Nope… no greetings, no cordial-grins and no secret hand-shakes…. No nothing. The news has percolated and by now, and I imagine that most of the denizens of Goonerdom would have frown plastered onto their mugs and why wouldn’t we?
Yet another captain kneed us in the collective ‘nads and skipped off to Manchester. It is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. And the fact RVP is off to the red half of Manchester (Ugh) is the proverbial glass of sulphuric acid that washes down the pill in place of water.I dont have it in my heart to wish him well, so I’ll try my bestest to avoid curses and voodoo dolls.
“United”, the very utterances of the word raises the hackles of every gooner, the clubs share a bloody history of battles over the better part of two decades, but let’s not kid ourselves, the rivalry has fizzled out and United have pulled ahead. Yet another bitter truth, but it’s just how the story has unfolded, sighing and asking umpteen “What if…” questions solves nothing.
The three new arrivals this season and the previous year’s acquisitions have bucked a trend. There has been a subtle phase shift in Arsene Wenger’s (usually) unflinching belief in his youth project. Rather than acknowledge that his project has begun to crumble, he has chosen to temper the young team with experience in the form of talented players who have had long but barren stints at other clubs (Arteta, Poldi & Cazorla). This craving for trophies and glory could be the missing piece that finally makes good “Project Youth”.
Losing the squad’s most technically proficient striker hurts, but we knew it was coming. We knew it in our very bones. We grinned and exchanged conspiracy theories on how Arsene and Van Persie were ‘pulling a Batman’ and playing the villan for the sake of the greater good. We HOPED he wouldn’t leave, but in our heart of hearts we knew, from the very second we read ‘the note’ on his personal website announcing that he wouldn’t be extending his contract with Arsenal. The papers buzzed with talks between Arsene and Ferguson, yet we hoped and prayed to the football gods that it was but a passing storm cloud. We knew, yet were and are unable to digest the fact that he would abandon Wenger for Ferguson.
Kudos to Wenger though, 24-million pounds is a hefty sum for a player who has spent the majority of his time exploring the medical wing rather than the glorious green of Ashburton Grove. If the amount could be re-invested in a trusty defensive midfielder or another striker to partner Giroud and Poldi, it might soften the Robin’s shot to the heart.
The Dutchman’s departure isn’t the death of hope. Far from it, in fact. I can see you grimace and mutter “Moron!” under your breaths but humour me for a second.
Just imagine for a few seconds that the entire summer transfer window had played out backwards…. RVP leaves right at the start, morale drops to all time low. Arsene signs Cazorla, followed by Giroud in tow, morale soars and as the final icing on the cake, Lukas signs on at the very end of the window. Every gooner would have a hard time not jizzing his (or her) pants in sheer excitement. The internet would have been flooded with open challenges to Mancunians, asking them to “Bring it!”. And a certain celebrity Arsenal fan on twitter would have lost it completely albeit in a very different way.
The point of my little story set in an alternate universe? It’s just a matter of perspective. Keep the faith gooners. I’ll leave you with a quote from Jean Paul Sartre: “A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.”