Arsenal FC Arshavin

RVP - No Excuses

3:56 PMGoalChatter

Robin Van Persie's statements concerning his leave of Arsenal have had mixed reception. Some think he's being disloyal to his club while others wholeheartedly agree that as an aging, injury-prone player, he should find himself a cup-winning club to finish his career in style. As an Arsenal fan and avid follower of the EPL, I side with the first group, and make it a point to address the arguments made by my opposition:
  1. Disloyalty is OK because football these days is just another business.
    Football is definitely a big-money enterprise in the 21st century, with many teams owned by multi-millionaire tycoons or sponsored by corporate giants. It is an industry, just like any other sport. Like other sports, though, football has its share of deeper, more meaningful qualities: the unforgettable emotions in victory and defeat, over-the-top talent, and a diehard fan base. There is one more quality worth mentioning, and arguably the most important of them all: team loyalty. There are players as well as managers who have been with their clubs from start to finish. While it's rare to find a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson, who has trained one club for over 20 years, there have been and still are players who have dedicated the majority of their careers to one club. My argument, however, would be redundant if I did not point out one-club players who were incredibly successful. Some one-club men worth mentioning: Manchester United's Gary Neville, Bobby Charlton's brother Jack Charlton (Leeds United), Sam Bartram of Charlon Athletic, and AC Milan's Paolo Maldini. Maldini is one of the longest-serving one-club players in history, having played for AC Milan for 25 years. The longest-serving one-club players in history are Istanbul's Sait Altinordu (27 years) and England's Bob Crompton, who played for the Blackburn Rovers for 24 years.
    Let's not forget the most notable one-club man, legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin, who spent his entire career playing for FC Dynamo Moscow. He led his club to numerous victories, including 5 Soviet Top League Championships and 3 Soviet Cups.
    There are quite a few players today (not all of who are Englishmen) who have played for their club for over a decade, like 35-year-old Francesco Totti, who has been playing for A.S. Roma for 20 years. Then there are the veteran players who show no signs of stopping, like Barcelona's Xavi and (surprise!) USMNT right back Steven Cherundolo, who plays for Hannover 96. Xavi has had tremendous success at Barcelona, from winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey to the FIFA Club World Cup and 2010-11 UEFA Champions League.
    A seasoned player who chooses to stick with his club regardless of whether they win a trophy every season has a greater chance of winning one at some point than if he leaves at the peak of his career. It is irrelevant that Arsenal weren't the EPL champs last season. Wenger's side finished in 3rd place, behind Manchester United and City. Keep in mind that Arsenal reached the final of the UEFA Champions League only 6 years ago, and lost 2-1 to Barcelona. Arsenal is a great club; there are other clubs out there that are more technically skilled, which is why Wenger's team hasn't had much success outside the Premier League in the past several years.
    2. The Money Question
    If Robin Van Persie truly loves Arsenal, there's one place he shouldn't be going, and that's Manchester City. Can RVP sign a deal with Mancini's team for a different motive? Perhaps, but it's hard to tell when City are a) the reigning champions and b) one of the richest football clubs in the world. On the other hand, Van Persie can not only sign with City for a hefty sum, but get Arsenal a fair share as well. The question then turns to Arsenal's motives – how much do they value RVP in terms of talent? If Arsenal's management think they can get better players and that Van Persie's stellar moments are ancient history, it makes sense to transfer him. It should be noted that Arsenal's latest catch Lukas Podolski is a talented, though inconsistent forward, and only time will tell if he can step up and become one of the club's leading goal-scorers. 

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