Posted on Monday, 9th July 2012 by Akin Nathan
As Robin van Persie is refusing to pen a new deal, the football world picked up another buzz about Arsenal Football Club, amidst the brief boredom and break from active football that has ensued after the conclusion of Euro 2012.
The talismanic Dutchman’s stunning resurgence last season has drawn attention from the bigwigs in Europe, as well as the big-spenders. This news only confirmed what some of us had feared a while earlier, and it also continues a history of our club losing their captain and most influential players.
This ‘captain-gate’ saga began back in 2005 when reports hit the airwaves that leggy Frenchman and club captain Patrick Vieira had been sold to Juventus for £14 million. It was shocking news at the time as this was a player whose likely destination was the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid. They had courted and made several advances for the Senegalese-born defensive midfielder but he opted to stay loyal to the club and was on course to play his own testimonial as he was nearing 10 years of loyal service to the club which qualifies him for a testimonial match.
After Vieira’s sale, the armband was handed down to goal machine and club legend Thierry Henry. After two years of leading from the front, it was Thierry’s turn to use the exit door as the Catalan giants, who had been lurking with intent to poach the striker away from us for a few years, finally got their man.
Henry moved to Barcelona in 2007 and next to become the gaffer’s voice on the field was dramatic Frenchman and newbie, William Gallas. This was a surprising move by Arsene Wenger as he just joined from cross town rivals Chelsea. The obvious choice, Kolo Toure, was ignored. Though Gallas didn’t leave as captain, he was stripped due to his on-field sit down protest on the day the nimble footed Croat Eduardo suffered a leg break at St Andrews, after the Gunners lost a two goal lead.
The intelligent and vision endowed Spaniard, Cesc Fabregas was given the nod to lead the team, and he did this from 2008-2011. Fabs finally left after the lure of his boyhood club, as well as the reunion with his family was too strong to resist, and he forced his way out of his Arsenal contract with three years left to run and even paid some cash to push the move through.
As it is in football, a team must line up with a captain amongst them for several reasons and Mr. Wenger opted for Van Persie to marshal his wards forward. In his first, and what looks like his only season as captain, Robin netted 30 Premier League goals, bagged two awards and broke a club record. Of course, players of this calibre and achievement automatically attract suitors from all over the globe and since contract situations are not so discreet, his contract tenure was known by other clubs and they started dangling luscious carrots in front of the 28-year-old proverbial donkey.
As it is now, negotiations are at a halt and the man says the club and him differ on the way they are progressing, and won’t be extending his contract for this reason. Simply put, Arsenal are on the verge of losing their FIFTH skipper in a row, and it is more likely that the money seeking board will rather cash in than let him walk on a free in 12 months time, as this is their priority ahead of winning trophies.
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Tags: Alex Song, Alexander Hleb, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Kolo Toure, Mathieu Flamini, Patrick Vieira, Robin Van Persie, Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Thierry Henry, Thomas Vermaelen, William Gallas
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