So Arsenal’s star striker has finally announced his decision to leave the club having served eight wonderful years at the club. The fans will be vastly disappointed at his decision and the Gunners will struggle to replace a player of such prodigious talent. Here is the definitive A-Z on RVP:
A – is for Awards. 2011/12 was certainly an exceptional year for Van Persie and he was rewarded with many personal accolades at the end of the season, winning the PFA Player’s Player of the Year, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
B – is for Bombshell – That’s right. Van Persie’s decision has completely blown the club apart. Many Gunners fans thought their star striker would agree to a new contract and his decision to quit the club will have left many in shock.
C – is for Contract – Why Arsenal didn’t tie him down to a longer deal a couple of years ago is a mystery. Letting your best player’s contract run down is almost criminal and the Gunners are paying the price.
D – is for Disaster – Van Persie’s announcement is an absolute PR disaster for the club. Not only has he quit the club, but he’s cast doubt over the club’s long term future plans by stating they don’t share the same goals. Worrying for the fans.
E – is for Euro 2012 – Van Persie had a disappointing tournament, bagging just the one goal against the Germans in the group stage despite being one of the favourites for the golden boot. His poor form was a key factor behind the Dutch’s early exit.
F – is for Feynoord – The Dutch outfit were the first side Robin played for, making 78 appearances in all competitions for the club in three seasons before Arsenal came calling.
G – is for Gazidis – The man in the firing line now Van Persie has decided to leave. The Chief Executive was named personally in the striker’s leaving speech having stated his intentions for Arsenal F.C in the meetings between the two respective parties. Has a lot to answer for.
H – is for Home – Van Persie has always said the Emirates will remain his home having spent the best years of his career playing there. Unfortunately for Arsenal, in the near future it will no longer be his official home.
I – is for Injury Prone – Apart from last season, Robin always spends his fair share of time on the physio table. At one point, the striker suffered so much with injuries, everyone thought it might wreck his career completely.
J – is for Juventus – The Italian Champions have been long-time admirers of Van Persie’s talents and could now be set to make their interest official now he’s stated his intention to leave.
K – is for Krijgsman – The former Miss Nigeria Holland winner Sandra Krijgsman made false sexual allegations that dogged the striker at the start of his Arsenal career, causing his form to suffer. Fortunately he was cleared of all charges, allowing him to return to his best.
L – is for Leader of Men – Since Cesc Fabregas’s departure, Van Persie has captained the Arsenal side with great success, using his leadership skills to help turn around his side’s dip in form last season and reach the Champions League places.
M – is for Manchester City – The one club Arsenal fans are praying Van Persie doesn’t join. They’ve lost Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy to the Blues in the past and Van Persie heading to the Etihad might be the final straw.
N – is for Netherlands – Van Persie has played 68 times for his national team, notching 29 goals that puts him eighth on the list of all-time scorers.
O – is for One Man Team – Without RVP last year, the Gunners could have been in serious trouble. He scored 30 league goals and provided 13 assists, far more than anyone else in the squad. The difference between a third place finish and mid-table obscurity
P – is for Penalties – Van Persie has displayed his proficiency from the spot over the years, scoring a wonderful ‘Palenka’ chip against Wolves last season.
Q – is for Questions – All Arsenal fans will be asking the question why? How could the club not have done more to keep their star man, indeed surely it was worth smashing that notorious wage structure apart to keep him at the club. Did they do enough?
R – is for Respect – Van Persie used the word ‘respect’ three times in his statement, but he has shown anything but. By questioning the club’s policy and direction, he also raised question marks over Arsene Wenger’s work at Arsenal, the man who has nurtured his career to what it is now.
S – is for Singular – Just the one trophy for RVP at Arsenal then. The FA Cup victory over Manchester United on penalties in 2005 remains Arsenal’s last cup triumph and will be Robin’s only medal with the club. Simply not a good enough haul.
T – is for Top Scorer – The club’s regular top scorer since Thierry Henry’s departure and also the Premier League’s golden boot winner last season with 30 goals. That’s a figure you simply can’t replace.
U – is for Unbelievable – The word Van Persie used to describe the Arsenal fans, demonstrating the level of affection he has for the club. Despite his decision to leave, the Gunners will always hold a special place in his heart.
V – is for Volleys – He’s scored so many of them, they’ve almost become his trademark. The most memorable was against Charlton in the 2006/07 season, but he also bagged a lovely one against Liverpool this season.
W – is for Wenger – The Frenchman has mentored Van Persie for almost his entire career and like so many others before him, the forward has a lot to thank his manager for. It’s disappointing then to see him criticise the way Wenger is leading the club.
X – is for X-Factor – The X-Factor is something only a few have and Robin has it in abundance. Simply a different level from most other players, the talent that Van Persie possesses is irreplaceable.
Y – is for Year – The amount of time Van Persie has left on his current contract. It will be interesting to see whether Arsenal let this run down and let him go for free next summer or whether they’ll cash in now.
Z – is for Zero – The number of Premier League titles Van Persie has won with the Gunners. And therefore the basic reason he is leaving the club.