The Coward Does It With A Kiss: Goodbye Robin, Now We Look To The Future

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Aug 15th, 2012

There are most likely hundreds of RVP articles on blogs at this very moment in time and there will be many more over the next few days so I apologise for giving you yet another however I doubt this will be read by many. Some of my fellow bloggers will blame the club and profess their continued love for Robin whilst others will blame him and declare it as greed.

We’ve all known deep down inside that this was going to happen but I must admit I didn’t expect it to cut so deeply.

After Cesc I believed that I was prepared. After our strong summer signings I believed that I would brush off Van Persie leaving when it eventually came around.

I was wrong.

I foolishly allowed myself to believe that Robin loved the club and have tried to rationalise potential moves but I cannot rationalise our captain and talisman leaving for Manchester United.

I do feel betrayed and I do feel let down.

A true friend stabs you in the front.
― Oscar Wilde

I lost all respect for Robin when he released that statement in July but I held on to the words he spoke many times about always being a Gooner. Saying you will always be a Gooner and then joining United is like saying you’ll never be a racist and then donating money to the BNP. Okay maybe that’s a little melodramatic but it’s bloody close!

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword.

― Oscar Wilde

The coward does it with a kiss

However…. underneath that disappointment and feeling of betrayal there is a simmering hope and innate sense of relief.

We will start the season with a fully committed squad for once (I’m not so sure the Song rumours are true) and as I have said many times and as my good friend Dave Seager of 1nildown2oneup blogged so succinctly about in May, I believe that we start this season stronger as we are a team again.

Much was made of our performances in preseason in Asia and I said at the time that preseason is the time to make mistakes and that the team will improve. I will not proclaim our game against Köln to be a barometer for how this season will fare compared to last as it was also a preseason game however I will say that if you consider how great our movement was and how in tune our new signings were and remember it was a preseason game and that we can only improve as the season develops then I think you’ll agree it’s fair to say “Robin who?”.

We have sufficiently replaced Robin already and any new striker that comes in will be a bonus. We are no longer reliant on a single goal threat and without a vessel through whom all play is channeled we are more dangerous as we are less easily nullified.

Arsenal may not have agreed the sort of financial deal that I was hoping we’d get for Robin but it’s pretty darned good for a player with his appearance record and at the age he is.

It would be foolish of me to suggest that Robin has had “one good season” and that he is unlikely to do it again however age, injury record and history are not in his favour and there are no guarantees that he will gel with his new teammates or forge new near-telepathic connections with United players the way he did with Theo and Song.

We may be losing one great player but that does not mean United are gaining a great player.

I’d like to say “Thanks for the memories Robin” but he will always be remembered for the wrong reasons and will be reviled by those who once adored him.

So long Robin, I do not wish you well and I am quite happy in my vindictiveness when I say I hope to see you trophy-less in May and deeply regretting your decision to leave the new champions when you had a chance to make history and I hope to count Arsenal lucky to have sold when they did. Your value will never be higher yet your stock will never be lower.

Here’s to the future and double figures for #PodGOALski and Giroud who score when they want.

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

32 Responses to “The Coward Does It With A Kiss: Goodbye Robin, Now We Look To The Future”

  1. Fantastic article and fully agree with everyone you’ve said. Nothing more to add really. I think it’s time we let this one die out.

  2. RAG says:

    Good thoughtful comments

  3. funsho fagboyegun says:

    The coward leaves when the going gets though… He left just when he was few inches in reaching the treasure after 7years of digging… I do not wish you well!!

  4. I’m still raw with emotion. Like you said, we thought that after Fabregas we could ‘chest’ any sort of knock-down by a want-away player wanting to want-away, if you know what I mean.

    I have a few words for him tomorrow, a prayer I said with sweat coming down my brows; it’s a prayer from the heart. Don’t think me overly emotional or cruel, hell hath no furry like a Gunner blogger scorned. I WAS scorned.

    What’s left is to watch how things play out at the club, all the while hoping that we have a team more dedicated and defensively alert than the ones we had before.

    Great post Dan.

  5. vernat1066 says:

    Well said especially the part about value and stock, now lets concentrate on players at the club, maybe Arshavin can extend his deal and play centrally where he is most effective with Cazorla there as well and Theo if he signs a new contract things would be looking good when you add Giroud and Poldi

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Thanks mate. Glad you enjoyed it and the value/stock quote, I particularly enjoyed writing that bit 😉

  6. cupsui says:

    I actually feel more relieved today than i thought i would. I was so over this soap opera and 24 million pound for a 29 with 1.5 solid seasons at his back and 7 injury plagued ones, and only 1 seaon left on contract…wenger did a really good deal in my books!!
    going to manure where he is a very similar player to rooney albeit with a little more skill, isn’t going to be as easy as he thinks and they still have a shocking midfield. They do have some hella good wingers and now strikers but their defence isn’t what it was, and luck cannot shine on them forever…it would be so good to see them have a poor season and robin struggle and begin to act like he does for the dutch…oh and at his wage have some more debt glazers and manure!!

    well said all in all Dan…We have a squad and for the first time since viera we have a REAL captain no just a default best player who supposedly “leads” by example yet none of them have (even henry bailed on his team!!)

  7. Fall River Gooner says:

    Loved the Oscar Wilde quote. I agree, I DO NOT WISH WELL, Piss off.

  8. benhan says:

    I love the Oscar Wilde quote too. Couldn’t write it better for this occasion.
    This day for me is the final day of betrayal. If there’s something good we can take from it, it would be for Wenger to realize that player’s loyalty doesn’t exist anymore in this money driven game. I feel sorry for him. A player he grew and covered in warm blanket turned out to be a coward and rebel like this.
    We could understand if Van Persie moved for money, but don’t say the nice words about direction, ambition and never question the man who helped bringing you to be the player you are today.

    He’s not even a striker for Dennis’ sake. The disappointment is because we thought he was different. But he isn’t. He is worse than Adebayor who stated honestly he wanted to move for money.

  9. cin says:

    Fantastic article….. Lot came from your heart.

    We all know this is ridiculous, our best player joined our big rival. If he join Mancity i don’t care much. As an arsenal fan i don’t want to to see him in United shirt at all.

    Even if Arsenal sign some good players, Arsenal club proved they don’t have any ambition and they are still concentrating only on profit not for trophies. They are trying to spend 0 every year. I think once they sell Bertner, Arshawin and some others, they will get money they spent this summer or some profits.

    Very sadly, Arsenal is not going to win anything like this, selling their best players and captions every year.

    Really Arsenal wants to win anything ? I don’t think so.

  10. G says:

    Well goodbye Robin, you’re off to the theatre of YOUR dreams, so as they say in show business go “BREAK A LEG” on MNF

  11. mogooner says:

    well said !

  12. ZB20H says:

    I don’t really understand the emotional attachment to any single player. Players come and go, full stop. Van Persie’s decision is completely rational from his point of view and I hold no malice for him. We all support Arsenal not any particular individual.

    The only thing that really matters is how is this going to affect the team overall. With the replacements already bought and hopefully a better organised defence and a better balance in midfield I think we have reasons to be optimistic.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      So do I however football is all about emotions and supporters will always make emotional connections with players. No player is bigger than the club but without the players there is no club to support.
      It’s okay to be disappointed with a player and it’s okay to criticise them for leaving.

    • ZB20H says:

      My emotional connection is to the club not to any individual that happens to be representing it at the time. I am disappointed that van Persie has left but only to the extent that the team might be worse off as a result.

      I really don’t understand the criticism, van Persie has made a decision that he feels will be good for him (whether it is or not we will find out). Any of us would do the same in our working lives.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      My emotional connection is to the club not to any individual that happens to be representing it at the time

      You miss my point. The emotional connection to the club is eternal however in the moment most people have a connection to the players. Every memory you have of Arsenal will centre around a player or a group of players. Every game, every title, every win, every loss will have a player or a manager (in short, a person) within that memory.

      I really don’t understand the criticism, van Persie has made a decision that he feels will be good for him (whether it is or not we will find out). Any of us would do the same in our working lives.

      I cannot tell you how much I disagree with this and with all due respect how ridiculous I find such rationalisation. These players are all multi-millionaires and will retire as such regardless of earning £100k a week or £200k a week. At this level of football you can afford to be emotional about your decisions. If someone offered a normal working person double their salary of course they would take it but we are not talking about normal wages. If you “love” the club as so many of these players say that they do then there is no need to move. I love the club and if I earned what RVP earns and I played for Arsenal I wouldn’t move for all the tea in China. Double money is great but if you don’t need the money or if the money won’t drastically change your life then why do it? I can see no rational reason other than “I want more money” which is basically greed.

    • ZB20H says:

      Yes of ourse your memories of golden moments will feature people, the game is populated by human beings. However when I think back to Anfield ’89 I do not get misty eyed about Michael Thomas, the emotions it brings out are about how I felt at that moment, how the Arsenal fans there reacted, how my Liverpool supporting mates felt. The individuals acting out the drama are completely subordinate and that goes for all such moments.

      With your points about van Persie you have fallen into two traps. Football players do not ‘love’ the clubs they are playing for no matter what they say. They are professional people and they are not like us fans in any regard.

      Two, you focus on the money aspect of the move and finally accuse him of greed. People change jobs for many reasons not just money, it is quite possible that he feels the professional challenge at Manchester United will be more rewarding for him and this is what is really upsetting you and other people. And quite frankly given the recent history on what rational basis can you say that he is more likely to get those professional rewards, i.e. medals, at Arsenal than Man United?

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Firstly, you are probably alone in your manner of reminiscing. The fans when went mental when Thomas scored the goal because they knew what it meant and 99.9% of fans remember the hysteria of that moment but they refer to it as “the moment Thomas won us the league”. You’re trying to romanticise your affection for the club over players. Players make the team, the team make the moments, the moments make the fans, the fans make the supporters, the supporters make the club. No-one ever says “I was there they day some dude scored, I can’t remember his name but he was wearing a red and white shirt I think and he did this amazing piece of skill, I can’t remember what it was exactly but it was really good but long story short we won the trophy and let me tell you in great detail this is exactly how the fans erupted…… I can also vividly remember the guy standing next to me, he had the biggest grin on his face and the tiniest little scar below his left nostril that stretched out with how much he was smiling and I remember thinking to myself ‘I’ll remember this guys face for ever as is encapsulates the moment so perfectly’ and d’know what? I have remembered it”

      Secondly you assume that I have fallen into a trap. I have not. I merely said that if “love” exists (regardless of whether I take it with a pinch of salt or not) then there is no need to move if you are financially secure which premiership footballers are. Of course we can say it was greed. If we offered him £250k a week to stay do you still think he would have moved? If he was that concerned about trophies he could have forced a move anywhere by taking less money. Cesc did it. Martinez has supposedly done it with his move to Bayern.
      Sure he had a better chance of winning something with United based on recent history but there is a saying in football that you are only as good as your last season and last season United also finished pot-less. If ambition is Robin’s motivator then you could argue that Arsenal have the stronger squad this year and would have been even better than United’s if he stayed. If Robin had stayed at Arsenal I would have argued that United were stronger in only one area and that would have been left back. Their keepers are no better than ours. Our RB is far better than theirs. Our centre-backs are of equal status and potential stronger considering Vidic’s injury problems, Rio’s age and loss of pace and the fact that of their other three centre-backs two are very raw and one isn’t Man U standard. Their midfield is weaker than ours and Kagawa is no better or no improvement on Cazorla. Their wingers are no better than ours however I do admit their game suits wingers more but still ours made more assists and scored more goals and Rooney is no better than RVP and if RVP had stayed you cannot tell me that Podolski and Giroud are worse than Welbeck or Hernandez?

      It can be argued that it was for money and it can be argued that it was for ambition. I don’t agree with the ambition argument as Arsenal have shown more ambition in this transfer window and have an excellent balance of experience and youth now so I am left with no other option than greed.

    • ZB20H says:

      Players come and go, get over it.

      For years I have heard Arsenal fans saying how ‘average’ Man United are and every season they finish above us, why is that?

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Who said I was under it? 😉

      Players do come and go but whilst they are here they are a part of the club and as such are important. I can’t comment on previous years as I felt their team was stronger than ours, in fact prior to the 8-2 last season I told a Man U supporting friend of mine I thought they’d spank us… I thought 3-0 and how I wish that was the case. This season however we have a better team, more players, more experienced players, fewer injured players and generally more depth to the squad than United. We’ll see in May if I was right.

    • ZB20H says:

      Well lets hope you are correct. I do think Arsenal can have a good season and I think we may be a much more exciting team to watch this time round. However I think it will be Manchesters fighting it out for the title, or Nasri vs RvP if you like.

  13. Mohamed Zubairu says:

    I hope Wenger learns from this that loyalty is a thing of the past in football. Players have ttansfered their loyalty from clubs to money. Wenger should stop having faith in misfiring amd injury prone players bcos they don’t repay the faith. Hire those you need and fire those you don’t. The system that sees average playerrs earning so much money that make their sale difficult should be abolished. Contracts should be improved according to performance.

  14. Danny says:

    When Cesc left I think there was a real emptiness about the club. Wenger’s dream seemed shattered, his whole philosophy appeared to be over. Cesc was the hub of all that Arsene had tried to do. I think Arsene was deeply troubled by that, this affected the whole club. The whole atmosphere was negative, pre-season and into the season. The 8-2 was the lowest point results wise, but in effect it was the beginning of the revival. After that Arsene acted. The signings were made and slowly the club began to pick itself up.

    RVP’s going if certain reports are to be believed was in the final chapter instigated by Arsene, after mulling over RVP’s statement (RVP himself possibly ready to rethinkl his position). Whether true or not, Arsene, whilst disappointed has already acted. The club is for the first time since 04, not reliant on one individual: be it Henry, Cesc, or RVP.

    The club can take the loss, is actually improved by it, not just financially, but able to introduce more variety into its attack than would have been possible with one star at the helm.

  15. MattR says:

    Spot on!

    Not only has he let himself down (that statement), he’s let his Dad down (who said he was loyal and wouldn’t join another EPL team), and he’s let the Arsenal faithful down (joining our bitter rivals).

    I hope that we take last year’s team ethic into this season and we don’t miss him. I fear that RVP was somewhat influential in developing that team ethic and without him there it may disappear as quickly as it arrived.

    I also hope at least some of that money is reinvested, not necessarily in a striker, but elsewhere in the team – I hope this is not the start of an attempt to balance the books. I really hope that we are ‘investing’ in the squad this summer.

    I’ve already taken a token bet with a Man Utd supporting mate that we’ll finish above them – they had a completely underwhelming team last year (they weren’t branded ‘the worst Man Utd team to (nearly), ever win the League’ for nothing), and I’m not a fan of their summer transfers at all: an 18 year-old midfielder from League 2, Kagawa (who I know I would have liked, but Cazorla is far better), and RVP if he stays fit. Scoring goals last season didn’t seem to be an issue for them – I thought they had bigger problems to rectify and those signings haven’t done that (I imagine there may be some United fans saying similar things about SAF as we have been saying about Wenger over the last couple of transfer windows).

    They have an ageing defense and the new flappyhandski for their GK. Take nothing away from Giggs or Scholes but they’re way past their best and I wouldn’t touch Cleverley or Fletcher with the proverbial. Young didn’t impress much last year. Is Powell really the answer to any of them? I wait to see on Kagawa, but it’s hardly enough. There’s certainly not any strength in depth – if Kagawa, Valencia, Anderson or Carrick get injured who’s providing the final ball to Rooney or RVP?

    If we can get one or two more key players in I think we’ll have a much better squad that United (and they’ve pissed their transfer budget now thanks to us). That’s the only saving grace I have over the whole situation.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I think Robin was a big part of last years team spirit but I also think he pissed a number of players off with his attitude towards them. I think we’ll be a much better team this year without him. I said we’d be a better team without Cesc and Nasri (maybe not a better squad but we fared better) and I think the same about RVP. He has clearly inflated his own self-worth and his egomania is better suited to Manchester United than it is to our club. When Henry left the rest of the players stepped up and flourished. I think the same will happen with RVP however I would have preferred to keep him. We move on however and if the team can use the Köln performance as our basic level and improve on that then I look forward to seeing Van Persie cry into his empty hands come May.
      It’s bitter of me but I really want to see him end his career with nothing more than a handful of cups and a heart full of regrets at Arsenal’s back to back title winning seasons over the 4 years of his MU contract.

    • MattR says:

      Totally agree!

  16. Faisal Amri says:

    ROBIN WHO???
    Moving to united? that really fucking shit !!! city its gonna be ok, but united???

  17. G says:

    Let’s see the next 48hours, if Barcelona are serious, then I think Song will go or it will be another season long saga before he goes next year, as well as Walcott, that’s why in my opinion, Wenger bought early, as he knows a lot more than we do. If Song goes, he would have to move quickly for M´Vila, then win something this year and we stand a chance of keeping Walcott. Lose them and win nothing, then watch the offers come in next summer for Jack

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