Love, Loyalty and Ethics: those three words retired from the Arsenal the minute Tony Adams hung up his boots it seems. In my opinion the only other person who came close to being as great of a captain as Adams was Vieira, he sits in the ManCity exec desk now. Brilliant. Will it be safe to say they are the Arsenal 2.0?
Watching Robin uphold the responsibilities of a captain was inspirational. He kept the team together, he kept the team families together. He had an active role as a captain on and off the pitch. There was a great vibe in the dressing room because he worked perfectly as a mediator. I think we could all see him as the perfect captain, someone good enough to fill Tony’s boots finally, especially after the few outbursts near the end of season. 8 years he spent with us, this was his first full season and he was nothing short of magnificent. All those chants ringing around the Emirates, ringing from away ends of all the other grounds, those puns and memes flooding our social network sites are now taking a twisted form of mockery. There was a few rare occasions where emotions would pour out of the players as much as the fans, but that is extinct now. It is all about that weekly wage, all about that buyout clause.
The illusion of all Arsenal players being arsenal fans is ridiculous and one a lot of us blindly believe into. You really think Szczesny and Wilshere are “Arsenal till they die” just because they express dislike for Spurs a lot? Arsenal is their employer. If you have a job with a great boss, decent pay, good environment would you ever leave? What about when you are offered double the money…100% raise on what you get now? I would do it. No. Questions. Asked. But I highly doubt there is a better opportunity in my country for a budding sports journo so I won’t defect off to the Manchester City of Bangladeshi daily newspapers (You hear that Daily Sun?).
Robin grew in this club as a player and he grew in this club as a man. The club had his back through injuries, through the legal troubles he faced and the fans were one goat sacrifice short from praying for his fitness. He means a lot to the way we play and he is the reason why we finished third even after such horrendous scorelines from time to time (August). He is 28 years old, which explains why he’d want to spend the remaining of his career somewhere else. Not everyone is Bergkamp, not everyone is Nedved, not everyone is Del Piero. Then why to a team in the same league? Why not Juventas? or Real Madrid? Teams with pride and glory. That’s what you said you wanted to bring back to us isn’t it Robin? It is not about money or the contract, it is about your vision to take the club forward differing from the club’s own vision. Who is the genius that sketched out your statement?!
The club issued a statement too which could be interpreted as they didn’t expect a statement out of Robin at all. Robin also mentioned he will go into further talking after Ivan Gazidis is back from his 2 weeks vacation to the USA which the Arsenal communication head denied (according to Arseblog News), which I find hilarious. I don’t want to read much into it but obviously it’s not all sunshine and lollipops between Robin and Gazidis.
But, what pains me the most is how ugly he has made this whole ordeal for us. Now that his desire of not renewing a contract is clear his value will be half of what we’d initially ask for. I like Samir Nasri a lot now, he didn’t open his mouth and frankly we got waaay more than what we would have gotten for a player whose contract expires in a season. Not the case with Robin though. Would you like to leave the club that made you the player you are? Fine. Sign a 2 year extension so we can sell you for 30 million at least next summer, meanwhile we groom our new forward recruits to adapt to the Premier League so we’re not in the gutters when you’re gone.
It aches my heart to see Arsenal fans use such words as “cunt” and “scum” to describe his actions. Personally, all I had to say is it didn’t have to be like this. It could have been a very civil transfer without ruining his relationship with the fans. I wish he gets what he wants and I can’t thank him enough for last season, and that 2-1 win against Manchester United in January 2007.