Misguided Arsenal fans who booed Man Utd’s van Persie are missing the point

As I watched Robin van Persie celebrate his first ever title win at Old Trafford last week, I couldn’t help but feel happy for him. The joy on his face as he smiled and waved at the fans on his lap of honour was there for all to see. As befits a world class player, he had a league winners medal at last and was playing in a team commensurate with his talents alongside legends such as Rooney, Ferdinand and Giggs.

If such a scenario was possible at Arsenal he would’ve stayed. If he thought for one second he could do a lap of honour at the Emirates instead of Old Trafford, and be all smiles as he hugged Wenger instead of Fergie, he’d have signed a new contract with us.

I was as upset as the next fan when he left but I understood his reasons. He called Arsenal unambitious and I had to agree — after all, it was a combination of continually selling our best players (despite having £120m in the bank) and high ticket prices that prompted me to give up my season ticket last summer.

He was predictably slated by angry fans and bloggers calling him a judas and accusing him of moving for the money. In cyberspace people were writing his name as ‘van P€r$ie’ as they presumably believed he should’ve sacrificed the best years of his career to fight for fourth place every season out of a misguided sense of loyalty.

The truth is this — van Persie had reached the age of 29 and won nothing. In recent seasons key players such as Nasri, Fabregas, Adebayor, Toure and Clichy were sold to generate money that wasn’t invested back in the playing staff. He looked around him on the training ground and instead saw Ramsey, Squillacci, Arshavin, Chamakh, Djourou and Fabianski. How was this squad full of youngsters and cheap signings ever going to win the title?

He had just had the season of his life and was at his peak — it was now or never if he was going to get a move to a club where he could realise his dream and win trophies. Having lost faith in Wenger to deliver (witness his famous “No!” reaction when Wenger stupidly hauled off Oxlade-Chamberlain against Man Utd) he realised he needed to move.

What’s wrong with that? Of course he got a pay increase as Man Utd have a bigger wage budget, but does he really deserve to be booed for wanting out of an unambitious club to try and win some silverware before he retires?

Compare the van Persie saga with that of Adebayor — now there’s a man who deserves to be booed. Adebayor worked hard during his time at Arsenal in order to secure a big move, openly courting Milan and Barcelona before signing a bumper contract renewal after holding the club to ransom. Just a year later though he wanted to move again and this time the fed-up board cashed in on him, selling him to Man City.

Robin van Persie celebrates

Is this really someone celebrating a pay rise?

He played well for a season but then became complacent. After all, he had his big wages now so why bother continuing to put a shift in every week? He quickly fell out of favour and somehow blagged a loan move to Real Madrid. Again he was impressive as the possibility of a permanent contract motivated him, but it never materialised. So he was loaned to Spurs the following season and played out of his skin, bagging 18 goals and 12 assists as he looked for a permanent contract which AVB handed him last summer. He was awarded a £4m signing on fee to compensate for his wages being reduced from £170k a week at Man City to £100k with Spurs and given a nice long contract until 2015. Kerr-ching!

Content with his new deal, Adebayor quickly fell into the comfort zone at White Hart Lane. I’ve had the misfortune of watching him a number of times this season thanks to my Sky Sports package and he has turned in dozens of lazy, inept performances, only managing six goals and not a single assist.

Now this is a man who deserves to have his name written as Ad€bayor — a true mercenary only interested in money. Does that sound like van Persie, who has been on fire for the whole season, playing his heart out every week to achieve his dream of lifting the Premiership trophy?

Which brings me to yesterday’s match and the reception he received. First of all, the guard of honour is a sign of respect to the new champions and the fact that some Gooners tainted it by booing van Persie as he walked out smacked of a lack of class.

RVP was then booed for his first few touches, but after scoring he remained calm and showed respect for Arsenal and the same fans who were booing him by not celebrating. He did the same at Old Trafford when he scored, unlike Adebayor of course, who ran the length of the pitch to slide on his knees and goad the Gooners after his first goal against us.

So I’m at a loss as to why our former captain, who gave everything every time he pulled on our shirt, was shown no respect. He moved to win trophies which we weren’t interested in competing for, not money, so I don’t see the problem. He cannot be accused of being disloyal because Arsenal refused to match his ambition and forced his hand. If anything Wenger let him down by asset stripping the team in order to put money in the bank and surrounding him with the likes of Jenkinson, Diaby, Park, Benayoun and Santos.

Don’t boo van Persie for wanting to play for a club which tries to win trophies — boo the board/Wenger for neglecting the team so badly that not one of our players made the PFA Team of the Year for the first time in four years.

If you booed van Persie or think it’s right he was booed, I’d love to know why in the comments. I’d also say you need to ask yourself this pertinent question: What type of club sells their captain and best player to their big rivals? The answer is an unambitious one which prioritises profits over trophies. Arsenal were only too happy to accept £24m for a 29 year old because it made financial sense, no matter how good he was, and they didn’t care that it virtually handed the title on a plate to a team most of us loathe.

Ironically, by selling van Persie to a club who they claim to be competing with, Arsenal demonstrated exactly why he wanted to leave. If you think it’s anything else you are kidding yourself.

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Comments
  1. Jimmy J

    Totally agree. He was with us and won nothing, so he left and has won a troiphy just like Nasri, Fabregas, Toure, Clichy etc. Cant blame them

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 21 Thumb down 8

  2. Judas van Quisling is a cunt

    Tried to read you piece but I only got as far as the following sentence:

    “As I watched Robin van Persie celebrate his first ever title win at Old Trafford last week, I couldn’t help but feel happy for him.”

    Then I had to vomit rectally…accidentally the ejected substance resembled Gareth Bale recieving his PFA award.

    Cheers

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 15 Thumb down 26

    • Gooner Steve

      Then it doesn’t say much for you if you’re unwilling to even read another point of view.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3

    • Gunner

      First of all, Gareth Bale is a good player, don’t take credit away from him just because he’s from Spurs. I’m sure if he was at Arsenal you wouldn’t be ‘vomit’ing ‘rectally’.

      Secondly, this is the difference between blind Gooners and Gooners who actually have a brain.

      Blind Gooners:”F**K YOU RVP, YOU C**T” full-stop.
      Gooners with a brain – (Refer to article above)

      So please, don’t bother leaving a comment if you’re not going to read an article that’s been well-thought and processed, especially when you don’t even elaborate or complain your point of view.

      Lastly, don’t end off with ‘Cheers’, just makes people think you’re a sarcastic brat.

      So yea, ‘Cheers’ too.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  3. Terry

    Well put, couldn’t agree more and I still love RvP.

    He is an absolute class act on and off the pitch.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 17 Thumb down 9

  4. meaner

    I am the minority that agree with you. He deserves it.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  5. Bt62 Gooner

    Agree 100%, all anger and frustration should be total directed at the board and the manager.They have between them managed to turn Arsenal into an unambitious laughing stock.They have sold all our top players and bought cheaper inferior replacements,our wage structure is a total joke being screwed over by freeloaders and wasters all sanctioned by the manager.Perhaps this explains the need for 20m every year before anything is spent,to cover the money lost to these wasters and freeloaders.Nothing will ever change as long as this board and manager are at Arsenal

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  6. Jack Wilshere

    Exellent article Bro. If you dont mind i want to tweet some of you points on twitter. Please..

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    • Gooner Steve

      Of course you can Jack, anything for you. :)

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. afcnor

    Omg this is starting to get an embarrasing discussion. After one year of the discussion some people still dont get why arsenal fans were so pissed about his choice to leave. Its about how little he did for us after all we did for him, and when we suddenly got the player we waited for he betrayed us and left. He did one good season, the rest we paid him shit load of money while he was in the physio room. I mean most clubs (like united) would have gotten rid of him looong time ago because of his ongoing injuries for 6 seasons, but arsene and arsenal saved his career. Its like if your wife gets dissabled and you help her for 6 years. You quit your job and help her with everything ,just so she can have a worthy life because you love her. Then suddenly a miracle cure gets invented and she gets her normal life back. You are so happy and excited, then she tells you that she doesnt want to be you anymore, she found someone else. What kind of person does that?

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 14 Thumb down 10

    • Gooner Steve

      Arsene “saved his career” and believed in him not out of the goodness of his heart, but because he knew RVP was useful to the club. Which he was, scoring 132 goals in 279 appearances.

      Your analogy about the disabled wife is wrong. You look after your wife out of love, not to get something in return. Wenger looked after RVP not out of love, but because he knew ultimately he would get something back, which he did when RVP single-handedly got us fourth place last season and then earned the club £24m.

      RVP did a lot for Arsenal, don’t try to make out he didn’t.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

      • Shanzuman

        Gooner Steve, I agree 100% with your well written response.

        Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    • Shanzuman

      You are very naive thinking in this way bro and believe that he more than repaid us by getting us into the Champions league last year. Having succeeded in this for his club and as Captain questioned whether the team was to be strengthened to fight and win trophies. When he was satisfied that the proposed newcomers were not of the quality to win trophies correctly decided that there was to be no trophies yet again and so at the age of 29 and a last opportunity decided to leave. How can anybody condemn him for doing this is beyond my apprehension. Your analogy by the way is not constructively correct.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  8. martin wengrow

    Excellent blog. Spot on.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  9. Thiery14

    if he went to a club outside England he would have been forgiven but to see him play in the premiership week in week out is heart breaking especially considering he spent 60% of his time in Arsenal injured

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  10. Gunner6

    While I respect your views, RvP didn’t go to Mnaure to win things. He won it for them. Think back to those crucial last minute goals he scored at the beginning of the season. Without him Manure wouldn’t be this far ahead. Now look at us for needing to bed in new strikers.

    The other is the number years RvP was alwasy our injured. Wenger persisted. No one thought about that part of the story. Imagine he was an impatient manager and sold RvP back to the Netherlands. What career path that would have been for him. But we are where we are and critics can say what they want cause this is the reality. It could have been so different, the line between success and failure.

    Lastly, did he ever thought that just maybe, he contributed to our failure? Not being available and at the same time taking up our finances? I won’t clap for him nor will I boo him. He got what he wanted and that’s that. Now for CL place to fight for.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

  11. Sue H

    So what you are really saying is, dont bother to leave a comment if we dont agree with you !!!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

    • Gooner Steve

      Don’t remember saying that, I welcome a debate. But I’ll be responding to views I think are wrong, hence it becoming a debate!

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  12. A visitor

    What you wrote st the time was:

    I’m very disappointed in van Persie’s announcement. Partly because we’re losing a world class player, but mainly because he has reduced the chances of us getting a decent transfer fee for him by openly declaring that he wants out. I thought he had more class than to publicly criticise the club — the supporters and Wenger deserve better.

    That’s why he was booed.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

    • Gooner Steve

      That’s how I felt at the time. Then I watched us repeat the same mistakes over and over this season, losing to the likes of Blackburn and Bradford and failing to strengthen in January. Meanwhile RVP was winning the title easily in a proper team who try to win things and I understood why he wanted out. He had to release that statement to force the move through and to be honest, much of what he said has turned out to be true.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  13. Elias

    Robin van Persie was like a (girl) student courted and wedded by a young handsome man with meager earnings. Upon the meager earnings, the young handsome man was training the girl in school until her graduation. After graduation, she found another suitor and jilted the handsome young man that took responsibility of her needs for years. It’s very bad. No loyalty.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

  14. Tancredi

    He should have left elsewhere than to one of our most hated rivals. This is why I hate him. He should have gone to Madrid, Juve even PSG but not to our main rivals. I think he betrayed us by doing that. We nurtured him, paid him and supported him for 8 season marred by injuries, off the pitch problems and boiling temperament and yet he repays us by going to Mancchester. He is a blody traitor in my eyes and does not deserve any respect.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

  15. Ziggy

    Utter tosh. Three months prior to his departure he was still”wanting to win with this team and nobody else…”. Then he got simply tapped by mancs, corrupted and sold his soul to the dark side. His nasty statement said it all. The guy we all loved turned out to be an utter c*nt, simple as that. I couldn’t be at Emirates but if I were there I would boo him too and don’t tell me I’m misguided.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

  16. Tombo

    I think the main reason for the anger towards him was the statement he released. How many Arsenal players, in fact any player, has done that before? We loved him, thought he was one of us, then he showed a total lack of respect towards the club. Forget Wenger or the board, the club!

    Yes he’s done well and I think most fans can see he made good decision, but think that’s were it’s come from.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  17. gee

    Abosolute rubbish – why write that insidious letter inb the first place – thats why i booed him – cause he did not act with the intergrity, loyalty and honour that is expected of an any captain never mind an Arsenal one.
    He forced a transfer and effectively made us take a reduced fee by stating in that letter that he did not want to stay, instanly driving the the price cause we did not have much to bargain with.

    In my books he is as bad or worse than Adebayhore.

    And also lets critise the board, the players, the medical staff etc that we failed to win anything in those yrs but the players get exonorated as if they had no responsibility or did not contribute to us not being serial winners –

    They can get lost the lot of them – fly by night players if you ask me.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  18. Patrick Ssekatawa

    Misguided Arsenal fans? Terribly wrong. You instead are the misguided one. How can you accuse Arsenal fans of expressing their disappointment? If you are normal, you must get disappointed sometimes, just like ALL Arsenal fans, who I don’t think is an Arsenal fan anyway!

    Yes, Arsenal has spent several years without winning anything. But who is partly to blame for not winning? Is it not him who, instead of playing for the club that hired him from Feyernoord, he was always injured. Where was he when Arsenal reached the Champions League? Where was he when we played Chelsea in the Carling Cup final? Where was he when Eduardo broke his leg? Where was he when we lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semis?

    Did the Board and Wenger deliberately get Van Persie injured to stop Arsenal from winning anything? We stuck by him, we loved him, we paid him, we supported him through his misery, he owed us loyalty, but betrayed us! He deserves all the insults he got yesterday and even more. I am disappointed you wasted your time writing this rubbish! Maybe you are from heaven where there is, no anger, no hatred, but only happiness. Welcome to this earth where we are different. We hate him, he should go to hell, with you tooooooo!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

    • Shanzuman

      What an utter fucking plonker of an asshole are you?? You lack morals and descend values and I am utterly ashamed that our highly respected club has supporters of your valueless calibre so my so called gooner go fuck yourself and join a club that agrees with your values!!!

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  19. Susan

    Whatever my personal feelings about RVP are (mixture of understanding why he left, feeling betrayed, and mostly frustration with Wenger and the board), it’s bad form to boo someone who has done well and, per tradition, is taking his victory lap. It just makes Arsenal fans look bad. Maybe we’re not able to fully congratulate him. I think everyone would understand. But, booing him leaves us open for further critism from all of our detractors who are having a field day with this situation.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  20. Gooner Steve

    Some interesting points in the comments, much of which I disagree with. A couple of major points to make though:

    1) RVP being injured “most of the time” is a myth. He played 279 times in 8 seasons which is 35 games a season. He also contributed a not too shabby 132 goals along the way and is our 8th highest scorer of all time.

    2) Arsenal could easily have blocked his move to Man Utd. I’m amazed they have somehow escaped criticism amidst all the RVP bashing. Daniel Levy turned down £40m cos he didn’t want Modric to join Chelsea and then sold him to Real Madrid a year later. Chelsea refused Essien permission to join Arsenal on loan and loaned him to Real instead. Arsenal could’ve turned down Man Utd but they didn’t care what the supporters would think, they didn’t care that they were handing the title to Man Utd, they just wanted the cash.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  21. Goonerpower

    Hmmmm. I hate him for where he went. I don’t give a rats arse what anybody thinks!!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  22. Chinedum

    We didn’t boo the player, we booed the man……..I don’t call his name. I forgive him cos I understand but I can’t forget what he did. If he was their like someone said at those finals maybe our recent history would be different…

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  23. Shanzuman

    A well thought out article and contructively debated. Thank you for doing this cos as an over 50 year Arsenal fan I was disgusted yesterday with the booing. If it was truly Jack Wiltshire that commented in the above column than I take my hat off to him and if next year we don’t win anything cos AW will have not mend his ways and not spend wisely to strengthen the team than JACK you too should leave to better pastures and this applies to the other young future stars!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  24. cesc fabregas

    i could not agree more, shall check young jacks twitter

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  25. Pilgrimspeak

    A question to the author who believes that RvP did the “right” thing by refusing to sign a contract with Arsenal (a club which, incidentally, took proper care of him during 7 long years of struggles with injury) and then moved to Manchester United, all the while holding a gun to Arsene Wenger’s head: do you think that a coach like Ferguson would have supported him like Wenger did, had he been injured like he was when with Arsenal?

    Therein lies the heartache of Arsenal fans, and therein lies the reason behind the bitter boos. Arsenal gave him chance after chance, year after year, like NO other club would have. In return, he played ONE good season, at the end of which he made it clear that he was leaving. Had he been injured last season, would he have refused a contract extension? Would ManU have bought him? I don’t think so.

    In a nutshell, this is what happened: he was molded into a world class striker by Arsenal, and once he became injury free, he decided to look for greener pastures even though the club that made him was in dire need of his services. There is only one word to describe such a person: opportunist.

    While the author eloquently talks about “lack of ambition” from Arsenal, he conveniently forgets that Wenger brought in three very good players to support RvP last summer. The author also turns a blind eye to the fact that one of the major reasons for Arsenal failing to win a trophy the past seven years was RvP’s persistent injuries.

    So please, think again before you fill cyberspace with such half baked reasons on “why Gooners should not boo van Persie for the opportunistic scumbag he is” and at the very least TRY to bring out a sensible article.

    NB: Along the lines of what you have said about Adebayor, here’s a sketch of what RvP has done: He kept extending his contract with Arsenal until he was free of injuries. He then played his heart out for one season (if only to be noticed by other clubs), all the while keeping an eye out on the fact that his contract was about to end. He then conveniently blamed the club for “lack of ambition” and jumped boats to earn more money that was being offered by ManU. (For heaven’s sake, did he realize that Arsenal “lacked ambition” only after SEVEN years, and that too, only after freeing himself of the injury worries? He even extended his contract twice during those seven years! I don’t think even the author of this senseless is naive enough to believe that load of crap!)

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    • Gooner Steve

      “Arsenal gave him chance after chance, year after year, like NO other club would have. In return, he played ONE good season”

      You make him sound like Diaby! As I said above, RVP being injured most of the time is a myth. He played 279 times in 8 seasons which is 35 games a season. He also contributed 132 goals along the way and is our 8th highest scorer of all time. I’ll repeat that because it often gets overlooked — 132 goals for Arsenal.

      The rest of your argument falls down because it is based on the incorrect presumption that RVP spent seven seasons injured and then jumped off the physio’s table to play last season.

      “One of the major reasons for Arsenal failing to win a trophy the past seven years was RvP’s persistent injuries”

      Absolute rubbish. So it wasn’t because Wenger sold all of our experienced players after we moved to the Emirates and replaced them with youngsters?
      It wasn’t because he continually fielded those youngsters in the cup competitions hoping they would develop and he could sell them for a nice profit, meaning we played the Carling Cup final in 2007 against a full strength Chelsea side with our reserves?
      It wasn’t because Wenger cannot motivate his players to take Bradford and Blackburn seriously?
      It wasn’t because he sells key players every year despite having £120m in the bank and allows the likes of Spurs to catch us up?

      Get a grip.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • Pilgrimspeak

        Hey Steve,

        Sorry about the quip about Shanzuman. Mr. Shanzuman- if you are reading this- my sincere apologies for the crass comments about you.

        However, I do not subscribe to your views about the reasons behind why RvP left; because all those reasons were true since 2006- 07. That he had extended his contract not once but TWICE since that season is proof enough that he was simply biding his time until he could make himself more worthwhile. Only when he touched form in a consistent manner and managed to remain injury- free for an entire season did he suddenly “realize” that Arsenal lacked ambition.

        As you said, he has played an average of 25 games every season and score 96 goals (30 of which came in the last season alone, while he was out proving his worth to the world), but do have a glimpse of his 7 seasons with Arsenal:
        2004- 05: Injury cuts short his debut season
        2005- 06: Injured and rested from February
        2006- 07: Injured for most of the season
        2007- 08: Injured two times and used sparingly due to injury fears
        2009- 10: Injured and out for 5 months
        2010- 11: Injured twice, one during League Cup Final, but played rather well whenever he could actually play
        2011- 12: Totally injury free, plays like a God the entire season, carrying Arsenal on his shoulders as a Captain and player. Suddenly realizes that Arsenal “lacks” ambition; and forces Wenger to sell him (at very cheap rates) by declaring publicly that he will not sign a contract extension. To add insult to injury, he cheekily says at a press meeting that “the little boy inside him” wanted him to go to Manchester United (the same little boy who was first seen wearing the Red and Whites in a teenage photograph!), rather than stay back and fight for a club and manager who needed him dearly.

        I honestly can’t understand why you would blame the fans for booing an opportunistic individual such as this guy. Even Arsene Wenger, someone who has stood by the club for 15 years, has received boos from fans for the (numerous) mistakes he has made. Then WHY NOT boo van Persie, the “captain” who deserted his team and jumped ships? Why should HE be immune to the anger of the crowd who had previously considered him their hero?

        You ask “why boo?”, I ask “why NOT boo?”.

        Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  26. Fortad

    I don’t just think if Steve get himself well! I don’t really want to condemn your efforts and the time taken to write this kind of article, in fact you are one of the best writers.
    But I have a question for you that will stand as a judgment to your article! The question is: what would you do if you laboured for 7 year with the aiming of reaping the fruits of your labouring for at least 3 to 4 year but unfortunately, your firm got spoiled when you suppose to begin reaping the fruit from your firm. Please what would you do?

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    • Gooner Steve

      I’m not sure I understand the question. If you’re saying that Wenger built a side for 7 years and then all his players abandoned him just as he was about to dominate Europe, my answer is that Wenger was naive.

      He thought that class players like Fabregas, Nasri and RVP would happily waste half their career playing with Denilson, Diaby, Senderos, Bendtner etc in the forlorn hope that one day Wenger might have assembled a team capable of challenging for the title. Madness. It was a crazy plan that came with a crazy wage structure which alienated the best players because idiots like Squillacci and Almunia were getting the same wage as them.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Pilgrimspeak

    Hey Steve, one more question to you: is this Shanzuman guy your alter ego or something? 😀 I’d gone through some of your earlier posts, and he’s always there in your comments section, echoing your views, mostly blaming Arsene Wenger for being such a “bad” manager. I sincerely hope he isn’t your alter ego because he comes across as someone with extremely simplistic views and and ready- made solutions to all problems faced by Arsenal (his “solution”, persistently, is to sack Wenger. Because he is the “evil” hand at work, it seems!) which are rather naive, if nothing else.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    • Gooner Steve

      If you must know, he is my dad. And from the evidence of your posts he knows much more about what is really going on at Arsenal than you ever will.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Shanzuman

      Thank you for noticing my persistant comments on this blog ‘Pilgrimspeak’ and welcome your simplistic opinion of my persistent valid comments of what has not been happenning at the club that I have supported since I was 8 years old, that is 58 years ago. If you read my comments a little more carefully you will see that I am very passionate of Arsenal and absolutely love Wenger for his contribution and success in changing the club over the years. I just feel that it is time for another change as the present regime has failed to bring trophies for the past 8 years and we need to change our style etc. I am also concerned for Wenger in that if he continues with this same policy he will eventually be hated by the fans and will be booed just as we witnessed with RvP yesterday. AW does not deserve this and so I have been saying that he should go now with dignity before it is too late. I hope you now understand where I am coming from and as for my son’s views, well he makes up his own mind and as he is a better writer than me can express his own views in more concise and constructive manner.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • Pilgrimspeak

        Hi Shanzuman,

        Once again, I apologize for the crass comments I made about you. I never imagined you would be an elder Arsenal supporter; had thought that you were one among the younger fans.

        I respect your assessment about Wenger, but do not agree with you. I started watching football in 2006, and have been an Arsenal supporter ever since. I am yet to see Arsenal win a trophy, and would readily give an arm and a leg for that to happen.

        While I agree that Wenger- as the Manager of the team- is responsible for the fortunes of the team, I think it is unfair to squarely blame him alone for Arsenal’s failure. I believe he has been rather unlucky.

        That said, I believe that the club MUST honor the contract that it has signed with Wenger, and give him one last season to win something for the club and retire with his head held high. The club, and us fans, owe at least that much to him for all he has done.

        Also, the club must provide him with sufficient funds to strengthen the squad wherever necessary. This current team has jelled rather well and with a couple of good additions, I think they can challenge for title next season.

        I really, really hope that Arsenal would beat MU to title next year and then maybe RvP would realize what he has lost.

        Once again, I apologize for the comments I made about you.

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        • Shanzuman

          Apologies accepted ‘Pilgrimspeak’ and although understand your sentiments obviously do not agree. I hope Wenger does change and we win success again cos nowadays that’s what it is all about. In my younger days we did not take it that badly if we lost or did not win a trophy, we were just disappointed and looked forward to the next game after al we paid was a mere few bob to watch the game. This we did cos all the teams were virtually the same financialy and technically, those who were marginally better wn the trophy! The game is now completely different with investors pumping billions of money into our wonderful game expecting great returns for their investment and pushing this so called sport into another dimension. To achieve these profits it is neccessary to win trophies and hence we modern supporters now pay exorbitant prices to watch our heros and we in return for our money demand success! That is why in my opinion to keep up with the MU’s, MC’s, Ch, Spurs etc we need AW to change and adapt his approach more often and join the club of heavy spending! We supporters can only blame the manager cos he is the one to yield results and if he cannot achieve this cos of the Board he should stand up and say so not hide behind political spin etc! One has to invest to get a return and that is what football is all about today. I am sure my son could put all that I have said in a more eloquent and expressive manner but hey like you I want to see Arsenal win a trophy soon and in particular the European Cup (now called Champions League!) cos it is the only trophy in my lifetime that I have not yet seen them win!!.

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  28. Fortad

    If you failed to answer, that mean you don’t know WHAT you’re doing! Lol

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    • Gooner Steve

      I have replied and notice it is you who has failed to answer, just like Pilgrimspeak. What’s the matter, have I shattered your illusions about van Persie being a crock who only played one good season for us by informing you that he scored an impressive 132 goals in 279 appearances?

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  29. Anonymous

    I have read all your article and the various comments. I felt like carrying a banner which reads “CAPTAIN VANTANSTIC WE LOVE YOU” and under it “TRAITOR” to show why he is being booed. He showed all mangers sense that players that are of no class are trash. He lost the important thing in life which is respect. Manu fans will soon start abusing him. Despite his role for them, they still love rooney more than him. He can never be a legend there. His best chance of legend is here and he bottled it. Who says the current squad cannot win a trophy? Is trophy the end of life by the way? If it is where is nothingham forest, portsmouth, leeds etc. Shame on rvp. He should enjoy his trophy. Life continues after that. Life is respect and he lost the respect of millions, no wonder he didn’t win pfa this year. Lost the respect of fellow professionals as well. Never for any reason at all bite the finger that feeds you. even under the worst circumstances I beg you

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  30. Fortad

    Gonner!please if Steve fails to answer the questions, let’s catch some fun… So, take thissss:

    CRUSADE! CRUSADE!! CRUSADE!!!
    Dortmund Christian Ministry in conjunction
    with Bayern Church of God invites you all to a
    2-day power packed crusade, tagged
    ‘Destroying all Spanish Giants & Goliath: Part
    2”. FEATURING:
    1. Breaking of curses (El Clasico)
    2. Freedom from powers (Platini)
    3. Humilation of Pride (Jose Mourinho)
    4. Overpowering Principalities (Lionel Messi)
    5. Achieving Ur Destiny & reaching your goals (Wembley)
    Host Pastor:Rev Robert Lewandoski.
    MINISTERING: Rev Pastor & Elder Arjen
    Robben, Apostle Thomas Mueller, Pastor
    Marco Reus & other Anointed Men of Soccer.
    Date: Tuesday the 30th of April thru Wednesday the 1st of may, 2013
    Time: 7:45pm both days.
    Ushering Units:Messi and Ronaldo.
    Come for a power packed display as all Giants
    will be knocked out of your life forever.
    COME ONE, COME ALL!!!

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    • Gooner Steve

      I think you need to lie down.

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  31. Pilgrimspeak

    Hey Steve,

    Sorry about the quip about Shanzuman. Mr. Shanzuman- if you are reading this- my sincere apologies for the crass comments about you.

    However, I do not subscribe to your views about the reasons behind why RvP left; because all those reasons were true since 2006- 07. That he had extended his contract not once but TWICE since that season is proof enough that he was simply biding his time until he could make himself more worthwhile. Only when he touched form in a consistent manner and managed to remain injury- free for an entire season did he suddenly “realize” that Arsenal lacked ambition.

    As you said, he has played an average of 25 games every season and score 96 goals (30 of which came in the last season alone, while he was out proving his worth to the world), but do have a glimpse of his 7 seasons with Arsenal:
    2004- 05: Injury cuts short his debut season
    2005- 06: Injured and rested from February
    2006- 07: Injured for most of the season
    2007- 08: Injured two times and used sparingly due to injury fears
    2009- 10: Injured and out for 5 months
    2010- 11: Injured twice, one during League Cup Final, but played rather well whenever he could actually play
    2011- 12: Totally injury free, plays like a God the entire season, carrying Arsenal on his shoulders as a Captain and player. Suddenly realizes that Arsenal “lacks” ambition; and forces Wenger to sell him (at very cheap rates) by declaring publicly that he will not sign a contract extension. To add insult to injury, he cheekily says at a press meeting that “the little boy inside him” wanted him to go to Manchester United (the same little boy who was first seen wearing the Red and Whites in a teenage photograph!), rather than stay back and fight for a club and manager who needed him dearly.

    I honestly can’t understand why you would blame the fans for booing an opportunistic individual such as this guy. Even Arsene Wenger, someone who has stood by the club for 15 years, has received boos from fans for the (numerous) mistakes he has made. Then WHY NOT boo van Persie, the “captain” who deserted his team and jumped ships? Why should HE be immune to the anger of the crowd who had previously considered him their hero?

    You ask “why boo?”, I ask “why NOT boo?”.

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  32. Sheila

    I understand your point of view but you have to understand ours.
    1) We do not choose to be angry
    2) We can (and choose to) express our anger in any legal way we can
    3) He was very much willing to go there despite the fact that he knew that we are rivals.(He knew he’d be booed)
    If he really cared about Arsenal fans (he doesn’t) then he shouldn’t have left in the first place. He cared about trophies and to to get them, he knew he’d have to lose the affection of gooners.
    THERE’S A PRICE TO PAY FOR THE THING YOU WANT THE MOST

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  33. SamTheGooner

    Good post, agree with many of your views on the club, but disagree with your thoughts on RVP. By writing “He cannot be accused of being disloyal because Arsenal refused to match his ambition and forced his hand…”, you inadvertently show that RVP thought he was bigger than AFC – and that’s a reason for us to dislike him. Perhaps he wasn’t matching Arsenal’s ambition! Remember, he didn’t offer us much for quite a number of seasons and perhaps had he contributed more we might’ve won a trophy or two during his time at the club. Also, bear in mind that Arsene and the fans stood by him for years of injury, and he did not reciprocate such loyalty. The manner in which he left was also extremely unclassy and totally unnecessary. I understand why he left, and like you, I’m angry at the club for allowing it to come to such a point, but I simply don’t share your affection for Robin van Persie, therefore I wasn’t ‘happy for him’ when he celebrated his first ever title.

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