Have Arsenal been planning for RvP's departure?

By Avenell Dave

There was a sad inevitability about the fact that Robin van Persie does not want to extend his contract at Arsenal.

At 28/29, he's got one big payday and needs to make sure he is somewhere competing for trophies guaranteed. He can get no such guarantees at Arsenal.

Us fans can feel betrayed with the manner in which he announced his plans - and the reports that the club were blindsided by his actions does not do the Dutchman any favours in the integrity stakes.

It is easy to lambast a player who, in the business which is football, cannot wait around for promises or expectation.

Would it have mattered if Arsenal had signed M'Vila, Hazard and Vertonghen for instance? Somehow, I doubt it.

Football is a short career and no one, thinking dispassionately, can blame RvP for deciding to go to a team who are already competitive and challenging for top honours.

We can argue that when he leaves, van Persie will find himself afforded none of the status or guaranteed game time he had with us.

We can argue that after nurturing and indulging him for countless years of injury-ridden expectation, a season and a half of decent performances is scant return for our investment.

But football is business and everyone is in it for themselves.

If Arsenal had sold van Persie three years ago, would we be traitors to him in the same way we feel he is to us now?

Reading the headlines and opinion pieces this morning, it's clear that most of the media side with that idiot Piers Morgan, who called for David Dein to return (he who messed up the C@$hley Cole deal and lost one of our best players in the process), for Ivan Gazidis to go and talking about the game as if it was Football Manager.

We all wish some of the deadwood would leave. We all wish the club had bigger resources to compete, but the fact is, we will NEVER compete with Ch*vski and Citeh.

The sooner some fans realise that, the better.

Would getting Usmanov to give us some short-term investment be a wise move? Of course not. The route the club has gone down is the route we have to accept - because UEFA, for all their faults, have put together a robust team of litigators to ensure that it's adhered to and we have to trust that it will be enforced.

The fact that we have gone out and signed Podolski (who never mentioned playing with RvP in any quotes he made after he signed) and Giroud tends to suggest forward planning rather than building and we have to hope they are greater than the sum of RvP alone.

Yes, there is plenty of business for Arsenal to do this summer - including a bidding war which I am convinced Arsene Wenger started with his comments on Tuesday about van Persie - but such is football.

Those who believe Gazidis is on holiday at a time like this have no clue as to the schedules and focus the executives have for the transfer window.

I am convinced that we'll see a total of at least half a dozen more players turnover in the first team this summer.

But in case I've not hammered home the point - football is business, not a computer game. Deals don't happen overnight.

Thanks Robin, for all you have done over the last 18 months. Now move along. We have a team to support.