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Keeping a close eye on his whereabouts

It will be scene just like in the movies. He puts on a giant overcoat and was lead out of the hotel via the back door. There was already a vehicle waiting that would take him straight to the airport. The privately owned aircraft have deflective mirrors that could make it look like it disappear from the sky. A short journey later, the star is whisked to a nearby ground where he left his impression on a piece of contract.

That’s what the entire Robin van Persie flying back from Germany to Manchester and sealing his move to United, feels like to me. And that is a whole lot of crap. It’s never like in the movies. I doubt the security personnel of the team or the hotel would be kind enough to oblige to all this without the consent of the team. So, a lot was made of nothing. Absolutely nothing. There has been an impasse in proceedings concerning his transfer, not only to United.

But, it raised a different sort of question with me. Looking at the responses online, there’s a big no from the Arsenal community when talking about the possibility of selling RvP to United. There’s in fact less objection is the blue side of Manchester is RvP’s preferred choice of destination. Please bear in mind that these are the people who have turned their backs on RvP, the moment his statement was released. The very same people who already think it would quite impossible for the incumbent captain to remain at Arsenal Football Club.

It’s a point of view which makes me a little curious. What is it about United that makes fans detest to allow RvP to move there when we all couldn’t care less if he’s staying with us or not.

A point was raised on the rivalry between the two clubs, Arsenal and United. Yes, a rivalry in the Premier League that has been unmatched. Those 7 years between 1998 to 2005 when you don’t need to look beyond the two clubs for the top 2 places. The matches were intense and big affairs. But another 7 years has elapsed between that period and now. The last 7 years which sometimes produced the odds win for Arsenal over United but it is hardly the intensity compared to previously.

However, from the fans’ viewpoint it’s a little different. We hang on to things longer than we should. Perhaps some are hinging on the rivalry factor, just to ensure that we don’t feel that far apart from United than what’s on paper. Fans are also bitter people (I’m guilty of the same crime). No one who followed Arsenal pre 2006 would be able to forget that night at Old Trafford when we were cheated out of hitting the 50 mark on our unvincible run. A match that had dire effects on the rest of the season as well.

There are also those who believe that Manchester City are so far ahead of us, that another player to them won’t make a huge difference to them. Whereas, United have a lacklustre squad which would be greatly enhanced by having a Dutchman in their ranks. Which is a fair point to make but the league table from last season tells a different story. Both United and City finished level on points, both 19 points more than us. On the other hand, we have strengthened but United has not made any progress in the transfer market, yet.

In which case, I would argue that it would be both as damaging to us. Neither have made inroads into strengthening their sides while we have. While even with the same set of players, potentially, some could improve over this period and contribute more in the upcoming season. Or perhaps, players who were unavailable last season but has since come back from injury or loans to make the team stronger. Both cases, would make United and City a slight improvement comparatively to last season. However, these are negated out by those players whose form will drop or age catching up with them. In short, United and City would have remained stagnant from last season (though, still time for them to rectify this).

On our own, it’s preferable not to keep RvP (you may have different opinion on this matter). I’d rather not keep him after what has happened. It would take a lot of statements of sorry and humbleness for me personally, to see him play for the club once again. That said, his quality is undeniable and up till now, there’s no major concern over his long term health and fitness. That’s not to say he won’t break down after 3 successive games but perhaps a sign that his treatment room allocation has been fully utilised. Wherever he goes, RvP would definitely improve the team that he joins.

For me, it makes no difference who he joins. I won’t be more/less angry whichever side he chooses (unless it’s Spurs). We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, should he stay after all. The reason is mainly because I’ve seen the improvement done to our squad and it’s very encouraging. Per Mertesacker hit the nail on its head when he said the squad is stronger going into the new season. We’ve got competition in every single position. Not just youngster who are behind and fighting for their spot, but experienced professionals who would be starters elsewhere.

We let them take a step forward but we’ve already walked 3 steps forward. The gap is, very much closer now.