Frank Isola: Winning trophies away from Arsenal won’t be the same for Robin van Persie

18 07 2012

Robin van Persie arrived at Arsenal’s training camp this week with a few more grey hairs and without a new contract. Of course, one could have something to do with the other.

The club is hoping to resolve Van Persie’s future before the Gunners begin their preseason tour in Malaysia this weekend. All the big clubs are hot for the Dutch striker, including Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Premier League rival Manchester City.

The fact that Van Persie is in camp and apparently in good spirits and good shape has Arsenal optimistic that the captain will re-consider his position, sign a contract extension and continue to call Emirates Stadium home. Van Persie, 28, is in the prime of his career and belongs at Arsenal where he led the Premier League with 30 goals last season.

If it is Van Persie’s wish to win trophies, why not do it with the club where he made a name for himself? He can’t possibly believe that winning a championship while riding shotgun with Messi would mean the same as winning one at Arsenal.

It’s not as if the north London side is that far from being a legitimate contender. Arsenal finished third in the EPL and its manager, Arsene Wenger, is one of the best in the business at adding young talent.

Van Persie has every right to be concerned with Arsenal losing both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer. But Wenger has always been a proactive manager. He is looking to sign 17-year-old French forward M’baye Niang, who is being courted by both Tottenham and Man City. Arsenal is also trying to sign Theo Walcott to a long-term deal.

Locking up Van Persie, however, is the crucial move for Arsenal. Nearly two weeks ago, Van Persie released a statement after meeting with Wenger and Ivan Gazidis and sounded resigned to leaving before his contract expires in 12 months.

“This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy,” Van Persie said in the statement. “Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.

“I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward.

“I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.”

Van Persie sounded sincere but don’t discount the fact that he could be a shrewd negotiator as well. Van Persie understands his value the team and could be looking for more money, more affection or both. I’ll go with the latter.

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Arsenal is built around the Van Persie the way it was once built around his good friend Thierry Henry. And yes, Henry left for Barcelona when he was 27 but not before becoming the Gunners all-time leading scorer with 228 goals while helping Arsenal to two league titles and three FA Cups. It wasn’t until Henry arrived in Spain before he raised a Champions League trophy.

He and Van Persie were teammates when Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League Final. Van Persie never stepped on the pitch that night and that loss still stings.

Stay at Arsenal and perhaps Van Persie will get that chance again. Winning one as Messi’s sidekick just won’t mean as much.

Frank Isola – Goal.com

Normally I place no stock in pretty anything that comes from the direction of Goal.com.  Usually it is just the same story that everywhere else is running hacked to death by a 5th or 6th rate journo.

On the rare occasion when it isn’t just churning someone else’s story they normally present made up transfer rumours as if they were gospel.

On this occasion however I find myself in the odd predicament of actually agreeing with something they have published. strange or what!

Mr. Isola hits the nail firmly on the head for me with this particular statement

“If it is Van Persie’s wish to win trophies, why not do it with the club where he made a name for himself? He can’t possibly believe that winning a championship while riding shotgun with Messi would mean the same as winning one at Arsenal.”

Good question, why exactly can’t Van Persie win trophies with Arsenal? He says that the club lacks ambition but let us face facts here this is a team which reeling from the loss of two very good players last year plummeted as low as it’s possible to go before bouncing back to finish third.

Agreed the squad lacks some depth in places but it would seem that Wenger and Gazidis have been working to correct that situation this Summer.

Giroud and Podolski have come in and if the papers are to be  believed will be joined by at least two more signings. Add to that Lansbury and Bartley who have been promoted to the first team and the return of Jack Wilshere from injury and we look a bit better set up to maybe go the distance this year.

If they squad hadn’t of  been so thin last year we would have been better equipped to compete across all fronts without having to throw everything into securing champions league football and personally I believe we would have picked up a trophy, even if it were “just” a Carling cup or FA cup.

If Robin Van Persie is so driven and ambitious, then he should prove it.  He is under contract for one more year, fair enough choose not to renew but see the remaining year out and show everyone that it really isn’t about the petro dollars.

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Former Arsenal XI

9 07 2012

I was sat at home last night wallowing in self pity over the looming prospect of losing our captain and best player for what feels like the millionth season running.  Well maybe it isn’t exactly like that but it is certainly how it feels sometimes!

I decided that the best thing to do would be to play a little game with myself, no nothing like that ;). I decided to try and field the best XI I could dream up based on players that Arsenal have either sold or released in recent years.

The only rules I obeyed were that it had to be a 4-3-3 as that is what we are currently playing and all players have to currently have footballer as their job description.

Below is my attempt, I would be interested to see what others amongst you come up with

football formation

 

Not too shabby really, whilst it might not be a team that would win you the Champions League it would have a good go at competing!





Not so reliant Robin

5 07 2012

Often in life it isn’t what you say that matters, it is how you say it.
I can only but assume that a certain Mr. R. Van Persie and his agent were never made aware of this fundamental lesson. Otherwise they might have shown a bit more savvy when issuing yesterday’s statement.

Fair enough Robin doesn’t want to renew his contract with the Arsenal, that is his right. At the end of the day club loyalty and all the rest of it aside we are dealing with employees not slaves. My boss can’t force me to keep fixing broken things on the internet and Arsene can’t force Robin to pull on a Gunners jersey.

I don’t even think it is much of a surprise to the fans that he has made this decision, after all if he were dead set on staying then this would have all been wrapped up and put to bed a long, long time ago.

No, what fans, the club and anyone who has followed the saga with even half an eye will be bristling at is the manner in which the statement was worded.

Not to put too fine a point on it the whole thing came across as an attempt to take an underhanded dig at the manager, the club and the way things have been handled.

It was nothing more than a ham-fisted attempt to get the club to sell him now as opposed to running down the last year of his contract.
If part of the idea was to trade on the goodwill of the fans after his quite frankly extraordinary performances last season than I think it has backfired a little.

Arseblogger sums it particularly well:

“The statement is littered with, and I choose my words carefully here, bollocks. For example, when he talks about the meeting he had at the end of the season with Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger:

Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.

Perhaps if Robin were the manager this might be appropriate but he’s a player, it’s not. It doesn’t matter if he’s captain. This particular section of the statement is quite pointed. If you disagree in ‘many aspects’ with the manager about the club of which you are captain then it makes it very difficult to continue at that club. The thinly veiled criticism of the manager might well be something certain fans agree with, and we’ve all had our issues with Arsene, but it was a low blow coming from a player who has received nothing but 100% backing from the boss in all the time he’s been here, through some very difficult times.

My goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days.

So the way to fulfill that goal is to cause ructions and try and make the club sell you? Nice one.

I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch.

Well, he’s certainly kept the medical staff busy. How much consideration did he give to how the club was going to move forward when he returned from international duty injured on more than one occasion? Or all those times he was crocked while playing for us? How is that after one full season in the eight years since we bought him he feels it appropriate to talk about giving his all. I’m not doubting his commitment when he plays, not by a long shot, but if he were an ever-present he might have a point. As a player whose absences have probably contributed to our lack of silverware, he doesn’t.

There are untruths in there too. He said:

As soon as Mr. Gazidis is back from his 2-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments.

This prompted Arsenal’s Director of Communications to flatly deny the claim on Twitter, but that this was in the statement at all is quite pointed indeed. It suggests that Gazidis is more concerned with his holiday than the future of the captain and I suspect there was a great deal of mischief making in the timing of this announcement.”

The club have of course taken the moral high ground and issued a far more classy, calm statement of their own

” We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfill his commitments to the Club.

We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal’s best interests in mind.”

Now I am personally in two minds about running down the last year of his contact. On the one hand I am all for it, partially because it would show players who that ultimately the club is boss, that there is a contract in place and that they do have to respect that. Also because it is exactly what Van Persie doesn’t want to happen.

On the other hand I say fuck Robin and the horse he rode in on, let him fuck off to Citeh or Juve or wherever the hell will take his perma-crocked, mercenary arse.
Do we really want a surly, moaning, twat hanging around for a year?  Taking up a place in the squad, affecting morale, clogging up one of the largest wages and generally putting a downer on things.

Nope if I weigh things up objectively in my head I would say cash in. Why not recoup some of the medical costs we have shelled out on him over the years and use the funds to bring in another striker to compliment Giroud and Podolski? After all there is no guarantee that RVP will deliver the goods this year or ever again for that matter.

Based on what we know from the past he is as likely to snap both legs whilst playing a friendly against Botswana and spend the next 3 years on the treatment table.

I have a message for our illustrious captain. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say and came to the conclusion that the immortal words of the Bay City Rollers say it better than I ever could.





Nasri joins City

23 08 2011

$amir Na$ri

In yet another shock transfer that no-one at all saw coming Arsenal winger, Samir Nasri, has agreed to join cash rich b*stards Man City.

Nasri is set to earn a shit ton of money and will join such other former Arsenal players as Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor in warming the bench at Eastlands.

Meanwhile Arsenal will receive a fee believed to be in the region of £25 million, not bad for a man with half a season of decent football to his name.

Following a number of departures this Summer it might be about time for the rest of the team to be reminded of Arsenal’s club motto

Victoria Concordia Crescit / Victory through Unity

Perhaps a little more focus on the team and a little less focus on their pockets might help deliver the trophies that we as fans and presumably they as players long for.

 





Joel Campbell rejects Arsenal

20 07 2011

Joel Campbell scanning the horizon for cash

Depending on how much of an alcoholic you are (says the man who reviews beer!) you may or may not remember the weekend.

If you are somehow able to recall what happened a few days /pints ago you might remember the assured tone taken by many “respected” sources as regards the “signing” of Costa Rican international striker Joel Campbell.

We were told that a fee had been agreed and that there was even an agreement in principle between Arsenal and the player, his own father/agent/twat, Humberto Campbell, told us that they were thrilled and everything would be signed, sealed and delivered within the next 24 hours.

Magically the next morning everything had changed, quelle fucking surprise, now we were hearing how other offers had arrived from a host of European clubs and that whilst Arsenal were in “pole position” nothing was in the bag just yet.

Fast forward a few days and we are now told by Campbell senior that his son will be staying with current club Deporivo Saprissa for the foreseeable future in order to focus on the Under 20 World Cup in Colombia.

Apparently there are offers on the table that need to be analyzed and that they will negotiate after the world cup, in his own words “We hope to go to the World Cup and that Joel plays well without pressure. We’ll see what happens.”

Now whilst this is an admirable line for his father/agent to take it does rather fly in the face of his prior dealings and comments….

In fact reading between the lines one might be inclined to believe that what he is really hoping for is that his little darling has an impressive World Cup and that all of a sudden clubs cheque books fly open like a whores legs.

Juan Carlos Rojas the president of his son’s current club had this to say on the matter:

“It’s disappointing for football, for Saprissa that these people have not taken Arsenal’s offer seriously,” explained Rojas.

“I assume the father thinks things will get better after the decision, but there’s always a risk.”

Hmmm… seems I’m not the only person who hears the pitter patter of greedy feet. Personally I hope the whole venture backfires terribly for him, if there is one thing Arsenal doesn’t need it is more money grabbing cunts/agents and their sneaky tricks.





Homemade Onion Bhaji

25 10 2010

I was making  Indian food yesterday  and my brother asked me if I wanted him to pick up some onion bhajis from the takeaway in town on his way home from watching the Arsenal vs Man City game.

I said no of course as I don’t see the point in spending €6.50 for 3 super greasy over cooked bhajis when I can make dozens for far less money and with far more taste.

So here is my recipe for making delicious onion bhajis at home:

  • 100 g of gram flour (if yiou haven’t got gram flour then use plain white flour)
  • 2 large onions cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium sized red chili cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of garam masala
  • handfull finely chopped fresh corriander leaves
  •  pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 100 ml of water
  • 200 ml of rape-seed oil to fry

 

mix together the gram flour,onions, chilli,spices and seasonings

add the water to it, mixing it constantly, until you have formed a fairly thick batter

heat oil in a saucepan

using two spoons form the bhajis and place into the hot oil

ensure that there are no more than 2 bhajis in the pan at once or the temperature will drop

fry the bhajis until they are a nice golden brown colour and have a nice crisp texture

pat the fried bhajis with a kitchen towel to soak excess oil, if you aren’t eating the bhajis straight away they will keep perfectly well in a low  oven until you are ready.

These Bhajis are great by themselves but are even better with something to dip them in, personally I would make a nice raita to accompany them.








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