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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Arsenal fan on Van Persie, 8-2 and backing Wenger

It’s been a while since Arsenal mounted a serious title challenge and their fans have become increasingly frustrated at Arsene Wenger’s seeming refusal to be competitive in the transfer market. This summer, at long last, Arsenal have been splashing the cash, but it looks as though as it may be too late to convince captain Robin van Persie that the club is ambitious enough to win trophies. Today’s papers claim that United are set to sign him.

Andrew Weber from Arsenal FC Blog has shared his thoughts on the coming season.

Scott the Red: What would have to happen this season for you to class this as a successful one?

Andrew Weber: I think with the excellent summer we have had, bringing in three quality attackers to freshen things up and avoiding the transfer mishaps of the previous seasons, we have reason to be optimistic. It might be ambitious to say ‘winning the Premiership’ but that is exactly what Arsenal fans will be hoping for and I have to count myself among them.

STR: How do you feel about your club’s business in the transfer window this summer?

AW: Extremely good. This stuff is alien to Arsenal fans in recent seasons. Cazorla looks a brilliant signing while Podolski and Giroud offer us options that we simply haven’t had: a direct snap-shooter with experience and a powerful centre-forward. The Robin van Persie situation has been a pity — more in the manner it has been handled than the actual event — however the club has been proactive with their dealings and that suggests lessons have been learned.

STR: What do you make of the RvP transfer saga? Which club would you like to see him at in 2012-2013?

AW: The way RVP’s agent delivered THAT media release was tasteless and ill-mannered however the club has managed the situation well. It remains to be seen whether this was some masterstroke of a ploy by our captain to provoke some spending from the club — although I highly doubt it — but the club has created a situation where whether he stays or goes we are in a good place. Regarding which club I’d like to see him at it would be Juventus, followed by Manchester United and then City, for obvious reasons.

STR: Who do you think will be your most important player this season?

AW: Mikel Arteta. He gives us something that nobody in the midfield possesses to the same level: a sense of calmness and tactical nous. He allowed Alex Song to flourish as a more attacking player last season and will likely accelerate Santi Cazorla’s integration into the team.

STR: How do you rate your manager’s ability to take your club forward?

AW: I personally have no questions about Arsene Wenger’s ability to continue moving this club forward. There is so much mystery around what he has to spend in recent seasons but this season suggests the Frenchman may have put his foot down. In an era of mad spending he has played to his strengths and the fact that we finished third after a shocking start last season and can even harbour outside hopes of a title victory this season speaks volumes.

STR: Where does 8-2 from last season rank in your worst days as an Arsenal fan?

AW: It was bad, but the novelty of it somehow lessoned the pain. Level-headed fans knew the ridiculous situation we were in going into that game and took the beating with a pinch of salt. Jenkinson had a shocker and Armand Traore, for example, was on the eve of a move to QPR and smiled his way through the game, giving a serious insight into how lightly he seemed to be treating the occasion. In all honesty the 4-3 loss a week later against Blackburn, featuring two own goals, was a much harder pill to swallow.

STR: Were you glad to see Chelsea win the Champions League because it denied Spurs their place in Europe for next season?

AW: The short answer: no. By winning Chelsea became the first club from London to become Champions of Europe and we will never be able to take that back. For all the rivalry that bubbles between Arsenal and Spurs I would much rather they have qualified for Europe than Chelsea anyway. Although I won’t say I didn’t enjoy the laugh!

STR: Who do you think will win the league this season?

AW: City are the best bet and no amount of loyalty or bias will change that.

————
Read the Arsenal FC blog and follow Andrew on Twitter.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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77 Comments

  1. 50 Shades of WillieRedNut says:

    Good article. Nice to see the gooners on here talking football. Not like the bitters, or dippers who only come on to spout waffle!

    If Arsenal get over £20mill for RVP, that’s a result for them. 29, with a history of injuries. Last year of his contract. Great deal for them, not so much for United. Quality player, though.

  2. wayne says:

    Tell you fucking nonsense that get’s printed,i know Utd were linked with Rodwell last year but never seen one article linking the club this summer,i’ll stand corrected but certainly wasn’t one of Utd’s main targets.
    Now headlines all over the place on City beat us to the punch and how it’s going to effect us,what a bunch of bollocks

  3. utd_fc says:

    kanchelskis

    apparently he hasn’t signed as yet so officially he’s still a Utd player. Barely, though i’d say. The twat can fuck off if he really wants to join the Spurs.

  4. markynorbs says:

    £25m “ROBIN BASTARDS!!!!”

  5. Rai says:

    Cedars, she’s crawling and saying “Dadda” now! Will be on in about 6 weeks. Spoke to King Eric yesterday he’s enjoying fatherhood too, and Kings is keeping busy.

    With RVP, if we could get 2 seasons out of him fully fit he’d be worth the money, it just seems to be against everything SAF has gone for in the past….unless he’s changing his transfer approach for this one target?
    £20m for the best striker in England last year isn’t bad business, but only if he stays fully fit. I guess the whole thing depends on whether SAF wants to gamble of play safe

  6. Rai says:

    Wayne – Never really been impressed with him. Type of player, age etc that if SAF wanted he would have got…..City’s panick buying policy has started ☺

  7. Fred says:

    Apparently the “Massive Club” were sniffing around Henriquez, trying to steal one of our targets again after we did the scouting job. Absolute cunts! Anyway, they’re a fucking flash in the pan, as evidenced by the fact that none of the big players they went after this summer wanted to sign for them (RVP, Hazard, De Rossi, God knows who else) and they’ve ended up with Everton reject Jack Rodwell as their big summer signing.

    Now don’t get me wrong, City have some fantastic players, particularly in attacking positions, but they’re about to find out the hard way that you can’t stand still in this game. The title is coming home. 8)

    Great to see the Gooners on here again, they’re always up for some good banter.

  8. CedarsDevil says:

    Rai

    Bet you drooled like a toddler when you heard her say that! Bless her

    The whole RvP issue has left me baffled to be honest, everyone on here knows how much I admire the fella but with already 4 recognized strikers on the cards its a strange one, but it could certainly signal the end of Berba at the club if it does happen

  9. Barndoor Bendtner says:

    Interesting comments from both sides of the divide. I miss the close rivalry of Utd/Gunners which was always fireworks on the pitch but unspoken, grudging respect off it. Hopefully we’ll give you a better run this season.

    My overriding feeling is that Utd need good midfielders desperately. I was genuinely surprised that you got even 2nd spot last term, with what I thought was a well below par team. SAF did a brilliant job, plus the fact is you have a better club mentality.

    RvP would be a gamble at anything over £15M IMHO, but you may get another gem of a season out of him. If it was my money, I’d spend it elsewhere. I would worry with your overdraft!!

    Also a bit surprised you all seem to rate Welbeck so high. I think he has a way to go yet.

  10. kanchelskis says:

    @Barndoor

    Welbeck certainly has room for improvement in some aspects of his game (finishing, decision-making), but he’s already shown that on a good day he can be unplayable. With the right attitude, he’ll become the league’s best striker. I’m sure of it.

  11. United Till I Die says:

    @Wakey @Gentle

    Cheers lads didn’t know he hasn’t played enough senior games for a permit. We’ve been following him for a while now so if he’s still that young he must be a precocious talent?

    @Gentle – I agree we don’t need RVP mate, but the manager seems very serious on signing him and he’d hardly bring down the quality of the Squad? My only grumble, if I’d even call it that, is the price we end up paying. Otherwise I see no problem, Hernandez kept Berbatov out the team and Welbeck kept both out the team. Whatever happens the best performers will play, and nothing wrong with competition, especially when the manager seems so keen on bringing somebody in. As for midfield I disagree mate, in addition to the new trio of Kagawa Ando and Tom we’ve still got Carrick, Scholes and Giggs, not to mention Powell who we signed for CM. Jones can also do a job in midfield so all in all I think we’ve got enough cover for 2 CM (4-4-2) or 3 CM (4-5-1) positions. I also disagree about WB mate, we normally only play with one anyway, the other 3 defenders normally stay put. They might not all be fit for Everton but we’ve got enough defenders for the season imo, and Fabio will be back at Christmas if we need him. The way I see it we’re good to go right now, any additional signings are extra gravy imo.

  12. Rai says:

    Cedars – I think the end for Berba is already here. It’s a shame that someone so talented can’t be integrated in our team more. Seems a real waste of talent and we’d be losing a good bloke

  13. 50 Shades of WillieRedNut says:

    When I seen reports of this `Pussy Riot` in the papers, I got excited. Then realised it’s a fucking punk movement!

  14. CedarsDevil says:

    Rai

    I cannot begin to tell you how much I love Berba, top talent and top bloke. However he hardly featured last season, I am sure the boss has his reasons and I for one will never question the boss

  15. fergie is the boss says:

    Rai – he is a good player, but he only had one good season out of 4, if we can even call last season a season for berbatov. Talent alone does not get you into the team, and when there is rooney and welbeck infront of you, its always a tough one for him to break that partnership up, there is also the brilliant kagwa, who can and will score more than berbatov, and can do the creative part that berbatov did in flashes. So it makes sense to move berbatov on now, and it is best for him. I thought breaking up rooney welbeck partnership is hard, but adding kagwa, his time is up

  16. fergie is the boss says:

    United Till I Die – it seems to me, the boss wants to play a diamond formation but using 2 wingers. with either carrick or cleverly sitting deep, with kagwa supporting the front 2

    DDG
    rafeal ferdinand vidic evra
    carrick/cleverly
    valencia nani
    rooney RVP/welbck

  17. fergie is the boss says:

    sorry my mistake on the team, forgot to add kagwa to that 11

  18. Rai says:

    FITB – I agree his time is up, just a real shame. When he was at Spurs I was desperate for United to sign him, shame it hasn’t worked out. Similar scenario with Veron (can you all believe that was 10 years ago).

    Cedars – I don’t see any harm in questioning the boss, of course he’ll always have the answers and he does know best, but the Berba scarario has been a strange one.

  19. United Till I Die says:

    haha @ Shady

    @FITB – alright mate? FKnows how we’ll line up, especially in a 4-4-2 as we’ve only got 2 CM positions! As far as pre-season I thought we best with Nani and Valencia on the right, Giggs and Evra on the left and Kagawa Ando and Tom in CM. Agreed that Kagawa looks like the most forward midfielder, but tIme will tell how the manager sees things. Im expecting loads of rotation anyway, we’ve got the players and system for it.

  20. CedarsDevil says:

    Rai

    No harm at all, personally I am just too blinded mate…… I am so in love with the man that I can never be critical of him!

  21. Rai says:

    Cedars – Fair enough mate…..I feel the same about Scholes…I’ve never seen him play a bad game

  22. CedarsDevil says:

    Rai

    Oh the Ginger Prince, bloody hell! Makes me chuckle when he goes in with one of him ‘trade mark’ tackles then gives the ref that innocent baby face look! Epic

  23. Rai says:

    We’ve got some quality in midfield with Carrick, Cleverley, Scholes, Giggs, Kagawa, (possibly Anderson)…..FUCK Barca

  24. Redial says:

    RVP looks quite a gamble in my opinion. But then, other than in FM12 game, I’m no true football manager. I believe SAF has good reasons for wanting him. And also, the keyword here for me is ‘quality’. I’m not bothered if we don’t sign a CM. It’s the left back position that gives cause for concern. However, Michael Keane did a decent job there methinks.

  25. Brooka says:

    When you watch Van Persie live he is one of the few players that, when he gets the ball, you genuinely get nervous because you know, more often than not, that the guy will produce an end product. In the 8-2 last seen, despite his penalty miss, the guy still looked a completely different class. He has presence, an aura and his left foot is a wand.

    I’m sick of my season ticket cash being spunked on interest payments and keeping the Glazers’ shopping malls open. Could I give a crap if it costs us £25 million?? Could I heck as like! Bring on Van Persie. It’s not often that you get the chance to sign a genuine world class player in his prime. This is one such occasion so everyone chill on the price, or where he’ll fit in. Van Persie will fit in and he will be a regular.

    Remember the really big games last year when we played Giggs or Park as the second striker? Next year it could be Kagawa and or Van Persie/Rooney. Tell me that is not improving your team? I can’t wait!

  26. Zibbie says:

    Oh what a read!

    MG awesome, at first your post’s caught my eye. Then transformed into the stories. Back ground at most, a heavy oak desk, an Old English Mastiff. You have a talent. Honed it into an artful transcendence of self.

    Be well 19.

  27. Crimguy says:

    Interesting read – I think it follows the logic of many Arsenal supporters (including myself).

    I’d say I have to agree with ManU fans who think 20-25M is too much for RVP. Yes, he did show his immense talent last year. Yes, he has the rare combination of shooting and ball handling that any club would want. But it’s hard not to look at last season as one where it was actually luck that kept him in the campaign from beginning to end. He’s shown a bit of fragility over the past 6 years, so I’d consider it a big risk for any club looking to spend up front. Probably why so few clubs are making offers.

    At their respective ages I too would prefer Welbeck over RVP any day and saturday. I’m frankly surprised Manchester wants to spend on that area. They’d do better working on a world class central defender to slot in after the rubberbands holding Rio together snap loose. I’m of the opinion that there are only so many of them around. Even the so-called best defenders in the world (Mertesacker e.g.) show certain deficiencies. Where’s the next Maldini? That’s where my money would go.

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