No Guard of Dishonour at the Emirates please

Arsenal fans’ ire tomorrow should not be aimed at Robin van Persie. I really can’t quite see why so many hate him so much. Ok, the “little boy inside” speech was stupid and he should have known that a move to United would piss of all his former admirers, but still. This is professional football. You are naïve if you think loyalty is still widespread.

He spent 8 years at Arsenal – longer than most players spend at one club. During those 8 years, he won a solitary FA cup in his first season and then watched all our best players leave one by one, replaced by poor man’s versions of their predecessors. He saw what the fans saw – a ship sinking itself. One season at United and he wins them the title. This is what RvP can do with a better squad around him. He was fed up like us, and he was right. We should thank him for his services (he more than earned us Champions League football last season), his wonderful goals and for helping to illustrate further the shortcomings of the board’s financial prudence.

United have deserved the title this season and we should honour the tradition of congratulating them, an honour they have afforded us in the past. If I could afford a disgustingly expensive ticket to tomorrow’s game, I would applaud them onto the field. The fans’ contempt should be directed at their own club and the way it is run, questioning not why RvP chose to go to United but why the club agreed to sell our best asset to a team they laughably still pretend they are ‘competing with’. Oh yes, it was for ‘footballing reasons’… Perhaps they should ask once again for some truly world class signings and for the powers that be to spend some of that cash they are so proud to laud around at our ‘poorly run’ and highly successful rivals.

On the other hand, it’s always nice to see united get booed.


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