Arsenal - Wenger: We Did Not Have A Choice
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Wenger: We Did Not Have A Choice

Arsene Wenger told French TV station TF1 on Wednesday night that he was left with little recourse but to sell his captain and top scorer Robin van Persie to Manchester United. The Arsenal boss remained tight lipped on the precise fee, but indicated that it was in excess of 30m Euros.

"He is at Manchester United, unfortunately for us. The transfer was finalised in the afternoon,' said Wenger.

'It's never great to lose players of that quality but he only had a year left on his contract so we do not have a choice.'

When pressed as to plans for replacing van Persie, Wenger advised, "We have already recruited. Giroud and Podolski were intended to offset the departure of van Persie,'

I would be wary about taking that as gospel, 14 days ago Wenger told the press he didn`t know who Santi Cazorla was and telling everyone you are in the market when you`ve just pocketed £24m wouldn`t be the wisest move. However, the fee we have extracted for van Persie can only be trumpeted as a great piece of business if the money is used to make the team stronger.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 16 2012

Time: 8:56AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Losing your best player is a great piece of business? Hardly. You may be happy with the fee, but this really hurts Arsenal.
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16/08/2012 09:07:00

I don't think we need another striker (unless we find some 19 year old promising talent who doesn't mind being a squad player for a few years), but we definately need to take that money and spend it. Wenger said that we need to avoid another summer like last year and spend some money on players, we have brought in 3 awesome players, but if we sell Song too we'll probably have made a profit this summer, we should be spending every available penny .... as long as the talent is right.
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16/08/2012 09:08:00

It hurts for now ... but we've lost many players in the past which hurt at the time, yet as time passes by it's clear it was great business. As it stands it's great business, £24M for a 30 year old striker in the last year of his contract. If he goes on to be top scorer and win a bunch of trophies it will hurt a lot more, but that's a big if.
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16/08/2012 09:10:00

Like most things it's always somewhere in the middle, but one might say we did have a choice, in not surrounding top talent like Nasri, Cesc, Van Persie with utter dross over the years. Part of me doesn't blame him, part of me will always think he's a judas **** though.
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16/08/2012 09:11:00

If I was Arsene I'd give Bendtner the captain's armband ;-)
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16/08/2012 09:17:00

This could mean one of either Bendtner or Chamster stays or we go out with real intent and Llorente. Went to bed very sad last night and woke up really questioning this deal. Not from an Arsenal point of view but from United's. The deal makes ZERO sense. That much money for an aging player in a position they never needed to fill. When United are desperate to strengthen their midfield?? Oh well, I'm glad it's over and we get to move on. I see Chelsea and spud fans creaming themselves over this. They were so desperate to see Arsenal weekend.
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16/08/2012 09:43:00

We'll see whether it makes sense at the end of the season won't we? But after this latest episode I will take everything Wenger says with a massive pinch of salt. Its lucky many of us questioning the clubs ambition don't have contracts with the club because I reckon we'd be looking for new jobs right now.
Wyn Mills
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16/08/2012 10:19:00

We may not like it, but we weren't left with a choice but to sell. It's real pity, but then the other way of looking at it is that would Giroud have got enough playing time to really learn his ropes if RvP had stayed? I don't see us changing our system to accommodate two strikers. All said, it does seem very sad that it came to this and that he actually wanted to go to Man Utd because he feels they can win trophies. To a certain extent, I can understand that because we haven't really been a club that can win trophies the last few years.
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16/08/2012 10:23:00

United will be stronger with a player of RVP's quality but not for more than a season or two. We''ll be weaker for losing last season's RvP but then we'd have been weaker anyway in keeping a player who wanted to move on. He wouldn't have been last season's RvP for us as Fabregas, Vieira and others have shown. Wenger's right we didn't have any real choice but players are transient anyway. Our best players are quickly replaced by other best players.
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16/08/2012 10:27:00

If Bendtner and Park leave, then we only have 3 main strikers (including Chamakh). Obviously, another striker needs to be added but it looks like Wenger is targetting a 6-8M signing like Mirallas from Olympiakos, rather than a 12m+ signing who would challenge Giroud & Podolski for a starting spot. I would prefer that Bendtner stayed, but it looks like that is not an option anymore. Both Giroud and Podolski will take time to settle in, so it might be another slow start to the season.
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16/08/2012 10:29:00

so, if we sell song for the price of cazorla we will break even in the transfer market this season (considering we have also shipped out some fringe players). all money is still safe in the bank. good investment for kroenke
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16/08/2012 11:26:00

i have a strong feeling that we may also sell walcott. there is almost zero interest by wenger in renewing his contract so far. i am neutral on this nevertheless. cazorla and gervinho would do fine at both flanks
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16/08/2012 11:30:00

Joe, firstly how do you propose Kroenke gets his hands on transfer monies? You'd have to demonstrate through the accounts where it has gone to Kroenke's pocket. Secondly, Walcott broke off contract talks in the autumn. His agent is still discussing the deal. To say there is zero interest in renewing is just not true.
Little Dutch
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16/08/2012 11:34:00

Joe. Losing Walcott would be a massive blow! Bigger than RVP as far as I'm concerned. We cannot expect to go into the season by losing 3 proven prem players that were replaced by 3 players that need time. We would definitely be a weaker team then and suddenly all the optimism is fading away! The one plus we have with Walcott is that only Liverpool have shown a little interest in him but that hasn't been backed up. I don't know but this has really come at a bad time for us. Cazorla in the middle, making things tick.
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16/08/2012 11:45:00

Not sure Carzola has been brought in to be a "flank" player - at least I hope not anyway !
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16/08/2012 11:51:00

Hats off to you guys. I expected to see more moaning from you about this, than I have. I know how gut wrenching losing your best players can be, goodness knows we've been subject to that more times than I would've wanted, but as you're already saying, in the cold light of day, its a good bit of business for a player in his last year & 30 years old. We'd have been more than happy to get that kind of money if RVP had been ours after only paying under £3m for him.

I think you've got a pretty good strike force now that isn't reliant on just 1 man, Ok it would have been great to have kept him (no brainer!), but you now have the chance to get in a younger & equally as good a striker to supplement what you have.

I won't say good luck obviously, but you've lost great players in the past for various reasons & you're still up there.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King.

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16/08/2012 11:57:00

In the long run the money can go to Kroenke if he wants can't it? What is in place to stop that from happening?
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16/08/2012 11:57:00

Now, who gets the number 10 shirt? Poldi or Santi? That action alone (not giving Poldi a shirt number) should have been the warning we all needed that Wenger had already 'sold' his captain in his mind; all the shinnanigans going on we're to sustain his value to get the best out of his sale. Can't wait for the season to start so we can know for sure just how 'good' a deal this was.
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16/08/2012 12:31:00

Cheers Spuds-U-Like. Nice of you to big us up, but this was more painful because this chap was well loved and should be showing a lot more.....well, Loyalty (don't we all seek better pastures?).
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16/08/2012 12:38:00

ld, i do not mean that kroenke is taking the money directly. i always maintained that by building up the cash pile of the club, the value of the club will grow in tandem. quite disappointed that just when we though we are finally spending some money strengthening the team, we are selling just as much as we buy
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16/08/2012 12:43:00

It might be a painful piece of business but under the circumstances it's a good piece of business. We just got a similar amount of money for our best player who is nearly in his 30s and in the last year of his contract as Spurs got for their best player player who is 26, in his prime and got plenty of contract left I think.
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16/08/2012 12:46:00

Just heard that we have agreed to sell Song to Barca. Not the best source but it wouldn't surprise me.
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16/08/2012 13:00:00

Because transfer money is in a separate pot, if he was to take it, it would show on the accounts. The way Kroenke will get money from Arsenal is to increase our value then sell. Obviously making us a worse team doesn't really help in that objective. For my money's worth, with TV money, merchandising etc getting more and more lucrative, Stan is quite happy with the club standing still. i.e. Top 4. Not really worth his while spending lots of money to push us on further because the financial rewards of doing so are small. Especially compared to the output it would require.
Little Dutch
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16/08/2012 13:04:00

i couldn't explain better ld. you spoke my mind
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16/08/2012 13:08:00

the main mission for the club now is to make some profit or at least break even in transfer market every season. the only difference between this season and last season is, this season we bought first before selling
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16/08/2012 13:12:00

I thought that TPA didn't exist any more? And i'm not saying he's taken money out, I just know there's no safeguard to prevent him doing it, but as you say, it's not worth his while doing it yet. And it's also not worth his while investing in the team and really making it better whilst he's got his highest earner managing it and somehow keeping us in the top 4.
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16/08/2012 13:18:00

That's all just speculation and it's been proven time and time again that the value of a club grows through success. We would not be so internationally recognized if it were not for Wenger's golden period. Kroenke wants to own a fat portion of the American market which is currently dominated by United and Chelsea. Chelsea?? Because they win titles. It's the only way to increase Arsenal's overall value. They have to win trophies.
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16/08/2012 13:21:00

@ Joe_@** - AW runs the football club and his main mission is to win. 4th is the minimum target. SK doesn't tell him what to do and he doesn't put any money in - the manager manages and the club is self-sustaining. That is what he signed up to. SK's shareholding is valuable because we are popular, a big, successful club and well run - but another 30 million in the *club's* coffers doesn't equal another £30 million on the value of his shareholding, or even another x%. And if we won a trophy or two, it would make his shares worth even more, because we'd be seen as more successful.
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16/08/2012 13:24:00

@ shewore - SK can't just "take" the club's money. He and the club are different people. If he wanted to pay himself, it would have to show up in the accounts, or it would be stealing.
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16/08/2012 13:26:00

I feel that as fans, a few of us are still blinded by rage in view of the 'intent' (or lack of it) expressed by this sale to United. However, we have to look at this as inevitable seeing he was in the last year of his contract, had long indicated he won't extend his stay, had put the club in an awkward position with his "update for the fans", is over 28 and will need a last big one and gave us no option unless we wanted to allow him rot in the reserves. This was for the best, if we would have felt better had he gone to a foreign land, as Giroud and Poldi will relish the playing time and have the opportunity to show their worth, plus RvP will be one unhappy chappie without his arm band and be a disruptive influence. We have to roll with this punch and support what we have. We started the week very excited for the new season; let's not lose that optimism now.
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16/08/2012 13:27:00

Fungunner, I know that, I know that. I'm just saying there's nothing to stop him doing it if he wanted i the future, and I know it's not worth his while at the moment whilst our value is on an upward trajectory
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16/08/2012 13:36:00

The King is Dead, Long Live the King -Spuds-U-Like - Well said that man. Howsit going fella?
Scotch Eggs Rule
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16/08/2012 16:05:00

Have to say, the more time goes, the more sadder I am about RvP going. He's a sublime player, in his prime, and capable of outrageous skill and technique. Just so sad to see him depart to Man Utd and for their fans to be drooling over him and him possibly winning something. I don't think Cesc or Henry would ever have left for another English club. Just an amazing turn around in sentiment from van Persie, always felt he would stay. Used to love hearing him speak, he sounded so intelligent, so refreshing compared to other players. As they say, it's the ones you love that hurt you the most.
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16/08/2012 16:39:00

Just can't help recalling how glowingly he spoke about his love for the club just last year, copiously quoted as stating he would feel more fulfilled winning things ONLY with Arsenal. To think United fans who were booing him for the last 7 seasons will be the ones cheering him on and Gunners doing the reverse. The fickle nature of fans in the game.
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16/08/2012 17:21:00

RvP (Feb 2011): "I don't have the inclination to go anywhere; this is the best club for me to be in. The bottom line is I want to win trophies with Arsenal, not with anybody else. I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many ways, but I want to do that in our way. I am sure I could win things at another team in another country but, would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I am not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that is what I want. It is my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have these dreams. I think other people know that about me; I am just hungry to win with Arsenal and that's it.

So, where did it all change between February 2012 and July 4th? My guess is he put out that statement to make the point he wanted better with the club, at the time he started to stall on the new contract presented to him. It just shows we have to take players' loyalty speak with a pinch of salt.
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16/08/2012 18:36:00

*February 2011*
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16/08/2012 18:43:00

Agree Goonervin. Cesc and TH14 would never have dreamed of it. I dont think Cesc would have left at all had Barca not come calling. Bold Statement but I firmly believe it is true. TH14 just wanted a new challenge which is understandable but at least he didn't ***** all over us by joining Utd or Chelsea, the way Robin Van Judas has.
Ned Stark
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18/08/2012 00:04:00


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