“Who needs Batman, when you have Robin?”
That’s what the fans were loudly proclaiming last year. There were banners at Emirates Stadium. Hell, there’s a Facebook page for that hallowed chant… which is now no doubt destined for the scrap heap of Facebook pages.
Robin van Persie was greatly revered by the Arsenal faithful, for all of one magnificent year in which he produced his best football. The other seven odd years were average and injury-plagued. But last year was special. Did it make up for all those other years? The jury’s out on that.
But now he’s gone! Like so many other promising players before him in recent years. Why? One can’t help feeling that the ego’s of football players inflate in direct proportion to their popularity. Perhaps the fans are to blame for treating them like demigods.
Club loyalty plays second fiddle to personal ambition. Perhaps it’s just the lure of easy money. Certainly, 200 000 quid a week can buy a few Batmobiles and a some Harley’s besides. Is anyone capable of resisting?
And then, perhaps it’s a good thing he’s gone. An unhappy player does the team no good, as Cesc Fabregas proved a few years ago. Besides, the £24m due from Manchester United for van Persie, almost wipes out the cost of bringing in Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla, who by one friendly pre-season performance alone, look like the real deal.
Yes, perhaps all’s well that ends well…