If Carlsberg made Wenger and van Perise Contract talks!

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”


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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  1. People have interpreted the statement of RVP at the award ceremony differently. For me, when he said “We will be having a mee ting about my future, and lots of other things” it indicates that he probably wants to stay. Apart from discussing his future, he said they would discuss a lot of other things. What lot of other things would he be discussing if all he wants is to be gone? I think that there is a good chance that he will extend his contract.

  2. Nicely written article, Dave.

    Although I have to disagree with the two-year extension solution. RvP will be well aware that replicating this season’s form is going to be a tough ask – and don’t forget that an injury could yet sideline him for unknown periods next season.

    If he extends on a short term deal but can’t reproduce the form, a bumper pay day may never materialise. Also, his effectiveness will certainly diminish with growing age – how many players have Arsenal lost because AW didn’t like offering over 30s more than a one-year deal?

    There’s the ‘winning things side’ of the debate and there’s the ‘how much am I worth right now’ debate. As far as the latter goes, RvP is up there with the best right now and other considerations aside, his best option would be to sign a four-year deal that will assuredly pay him 200k a week – no matter what happens next season.

    I think other things being acceptable to RvP, it’ll come down to how close Arsenal can get to that figure. A hefty sign on fee, performance related incentives and a bonus based on collective achievement will surely be proposed by Arsenal in order to fairly compensate RvP without upsetting the pay structure apple-cart.

    1. Sorry Maverick we don’t often disagree but I think and hope you have if very wrong. Well put it this way if you are right today is is last game but one because AFC are more likely to sack Wenger than offer RVP that sort of money. The length of the contract in my thoughts could be different but it is based on the belief that Robin wishes to do what his peers as skipper could not with the club he loves. Yes he will require a pay rise but if you believe that after decades of one policy the board will suddenly have one player payed more than double any other player you are dreaming my friend. If Robin wished to paid wages offered by only 4/5 clubs in the world then he will have to go there I’m afraid.

  3. Nice approach Dave! Get’s your point across nicely! Below, please find the most naive reply you’ll get from me (that has pretty much got nothing to do with what you have written and hardly applies to the point of the article at all, but I’m going to rant about it anyway):

    Why would Van Persie even think of leaving?? You’ve gone through the points already, but I’m still ranting about them because sometimes I wonder about these guys and what goes through their heads:
    – Happy in London (family happy in London)
    – Captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world
    – Revered by fans and players alike
    – Won awards this season in a league widely regarded as the best and toughest in the
    world. Voted ahead of other world-class players. And did it with a supposedly
    average team
    – Great manager, that kept faith in him through thick and thin, and made him the
    player he is today
    – If he sticks around, he could potentially become great (Wenger has showed his
    intention with a big early signing)
    – Possibly even a role with the club when he is retired

    Granted, we have not won any trophies recently, but its not like were happy with being a Europa Cup side. We are still a side looking to challenge for the league, and cups. At least their is uproar when we’re not doing that. And I still believe all the chaos of this season is a once-off, for all the reasons we’ve gone over before. Its not like their is no light at the end of the tunnel, and no hope for next season.

    I also understand that he is not being paid as much as the likes of City players, but he’ll be alright, won’t he? It’s his first truly great season with us in years anyway. Can you turn your back on a club that backed you for so long? Has he not seen players leave our club and dwindle into obscurity? Its not like he’s had three great seasons in a row with us. You look at Hleb or Flamini for example (not in the same bracket as Van Persie is now) but Barca and AC Milan saw something when they were Arsenal players.

    As with every job in life, its the age old cliche – the grass always looks greener on the other side. You change jobs for more money, hired by bosses you may like, but that end up leaving, and the organisation leaves you to rot. Your current boss can’t get the best out of you, and he doesn’t believe in you anyway (you only really had one world-class success at your previous employer) But you’ve moved your entire family from where they were happy, and you can’t go back because your previous employer has replaced you. If you had stayed where you were before (you were earning a packet anyway), they might have erected a statue of you (as businesses do), and you would have become folklore amongst the fans. You knew the culture of the business you were at before, and you fitted in. You formed strong bonds with bosses and colleagues, and helped younger interns reach their potential. Why did you leave? Sure, you’ve moved to one of the best-performing companies in the world. But there are assholes there, and you don’t want to go to the canteen for lunch.

    Sorry, I lost the plot here a bit. But I don’t care! For all i know (and I know nothing), RVP could be dead set on signing a new contract. And I will have written this all for nothing!

  4. My point exactly Dave. If you remember, I wrote an article a while ago on the same issue and felt that eventually it may come down to Robin’s desire and love for the club because financially we can’t compete with what he can get elsewhere.

    Even so, the 2-year extension you are proposing is too weighted in the club’s favour.

    Look at it this way – say Arsenal offer him this 2-year deal but fail to win a trophy next year. By logic applied here, AFC would then allow him to leave, right? But if RvP had missed half the season with injury and only managed, let’s say 8 goals in the other half, how many clubs would then be willing to offer over 150k a week for an over-30 striker with recent injury problems and a paltry contribution in the last season? Forget the pay, would the likes of Barca, Real, Man City and Juventus be interested in buying him at that time? Even if they did, do you think he’d be the first-choice striker in those teams at that time, as he surely would be now?

    My point is that there are too many variables that cannot be predicted for next season. He may score 40 in the league and may command 250k, who knows. What is certain though is that right now he can get a 4-year deal with most clubs of his choosing, and with a more attractive pay than what Arsenal can offer.

    I think he may sacrifice on one (lower pay but with bonuses) because he really wants to stay but it would be too selfish of the club to ask him for both, don’t you think? In my opinion, Arsenal will have to offer him a long-term deal, hope he can stay injury free and slowly transform into the Bergkamp role as he grows older.

    AW said yesterday Arsenal would make RvP stay next season even if he doesn’t sign an extension. I don’t think that was wise of AW, even if it was aimed at Robin. Because even though I’m hoping for it, I think the board will be unable to refuse a 30m quid offer. Saying now that he’ll stay and then selling in the summer will only aggravate fans later.

    Again Dave, this is only my opinion and you may be 100% right. We’ll know soon enough – but if it is a 2-year extension, then the board needs to commended because it’ll be a major coup.

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