fancy new squad, our rivals get severely weakened ahead of the new Premier League season.
Now, I was only joking but signs seem to be emerging that, whether intentional or not, that could be exactly what’s going on this summer. First of all, since I came up with the theory we’ve signed two of the hottest strikers in Europe in Podolski and Giroud, Wenger placing these expensive gifts at Robin’s feet in the hope that they might please him. And now it seems a row has erupted up at Manchester City as Roberto Mancini has demanded that the Van Persie signing be made a priority while the ‘bean counters’ in charge (because they’re working with such a tight budget at City) are insisting that at least one or two of their abundance of expensive strikers get moved on before a deal is struck.
Brilliant! This is all too perfect!
I mean, yeah, the whole story sort of makes me sick to my stomach. Mancini’s behaving like one of those horribly spoilt rich kids:
‘I want a Castle Grayskull!’
‘Well we’re getting you a Castle Grayskull for your birthday, honey bunch.’
‘I want it NOW!!!’
‘Well then you won’t have anything to open on your birthday, chuckle bumpkin!’
‘For my birthday I WANT OPTIMUS PRIME!’
He’s so used to operating with a bottomless pot that he loses his rag because he can’t have the world’s most in demand striker immediately. Nevermind the fact that he might be central to another club’s plans for the season.
Anyway, I hope they go into full on meltdown over it and that RVP really is doing all of this deliberately and is about to sign a contract extension before hopping on a train, riding up to Manchester, taking a cab over to the City training ground… and laughing in Mancini’s face before smashing his Castle Grayskull to pieces.
And according to the usually reliable David Ornstein of BBC Sport, there’s a decent chance that could happen. Not the Castle Grayskull bit. Yesterday he tweeted:
Van Persie to resume talks with Arsenal when back from Caribbean break. He’s keen to stay, with or without new contract. Ball in #afc court.
In other news, The Independent seem confident that Terry Burton is about to become our new reserve team coach, replacing Neil Banfield who of course has been promoted to the first team. Burton assumed the same role for a short time in the mid 80’s having before that worked as youth team coach, helping to bring through the likes of David Rocastle, Tony Adams, Michael Thomas and Paul Merson. If he had anywhere near as much luck this time around we’d be doing very well indeed.
It would be an interesting appointment, doing much after the departure of Pat Rice to keep open our links with the Arsenal old school.
One player he won’t be bringing through the ranks is Alban Bunjaku. The 18 year old who I thought looked extremely promising as an attacking midfielder has not been offered pro terms and has been allowed to sign for Sevilla instead. According to the excellent @YoungGunsBlog over at Twitter there were some question marks over his attitude which may well be the reason the club got rid. A shame for him but a warning there no doubt for the rest of his generation of promising kids. Put in the work required or we will let you go.
It seems to mark an increased ruthlessness of late as the club let players go even though they show a lot of promise. Contrast that with the case of Mark Randall for example who had a longer Arsenal career than David O’Leary despite never really looking like he was going to make the breakthrough at senior level. Randall was still playing for the reserve team two years ago at the ripe old age of 39! True story!
Right. That’s it for today. I’m off to conjure up more spurious Arsenal based conspiracy theories in the hope that they might weirdly come true. Have a good one.
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