RvP a real coup for United

Posted by Ravi Ubha

Arsenal fans have gotten used to this sort of thing, but that doesn't mean it's easier to take.

When Manchester United announced on its website Wednesday that it agreed to an undisclosed fee with Arsenal for striker Robin van Persie, pending a medical in Manchester on Thursday, it marked another summer where a star player is taking off. Those same fans reluctantly said goodbye to Cesc Fabregas, though softening the blow was the fact he left for another country and the club he adores, Barcelona.

Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy both departed for Manchester City, saying they wanted to win trophies, with the extra lining in their wallets surely enticing them further.

Piers Morgan, the CNN host and an Arsenal backer, didn’t waste time lambasting the Dutchman, saying on Twitter: "Funny, I really thought @Persie_Official was different. But he turned out to be just another mercenary, heartless, selfish little s**t."

Football fans are an emotional bunch, and so Morgan’s outburst was probably something other Arsenal fans felt, too.
But this isn't the time to blame van Persie. Not at all. Manager Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board need to held accountable.

If, as van Persie hinted on his website, winning trophies was his top priority, no one should begrudge him for making this decision. Van Persie is nearing 30, and what does he have to show for it in England? Nothing.

He looked on last season as Clichy and Nasri won the Premier League and Fabregas won the Kings Cup with Barcelona. Glance at the number of players Arsenal has been linked with in recent seasons: Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Jan Vertonghen, Gary Cahill, Shay Given ... the list goes on and on. They all went to other teams, as the penny-pinching Gunners refused to spend the needed quid.

As for Morgan's statement that this was a betrayal of manager Arsene Wenger because Wenger stuck with van Persie during his injury woes, the Frenchman indeed kept faith with van Persie – because he knows how good he is and what he could offer to a team that sorely lacked his quality.

Van Persie was out of his depth at Arsenal, meaning he's too good. How demoralizing was it for van Persie to look around the pitch and see Carl Jenkinson at fullback or Theo Walcott, his buddy, flubbing crosses and losing control of the ball, while putting in the intermittent good game?

Van Persie will probably be making significantly more money at Old Trafford, and there are those who'll pounce and suggest it's the only reason he moved north. It makes criticizing him easier. But van Persie didn't move for the cash.

He goes to a team where he won't be the revered talisman, a spot he relished at Arsenal, which further demonstrates his hunger to win things.

He'll fit into the team, but just where Alex Ferguson lines up van Persie will be interesting since he and Wayne Rooney prefer to occupy the No. 10 role instead of the No. 9. Landing van Persie is a real coup for United, especially since Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is a van Persie fan. Van Persie is equally adept as a goal scorer and playmaker, and alongside Shinji Kagawa, gives United the creativity lacking last season.

What now for Arsenal?

Knowing this was a possibility, Wenger, refreshingly, signed German international Lukas Podolski and French international Olivier Giroud. Good as they are, both are untested in England and Wenger's recent track record in signing strikers from Ligue 1 isn't good. Will they be as clinical as van Persie in putting away passes from Santi Cazorla & Co.?

Wenger has a little over two weeks to buy a premium striker, and the reported 22 million pounds Arsenal will receive should be adequate enough to fund a purchase. Or perhaps Arsenal will revive its interest in goal-scoring midfielder Clint Dempsey and have money left to spend on another player who can hit the back of the net. Regardless, it makes Arsenal's task of qualifying for the Champions League more difficult. (Arsenal was never going to compete for the title this season, even if van Persie had stuck around.)

Get used to it. Arsenal is little more than a feeder club, and van Persie had every right to go.

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