Football FanCast guest columnist George Slater feels that Van Persie committing his future to Arsenal is significant and hope others will look to follow suit.
The signing of a new deal by Robin van Persie left this old cynic cutting himself a large piece of humble pie as I was certain he was going to dissert us this summer. I have to confess that I wrote a lot of columns condemning the guy, feeling that he was a bad egg and was using his previous outbursts in the media just to force a move away. The new deal has proven me wrong and on this rare occasion, I am delighted to be just that.
You see one thing that drives me bonkers in football is anarchy and players who upset the applecart for no other reason than their own. You look back at the likes of Hleb, Flamini and of course serial motor mouth Adebayor who use the media as a way of alerting other football clubs of their feelings. It certainly worked with two of them; whilst nobody will really be surprised if Adebayor gets his way.
RVP to be honest never once talked of a move away from the Emirates, by praising other clubs, but what riled me was that he was always making statements questioning whether Arsenal were capable of matching his ambitions, otherwise he may have to consider his future. Flamini made it known last summer that the club wouldn't break their pay structure to keep him, which caused discontent and drove a massive wedge between the supporters and the board. I believe Flamini always wanted to leave; however he covered his back with these statements by cottoning onto the feeling of discontent that was being shown among section of supporters. I always felt that RVP would eventually do the same by claiming our lack of ambition to force a move out; however I'm truly relieved that didn't prove the case.
To be honest Arsenal has had a turbulent last year with a lot of backbiting between players/supporters and the board. It reached a head when Wenger talked of interest from Real Madrid, for the whole club to unite and see Arsene reaffirm his position of strength. Suddenly the Wenger dissenters have shut up and there seems to be general positivity around Arsenal and belief in the manager to see his philosophies through. Having a key player, as well as a vocal one like RVP signing an improved deal is a real statement of intent and shows that a feeling of togetherness is back among the players.
He has obviously been assured of the plans at the club, by Wenger and Gazidis, which only bodes well considering how vocal he had been about it. I hope he isn't the last of our experienced players to commit this summer and we will see more new deals in the offing in the coming weeks. It is nice to see players finally committing and hopefully it will go some way in silencing the media and the critics who are continually touting them elsewhere.
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