15:00 hrs GMT on a sunny Sunday May the 13th at the Hawthorns, home to West Bromwich Albion. For varying reasons, this last game of the season is important for both sides. Arsenal need a win to wrap up the 3rd and last automatic Champions’ League qualification place and West Brom for a befitting testimonial to their manager Roy Hodgson who had just been named England head coach. Thanks to three school boy errors from the West Brom goalie, Arsenal won 3-2. Season over!
Huge relief swept across the Emirates, the just concluded season couldn’t be better. After Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy all jumped ship and the 8-2 obliteration at the hands of United, only few Gooner faithfuls (yours truly included) believed Arsenal would clinch a place among Europe’s elite next season. The dust settled on a chaotic season and everyone expected Mr Wenger to open his cheque book and sign proven players with reckless abandon.
Unsurprisingly, Lucas Podolski completed his much expected move from FC Koln for Wenger’s “undisclosed amount”. For a player that had racked up 95 German caps at that time (he added more at the EUROs) it looked like a bargain purchase. Immediately after Poldi’s signing, the EUROs took centre stage and the attendant lull in transfer activity took its toll. Then rumours linking Arsenal to two members of the French EURO squad rushed in. Yann M’Villa , the Rennes anchor man Arsene Wenger chased for the entirety of last summer all to no avail and “Le Buteur De Charme” Olivier Giroud the golden boy of the French media who scored 21 goals to emerge as top scorer as Montpellier shocked themselves and the rest of the world to win the French Championnat at the expense of PSG defying odds of 80/1. Despite series of denials, Wenger confirmed Giroud’s signing for a fee in the region of £9.6m. For the first time in a very long time, Arsenal fans had a reason to be happy.
Then our dear Robin, talismanic captain dropped a bombshell. He won’t be renewing his contract past the summer of 2013. He said he and Mr Wenger had different opinions on how to move Arsenal forward. RVP threw a spanner in the works, then chaos found its way back to the Arsenal fold. He had insisted all along, that he wanted Arsenal to sign quality players to convince him and that was what Arsene set out to do. However, it seems only RVP knows the definition of quality he’s talking about, probably Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (two players that should be banned from playing football here on earth). RVP’s strongly worded letter on his official website brought rancour within the Arsenal board and prompted major shareholder Alisher Usmanov to write his own letter about moving Arsenal FC forward.
Robin Van Persie does not deserve a move away from Arsenal. In his 8 years at North London, he has spent over 6 years moving from one specialist to the other in search of a cure to his well documented knee and ankle injuries. This is tantamount to saying he has been receiving pension prior to the 2011/2012 season. Arsenal also have not been the cause of RVP’s trophylessness as he has been injured all along, bringing to the fore the question; “What has been his input to Arsenal’s title winning quest save for last season”? Take the 2005/2006 UCL for example, when Arsenal lost to FC Barcelona 2-1 in Paris, if Arsenal had won, RVP would not have gotten a winners’ medal because his name was not included in the squad due to injury.
However, if the man from Feyenoord decides to move on (which I want), I wish him all the bad luck in the world. I rest my case.
LONG LIVE THE ARSENAL!
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