Robin Van Persie has signed for Manchester United.
A simple statement yet those seven words have cut Arsenal FC fans in ways that were never thought possible. The kid that grew up loving Arsenal, on his day the best striker in the world, the best club captain since Patrick Vieira and finally the player who the club stuck by for 7 injury ravaged seasons has done the unthinkable…
Join the enemy.
With United fans dancing in the streets and Gooners burning jerseys I thought it would be poignant to focus on the pro’s and con’s of this deal seen from both sides. There has been some really interesting debate floating around and I thought I’d break some of this down so you can all make your own minds up.
Manchester United v Arsenal FC
Man U have gained a world class striker, that there is no debate. An astonishing 11/12 season where he fired 30 goals in 38 games has catapulted this once maligned striker’s fame to stratospheric levels.
He is also a leader, both on and off the pitch and adds an extra dimension to a faltering attack for Sir Alex- he really is all that and a bag of chips! On his day far and away the best striker in the world.
"His talents need no introduction to our fans – he has scored a number of goals against us in some classic battles with his former club. His movement, finishing and all-round ability are outstanding."
~Sir Alex Ferguson on RVP
Yes, he is a phenomenal player, but that dark seven year injury cloud still looms as the biggest downside to Man U’s end in this deal and at age 29, its not going to get any easier. There have been quite a few bloggers questioning whether this was a good bit of business considering the outlay involved (Reportedly 64m pounds when his wages/add-ons are combined) especially considering his injury record and with his age, his resale value.
Another con that needs to be bought up is the fact that even though intrinsically this is a great signing for the club, it hasn’t addressed the most glaring issues in Man Utd’s squad. The balance of the team hasn’t been significantly improved- an ageing, injury prone defence and an especially weak midfield (probably the weakest Ive ever seen) makes this buy look like something that is just “papering up the cracks” rather then truly strengthening the squad.
As bleak as it may seem, if Gooners look close enough there is a silver lining. To sell an ageing, injury prone player with one year left on his contract for 24m plus is a marvellous piece of business.
After he released THAT inflammatory statement (you all could thank Darren Dein for that) on his website, RVP had basically made his position untenable and had to be sold- it was as simple as that. Having a disenchanted player, particularly the club captain in the squad just brings the rest of the team down, no matter how talented the individual is.
It also gives Arsene Wenger time to plan his next moves in the transfer market, with Arsenal already signing three world class attacking players to I feel, over-compensate for RVP’s departure. Players like Kevin Mirallas and Fernando Llorente have already been muted so its going to be an interesting transfer window for Arsenal to say the least.
Arsenal have lost their talisman, a massive influence in the dressing room and a top, top striker.
A brilliant all-round player, Robin was the very definition of Arsenal in his career and without his exploits last season, Arsenal would not have finished in third place.
Im sure you have all heard the term “one man team” and RVP’s influence last season was probably the closest embodiment you would get to that term- that’s how good he was.
So who is the winner in this circumstance? What RVP will Manchester United see? Is Arsenal going to bounce back AGAIN?
Only time will tell…
After losing their two star playmakers, racking up one of the biggest injury lists of all time and fielding what was possibly the most shite Arsenal squad of all time- Arsenal FC FINALLY look like a team that is going places.
Arsene Wenger and the board have been working hard behind the scenes, picking up the likes of Podolski and Giroud but it is the signing of one Santi Cazorla that has “Gooners” all around the world salivating.
The 3 main qualities I feel he brings to the club…
Cazorla mainly plays as a central attacking mid, but has often played on either wing and even as a shadow striker. Exactly the type of versatility that Mr. Wenger loves and with Arsenal’s injury luck, the more players that can play more positions- the better!
He is vastly experienced in La Liga and he also has captained his respective clubs so we not only is Arsenal getting experience they are also getting leadership. And the fact that he also has over 40 caps for his country (Spain) is nothing to sneeze at especially considering the competition he has to face just to get into the squad! He is definitely someone that “the kids” around the club can learn from and at 27 years of age, is just about to peak as a footballer.
“He’s a top, top player. He has got unbelievable quality and talent and that is all I can say”
After Cesc and Na$$ri left, there was a massive hole in Arsenals creativity department. Arsenal had to rely far too much on the ability of Robin Van Persie to stick the ball into the back of the net. Now Arsenal has a player who is an expert in making opportunities for other players and as a result the team will be scoring from all avenues rather then just the one. In the past Arsenal have been accused of being “crab-like”, that is, moving the ball in and around the goal with little to no penetration. Cazorla’s middle name should be “penetration” for in a league full of brilliant creative midfielders, only Xavi and Inestia were rated better and with his fantastic ability the likes of Poldi, Giroud and RVP (if he stays) will be absolutely loving life. He also has a penchant for scoring long-range goals (8 from outside of the box last season) adding another dimension to Arsenal’s midfield.
“Cazorla is exceptional and I think he is undervalued at the club he is at.”
International team-mate Xavi, speaking about Cazorla back in March of this year
This may be the biggest signing Arsenal has made this decade. A type of player that the fans have been craving since the retirement of the great Dennis Bergkamp, this may be one of Arsene Wengers single greatest masterstrokes and at the now reported 11.7m pounds looks an absolute steal. He has transformed Arsenal into EPL pretenders into contenders overnight, simply put, he is THAT good!
Watch this space.
Lukas Podolski &
Olivier Giroud &
Santi Cazorla &
Nuri Sahin &
Gregory Van Der Weil.
Spain is now officially the NUMBER 1 footballing country in the world.
They play the best kind of football, have the best players, the best league, the best clubs oh and did I forget to mention a European and World Cup. Numero Uno isn’t even a good enough indication of their superiority of this round ball sport, everyone else is on the ground, and Spain is somewhere beyond the clouds- they aren’t even close.
Just looking at their depth in midfield is something never seen on the international stage, with the “La Roja” fielding: Xavi, Inestia, Busquets and Xabi Alonso. Already you could say that any team with Xavi and Inestia (ahem, Barcelona) that has these two once-in-a-generation players, already has a massive, massive advantage over any other squad, but for me its the players that didn’t make the team that indicates why Spain is the footballing powerhouse it is today! Players such as: Fabregas, Silva, Mata, Thiago, Pedro, Arteta and Jesus Navas struggle to make the final cut in this team- players that would walk into any other national team in the world, please pick up your jaws!!!
Okay here’s a quick comparison for you: According to European football’s governing body UEFA, Spain had almost 15,000 UEFA A and Pro Licence coaches in 2008 - more than double the number of any other European nation. And that is despite it taking 750 study hours to acquire a Pro Licence in Spain, compared with just 245 in England. In other words, they have more qualified coaches that have learnt more then any other coaching fraternity!
Indeed, the senior team’s victory at Euro 2008 was not an isolated success. Since 1998, Spanish youth teams from under-16 to under-21 level have won 19 UEFA and FIFA Championships. During this same period, England have won just one - the U17s European Championship last month when they beat Spain in the final.
So in a nutshell, Spain are arguably a better coached, more tactically aware, much more technically astute then any other country in the world.
Everyone else is busy playing catch up and the scary thing is… THEY ARE GOING TO GET EVEN BETTER!!!