I remember defending Robin all of last season and early on in the summer, despite him not signing a new contract. Then came the statement, and for some reason... I was still there defending him.
There was mass outrage at his press release, but then I read it, and then read it again... And I couldn't see what was wrong with it.
"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 FC should move forward"
Maybe it was distasteful to go behind the club's back, but what has he said that was actually wrong? He was at a club that had sold it's best players constantly while he remained. A club that insisted on blooding young players and building them up to the point where they were good enough, only to sell them. No genuine intent whilst he was there. He joined when he was surrounded by Henry, Vieira, Pires and Bergkamp. He left surrounded by Gervinho, Diaby, Chamakh and Ramsey. Clear decline.
The truth is that Wenger and Robin had a bust up in their meeting, and were no longer on talking terms. Van Persie was insistent on some new players to bolster the squad, whilst ensuring his quality teammates remained. He also wanted changes in style of coaching and the way the team approached matches. He received no guarantees. Wenger doesn't like being questioned, and the writing was on the wall for Robin after that meeting, & then the statement.
It hurt to see RVP go to United, at the time. Still hurts to see him in their shirt. A lot of people say "we signed Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla" but would we really have if Robin was gonna stay? Were they just replacements brought in before he left? well, it turned out that way. And the fact is, we never even offered Robin a contract in the end. We were intent on filling our boots with his sale.
Van Persie's a winner and a fighter. I truly believe he wanted to win at AFC, but felt he couldn't and had to leave. The way it's going so far this season, it seems that's the case and his move to United has been vindicated. Not sure who to attribute the blame too, but things are clearly worrying. People, like RvP, have every right to question our ambition. Especially when you sell the best striker in Europe to a direct rival.