Oliver Giroud In, Robin Van Persie ….?
It’s official – Olivier Giroud is an Arsenal player and the second major signing of the summer. The late bloomer joins from Montpellier for a reported £13m fee and along with Lukas Podolski, gives the Arsenal front line an imposing new look. Unlike Spain, it’s safe to assume Arsenal will not be fielding a striker-less formation next season.
Last summer, when Arsene Wenger tried to delay Samir Nasri’s sale (Fabregas was always going) in the hope that his compatriot would sign an extension, Arsenal were heavily criticized for leaving it too late and jeopardising the start to the season. That criticism was justified because Nasri did not stay so the proactive approach shown this time around should be applauded.
Of course, there are some in the media who are using this opportunity to predict more doom and gloom for Arsenal, specifically with regards to Robin van Persie’s future. But why would Van Persie leave now? Wasn’t Arsenal’s ‘lack of ambition’ the main concern for the Dutchman as far as the media were concerned? No matter how strongly biased you are against the Gunners, no one can argue that Podolski and Giroud are excellent captures for the club.
A couple of months ago, I posted an article about Robin van Persie’s contract extension. I still think that Arsenal neither can, nor will try to compete with Manchester City in terms of the financial package offered to Van Persie. It could be a difficult choice for Robin at this stage in his career – unlike Nasri and Fabregas who still have one or two moves left in their career, this is likely to be Robin’s last major contract and money could be a factor in his eventual decision.
I have no qualms about players in and around 30 making decisions based on financial benefit – it’s a short career and you have to do what’s best for your family’s long-term future. While some may get into coaching and others into media, we have to realise that professional footballers are not trained for anything other than playing ball and like the rest of us, have concerns of their own. The salaries may differ but so does the expenditure hence the argument remains valid.
The point I am trying to make is that both club and Robin van Persie are in a difficult situation – Arsenal are not going to pay £200k-a-week and even the reported figure of £130k would a major step up for the Gunners while Robin may be forced to make a tough decision based on the money offered to him. As fans, we should consider these conflicts before pronouncing judgement on who’s right and what’s wrong.
My personal view is that Robin will stay. But if he does not, at least we have taken firm steps to deal with his departure.
A note to regular readers – this is my last post for two weeks as I am proceeding on vacation tomorrow (hurray hurray). As with the Van Persie situation, I retain hope – perhaps I can find both the time and an internet connection to drop in a few thoughts in between. But if that’s not possible, then normal service will definitely resume from 10th July.
Thanks for reading. Until then.