The interview that tells us RvP will stay at Arsenal

Ever since, Robin and Arsène announced they will not talk about a new contract for our Boy Wonder till after this season, I haven’t given RvP’s contract situation a second thought. That is, until last week Tuesday, when by chance – I was looking for some pre-match info for the Holland vs. England match. I found a video-interview between a NOS reporter, Bert Maalderink, and RvP.

NOS are the Dutch equivalent of the BBC and Maalderink seems to do the majority of NOS interviews with football players. His interviews are performed in a typical Dutch way – no, not naked and stoned – but open, challenging and at times even confrontational. ‘The truth’ is usually not covered up and there is often a mutual desire for a meaningful dialogue between the interviewer and the interviewee. I dare say, most English reporters would not get away with Maalderink’s style of interviewing and be told to do a personal bum-cheeks-splitter with their microphone. But, for the purpose of this post, it is great that the interviewer and interviewee are both Dutch, as the direct and open nature of the interview reveals a lot to us.

Although, I am usually a glass half-full person as with regards to players staying or leaving, I tend to be a bit more of a pragmatist: as long as no new contract is signed a player is more likely to leave than to stay, especially when a particular player only has one year left on his current contract (as RvP will be this summer). However, when I was watching the interview with Robin van Persie last week, I became unexpectedly, yet instantly, convinced RvP is staying put and will sign a new contract this summer.

Here is a translation of the second part of the interview (from 2.33 minutes onwards). Although I am not a trained translator, I am pretty confident my translation is doing the interview full justice:

BM: The question on everybody’s lips is: ‘What is he [RvP] going to do next year?’

RvP: Yes, we will see.

BM: Are you struggling with this?

RvP: No, not at all. I am doing fine, enjoying everything, training well, I am fit – knock on wood (he taps the microphone) – and all is going well.

BM: But what about people saying: ‘It’s a bit of a shame – Van Persie, who is head and shoulders above everything, playing in an Arsenal side which is not quite the very best of Arsenal sides ever’?

RvP: Well that’s funny, isn’t it? People consider this Tottenham team as the best ever and our team as the ‘worst’ (he makes a quotation mark with his fingers) ever, and we beat them 5-2: it is a bit crazy sometimes…

BM: Does that nag/hurt you a bit?

RvP: Sorry – what do you mean?

BM: Because I know why this is: everybody regards Arsenal as a higher-up team, and Tottenham, yeah – well, a bit lower-down, and when they are doing OK and Arsenal are doing less, well then people will say: oh how well Tottenham are doing, and Arsenal are performing less (below par).

RvP: Yeah, yeah, that is correct. Expectations are very high at Arsenal: we have a gigantic, beautiful, big stadium, a great number of fans, very beautiful history and people expect that we perform well right now – in the present.

BM: Do you think you [Arsenal] are performing well?

RvP: No, it can always be improved, we go for the highest achievable. In the last few years, as a club, we have not achieved that, so in that respect it has not been good enough.

BM: Are you somebody who will try his utmost with this club to still achieve success?

RvP: Well yes, I have been there eight years of course, and I am proud of that, and at the end of the season we will calmly sit down with the manager and the chairman [I assume he means Gazidis] and we will have a ‘nice cup of coffee’ (in Dutch: ‘dan gaan wij een bakkie doen’, which could not be more Dutch if you tried), all of us together, nice and cosy (in Dutch: ‘gezellig’ referring to a very friendly/informal sort of meeting/conversation).

BM: Because I feel you have become a ‘club player’ over there…

RvP: Yes, I am a real Gunner, which goes without saying, I have been there eight years, I love this club, that is no secret, and that will always stay like that.

BM: Therefore, would leaving now be ‘blasphemy’?

RvP: Well once again, at the end of the season, we are going to have a calm/relaxed talk about it, and then we are going to talk about a number of things, which I do regularly with the manager, and because of that occasion [contract talks] the chairman will be there as well.

BM: You are going to make the final decision then [at that meeting]?

RvP: Dan gaan we een bakkie doen: that is when we are going to have a nice cup of coffee.

Click here for the link to the interview

Most of you will not be able to understand any of this, but it is worthwhile to look at the last 3 minutes of the interview, just to see Robin’s face, and especially his eyes: they are smiling throughout and mostly so during the last five seconds of the interview. He also never touches his nose (a well-known sign of a possible lie being made), looks shifty or is not in control of the situation.

He is speaking to a Dutch journalist and does not need to do any Arsenal PR to him, so he himself chooses to say everything he does and that to me is the best proof that Robin really loves Arsenal and is going to sign a new contract. He is not exactly saying the latter of course during this interview, as he will still want to negotiate a fair and attractive contract, but in my opinion he said more than enough to convince me he will be at Arsenal next season and beyond.

RvP said: ‘Yes, I am a real Gunner, which goes without saying, I have been there eight years, I love this club, that is no secret, and that will always stay like that’, and this statement, combined with his wish to sort things out whilst doing ‘een bakkie’ is enough proof for me that he will stay at Arsenal.

RvP10, like DB10, has Arsenal-DNA in his blood and like the latter he will make a decision about his future based on a healthy balance between earning what he is worth, playing quality football and doing the best for him and his family. He is one of ours and around him we will build the next super-Arsenal team.

You might say, I am Dutching at Straws but I am very confident RvP will sign a new contract this summer. Without any doubt, there will be a million or more words written about RvP’s contract shenanigans, before he will finally put ink to paper. You can choose to read all of them, or be sensible and just remember what he has said in the interview above, and go with my interpretation of it. As I said a few days ago, I will eat LB’s newly purchased hat this season, if I am proven wrong. RvP is a true Gunner-for-Life and we are so lucky to have him.

Written by TotalArsenal

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249 Responses to The interview that tells us RvP will stay at Arsenal

  1. dandan says:

    Smashing TA Agree with you 100%, Taking wife for X-Ray now will talk later.

  2. Wenger try,I want RVP to stay

  3. groper cleveland says:

    sorry…there’s no way you can make those assumptions. die-hard devotee of the club or not, let’s face it: money talks. if someone told you they’d pay you $500 a day to write for this blog here…but then a blog at another site said they’d pay you $1000 a day to write for THEM, who would you go with? all this talk about club loyalty and whatnot is silly because at the end of the day these pro athletes are nothing more than hired guns working for a paycheck. THAT’S IT. get over the romantic notions that these guys will take massive pay cuts in order to play for the club they ‘love’

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Groper. You are making an assumption that all people are motivated by money. It may be so in your world but certainly not in mine.

    Quality of life is the driving force for most people. RvP is already wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. Let us assume (conservatively) that he has been earning an average of €2m p.a. at Arsenal. Nett that is about €8m over his 8 year career in his pocket prior to marketing income.

    Add in another €5m year from his next contract and you can see that he and his family are hugely wealthy.

    RvP’s negotiations will have nothing to do with money. They will be about the common future of Arsenal and his belief in the project.

    This puts aside family issues.

  5. Rob McMillan says:

    Groper couldn’t be more wrong!

    Players in their early to mid 20’s without a wife or kids may go where the money is but you only have to look at players with a family to see it’s not all about that.
    Beckham could have picked up mega bucks at PSG and turned them down as his kids and family are settled, Dennis was happy on a 1 year rolling deal because he was happy.
    RVP loves Arsenal but more than that his whole family are here, wife, kids, sister. Do you really think he will upset his whole family for a little extra money?

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    groper c, nobody gets paid to write for Arsenal Arsenal but I understand the point you want to make.

    Of course many football players are mercenaries by many others are not. What people often do is project their own values onto others.

    RvP belongs to the latter group imo, just like DB10 did. No doubt Bergkamp could have earned more money elsewhere, but he stayed at Arsenal because he loved the club, the way we played football and he valued living in England highly (taking his family into account as well). There are only four things that will make RvP leave Arsenal: 1. a derisory contract offer, 2. departure of key players and insufficient replacement 3. Wenger leaving this summer, 4. Robin’s wife desperately wants to leave England. I don’t think any of the above are likely to happen this summer.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Another fine read. Do you think the potential signing of Podolski is as a replacement for RvP? Or is he going to be the frontman with RvP playing the DB10 role?

    Or could it be that Arsenal have learned from the summer to pre-empt a departure?

    What is certain is that Park and Chamakh will leave – if we can find a buyer.

    Interesting times ahead.

  8. Franky says:

    Yes, but if you knew that the other blog would only publish your work once in a blue moon, and would probably get rid of you as soon as you got sick would the decision still be as clear cut? Thank goodness not all players are motivated by money like Cli$hy and Na$ri.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Well said Franky.

    Raddy, I can only imagine that RvP has said to Wenger Arsenal need another striker of PL quality in order to compete. I am sure he would welcome PL potential arrival with open arms. It does not require much genius to figure out that we are living dangerously this year with RvP being the only striker of quality.

    You could be right about RvP playing in the DB10 role and it looks like The Ox has potential for that role as well. So maybe we will change formation back to our so successful 4-4-1-1 as per the DB years?!?!?

    Like you wrote, interesting times ahead :)

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    I meant LP’s potential arrival

  11. RockyLives says:

    Thankyou TA
    What a top quality site AA is. I’ve seen those quotes before, of course, but what other blog would give you a deconstruction from a native Dutchman who is able to read all the nuances and subtle inflections.

    TA – you have me convinced (although I think it will help to show ambition in the transfer market, which we may already be doing if the Podolski story is true).

  12. A fine post Total thank you.
    Good morning all.

    I think Robin will stay purely because he is enjoying his best season with us, he is injury free and club captain, you can tell how much it means to him.
    He’s been here since 17/18, he’s a gooner with no “DNA” for another club. Arsenal have stuck by him through injury and personal crisis, maybe he is indebted to us but i’m more inclined to feel that he feels he is part of this family and true gooner.

    The only doubt i have is not from Robins angle, it is the view of the board that worries me and if they will cash in or not.

  13. oz gunner says:

    we here at AA are spoilt, a double from TA.

    Groper money isn’t everything, and as stated above RVP is of a different breed. 50 million vs a house on the beach, perfect weather, happy family, enough to get by. I know which i’d take.

    Your post is very comforting TA, i couldn’t imagine Arsenal without RVP, nor do i want to. He has the attitude, the skill, the love from the fans, let him retire an arsenal legend like Dennis!

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky, I really never gave it much thought whether Robin is staying or not, but the interview touched on something for me.

    Dutch sports ‘experts’, including many journalists, have a bias towards Spain (Barcelona and Madrid) and Italy (Inter, Milan, Juve) in terms of what the ultimate club is for a football player. The journalist had an undertone of ‘time to move on to a bigger club than Arsenal’, but van Persie’s response was fantastic in all aspects. In the end the reporter had to state ‘I feel you have become a club player over there’ and Robin’s response is so positive and unguarded, so natural that I have very little doubt now, he will stay at Arsenal for a long time.

  15. Red Arse says:

    Thanks TA, that is a very interesting and revealing Post based on RVP’s interview.
    It’s very handy to have our very own Dutch translator. :-)

    I have no doubt that RVP is genuine in his love for the club.
    Over the years, the relationship between club and player has been mutually beneficial and I hope that continues.

    If you are truly a pragmatist and not a romantic [ :-) ] then you need to put yourself in Robin’s shoes, as you intimated in your Post.
    His love for the club and his desire to earn as much as possible in a footballers relatively short career is not mutually exclusive.

    Lets say, for the sake of argument, that you are not only his translator but his very pragmatic Agent.
    You would start by telling him that by joining another club, (tapping up does go on) he could earn £220K per week = £11.5m per annum * 4 years = £46m, and with perhaps a signing on fee of £4m = £50m.
    This then sets the level against which any Arsenal deal would have to be measured.

    So, you then discuss with him the terms Arsenal are likely to offer him? (initial informal discussions must have gone on).

    As his agent, you might say that Arsenal, because of their wage structure and belief in a self sustaining financial model of doing business, are likely to offer him around £125K per week = £6.5m * 4 = £26m.

    Now we have a “what if” scenario, where personal preference based on love of the club comes up against pragmatic “hard headed commercialism” with a clearly defined monetary value, for each, in deciding which future contract option to choose.

    As his agent, you would highlight that, over the next 4 years, Robin could stand to lose between £20m and £24m by staying at Arsenal, and he must consider what is best not just for himself but also his family when deciding on what to do.

    — [Scaled down, is there anyone on AA earning in your current job, over the next 4 years, (lets say) £50K per annum * 4 = £200K, who would seriously turn down the offer to work elsewhere for £100K per annum * 4 = £400K?] Really?

    Again, in your role as RVP’s agent, you would not stop there, because having clarified the respective values of the contracts, you would then remind him of the non-monetary benefits of switching clubs, or staying with Arsenal, as this is an equally important factor which must come into play.

    You would tell him that if he accepted a much more lucrative offer from Real, Barca or even Shitty, there is also a much greater chance of him winning major, meaningful trophies with one of those clubs and, of course, every professional footballer wants to be able to show off his medals at the end of his career, because that is how he will be judged by his peers and the fans!

    Staying at Arsenal, on the other hand, you would say, that unless the club radically changes it’s current salary and recruitment policy and buys a number of “quality” players, this summer, the expectation of winning any of the major trophies, over the next 4 years is questionable, and he would face the prospect of finishing his career without ever winning a major trophy.

    Not easy being an Arsenal supporting Agent advising RVP, is it, TA? :-) You beast!! :-)

  16. RockyLives says:

    Raspberry mivvi – what dreams are made of.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Tommy good point re the BoD’s attitude. I guess one of the good things, if not the only, of the ‘forced’ sales of Cesc and Nasri is that they could not get away with trying to sell RvP easily a year later. The fans would go crazy, especially if they would know RvP really wanted to stay (so different from Nasri and Cesc). Plus, I really think this time that if RvP was to leave Wenger would do so as well.

  18. Afa-hide says:

    Sounds reassuring RvP10 ! Truly, that’s the quality of a Gunner 4 Life!

  19. Thanks TA
    You’ve convinced me he’ll stay nevertheless.

  20. oz gunner says:

    damn you RA, i don’t like realism! football agents can bugger off.

    If he stays he becomes an arsenal legend, he plays out his days with a club that truly adore him, a club with ambition and as he said a great history. Leaves a window open for coaching/managing at Arsenal with the fans and players respecting him greatly. At the end of the day he will live out his days very comfortably, who much money is to much?!

  21. RockyLives says:

    It must help for RvP to see how legends like Dennis, Bobby P and Thierry are treated by the club and fans. I know the latter two left, but only when AW wanted them to and the fans knew that.

    What would you choose – a few more millions to add to your millions, or a guarantee of being worshipped for the rest of your life?

  22. Red Arse says:

    Well, Agent TA would say give me the millions, Rocky!!! :-)

  23. Timmy says:

    @RA, guess you may be right, only not completely, you know your claim of on Agent doing all the thinking is laughable, and at best your agent is only talking at the peak of his reasoning. Only that there are other agents that may be more reasonable, factoring such things as the personal preferences of the player, his happiness, his values and most often his future-short term and long term. If you would also consider all this, may be you should be humble enough to let us know your decision.

  24. oz gunner says:

    well said Rocky (11.07),

    i was trying to get that point across but failed miserably

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    RA: a very well tought-trough response there, very devil-advocaty! :)

    First of all, I really don’t think RvP will just go where he can earn most money. So an agent who would take that approach would not go very far with him. Your point about offering him the prospect of both more money AND a better chance of success / win titles is a stronger one. But he will have seen the likes of TH14 and PV6 moving on to both earn more and win somehting elsewhere, but not necessarily having enjoyed it that much. TH14 was so happy when he could play for Arsenal again. RvP will have seen that, and he also has the perfect Dutch precedent in DB10, who stayed at Arsenal and has become a ‘god’ here. I really think this matters to RvP a lot.

    If he were to go to Barca or Madrid – I am sure he would not consider the Italian league – he would become a team player and is no longer the main star or the captain. He has seen what happended to Robben, Sneijder and Huntelaar at Real. All were dumbed after one or two seasons. TH14 became a bit player as well – never really was the big star again.

    If the BoD offer him a competitive contract/signing-on package, and a concrete reassurance of their sporting ambitions, I really think he will stay.

  26. I also believe RVP will stay and AW and Arsenal will finally do the right thing and sign the right type of players for us. Everything points to the fact that the club will be doing good business on players coming in but big question to be asked about those we want out.

    The homegrown law and the FFP law may mean we must shift some players which may mess things up considering the crazy wage we pay our not so good players.

  27. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks TA, you have certainly given me encouragement that RVP will stay, and if he does that will be great.

    I tend to go along with the more pragmatic approach espoused by Redders.What we have witnessed in the last several years has certainly shattared any delusions i once had about player loyalty, but of course there are exceptions, and i pray TA is correct.

    Purely from a pragmatic point of view then, and without wishing to be controversial, it will not be the end of the world if Robin departs. The reality is that we are not yet at the stage were we posses the power to hold on to our players, but this is coming. The likes of Ox, Jack, and schezney will be the real test. If we keep those, and when the time comes i think we will, then Arsenal will demolish everybody.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    RA: I also would like to repeat what I wrote yesterday re Dutchmen and the value of money:

    For many Dutchmen money is important but not the main driver. Like Bergkamp, and myself and many more Dutchmen, RvP is a product of two of the most influential men in Dutch society, both with the initials of JC –> Johan Cruijf and John Calvin. The first one makes you want to play and enjoy beautiful football, and the second one’s ‘calvinism’ still has a big impact of how the Dutch live and think. This Calvin quote in particular: ‘Let those who have abundance remember that they are surrounded by thorns, and let them take great care not to be pricked’ has established itself into our way of thinking and living. Dutchmen are generally very wary to just go for as much as money as possible – other aspects, such enjoying yourself, loyalty, family life are also important.

    Arsenal offer the perfect balance between the values of the two JC’s!!

  29. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz, :-)

    I think TA’s Post was a timely boost to us fans by giving us the hope to cling to that RVP will stay. :-)

    Football, like religion, is a very emotive subject to try and discuss rationally, and because all fans, love their clubs unreservedly, we expect everyone else connected to the club to be the same, players or employees. [Altho' as El Tel has said previously, some employees of Arsenal, at least, do not share that view, as some of them are even of the Dark Spud persuasion!]

    If all players loved their clubs, like fans do, there would be no transfers other than those of “duff” players the clubs did not want – their current club would be their only club.

    There would be no need for blood sucking agents. Club and player would agree a reasonable deal directly and, Bob’s your uncle.

    But we know that is not the reality. Don’t we?

    Erm, now what was I saying? Football and religion? Ah, yes, as a pragmatist I will immediately try and convert to being a romantic! :-)

  30. oz gunner says:

    @ Dandan

    i hope the tests come out well

    @ TMHT

    you should write speeches. If i was facing an army of 100000 all i would need is a TMHT speech and i’d believe i could do it!

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    haha RA, very clever and funny finish to your 11.28 comment!

    Terry, the likes of Szczesny, Wilshere, Song etc will be praying RvP will stay. He has become so important now for them, in every aspect. The club will need to make, as Herb would call it, a statement of intend – in order to safeguard the future.

    RvP is of course not irreplaceble, but not keeping him would hurt is more than one way.

  32. Rob Lucci says:

    The only thing that convince me that VanPersie will stay is simply their 2nd half season form.

    You could see that Fabregas and the fatfrenchtroublemaker has been nothing but a flop at the end of last season. You could see that they didnt even bother to try to turn things around, likewise VanPersie.

    There’s nothing that convince me more than Robin’s breathtaking goal against Liverpool a few weeks back that he will stay here until the end of his career.

    Would you be bothered to get into that position and hammered such a beautiful goal if you already prepared to leave?

  33. oz gunner says:

    Good Morning RA,

    i agree 100% that football/world isn’t all dandelions and smiling faces, but we always need that one event/person to remind us that greatness still exists. After the nasri and cesc sagas i fell the arsenal fans need their favourite son to show that!

    Let the rest of the clubs contain mercenaries, w*nkers, and Scum. However let Arsenal be that amazing club we all love. Be not simply good – be good for something.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    OZ, imagine having to go into a battle, motivated by a combined speech of Terry and GLiC! We would be unbeatable and even if we were killed we would do whilst laughing our heads off! :)

  35. slimgingergooner says:

    Sounds to me line RvP will be the one asking the questions when they have this meeting, ie

    Who are we signing?

    Where are we heading?

    And, maybe most important, Are you staying Arsene?

    If he hears what he wants from these questions then I think he will stay. The signing of Podolski shows me that the club are being proactive in keeping RvP and the manager at the club. If we Wenger is backed with the players he wants, and this time the board act quickly, as they seem to be doing, then I think RvP will be a Gooner for the next few years.

  36. Red Arse says:

    Ta,

    Your uplifting and beautifully written Post is something we all want to hear. Without me being devil’s advocate (with a dash of realism :-) ) everyone would just say “totally agree Total”, because we are all believers.

    Imagine Glic being let loose on an empty site!!!! :-)

    Poor Timmy @11:11 seems to think I am really an Agent! Oh, dear!! :roll:

  37. Rob Lucci says:

    Fabregas and the fatfrenchtroublemaker certainly did not..

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Rob, very good point re RvP giving his all. The realists/cynics will say he is only doing it to attract attention from the big Spanish clubs. My argument against that is that when he played for Holland against England last week, he totally took it easy so he could not get injured. He is totally focussed on Arsenal at the moment and nothing else seems to matter to him.

  39. Double98 says:

    virtually assured of doubling his wages, about to get a signing bonus, 2 years away from a testimonial – guaranteed role for life with the club. either in management or in a commercial aspect – lets face it – he is a bright lad, with a great footballing mind and hes good looking.
    There is no need to sell his home in the middle of a property slump.
    his contract is sound in that it is generated from a sustainable model so he will not have to worry about the situation portsmouth players found themselves in when they chased the $ –

    And lets face it he is the biggest dog in the biggest team in london from a marketing perspective.

    Why would he leave from a financial perspective?

    sure he can get more salary from Mancity but its all about the package and right now Gunner. Arsenal, London is a greater and more secure package than Mercenary, City, Manchester.

    Plus if he signs up in early june – i am putting my house on us winning the title.

  40. LB says:

    Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker said: “He (Podolski) has sent me a number of text messages and I have told him this is a great place to work and Arsenal are an amazing club.”

    Top man BFG

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, you would make a fine agent! The perfect balance between romance and realism :)

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi D98 – you have been away for a while. I am hoping that is because you have working on another fine post, for us to enjoy in due course? :)

  43. Red Arse says:

    Amen to that, Oz! :-)

    TA, don’t really have much time for agents. They have done nothing for football except bleed the clubs dry and by doing so they bleed the fans while lining their own pockets.

    Years ago, the leagues tried to regulate or ban them them but it was to late, because they appealed to the greedy nature of so many players, together with the Law making it illegal to enforce any ban.

    The realist in me knows we just have to get on and accept they are here to stay, the romantic in me wishes they were not necessary!

  44. Big Raddy says:

    A message from BR’s Agent, Harry Mendacious:

    As part of BR’s ongoing Birthday Celebrations, his kind friends are taking him on a mystery tour starting tomorrow afternoon and returning him Monday night.

    As such BR will be unable to write the Newcastle prematch. AA are asking for a volunteer to write said prematch.

    There will be no fee, just the honour of being read by a fine audience.

    N.B: There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that BR has been tapped up by so-called bigger blogs. He remains committed to the future of AA. Money can’t by you Love :-)

  45. Red Arse says:

    Is anyone else puzzled about the Podolski story?

    I do not have a problem believing Arsenal have agreed pre-contracts with both the player and the club, that seems to be happening more often recently.

    It just doesn’t seem the usual ‘secretive’ Arsenal way of doing things, and that gives me some reason to doubt the story.

    LB said months ago, it’s best to believe these transfer stories when the club announces them. That still holds true, but it would be nice to know that RVP will be given some evidence of the club’s transfer intentions.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    BR :) Love Love Love :)

    I think OZ would do a fine pre-match report – he always knows a lot about the opponents’ players!

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes RA, I am puzzled too. We should indeed not believe it till it is official the signals are strong now…. hope hope hope!

  48. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Maybe not an agent, but an agent provocateur, perhaps? :)

  49. Rob Lucci says:

    TA, i don’t think he will ever go to the big Spanish club, Real maybe possible, but as a Gunner, i know that he hates Barcelona more than anything else.. :-)

  50. Red Arse says:

    Harry Mendacious,

    They say that there is nothing more powerful than the odour of mendacity. Of course, it is also true that mendacity is the system we all live in, (see above) and there are only two ways out, liquor being one, and death the other!

    We all know that, as an agent, you would not take 20% of nothing, which leads to the conclusions you are well named, and also that our beloved Randy has been enticed and beguiled by a bigger blogger either for a monetary consideration or the promise of a hot totty, in which case I hope you only get the leg!!

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Two days of outstanding posts. Thank you TA.
    For what Robin brings to the club in terms of both goals as well as leadership, I cannot believe it would not be cheaper to pay him the going rate, however that is disguised in terms of bonus, loyalty payment or fatter weekly envelope. I have never believed the wage structure line as a result of the amount paid to TH in his last season, on top of the fact that how could any other player at the club even begin to claim wage parity?

  52. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, :-)

    And I thought you were my friend!!

    Me? An agent provocateur? No. No. I am just a helpful, friendly type dude trying to stir up a little mischief. :evil:

    I love entering into discourse with TA, I think he gets my humor and, amazingly, given English is his second language, he appreciates the slightly quixotic irony I occasionally indulge in. :-) (As do you!) :-)

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, Diaby has a claim :)

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Moan out loud time.
    The bloody ticket excahnge. Just spent an hour and a half on the bloody thing combined with talking to some berk at the ticket office telling me to turn on/off security things and fireballs or whatever the f’ing hell they are.
    All is well as Rocky’s friend has come to the rescue with two tickets. So sign me up for monday night.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I was both pleased by your clever “conversion” line earlier and pleased that TA mentioned it (obliquely).

    What fun we have on here!

    Alas, I have a plane to catch. Will tune in later to enjoy the day’s comments.

  56. Wonderman says:

    Great post TA, I also believe he will resign.

    Hi RA, I’m hearing that bar small details the Podolski deal is done. Circa £10m . I also heard that we tried to do it in January but he was concerned about his euro place

  57. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Glad to hear OMC has come to the rescue… :)

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Quixotic?! Had to look that one up RA! You know, I know at least a few AA-ers who keep a dictionary near to their PC in order to get the best value out of your comments. You keep the printing business going! :)

  59. Izuchukwu Okosi, Lagos, Nigeria says:

    RVP loves Arsenal but it will not be enough to keep him. I was called ‘The Dreaming Joseph’ when I sad the Gunners will finish 4th but beyond that,Wenger must come down frrom his high horse and BUY to KEEP RVP. If not,he will go to Spain and ‘wear WHITE’!

  60. oz gunner says:

    @ Harry Mendacious

    if peaches and rasp will have me i’d love to do the pre-match.

    @ TA

    GLIC could laugh the enemy to death, no need for fighting.

    Enjoy your day all

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Izuchukuwu Okosi,
    Why do all people from Nigeria have such cool names?
    Just try living for one day as a DidIt!

  62. Red Arse says:

    Hi Wonderman,

    I really hope that is right. Can you say (in a general way, if it is private) where you heard it?

  63. RockyLives says:

    Right, last one before going to the gate…
    Oz – I’m looking forward to your prematch, but don’t forget the rules: a song title in the headline, and a reference to a famous Gooner fan in the Post!

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent OZ – how could they possibly refuse? :)

    ‘The Dreaming Joseph’ – what a beautiful name. Quick question to you Izuchukwu OLN: how many Gooners do you think there are in Nigeria?

  65. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all, thanks for a fascinating insight into the interview TA.

    Micky, do you remember our discussion a couple of months ago about the suitability of Podolski for wengerball – I hope I was right and you were wrong :?

    I think Podolski is insurance for RvP. I’m sure the club has no idea whether he is staying or going, but I am equally sure that if a ridiculously high offer is made, the BoD would consider/sanction selling him.

    I want him to stay more than anything but I have no doubt that the club’s business priorities outweigh the sentimentalism attached to players. I was told that Vieira didn’t want to leave but the Board decided to take the money.

    I repeatedly said last summer that Nasri would be sold rather than keep him for a season and let him go on a free – its the way we do business.

  66. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I read somewhere about your uncle Didit, who was an actor who did it when he appeared as a baddie in a who dun it.

    Indeed, a Didit who dun did it! :-)

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp, are you saying you think it is highly likely RvP will be made to leave this summer – as it is highly like a rediculous offer will be made for him this summer?

  68. Rasp says:

    BTW, £10m ish seems way too cheap for Podolski, I would have put him in the £15-20m bracket. I don’t know if he is entering the last year of his contract or did a Cesc and said he’d only come to us,. It is unusual to do a deal at this stage of the season and seemingly his agent hasn’t been hawking the Pod round the ‘big’ clubs.

  69. Hi Rasp
    what would you consider a rediculously high figure…. Torres was rediculously high in my opinion but RVP should ecclipse that.
    After seeing our “soft”ball approach on the cesc deal, i would tend to think that any offers would be rediculously low.

  70. kelsey says:

    Like you TA,I have stated on here before that I think RVP will stay and having read all the comments on here there are some very interesting points of view, but a the end of the day what we want and what we get could be two completely different scenarios.

    One thing is for sure, RVP is a Caffeine addict ;) but joking aside there are so many other issues to consider.

    Would Arsenal break their tradition of offering at least say double the wages to a player on a 3/4 year contract, who this season alone has actually won us single handed 10 games this season, his age, and though technically not a striker is most probably the most sought after striker in the world at this moment of time.

    Walcott, Song and Szsceny are all coming up to renewal time, and it is reasonable to expect them to also want better contracts.
    one can’t compare this with Fabregas.We all know about his love to return to barcelona, was younger than RVP and still had a number of cyears to his contract to run, but most importantly he admitted in a TV special that he wasn’t motivated at Arsenal anymore in the last half season of last year.

    here we have two different characters and I also believe tat RVP has grown up from the rebellious young man he was and thrives as captain of the club, and as far as I can see is respected by all the othr players.
    I don’t think in his case the importance lies with us finishing top 4, but I may be wrong.
    Maybe a lot of juggling is going on behind the scenes and the players no longer actually benefiting the squad will leave and then regardless of their transfer fee, the wages get cut dramatically and therefore more money is available for shall we say a loyalty bonus.

    I don’t see Kroenke making any additional funds available, he currently has his own problems with the rams.

    I wish I knew the answer, and hopefully my heart will rule my head.

    My gut feeling is that RVP will get a rise for his final year of contract and then be available on a free, as probably Podolski will come in by this summer, and others will have matured into better players, making the squad stronger and have a better quality of depth than we have now.

  71. Rasp says:

    Hi TA, I’m just saying that the club (not the manager) will make a decision based primarily (totally?) on business criteria, weighing up all the financial pros and cons of keeping/selling RvP. I have absolutely no doubt that Arsene wants RvP to stay and the Bob Wilson interview confirms that belief.

  72. Rasp says:

    Hi tommy, I think the Board could be swayed by anything over £35 – 40m

  73. Wonderman says:

    Hi RA , I can’t divulge my source, but it was the same one that told me of Arshavins loan early doors. the price is about right as he only has 1 year on his contract

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Caffeine addict hahaha :) Good points there Kelsey!

  75. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasp, :-)

    I have no idea whether you are right or wrong in the main part of your comment, but it is a view I have read elsewhere.

    Letting Nasri go for £25m in the last year of his contract rather than him walking away for nothing at the end of the season makes sound business sense to me.

    Keeping a disaffected player for one last season, at the cost of his already high wages AND losing £25m as well, was never going to be acceptable to any club.

  76. Wonderman says:

    At least

    1.we seem to trying to do our buying before the Euros
    2. He is proven quality
    3. He is the right age

  77. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Wonderman, :-)

    You were right about the Meerkat, so that sounds hopeful re the Pod!

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, you know I appreciate your ability to put things in perspective and you are making very valid points.

    Arsenal kept Bergkamp to help them pull through the financially difficult years after we moved in to the new stadium, and likewise I feel strongly that RvP will be kept to help us move back to the very top-level again. Selling RvP this summer would by all means mean Arsenal would have to start again, and most progress made during this season would be lost. I just don’t think that is going to happen.

  79. Rasp says:

    Thanks RA, as usual, it is a belief I wish I didn’t possess :( but looking at the recent transfer history at Arsenal and the statement that we have to make around £15m a year profit on transfers makes me worried about RvP’s future with us.

  80. WiganGooner says:

    @ TA

    Thanks for that article, I read other accounts of it and they all agree with your conclusions. I think we have a real squad of players who want to be at Arsenal and create something really special. With the obvious exception of Park who wants out.

    Fingers crossed eh? :)

    WG

  81. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA, I hope you are right. Evonne saw something the other day that triggered a memry for me too. It was the way Robin looked around the stadium at the final whistle after the Milan game – was he thinking “this could be my last CL appearance for Arsenal”?

  82. Hi Rasp
    Well that kind of offer is almost guaranteed by multi clubs after this seasons showing, anything less than 50 would be folly and then again i still wouldn’t sell.
    The cynical side of me sees a left footed striker of Podolskis stature as a like for like replacement rather than a strike partner.
    It might be that RVP wouldn’t want to leave and out of his hands.
    TA has convinced me otherwise but i still have a niggling doubt.

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    Uncle DidIt was a total gentleman despite his unusual hobby. My great great uncle DidIt, on the other hand, was without doubt one of the most spineless, sordid and double crossing men in history. There is very little to be proud about when born a DidIt.

  84. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasp

    It has been widely reported that there is a clause in Podolski’s contract that allows him to move for 5 million euro’s if Cologne get relegated. They are currently hovering around the drop zone in 18th (last time I checked).

    I think Cologne recognise the danger of that and also realise that they could lose him on a free the following year so are hedging their bets and taking the money whilst they can.

    WG

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Oh I remember, and if you are around for a kebab on monday, its certainly a conversation we could revisit :-)

  86. Lets hope they clear out some of the dross before a major sale.
    NB52 does his contract run out or are we likely to get a fee… same with Denilson.
    Anyone know how Arshavins game went at the weekend?, Hopefully he will be revitalised and earn us a 10M +transfer fee in the off season …. or am i dreaming?

  87. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasp re: your 1:13pm

    Perhaps he was just in awe and delighted at the amazing support Arsenal fans gave during and after the match.

    I was certainly very proud of the way we reacted to going out of the Champs League, the players gave everything and the fans gave more.

    WG

  88. LB says:

    What a good post, it never crossed my mind, I don’t know why, that we would have a first hand explanation of all interviews given in Dutch.

    Anyway, we all hope he stays.

  89. RockyLives says:

    Ok, I’m ON the plane now.

    Rasp, I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure AW never said we had to make £15m profit a year FROM TRANSFERS.

    I think he just said we had to make £15m a year period (ie not necessarily from transfers).

    Of course his words were immediately plastered all over the blog world as if he had been talking specifically about transfers.

    Oops – stewardess is scowling. Better go. Laters!

  90. Rasp says:

    Thanks Wiggy – that makes some sense – but why was he really only offered to Arsenal?

    Micky, I hope to be there on Monday to chew over the increased infiltration of Arsenal by the mighty Poles :P

  91. Rasp says:

    Good point Rocky. But surely all the other revenue streams can be predicted in advance so it is only the transfers that can realise a profit if required.

  92. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasp

    I’ve not heard anyone else really linked with him because of the awful stint he had with Bayern he’s still a bit “damaged goods” I think.

    At 10 million Euro’s I’d take a punt on him.

    WG

  93. ak47 says:

    i dont doubt what you say for a second, partly because imagining the opposite wouldnt do my health any favours, but mainly because this isnt the first time rob has made this kind of statement.

    i brought my 2008 shirt with his name on because of this. at a time when the “cool” thing to do was get fabregas’s. but seeing him in interviews, he never gave me the feeling that he was arsenal till he dies…hence the move where he gets front row seats to the messi worshipping cult.

    i can understand his move a little with him being catalan but from a footballing perspective i still feel betrayed. he could have been apart of something special here. so to na$ri, and seeing him being interviewed after the messi suck fest was satisfying. (didnt completely watch the match for obvious reasons)

    to me his body language couldnt hide the fact that the grass wasnt as green as he thought it would be. i wonder how many times he and the rest of the team get forced into talking about messi instead of there own performances. his frustration was clear.

    in the same way rob’s attitude was clear in his interview.

    only a na$ri type personality would not see the potential this team has. and lets be real shall we?

    its a new team that hasnt collectively had a full season, with no jack and yet we find ourselves 3 points clear of 5th.

  94. Rasp says:

    Here’s another question …… where would RvP play with Podolski on the pitch – would he revert to a No. 10? If he did, how would we re-shuffle the midfield? Would the Pod play wide with RvP in the centre.

    My hope is that the Pod will be a replacement for Chamakh (and Park?). We can expect goals from the Ox, Theo and others, the aforementioned wouldn’t be a great loss. The Pod for Chamakh and Park is a good deal in my eyes.

  95. WiganGooner says:

    @AK47

    I agree with you, we are still missing a few top players and we’re competing. It bodes well.

    WG

  96. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasp

    For Germany Podolski plays out on the left of a front 3 – he is very effective as he has pace, strength and good dribbling as well as a rasping (see what I did there?) shot.

    I think he would be deployed in a similar role for us. Leaving Gervinho and Theo to fight for the wings

    WG

  97. Rasp says:

    Thanks again Wiggy. I calculated his goals per game to be 1 in every 2 at international level and 1 in every 2.5 at club level so he is not in Robin’s class in terms of goals per game (at the moment).

    He does represent that other attacking option that we had hoped Chamakh would fulfill and unlike Chamakh he does like to have a shot and attacks the ball aggressively in the box.

  98. Rasp says:

    You have all the answers Wiggy :P I can see why we want him now, he’d get us more goals than either Gerv or Theo I believe.

  99. Timmy says:

    RA, really got me there. Was surprised at your sudden change of tone, but seem to get it now. But frankly speaking, do you think Arsenal will have problem convincing RVP signing a new contract?

  100. I think Robin Vood placed some conditions on wenger if he is to sign again or not. Same situation with Podoc, where the heart is in Koln but reason tells him to go else where. I also think the legendization of Thierry Henry will make him stay. RVP would like his time to mean something for many days to come. Right now he cannot be a CRonaldo or a messi. If he moves on he risks being Fran Merida or Allidere… just another arsenal player. If he sticks with Arsenal, there is a chance he will be a Bergkamp, a Vieira or even a Thierry. What conviction the capt wants is to see whether arsenal can do it. I bet that is why Podoc is being to agree before time. I also bet that we will see one or two more pre-season ‘signing’. Wenger & Gazidder must not fail where koln failed. Bring M’vila from france, Gunso from Sambaland, and sign Voertegen, Verm’s brother. The pray that the sun’s storm wont kill us. BRING ON THE BARCS & we’ll send them parking to catalunya.

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp

    I posted this last night re the Pod’s scoring record:

    L Podolski: games played for clubs: 282, scored 110 (0.39 goal per game)

    RvP: games played for clubs 345, scored 149 (0.43)

    Last two seasons:

    LP: 56 games, 30 goals (0.53)
    RvP: 70 games, 54 goals (0.77)

    Combined it would be some strikeforce for next season!

  102. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasp

    I think Arsene is working on the idea that him and Gervinho would be his first choice with Theo on the bench and rotating in and out with both.

    A bit of strength in depth….an interesting concept! :)

    WG

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine comment anthonym! ‘Then pray that the sun’s storm wont kill us’ :) hope so too! :)

  104. Rasp says:

    So a strikeforce of ‘Robin van Podski’ it is then TA :lol:

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    They score when they want, they score when they want, Robin van Podski, they score when they want! :)

  106. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    If Arsenal sell RVP for purely financial reasons that will be a total smack in the face for us fans. Totally unacceptable and would make us look a laughing stock!

    Timmy, I think RVP is a genuinely good person, as well as a brilliant player. He is Mr Arsenal. he loves the club and the fans and has become a terrific captain. He won’t leave! :-)

    Wiggy, :-) You are so knowledgeable!

  107. Red Arse says:

    Micky, re Didit, :-)

    TA, the Rob Pod song – ace – :-)

  108. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Usually I get tol I’m full of ****…….I suppose that equates :)

    WG

  109. Red Arse says:

    AK 47, spot on.

    I genuinely think we are going to do the business next season. The only ‘outs’ this summer will be the ones we do not want, Chamakh, Park, Almunia etc, and the ‘ins’ this time will be quality.

    I really feel that is what will happen!! :-)

  110. kelsey says:

    So now we are the Polish club ;)

  111. Red Arse says:

    WG,

    Bloggers being rude to you are simply showing their own lack of class.

    I rate your Posts, as you know, and you speak sense all the time, and it is difficult to disagree with you.

    So, I am now working on picking an argument with you – just for the hell of it!! :-)

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    Podolski’s goals in 2010-2011:

    Two left-footed cannons in one team – what a prospect!

  113. Red Arse says:

    Timmy,

    Just to clarify my earlier comment.

    I agree with TA’s Post comments that there is a love-in between Robin and the Arsenal fans. Left to us there would be no problemo; zilch; nada! :-)

    My tongue in cheek response was to highlight the fact there are 2 other parties involved. First his agent and secondly the club, and if anything was to go wrong the problem would be there.

    Agents make their big money out of transfers! they make much smaller money out of contract extensions. Therefore it suits them to convince their principal, (the player) to believe it is in his interests to leave and join another club.

    No doubt agents are nice people (?) but the nature of their work means they are parasitic, living off the backs of others and, tension between the player and the club leading to a transfer suits them very well, and it is this aspect I despise.

    I don’t believe Robin will allow this to happen.

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘So now we are the Polish club’ – Kelsey did you mean Polish as in: to make smooth and glossy, to make more refind, to bring to a highly developed or finished state, to improve or perfect? If so, you are totally right. Arsenal: football of a highly developed or finished state! :)

  115. El tel says:

    Hi Guys,

    Talking The Arsenal with my Brother yesterday, He said that a friend of his knows an accountant connected with the Club.

    This accountant says that we have been breaking even since the move because of the interest payments we have had to endure due to the building business we have been involved with.

    Apparently we have almost payed off our debts and the interest will be just 200,000 per season. This friend of my Brothers has told him they can have a pint to discuss further.

    I know we hear these silly rumours every day but what seems strange following this information is how RVP looks like He will be staying and it looks like we are going to get Podolski.

    This is just one way of looking at what is happening. There could also be pressure put on Kroenke by Usmanov who by the looks of things wants more involvement. Maybe Usmanov has talked to the BOD about how he wants things to change?

    Regarding the football side of things.

    Podolski could not only be a replacement for RVP but also for Theo who is also close to having a renewal.

    I would love to see us sell Theo for lots of money and see Podolski signed as a replacement.

    We then could see Gervinho (right footed) play in Theo’s position with RVP centre and Podolski on the left.

    Our midfield next season if rumours are true could be Willshere the Ox and Goetze/Hazard with a combination of Arteta, Coquelin,Ramsey,Rosicky and a Song replacement to choose from.

    I would like to see an older keeper purchased too as back up for the amazing Chessers in case of injury or loss of form.

    What if the deadwood were all to be sold and our pay structure is overlooked so the money they are earning gets distributed to the players who Arsene and the fans want to stay.

    Maybe there was logic in Arsene paying Almunia,Dennilson,,Squillaci,Chamakh,Park and other dross £60k a week, maybe the BOD all along held back on the wage structure and Wenger played Poker with them by giving crap players almost equal salaries to try to prove they are wrong.

    Maybe Podolski will replace Arshavin and not Walcott.

    I also think RVP will know how close we are to being a great team too, there is no doubt that when we play to our potential we will beat everyone. The thing is this team are still very young even when the signings of Arteta and Benny arrived. Merteseker is not old but has vast experience. We also suffered this season and last with an unbelievable amount of injuries.

    Do you also not think that Wenger had a discussion recently with the BOD after receiving criticism and said I have played your game all along and put my reputation on the line, it’s your turn now to show me support.

    Lastly, forgetting all these things, we only paid 2.5 million for RVP and maybe we will just see him play out his contract then let him go for free. Maybe He knows He can’t leave even if He wanted too.

  116. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Bring it on :) I think an argument between us would be both a cracking read and an excellent example of good-humoured banter.

    However, we’re both sensible, rational people who love Arsenal. What is there to argue about? :)

    WG

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    El Tel, it is too early to tell what is happening behind the scenes re Podolski/RvP. There are some good accountants on here who understand the finance side of things quite well and could give some feedback on the interest to be paid by the club currently.

    Re Podolski. You could be right re him playing on the left. As the video above shows, he scores a lot of goals from the left, but I still think he will be our main striker in most games, with RvP either behind him in the hole, or rested. Let’s hope we get confirmation from the club soon!

  118. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I would just like to share my thoughts about RVP with you lovely people.

    RVP, is a prime example why Arsenal stand on the threshold of a great team that will blow its rivals away. Its not because he is now one of the greatest strikers in the world or has great hair. Its because he epotomises everything about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. He is a glimpse into our future.

    Over the years i heard many things about him, to injury prone, to left footed, bad temperment etc. Well the boy has grown into a man. We have him at the peak of his playing powers, a truly fantastic player. This is what the modern Arsenal is all about. Nurturing young talents, identified by our scouting system and the mercurial Arsene Wenger who will one day develop into outstanding players like RVP.

    Were has it fallen down?, the answer is inability to keep them and push them through to the next stage. If RVP stays, then brilliant, but the hope is he will be the first of many. i have faith in the future and picture it resplendent with the likes of Jack, Ox, Shezney, etc maturing, staying, and powering Arsenal to inevitable footballing glory.

  119. Red Arse says:

    El Tel,

    This is the start of some delicious speculation. :-)

    We all know that we cannot have a repetition of the last couple of years with players departing willy nilly.

    In fairness, AW bought some very important players last summer, altho perhaps not given credit for doing so. The OX, Arteta, Santos, and The Jolly Green Giant. OK, he also bought Chamakh the previous year and a mystery purchase in poor old Park, but overall that was a good start.

    I am convinced we will make important signings next summer paid for in part from unwanted players sold or released, freeing up their wages/salaries.

    Your idea of the Pod, Robin and the Gerv makes for good reading, but I would want to give Theo another shot at achieving consistency.

    But the midfield you suggest, could be mouth watering, with one or two additions (Goetze/Nzonzi?) because I think our classiest midfield player, Diaby, is sadly off to the knackers yard, I think.

    I am not keen on rumour mongering, but I love day dreaming and speculating, and I feel our time is coming! :-)

  120. Red Arse says:

    Well said, WG, but — there is a paradox, “sensible, rational people who love Arsenal”. :-)

    I am often told “oh, you are just crazy about Arsenal” which sounds quite the opposite — anyway, what a thing to say? :-)

    I guess ‘love’ and ‘crazy’ in this context must mean the same thing, which would nicely square the circle!! :-)

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry@2.45, wow, now that’s the Terry we all know. Top stuff :)

  122. chas says:

    Excellent stuff, TA.

    I love the way you deconstruct Robin’s verbal and visual responses. It made me think of the neuro-linguistic programming chart of eye movements supposedly detailing which part of the brain is being used depending on the direction the eyes move.

    This article suggests how it works.

    http://www.blifaloo.com/info/lies_eyes.php

    The chart is for a right handed person, so next question was, ‘Is Robin right or left- handed?’ Take a guess and then have a look. :)

    In the second part of the interview Robin seems to be looking down to his right most of the time, indicating he is talking about his feelings.

    This means, of course, that he’ll definitely stay. :)

  123. GhanaGooner says:

    I would like to counter the idea of a football player being mercenary because they leave a club for more money.

    As a football player, your career is generally over by 35 (barring a few notable exceptions) – that is generally a 15 year career.

    You would be an irresponsible husband/parent if you chose to stay at a club without considering the financial implications of moving elsewhere. What Arsenal need to do is make him an offer that minimises the difference between staying and leaving – that way the other factors come into play and may sway him to stay.

    I have been fortunate to earn a decent salary working in London, and should you ask me to move my family for an extra £100k a week, I would phone in my answer from the train to Manchester, as I suspect would most other readers.

    For an extra £200 a week I would consider the effect of uprooting my family etc.

    Lets hope that:-

    1) that figure is £20000 for RVP who is on a different payscale
    2) Arsenal do all they can to minimise that figure
    3) RVP gets to stay

    And lets be realistic about bandying the word mercenary about when a pro footballer has 15 years to earn 90% of his lifetime income.

    Finally, lets not make patronising judgements about how much money is enough for another man to earn in his lifetime.

    Fingers and toes are crossed…I hope he stays and does right by his family by not up rootiing them, but will thank him for the memories if he decides to do right by his family, and maximise his earnings.

    Footballers are human beings too…

  124. chas says:

    GhanaGooner, what an interesting comment.

    However, you couldn’t convince me that $amir Na$ri isn’t a mercenary even if you tried for the next 20 years.

    Why is it patronising to attempt to assess how much another man might need to earn? These days top footballers earn in a year what the average man might hope to earn in a lifetime. As George Best is alleged to have said, “I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.”

    Mercenaries are human being too……

  125. chas says:

    *beings

  126. goonermichael says:

    I’ve read all the scenarios in different places and they are all well put forward.

    The club will make him see out his contract
    The club will cash in as paying a player his age 180k PW for 3 years is a massive gamble given his injury record
    He’ll stay.

    I hope he does stay and I’m fairly confident he will.

    Kelsey did you say give him a rise for a year then let him go for free?

    If he’s going for free in a year we don’t need to give him a rise.

    He has the same agent as other players who have left (Dein’s son)

    He’d be more hated than nasri if he goes.

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Chas, thanks for the links. Top stuff, I bookmarked it. I would have thought Robin being left-handed…

    Like you, I wondered why he did look to the right/down a few times. If it is an indication of him talking to himself as per your link, then that would make sense. As I said in the blog, the journalist is very clever in getting you to say things you would rather keep to yourself (using scenarios to get you to open up), so I imagine RvP is telling himself a few times to stay focussed by looking down and gathering his thoughts. The journalist wanted him to say ‘I will sign a new contract at Arsenal’, but obviously this is the one thing RvP is not able to say, prior to negotiations taking place…

  128. Red Arse says:

    Timmy,

    If you are still out there. It’s almost as if RVP’s agent(s) have been reading our blog. This from another site;

    –“Robin van Persie’s representatives claim the Arsenal striker would be open to talks with AC Milan amid speculation linking him with a San Siro move.

    Rumours have surfaced in the Italian media that Milan, who progressed to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the Gunners’ expense on Tuesday night, are chasing the signature of the prolific frontman.

    The Netherlands international, who has netted 32 goals for Arsenal this season, is out of contract at Emirates Stadium in 2013 and has put talks over a new deal on hold until the summer.

    Two of Van Persie’s agents, Jeroen Hoogewerf and Cornelis Vos, would welcome talks with the Rossoneri.” —-

    Now that is what I meant by my dislike of blood sucking agents!!!!!

  129. LB says:

    Re RvP, I find it hard to believe the stumling block, if there is to be one, will be the salary…………but the length of contract, well I just can’t see that there will be common ground not matter how nice that cup of coffee tastes.

  130. goonermichael says:

    The BBC have got the Podolski story as it’s top headline.

  131. goonermichael says:

    RA
    I’d take that with a pinch of salt. How many agents does he have? I can’t see him going to Milan quite Frankly they are not as good as us really. They needed to doctor the pitch, score an offside goal and get a dubious penalty to beat an injury ravaged Arsenal team. I think going there would be a step down. If he goes It will be to RM I think. My gut instinct is (if it’s up to him) he’ll stay.

  132. chas says:

    We definitely had them rattled!
    (shame they put the annoying music on it) :(

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    GhanaGooner, welcome to AA and thanks for a well-written an interesting comment.

    In human resources management theory a division is sometimes used between those with a purely calculated commitment to work and those with a passionate commitment to work. Money motivates everybody, but there comes a point when earning more and more becomes less or more interesting for people depending on what drives you in your work/life. Some players will go where they can earn the most, and in itself there is nothing wrong with that.

    I have no doubt Fabregas could have earned a lot more at Citeh but he decided to follow his heart, however disappointing that was for us Arsenal fans. Nasri has done the opposite and we as fans despise him for it, and why shouldn’t we?

    Many people make the personal comparison as you did in your comment, but clearly most of us don’t earn the mega salaries as top footballers do. A big salary increase for us means we can make a big change to our lifestyle/quality of life. For top footballers this is no longer the case, as Chas explained in his comment. Therefore earning even more money is mainly interesting to the mercenaries/those with a purely calculated commitment, and I believe RvP operates almost purely from a passionate commitment to football/life etc.

  134. goonermichael says:

    “Money is not the most important thing for me,” he told German newspaper Sport-Bild. “What is crucial is the development of my game.”

    Podolski

  135. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, a very appropriate comment! I am amazed is on the BBC website: it must be true then! :)

  136. LB says:

    Is there a regular on here who knows something about the German League, I don’t have a clue.

    What I want to know is how did such a good player as Podolski find himself playing for a team that is close to the drop zone. I am not certain this is true, just going on one of the comments above?

  137. kelsey says:

    LB,

    if there is a stumbling block no one has mentioned it.
    Darren Dein. !!

  138. goonermichael says:

    I’ve never earned a great deal of money. I am not motivated by it at all. I’ve done a lot of things for nothing because I found it challenging. Not everybody is motivated by money. Some people who (and I know from experience) say everyone is say it to feel better about themselves. Cesc took a pay cut apparently.

  139. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi LB, I am no expert, but the jest of it is that Podolski started his career at Koln, went to Bayern where it did not really work out for him, then he returned to Koln after being promised a certain level of investment in the team/squad would be made in order to make it a big team again. Podolski feels those promises were not kept – he even came out with an official statement about it recently.

  140. goonermichael says:

    LB
    He was a bit average at Bayern apparently

  141. chas says:

    TA, your 3:52.
    I think the diagrams are for you looking at the person who’s speaking i.e. RvP was looking down and to the left (as we look) which means talking from his feelings not from an internal dialogue.
    Haha, it’s probably all mumbo-jumbo anyway. :)

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas :) Look into my eyes, look into my eyes :roll:

  143. Benglian says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, my Dutch is rusty, but didn’t the interviewer ask him about the number of Trophies/Medals he had at home as a subtle dig?
    Robin replied he has 3 trophies/medals at home, and the interviewer asked him what he meant?
    He said, my two kids and beautiful wife….
    That’s what matters to Robin.

    Also, didn’t his best mate TV5 just sign a new contract? Do you think he asked Robin about his intentions before doing so? Aren’t their wives best mates too?

    Give Robin a decent offer, and he’s not going anywhere…

  144. chas says:

    Haha, Sign a new contract, sign a new contract. :)

  145. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, :-)

    Darren Dein = agent. There has been a lot of talk on AA today about ‘agents’ and their influence on players, which is driven by their (the agents) monetary greed. Guess who started the conversation? :-)

    GM, I do not believe everything I read on blog sites or elsewhere, of course. and you are right to be sceptical, it was just coincidental that we were discussing the subject of agents on AA today and, up popped that report on Robin’s alleged TWO agents, (neither of whom is Dein) to prove a point, so to speak! :-)

    LB, the German leagues operate a salary cap, and being realistic, that may have an impact on some German players’ wishing to come to the Premier League and its ‘open’ salary regime.
    Like Mertesecker, Podolski has been getting quite a bit of stick (allegedly) from fans and pundits alike, so it may be mutually beneficial for both him and his failing club to part ways.

    Most things in football are clothed in smoke and mirrors and the truth is hard to discern.

    Koln are currently 14th (out of 18) in the Bundesliga and have 25 points, trailing Borussia Dortmund, who are top, by 30 points.

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    Benglian, your Dutch seems excellent, as yes, you got that right! :)

    I did not focus on that part for this post, but it does tell us quite a bit of what matters to him and supports the view that money is not the only driver.

  147. kelsey says:

    RA,

    I believe Darren Dein is known as RVP’s adviser.

    being of dual nationality, Podolski chose to be German and apparently has no Polish passport and we know at least in football terms there is no love lost between the Poles and the krauts.

  148. goonermichael says:

    He does have a Dutch agent as well as darren dein apparently. Agents don’t seem to be the most moralistic people. Football journalists in the main are scum. We’ll find out fairly soon. It’ll need to be done before the Euros.

  149. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    I was only responding to your comment about stumbling blocks, and it not having been discussed today.

    The article I quoted (above) to make a point on an earlier comment/discussion today, where I said that his agent (whoever or however many that is) would try to influence Robin to leave, is a bit of a lift from Football Italia and does not mention Dein.

    I know you don’t read my stuff, Kelsey, but I don’t mind ………………. much!! :-)

  150. dandan says:

    For you guys who like a bet. William hill haveThe Pod at 4/7 0n to join us; see below;

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/2994/betting/2012/03/08/2954522/betting-special-lukas-podolski-47-to-join-arsenal-by-next

  151. kelsey says:

    But i do RA, i do, but I I am only fluent in basic Englisg, german and a bit of Spanish ;)

    Actually i made several points earlier which have been repeated by others which proves most people on here don’t read all the posts :)

  152. kelsey says:

    GM,
    he’s also got a dutch cap in his cupboard.

  153. kelsey says:

    For those who are interested and i know of only one, we won the league last Friday with a game in hand. it will be in the Euro Weekly News next week.

    In football terms it is like fulham winning the PL as we lost two thirds of our team at the beginning of the season who went to a pot hunter club down the coast.

  154. Michael says:

    Rvp is a outstanding player and he is future of arsenal give him what he deserve to stay remember what happened last time with fabregas and nasri.gazidis must break bank for van persie that all

  155. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    Did Darren Dein ‘advise’ the two thirds who absconded? :-)

    Anyway congrats on your league championship win!

    A couple of years ago, two regular team mates and myself won a local table tennis cup and championship (equivalent of a league 2 team + winning the FA Cup with a handicapping system) and to our delight it was reported in the local paper, trouble is it was in the “other sports” section and no bugger I spoke to had even noticed!! :-(

    Ah, the quest for fame — and at least one groupie — but no dice!! :-)

  156. VCC says:

    Kelsey 5:20.

    Well done, have a bottle of fine Spanish champagne tonight.

  157. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. Kelsey doesn’t drink. Can I have his bottle of fine Spanish champagne (though of course Champagne is copyrighted so it is Spanish Cava) ?

  158. goonermichael says:

    Was it the bowls Kelsey?

  159. Big Raddy says:

    RA. You could join Micky’s WiffWaff club!

  160. evonne says:

    Kelsey at 2:04p – yes, we are now a Polish Club :) I am going to send (yet another) to Wenger offering my services as a translator, you never know, he might need me :)

    TA – I have been attempting to comment since this morning. My internet is mulfunctioning today more then usual, I am going to sack BT.

    So, I knew you would write a post about Robin’s prospects :) You didn’t like it one bit when I said he will leave, did you?

    It is not all about money. But it is Robin’s possibly last long contract deal, he wants trophies and he has young family. Arsenal FC are his employer, very good employer, but family come first, and £10millions plus could make big difference to his children.
    Sadly, I think we will be saying good bye again. I am even prepared to do an LB and bet my coat.

    TA – what does RvP come across like in his native language? He sounds very sophisticated with the lovely accent. I know both his divorced parents are artists, one a teacher, so I assume Robin received good schooling? Has he converted to Islam?

    Thank you for another brilliant post

  161. evonne says:

    sent a letter to Wenger, of course, sorry

  162. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Mancini is a horrible horrible ponce, no not me, the other one, well maybe ime a ponce to, but anyway, the mans got no respect what so ever. Talk about loads of money but no class. He looks like a ponce to, with that stupid poncy scarf and poncy hair. He also walks and talks like a ponce and manages a poncy team. He was a poncy player and now a poncy manager.Hes so poncy, he probably invented the word ponce. So my point is, hes a ponce.

  163. goonermichael says:

    Well played then Kelsey. :)

    I never trust my memory anymore but I thought I’d read that.

  164. goonermichael says:

    Terry. You forgot to say he’s a ponce

  165. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GM, oh yeah, just to make my point clear and eliminate any misunderstanding, hes a ponce.

  166. goonermichael says:

    Roberto Mancini From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search Roberto Mancini
    Personal information
    Full name Roberto “ponce” Mancini
    Date of birth 27 November 1964 (1964-11-27) (age 47)
    Place of birth poncini, Ancona, Italy
    Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)
    Playing position Attacking ponce/ Striker
    Club information
    Current club Manchester City (poncy Manager)
    Befoe becoming a footballer invented the word ponce.

  167. Big Raddy says:

    I haven’t quite got this, does Terry mean to say that Mancini is a ponce?

  168. goonermichael says:

    He’s been hinting at that Raddy

  169. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GM,hahahahahahahahahahhahahaha.

    Raddy, apologies for any ambiguity, but yes, i believe Mancini to be the original, one and only, ponce.

  170. Big Raddy says:

    OK, I think I have it. But just to be sure……

    Are you saying that Mancini is a ponce?

  171. Jamie says:

    Great Article TA – haven’t read the comments yet.

    My view is this;

    If Arsenal finish 5th and don’t offer him upward of 150k a week he will walk.

    If Arsenal make 4th and offer him 150k plus he will stay.

    He loves the club, you can see that in how he had performed when times have been tough.

    That meeting in the summer will also contain the question, ” are we going to sign three good quality players this summer to help make the difference” you got an indication of that today, Lukas Podolski.

  172. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes Raddy, hahahahahahahahaha.

  173. Red Arse says:

    Ermm, TerryM, just to be clear, and of course you are not being homophobic as you could be arrested for that, do you mean ‘ponce’ as in a derivation of ‘once a ponce a time’ the opening line in that well known fairy story?

    I am unclear! :-)

  174. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    is he a manager?, no. He spends half his time trying to ponce other teams players. All that Arab money has given him licence to indulge his ponciness. He fell out to with tevez, because the argie tried to chalange him for the poncy throne, and you dont do that against King Ponce. Hes not even satisfied with all the money he receives, always complaining about the size of his squad, he wants to ponce more

    You cant win with a ponce like that. He deserves to lose all his personal dosh, but then he would become a hobo, and with his poncing skills would probably earn more money than bill gates. Sorry for ranting on, but i cant stand the ponce.

  175. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders, no no, i wouldnt want a visit from old bill. Ime getting confused myself now. hahahaha.

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi DanDan, hope your wife’s x-ray results are what you hope them to be.

    Jamie, good point re the need to finish at least fourth to keep RvP. I think the rest of the team know that as well and they are all fighting for each other to achieve it.

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, just call him a twat – you cannot go wrong with that. Twatcine :)

  178. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ok TA, i feel very disorientated from all my ranting, think ime gona have a lie down. hahahhaha

  179. Red Arse says:

    Terry,

    I looked it up and it means; –“A city of southern Puerto Rico southwest of San Juan. It is an agricultural trade and distribution center. Population: 181,000.” So that’s OK then!

    Oh, oh wait — it also means; –“a man given to ostentatious or effeminate display in manners, speech, dress, etc.” well that’s OK too, I suppose!

    But, oh no, it also means; –“ponce – someone who procures customers for whores (in England they call a pimp a ponce).

    Well now you can choose!! :-)

  180. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Redders, hahahhahaha, yeah thats it, a Puerto Rican city.

  181. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Evonne :)

    Don’t you think RvP has not already earned enough for him and his family so he does not have to do anything anymore after his retirement. He probably is on £80k per week, 4m a year, plus all the extras like sponsorships, advertising etc Of course, he wants a good contract and Arsenal are able to offer this to him, plus as others have said, Arsenal are a financially healthy club, so a good guarantee it will not go bust anytime soon.

    RvP comes across very confident and pleasant in his native language. What impresses me so much about him is his ability to live in the here and now – he seems to enjoy life very much and does not think ahead a lot. He has not converted to Islam, although it is not something I check regularly :)

  182. TA – evonne is not for turning on that one, I just had the same argument with her :P

    In my eyes he will have already earned enough to have a very nice retirement if he chooses, he may even stay in football and carry on working for many years in coaching and management. If a person believes they need £100m for the rest of their life they will surely spend it long before they die IMHO.

  183. oz – thank you very much for the offer of the pre-match for the Newcastle game, I accept.

    micky – looking forward to supper together on Monday although you only invited Rasp to eat with you :( Can I come too?

  184. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha Peaches, Evonne has offered to eat her coat if she is proven wrong on this one: something to look forward to! :lol:

  185. Will braney says:

    But didn’t fabregas say he was a real gunner and still even when he left and so is Henry but he still left. It doesn’t mean anything.

  186. Will braney – I think Cesc is a case apart as we knew he would always return to Barca. Henry wanted to get away from his wife and so his Barca decision was quite easy to make when he made it. Vieira was sold – if you believe what was written at the time. Rasp believes the club will take the money for Robin but I hope that’s not true – I would hate him to be sold when he really wanted to stay :(

  187. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA thank you for the marvellous post, I have only just sat down to read it, yet agin it shows just how powerful the blog world is as you have offered a direct translation of an interview. If this was a tabloid website I would expect the interview to be more like “VAN PERSiE WON’T COMMIT TO FUTURE”, which whilst he doesn’t say the opposite your translation proves that he is not saying he wants out.

    Now to read a few comments.

  188. Gooner In Exile says:

    A strong Shitty lost to Sporting Lisbon tonight? Just seen the goal and I wonder how much we will hear of Hart’s error in the press? The media has decided he is the best but he has proved more than once that he is fallible especially with concentration when players are closing in after a shot.

    Right now to read comments

  189. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brief evening all,
    Goes without saying Peaches. In my mind, you were invited way before Rasp :-) I will be bringing my father in law. Lovely man, and he’s never been to a top flight game in his life. Southend Utd only!
    I’ll be meeting him at Finsbuy Park at 6 ish.

  190. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No time to read comments for me today. Second day on the trot. Tis work stuff simply has to take a back seat.

  191. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A brief flick down, and one thing that is confusing me.
    What is it precisely Terry thinks of Mankini?
    Nite all.

  192. LB says:

    Hello Peaches

    If the club cannot reach an agreement with Van Persie then it stands to reason that they will try and get the best price they can from the sale.

    Is there anyone who doesn’t think that?

    What the club won’t do in my opinion is sell him for the sake of selling him……is Rasp saying that he thinks they will?

  193. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Another fantastic post Total.
    I shall make 2 points.
    1) I left a decent paid job ( for this area ), because I hated the “team” I was working for. I joined another “team” I love working for, but on crap money, Job satisfaction !.
    2) We all know he loves the Arsenal, theres another point which I dont think anyone has mentioned, he`s a honourable man and after years on the treatment table, I think he knows he owes us .

    Terry, are you going to beat the ponce to within an inch of his life with your slipper ?.

    Well done Kelsey and also thanks to you I`ve had a good day. It was down to your Denmark,Kangaroo,Orange teaser.

    The things I do for The Arsenal. I liked Kelseys DKO, but thought It needed to be put to better more rewarding use. So I wrote the words on a sticky back piece of paper and stuck It on my chest then hid It by zipping up my jacket. I then asked the 3 girls at work (individually ), ” If I can read your mind and predict what answers you give, you will do me sexual favours of my likeing “, they all agreed. I went through the ” look into my eyes ” stuff and got to the point where I asked them to tell me the 3 answers of the questions, they answered correct, I then opened my jacket to reveal my mind reading power, they gasped and giggled and not one has questioned It, cushdie, so it`s there when i want it !.
    Now the bit where one puts his neck on the line for The Arsenal.
    The 25 stone Spudette had heard the gigglings and asked me what was going on ? . I said ,” I can read your mind , would you like to go through the process ” ( I had no intention of sexual favours at the time) , being a spudette she said ” only If I can suck your hampton “. I said ” On one condition ” when I read your mind, you will become a Gooner “………………………………………………………90mins + injury time later, a new goonerette !.

  194. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    chas , He`s up to number 3 now! :)

  195. Gooner In Exile says:

    The Podolski story is nicely timed heard a Getman correspondent on TS (I know but in my defence it was the H&J slot which is in the main ok). Anyway he said current employers couldn’t lose him in January but on other hand relegation means he has a very cheap buy out clause so it made sense to do a deal at around £10-11m even tho he is probably undervalued. Makes sense for us as it means he is cheaper wages wise (assuming personal terms have been agreed).

    The guy also said he can either operate as a No10, up front on his own or on the left so doesn’t have to be a direct replacement for RvP but could be the first step to keeping him.

    LB as for your 8:09 I have to say I agree but in the back of my mind clutching a couple of straws, I wonder if the club will play a bit harder on this one, I have nothing but hope and assumption in reaching those straws.

  196. SharkeySure says:

    Frankly, I feel like I need to drive to Norfolk and shake your hand, then buy you a pint. Seriously.

  197. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wow a free kick given for playing the ball with only one boot on! The laws of the game do state that each player should wear a minimum kit and footwear is included in that as well as socks so Evra was breaking the laws by playing the ball whilst only wearing one boot!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Shame they just got a pen tho, still 3 away goals is a big number if Bilbao score one in the next leg.

  198. dandan says:

    It would seem Man Utd have been given the boot. Magical referee :-)

  199. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all – just came to :lol: at the Mancs

    Gotta go again

  200. Irishgunner says:

    Oh RvP will be here next season, I have no doubt and am not even worrying about it.

  201. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening all,

    I watched AZ Alkmaar against Udinese tonight on ITV-4. I wanted to have a look at an eighteen year old called Maher of AZ. I heard a lot of good things about him and he did ok. A player very much in the Arsenal mode…. OZ/Micky are you scouting?! :)

    AZ, playing in the Arsenal colours, dominated the game throughout with high tempo and pressure football and high ball circulation and won, well-deserved, 2-0. At times it was just like watching an Arsenal match.

    Great to see the Manc clubs enjoying their Thursday night extravaganzas :)

  202. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Sharkey, come to Norwich and GiE and I will take you out for a meal and some sightseeing. I know you love your castles, cathedrals and museums :)

  203. GunnerN5 says:

    From Arsenal.com

    ……………………………………………………………………………..

    Diaby – I am not a fragile footballer

    Abou Diaby knows he is a NOT a “fragile” footballer, even though he understands why the wider world might make the assertion.

    On the contrary, the Arsenal midfielder believes his injury problems are nearly behind him and he harbours no concerns about his future career. In fact, he has “never been as motivated” to fulfill his ‘destiny’.

    The 25-year-old was speaking after a week that typifies his ill-fortune. An ankle injury had restricted Diaby to just 26 minutes this season before he replaced Mikel Arteta early in the second half at Liverpool last Saturday. He would barely double that tally before being forced off again.

    Fortunately, it is only a minor problem and the France international is expected to return soon. However the knock leaves Diaby in the unfortunately familiar position of battling back. Speaking to the French media this week, he put over his side of the story.

    “A lot of things have been said and written about me and I wanted to tell the truth about my situation,” said Diaby. “People say that I’m fragile and although I understand why, I am not fragile.



    “I have had three operations on my ankle, all for different problems but the result of that was that my body is unbalanced, especially in my legs. 
I have overused one over the other and to put everything back in place is not easy.



    “I get injured,” he went on. “It’s a fact but when people tell you you’re fragile, it hurts. Today my ankle is twice as big because of the surgery. My problem is a biomechanical problem. I need to work daily on how to
 rebalance my body.”

    Diaby admits his injuries have prompted thoughts of retirement in the past. But sterling work with the Arsenal medical team and specialists abroad have banished those now.

    “I am not scared for the rest of my career,” he said. “I still have a big future. 
Physically, I really feel very good, like a beast. Unfortunately, I had that little problem at Liverpool but it’s nothing serious and I will start running again at the end of the week.

    “There have been times where I thought about stopping my career. You always
 ask yourself a lot of questions in those moments. It’s hard mentally and I had to be strong. But quickly, I went back to a very positive attitude. I know I am going to be fine. I am not a cheat. I have always worked very hard to come back.



    “I have never had any apprehension playing football but I have to say that last season I feared a bit to play. It was so important for me to come back to my best level and to avoid getting injured again that I had this little apprehension.”


    With his recovery close to completion, Diaby is now philosophical about the journey he has taken but remains resolute about what he can achieve.

    “For me, my injuries are a task sent by God,” he said. “I need to go through them to achieve the goals and the dreams that I have in my career. It’s my destiny. I am privileged. Some people have worse problems than me so I cannot complain.



    “I am hungry and strong mentally. All those hard times have strengthened me. I know there is a lot of expectation around me and some pressure but it’s a challenge for me to come back to my best level.

    “I have never been as motivated as I am now. I want to prove to everybody, and especially to myself, that I can do it. I have faith in what I am doing. I will never give up and I know that I will come out of this tunnel.”

  204. Jamie says:

    Diaby isn’t fragile?

    Do me a favour. Man is made of glass.

    Shame because he could have been a massive player for us.

    27 injuries since the idoit Sunderland player assualted him.

    He can’t really come back. read the paragraph about his ankle.

  205. rafi says:

    of course RvP loves arsenal. he is a true gunner. thats why football whore adebayor wanted to maime him during their first meeting at city’s stadium after leaving arsenal. RvP loves the club as much as the mad togolese hates it.

  206. Gooner In Exile says:

    Jamie whilst I share your sentiments about the Sunderland idiot who now works in a call centre by all accounts I have so much sympathy for Diaby, Saturday was a hamstring, given the sudden nature of Artetas injury I doubt he was fully warmed up (I know Arteta was down for a while) but four minutes of stretches is not sufficient for these players especially not Abou.

    To have to change his whole running biomechanic because of that broken ankle is a big ask especially with his height and frame. I think we would have all said much the same about Boy Wonder but even he has improved impossible is nothing.

  207. oz gunner says:

    RA you’ve forgotten a few definitions (i should know because thanks to you i’m now a dictionary searching pro!)

    A ponce you say TMHT?!

    *An individual who attempts to fake having intelligence, class, or culture.

    *Term originated in the UK and came to prominence in the 1960’s, initially to describe a pimp. In Spanish it means “prince” and could have either been referring to the fancy, over-the-top clothing and jewelry popular with pimps, or because he was surrounded by a harem of women, involved in the underworld, but usually not the actual “king” of the area (he had to pay tribute to use the block or neighborhood).

    Now it is generally used to refer to someone (usually a male) who dresses in nicer clothing and acts in a polished fashion; a ponce is not necessarily homosexual, nor are they necessarily passive or weak, but they would tend to be thought of as metrosexual or gay in their manner of dress.
    e.g Modern British:

    NIGEL: Fuck you, you fookin’ chav, at least me Burberry’s real.
    ANDY: Right. You’re still a ponce.

    *Widely used to reffer to a poser,camp or soft looking person- the type of person who looks like they would get beaten up by a girl

    e.g “Pato i cant believe your wearing make up,you ponce!”

  208. oz gunner says:

    @ LB

    I’ve seen him in interviews as saying he felt like F.C Koln was his home and he owed them for starting his football career. So it seems he is very loyal

    Podolski began playing football at the age of six in the youth team of FC Bergheim, where he played until he joined 1. FC Köln in 1995. It was there where Podolski’s talents were first noticed. In 2003, at the age of 18, Podolski was still part of the club’s youth side. At this time the club found itself in dire straits battling to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga. First team boss Marcel Koller, working on a shoestring budget, invited Podolski to train with the senior players and he made his top flight debut shortly afterwards on 22 November 2003. Even though Köln failed to avoid a drop to the 2nd division, Podolski had shown what he could do, scoring 10 goals in his first 19 senior appearances. This was the best tally by an 18-year-old in the history of the Bundesliga.

    Though his call up to the German Euro 2004 squad brought along interest from several top clubs, Podolski stayed at Köln to help the club gain promotion in the 2004–05 season. With 24 goals, Podolski advanced to become the league’s best scorer. Somewhat unusually, Podolski remained part of the Germany squad, even though he did not play in the national top-tier league.
    After Köln were promoted, the pressure was on Podolski to keep the club in the Bundesliga practically singlehandedly. Podolski managed to score 12 goals in the 2005–06 season, but eventually, Köln were relegated again. It became clear that Podolski would not stay again to push them through the 2006–07 season—even more so, as Podolski was becoming an integral part of the national team.

  209. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    i remember his name from when you mentioned him a few months back, and then when it was reported Arsenal and Man City were keeping tabs on him. Definitely highly rated if he has been linked with Barca, man city, manure and the Mighty Arsenal

    Here is a video on him:

  210. RockyLives says:

    What a poignant interview with About Diaby.

    I really hope he makes it back and fulfils his potential.

  211. RockyLives says:

    What does anyone think about Roberto Mancini?

  212. evonne says:

    Morning Rocky – he is good looking :)

    The hostage killed in Nigeria was wearing a Man United shirt.

  213. evonne says:

    The ManU hostage killed in Nigeria was only 29, what a tragic waste of life :(

  214. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Most of us on here are fairly clear about our thoughts on Mancini, other than Terry who just won’t budge off that fence.

  215. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA and Ox,
    Looked at that Mahar clip. Can I assume because its been posted back to front, that the fellow’s cultured left foot has actually never been to school at all, and that it is his learned right foot we should be admiring?

  216. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Podolski.
    Still think Chamakh looked a more complete player on youtube.
    Boy, am I in for a hard time from Rasp on monday night over this :-(

  217. evonne says:

    Micky – was it you who famlously said ‘Nice scarf, good hair, average manager’?
    I think he is all right. The wealth at his disposal is a poisoned chalice, he has no excuses to fall back on. Also, he has to deal with some poor attitude of the multi millionaires like Tevez and Balottelli. Considering it all, I think he is doing well.
    He comes across as a nice, well balanced, thoughtful man. And he goes to church every Sunday, which I respect.

  218. evonne says:

    you just don’t like the ~ski surnames, Chamakh is a cooler name, isn’t it Micky

  219. dy says:

    Diaby’s interview is one from the heart, only from Arsenal.

  220. oz gunner says:

    morning all,

    hahaha Micky very good question, i’m stumped i’d say it’s still his left, help somebody!!!

  221. Thanks God, RVP is a real gunners 4 life. I hope wenger will reward him with podolski, Mario Gotez, Hazard or any suitable player that matcth with him. Up Gunner and prof. Arsene.

  222. Carlito11 says:

    Morning all!
    Well pleased with the podolski signing- I wanted us to get him after the world cup in south Africa and he’ll fit in brilliantly. Scores goals, links play and (whenever I’ve watched him) is tenacious and determined. Great time to sign a big name psychologically with the push for 3rd place and meeja jitters about rvp’s contract. Bit o a risk injurywise as he has a lot of games to play for other team before he reaches our hallowed turf! Still, encouraging move from the club and bodes well for us getting our house in order transferwise.
    And the mancs got turned over at home last night! Happy Friday everyone- hope to make the tavern pre kick off on Monday night :-)

  223. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody ell it’s that man Carlito!

  224. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    No that wasn’t me, and I can’t remember who said it.
    As for saying I dont like squiggle ‘ski names, that is not strictly true. For me they sound Eastern European, so along with squiggle ‘ics, they make good hard men, like central defenders, whereas I like my flair players to be more squiggle ‘ario as in more Latino.

  225. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Bloody eck you’re right. Great to see our sky diving chum again :-)

  226. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Carlito,
    Hi again. Would be great to see you again on monday. Pretty sure I promised you much Guiness for taking the leap.

  227. evonne says:

    Podolski po polsku

    Sounds a nice, easy going lad

  228. Rasp says:

    Micky,

    Chamakh’s a pussy compared to Podolski. Robin van Podski is the way ahead … trust me :P

  229. Red Arse says:

    Morning Dudes, especially you Carlito!! :-)

    Micky, a perfect definition of –ski; —ics; and —arios!! True genius. :-)

    –“As for saying I dont like squiggle ‘ski names, that is not strictly true. For me they sound Eastern European, so along with squiggle ‘ics, they make good hard men, like central defenders, whereas I like my flair players to be more squiggle ‘ario as in more Latino.

  230. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    From previous intense youtube research, I thought Chamakh looked brilliant. I know this throws my recruiting creditials out of the window, so you may be right.

  231. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. I cannot tell a lie. It was BR who said that about Mankini.

    Still how I see him.

    Anyone watch Bilbao last night. What a team. Given there position in the SPanish League and Napoli in Serie A, it shows how the PL is going backwards in terms of quality. It will take a post to discuss why, but one reason (of many) must be the Mark Hughes school of contact Football.

  232. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not sure you can go too farwrong by beginning friday with a Duck Jike:

    A duck walks into a pub and orders a pint of beer and a ham sandwich.

    The barman looks at him and says,

    “Hang on! You’re a duck.”

    “I see your eyes are working,” replies the duck.

    “And you can talk!” Exclaims the barman.

    “I see your ears are working, too,” Says the duck.

    “Now if you don’t mind, can I have my beer and my sandwich please?”

    “Certainly, sorry about that,”
    Says the barman as he pulls the duck’s pint.

    “It’s just we don’t get many ducks in this pub.

    What are you doing round this way?”

    “I’m working on the building site across the road,”
    Explains the duck.

    “I’m a plasterer.”

    The flabbergasted barman cannot believe the duck and wants
    to learn more, but takes the hint when the duck pulls out a newspaper from his bag and proceeds to read it.
    So, the duck reads his paper, drinks his beer, eats his sandwich, bids the barman good day and leaves.

    The same thing happens for two weeks…

    Then one day the circus comes to town.

    The ringmaster comes into the pub for a pint and the barman says to him
    “You’re with the circus, aren’t you?

    Well, I know this duck that could be just brilliant in your circus. He talks, drinks beer, eats sandwiches, reads the newspaper and everything!”

    “Sounds marvelous,”
    says the ringmaster, handing over his business card.

    “Get him to give me a call.”

    So the next day when the duck comes into the pub the barman says,

    “Hey Mr. Duck, I reckon I can line you up with a top job, paying really good money.”

    “I’m always looking for the next job,”
    Says the duck.

    “Where is it?”

    “At the circus,”
    Says the barman.

    “The circus?”
    Repeats the duck.

    “That’s right,”
    Replies the barman.

    “The circus?”
    The duck asks again.
    with the big tent?”

    “Yeah,” the barman replies.

    “With all the animals who live in cages, and performers who
    live in caravans?” says the duck.

    Of course,” the barman replies.

    “And the tent has canvas sides and a big canvas roof with a hole in the middle?” persists the duck.

    “That’s right!” says the barman.

    The duck shakes his head in amazement, and says .. . …
    .
    .
    .
    “What the fuck would they want with a plasterer??!”

  233. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz, :-)

    I am really impressed with your use of a well thumbed dictionary! Going to a formal Uni and then the Uni of Life (well, AA) means you are destined to eventually be the Prime Minister of Oz. :-)

  234. Red Arse says:

    Micky, :-)

  235. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    LB @ 8:09 (last night). The answer to your question is I think if the club cannot get RvP to sign the best deal they are prepared to offer, they will sell him if a high bid comes in rather than up the offer.

  236. kelsey says:

    Morning all,

    you are forgetting the other players whose contract are running down.Walcott,Song and Szscney. one has to look at the complete package

  237. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bugger of for half an hour and you all vanish.
    Duckists the lot of you.

  238. Rasp says:

    oz,

    We’d like to graciously accept your offer to write the per-match for toon on Monday.

    Post alert to the rest of you ….. we need posts for Saturday and Sunday – send em rolling in!

  239. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha, Micky – you never shake off a first impression!

  240. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cripes Kelsey,
    If I where told we had three players who all thought they were worth more than RvP, that’d be them!
    Could throw a spanner in the works as far as wage structure nonsense is concerned.

  241. Rasp says:

    Morning again…..

    ….. New post ……

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  245. iKierstinMailojjrm says:

    Hey! I stored it to my laptop. Nice post.

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