Let’s face the facts here guys we are all bored of the speculation and tired of the clichés and headlines by now:
“Arsenal’s biggest signing this summer has to be van Persie”
“Will Arsenal break the wage structure for the skipper?”
“Mancini lines up big bucks bid for Arsenal striker”
“Wenger needs to convince RVP of his ambition for silverware”
“RVP not scoring and his body language looks disinterested, like Cesc last year”
BLAH BLAH BLAH!!
Robin was actually quoted yesterday when collecting the Football writers award, when asked about his summer contract talks:
“That is still the plan. We haven’t set a date but I will have a meeting with the boss like we did before now. We will be having a meeting about my future, and lots of other things.”
“Arsenal is an unbelievable club. The player I am today is because of Arsenal. When I actually signed the deal (to join Arsenal) it was a dream come true.”
“If you ask the likes of Robert Pires how he feels, what he feels like he will say ‘I feel like a Gunner’ – and whatever happens with me I will always be a Gunner.”
So here is what we all know to be true:
1) He loves Arsenal and supported the Gunners as a kid
2) He is mighty proud to be captain of Arsenal FC
3) In the past 2 seasons with the help of mostly his current team mates he has broken multiple scoring records
4) He and his wife love living in London and he has spoken publically about how much he enjoys his children’s English schooling
5) Due to his electric form for Arsenal he is the first name on the team sheet for the Netherlands (Sorry Huntelaar)
6) He is the top paid player at Arsenal on circa £90k per week but this puts him well below the top earners in his bracket, he has one year left on his contract and knows he could earn more elsewhere.
7) With the support of his coaching staff and team he has scooped both the prestigious individual player award in 2011 and he is on the brink of the Golden Boot.
8) He does not wish to discuss his contract t extension until the end of the season
9) He will see Arsene as a mentor and father figure in his career
For me the above is not up for debate and is non-disputable, but here is what we don’t know.
1) What has been discussed privately between Arsene Wenger and his captain
2) Whether Robin is actually demanding a huge pay increase
3) Whether Robin feels this present squad with additions can challenge in 2012/13
4) Whether Robin feels that until he wins with Arsenal he has unfinished business
5) Whether he has a burning to achieve as captain what Henry, Gallas and Fabregas failed to do and lead this team to honours
So for what it is worth what follows is my take on what might well happen based on precedent, logic and quite frankly a gut feel for RVP, his relationship with Wenger, his team mates and this great club. It comes in the form of a conversation. Enjoy:
“Okay Robin, please close the door. Thank you. Now this is my take on your situation at Arsenal. You are at the peak of your powers, you are my captain, my team is built around your ability and your team mates adore you. The fans worship you and I tell you now it is unlikely you would loved us much elsewhere as you are at the Emirates. This club has given you the opportunity to play Champions League at a very young age and has supported you through many injuries to bring you to the level you are at today, which in my opinion is amongst the top players in world football. I am convinced we are on the brink of something quite special here but I need you to assist me to finish the job in hand. What do you say?”
“Boss I hear you but I am not getting any younger. I am 29 in August and have only won the FA Cup in 2005, which quite frankly is worrying me. I love this club and I want to win things here with this team but I am not sure whether I can wait too much longer. It is not so much about the money, although it does annoy me to see lesser players than me being paid so much more. I love the club, you know that, being captain here means everything to me and I could not be more proud, but I need to win a trophy or two as well. I trust you to get me a good pay rise boss but we must win something next season. I need it for me and we both owe it to these fans, 7 year is a long time. I hate to say this but some of the guys are not quite good enough and we need more winners.”
“Okay I hear you I do. You know I changed my philosphy last year and brought in experience in Mikel, Andre and Per and I will do the same in June and July. I will not wait until the end of August and you have already seen we are bringing in Lukas from Koln. I intend to bring in 2 or 3 more proven players to give us the final pieces of the jigsaw Robin. Next year will be our year and I am convinvced of it, but I need you to mould and lead this team.”
“Okay boss but you must understand that I will need one last big payday after Arsenal whilst I am still young enough to get such a contract. I believe you and I think we can do it next year and I want to be part of that Arsenal history but I am not willing to wait beyond that. You know Cesc was my friend, so I know you know what I am saying boss. (wink!)”
” I understand and I will ensure the Directors do as well. I will get you the best deal I can get on a two year extension which will take you to 2015, but if we do not win as we both believe we will next season,there will be a Gentleman’s agreement between you and I that I will not stand in the way of any reasonable offers next summer. If we do win I hope you will stay until 2014 when you will be 31 and still able to command a a bumper contract in Spain, like Thierry, or Germany perhaps and we will still be able to get a quality price for you.”
“Thanks boss I knew you would understand. I want nothing more than to lead this club and this team back to the glory days and I will strain every sinew in my body to do it, but I have to know that if we cannot do it I will still have time while I am young enough to do it elsewhere. “
“We understand each other Robin amd I am not worried beacuse I am convinced that with 2 more additions after Lukas and with Jack back we will have the strongest and most experiened squad we have has since William messed it up for us at St Andrews in 2008. (Mon dieu that still hurts) However there is one more thing I would ask to seal our agreement Robin. I would like to have your new contract signed and announced before the European Championship. This will help me secure the signings we both want before I go to the Ukraine to analyise another collapse of French football and laugh at our old friend Samir live on CanalPlus.”
Okay Boss that is fair. I will leave you to sort out the pay increase to the most you can get me and I will sign a 2 year extension until June 2015 after the West Brom game. Perhaps we can announce it the same day I am presented with the Golden Boot eh, that would be cool!
So there you have it. If Carlsberg made Wenger /RVP contarct negotiations! Far fetched I don’t necessarily think so at all. I am convinced a conversation like this, between protégé and mentor happened between Fabregas and Wenger in the summer of 2010. Sadly the manger and the team failed to deliver, ironically primarily down to Fabregas himself being injured for Wembley. I am also fairly certain a chat along these lines will be happening if not before the West Brom game then shortly after. If I am even close to being right then everything hinges on 2012/13.
Until next time thanks for reading and thanks
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