Robin van Persie, without a hint of shame, sat in the studios of BTSport and declared that the reason he left Arsenal was because the club never offered him a new contract but if he thinks Arsenal fans have forgotten what really happened, he’s an even bigger idiot than I imagined.
“You can compare me being at Arsenal to being married,” van Persie said on BT Sport. “Me and my wife – Arsenal – were married for eight years.
“After eight years, my wife, possibly got a bit tired of me. Those are the facts.
“If Arsenal are not offering you a new deal…you can have different views on things but the fact is Arsenal never offered me a new deal.
“Then you have to look around. I was ambitious. I still wanted to win the league. That is life.”
Are you really trying to convince us that Arsenal didn’t offer the PFA Player of the Year a new contract? That the player Arsene Wenger had stood by through numerous injuries was not going to get a contract when he was finally starting to justify is wages? That we had become ‘tired’ of you?
Let’s look back at van Persie’s infamous statement that he released. You know the one, it was the statement he issued trying to turn the Arsenal fans against the club and justify his decision to leave despite Arsenal standing by him for years when he couldn’t play.
“I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract,” the Dutchman wrote on his own website. The bold is mine just in case you miss that bit.
That really can’t be any clearer, can it?
Surely if Arsenal weren’t offering him a new contract there would be nothing for him to turn down. If Arsenal hadn’t offered him a contract why not mention that back 2012 when trying to get the fans on side? Why not say ‘Arsenal have not offered me a new contract and I need to secure my future for my family’ or similar?
The reason is quite clear.
This is all a new narrative that van Persie has dreamed up in his own head. Perhaps he thinks that it will win Arsenal fans around again, perhaps there’s some other reason.
The fact is Arsenal wanted van Persie to stay and he wanted them to change the way the club was doing business. When they refused, he refused to sign a new deal and insisted on a move to Manchester United denying Arsenal even the chance of setting up a bidding war for the best player in the country at that time.
His statement continued, “This was a meeting [with Wenger and Gazidis] about the club’s future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.
“I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days.
“Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”
Look, van Persie might be ‘technically’ correct here.
Perhaps Arsenal didn’t offer him a contract, but only because he told them he wouldn’t sign one if they did. For months before his statement, perhaps longer, his entire family yammered on about him staying at Arsenal and how the club was like a family.
They convinced us all that van Persie would show the same loyalty to Arsenal as they had showed to him while he trotted off around Europe trying to heal ruptured muscules by rubbing some horse placenta on it.
No, Arsenal have done a lot wrong over the last decade but not this.
This was all Robin van Persie.
He can tell the BT Sport viewers whatever helps him sleep at night but Arsenal fans remember.