It Could Go Either Way-Stuart Jackson
It’s now transparently obvious that Arsenal’s immediate future relies heavily on the immediate future of skipper and leading goal scorer Robin Van Persie. The club’s future appears to be balanced on a knife edge, and I for one won’t be the first or last person to admit that currently….it could go either way.
The dutchman’s premature contract talks with manager Arsene Wenger and Cheif Executive Ivan Gazidis appear to have done very little to clarify the situation one way or another. Which maybe isn’t too surprising at this early stage, despite flawed hopes of some clarity (one way or another) before the beginning of Holland’s European Championship campaign. One thing’s for sure, us Gooners find ourselves in a very familiar situation, and with precedent, comes dread, panic and anxiety of course.
But let’s look at the knife edge our immediate future appears to be balanced on. It seems fairly obvious that Van Persie is waiting this one out, and that appears to be the general consensus amidst the rumours, whispers and anticipation that surrounds his future. That, in most people’s eyes, is probably the best chance we could have asked for. An opportunity to show our own supporters (as well as RVP) our ambition and aspirations for the new league season following a third place finish, which in turn guaranteed us Champions League football for next season . A third place finish that we managed to conjure up following the departures of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, despite an abysmal start. But this time round, rather than quick fixes, Arsenal need to put their money where their mouth is, and ensure Lukas Podolski is joined by at least one more big name signing at the Emirates, to help stop our skipper’s head from turning in an Exorcist like manner.
Should the dutchman opt to stay in North London, whatever strengthening Arsenal do, or have done at that point, would have to be considered as the next step in terms of moving ‘Forward’, as we’d be adding to the quality we already possess, as opposed to moving backwards and simply reevaluating the reason for Podolski’s signing for example. In a way, the arrival of Podolski is yet to be categorised, as we don’t know for sure yet if he’ll be partnering Robin, or replacing him essentially. Should Van Persie sign on the dotted line, then the former would indeed be the case, and Podolski’s signing would be all the more significant and bolstering. As it stands, our other alleged transfer targets and the interest surrounding them does not appear to be directly (or indirectly) linked with the skipper’s decision, which won’t be made until after the Euro’s.
The upside of that is that following an early swoop for Podolski, and with us allegedly circling 2 or 3 other targets with cause, we do appear to be looking to strengthen effectively, and possibly quickly, whether Van Persie stays or not, but it’s that quick and effective wheeling and dealing that could end up ensuring the prolific hit man stays put. Should he opt for pastures new, or should we opt to sell him to avoid losing him for free next year, then interest in a new frontman may be stepped up, to either replace him, or to partner Podolski in a new look formation, with some likely to argue that a worthy replacement has already been signed in the German. But goals have to come from more than one player, as we learned at stages last season, (especially in the late stages of the season) and it appears Arsene Wenger is already looking to eradicate that problem, judging by his first signing. But for what purpose has that player been brought in exactly? We won’t be able to answer that question definitively until a certain player’s future is thrashed out once and for all. And more could depend on that decision, along with the impact we will have on the pitch next season, or the lack of one in terms of firepower. But with such a detrimental departure, a huge lift would surely be required in the form of a marquee signing. Once again, as well as what is expected (or what COULD be expected) of our new signing, or what could be expected from the board in light of the unthinkable, everything hangs in the balance & could go either way.
We watch, we wait, we speculate , it seems all too familiar doesn’t it? Could this be a false sense of ‘security’ in a typical Arsenal build up to an anything but typical Arsenal season? Let’s hope so, as that would mean silverware and gunning for true glory!