So the melodrama is over.
Brave Sir Robin returned to the club that stood faithfully by his side in sickness and in, er, more sickness.
He walked on to the pitch through a guard of honour. He got booed by most of the home supporters. He took a few kicks and gave a few kicks. He scored.
That’s it folks… all over, nothing to see here.
I still have mixed feelings about BSR. I completely understand why many fans are angry that he chose to leave (and that the club sold him to Manchester United, of all people).
But I also appreciate the great memories I have from the one proper season he gave us during his Arsenal career: all those “did you see that?” goals; all those volleyed finishes from Alex Song golf chips. It’s just a shame it turned out to be his last season with us.
Anyway, the dust has now settled on his return to The Home Of Football and we can get back to worrying about the important business of winning our final three games.
The problem is, it’s not as simple as that, is it?
We don’t just have to worry about our own games, we also worry about those of the teams competing with us for third and fourth spots in the Premier League.
And this is why I have decided to become a Robin lover again. It won’t be with the passion that I once had for him and I can guarantee it won’t be a long-lasting affair. In fact, it will be all over by 6pm on Sunday.
Because shortly before then the referee will have blown the final whistle to end Manchester United’s home fixture against Chelsea. And I am sincerely hoping that Brave Sir Robin, who has been in superb scoring form for two full seasons, will have done us an immense favour by banging home a hat trick against the Chavs.
If United beat Chelsea, it will give us some additional margin for error in our run in. Hopefully we won’t need that margin and we will spank QPR, Wigan and Newcastle in turn to guarantee a top four finish, but even then, it might make the difference between third and fourth place.
I hope that United will put in a proper amount of commitment and effort against Chelsea.
The Purple Conked Gorbalian has said that they will. He talked of “honouring” Chelsea’s rivals for the Champions League places by competing properly, but I have my doubts.
They have won the league already at a canter and, psychologically, I just can’t see them being as committed as they should be.
In fact, the “Van Persie returns to Arsenal for the first time since joining United” sideshow probably worked against us at the weekend. It fired up the crowd and added spice to the occasion.
Arsene Wenger said that our players started with such energy and bite because of the way they had prepared. That may be part of it, but I have no doubt that the heightened passion of the crowd also played a part.
It encouraged our boys to snap into tackles, win the second balls and harass United all over the pitch.
But if you start bullying people, eventually you’re likely to provoke a response. The United players, being the competitive people they are, could not help but be roused into fighting back eventually.
But when they entertain the Chavs it will be a very different matter. It will be a game played in front of a complacent home crowd who don’t really care what the result is. Many will have consumed a fair few drinks on the way up from Surrey and – if it’s a nice afternoon – will probably doze through the match.
Let’s face it, the place is hardly a hotbed of atmosphere at the best of times. If the Emirates is a library, Old Toilet is a mausoleum. Without the fun.
In other words, I wouldn‘t be at all surprised if Chelsea come away with all three points.
My only hope is that Brave Sir Robin himself, despite the abuse he received from his former worshipers on Sunday, will feel he owes it to us to try and help us get a top four place.
I hope that his friends in the Arsenal dressing room – the ones he was so eager to pop in and see after scoring against them at the weekend – have urged him to do his bit.
How ironic would it be if goals from Robin van Persie played a part in keeping us in the Champions League next year?