Fiercely loyal Arsenal supporters, including myself have been and continue to be incensed by the move of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United. Loyalty plays a predominant part in our life-long love for the clubs we all choose to support but what I find baffling is why Sir Alex Ferguson would want to buy a striker and captain, who for 8 years failed to lead a team to any cup victories; not a single trophy to our apparently ‘dusty trophy cabinet’ and was injured for the majority of that time?
No one can argue that on his day Van Persie is the complete striker and he played his part in Manchester United winning the 2012 Premiership title, the one accolade he craved at Arsenal but eluded him because he was recuperating. For this reason, I was more surprised at Sir Alex Fergusons acquisition of this injury prone player at the time but now I’m thinking that Fergie had a cunning plan. Knowing he was about to retire from the sideline and off to the spectators box, he probably thought, I’m going for one more win and RVP is the man to get me it…I just won’t tell him I’m leaving.
RVP is now out for a month with yet another injury which proves my point. Players sustain injuries all the time, inevitable when playing such a physically demanding and fast paced game but it seems he will be in the physios’ room more than on the pitch; some things never change. We nursed him for 8 years; will David Moyes and Manchester United be prepared to do the same?
What frustrates me as a supporter is that Arsene Wenger believed in him knowing what an asset and potential legend he could have been. ‘The boss’ was mistaken, perhaps duped, who knows. When asked about the strengths and weaknesses of Arsene Wenger, Vieria said this, “He trusts his players but his biggest weakness is that he is too nice”. We know this is an accurate description of a manager and trail blazer who set classy and tactical standards which have changed the way football is played in this country but ruthless he isn’t it, perhaps another weakness.
Would we have had a very different 8 seasons if Arsene hadn’t put so much faith in him? Surely we have to look at the other players who should have done better knowing they were trusted. Now, having gone to a rival club without the manger that signed him it will be interesting to see how Robin Van Persie plays out his season. From the looks of things at the moment, we may not be the only ones needing another striker.