Tuesday, December 25, 2012

RA Dickey Proves That Great Athletes Can Also Be Great Humans...Or How To Leave An Organization With Class Redux

RA Dickey is both an athlete and a class act
Back in September I wrote about the classless way Robin van Persie handled himself with regards to his future. The post was entitled How To Leave An Organization With Class: Something RVP Didn't Do, and Should Have Done. He not only refused to sign a new contract with the club and manager that had developed him in to a star player, he abandoned Arsenal and helped force through a move to one of the most hated rivals Man United. His "farewell" to supporters was this passive aggressive "message to the fans"  that he posted on his website.
"This is an update for the fans about my current situation. I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club and as agreed with Mr. Gazidis and Mr. Wenger, but since there is so much speculation in the media, I think it is fair for you guys to know what’s really going on at the moment.
"As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the Boss and Mr. Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting 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.
 "I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.
RVP's new BFF
"I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC. Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch.
"I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last 8 years. As soon as Mr. Gazidis is back from his 2-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments."
That was that. He never addressed Arsenal fans again. He kicked and screamed like a "little boy" and eventually got what he wanted with no regard for those that had supported him for seven years.

In my original post I showed examples of athletes that took out newspaper ads to thank the fans and towns that had supported them when moving on to another club or retiring. These were classy gestures by athletes that took the time to express their appreciation for the folks that helped pay their salaries.

Dickey salutes the fans
Then this past week, RA Dickey went above and beyond those examples. Dickey had resurrected his once floundering pitching career with the woeful Mets and had truly developed a bond with the city and the fans. While no fan wanted Dickey to be traded, in terms of baseball business, it was a move that the Mets had to make. Dickey was traded to the Toronto Bluejays for two top prospects in a deal that is beneficial to both. The Bluejays are ready to win now (and hopefully end the Yankees' reign) while the Mets are building for the future.

In direct contrast to RVP's selfish demands to leave Arsenal, Dickey was traded despite not wanting to leave. Yes, he wanted to stay loyal to the team that had taken a chance on him despite the fact that the Mets are not very good right now. He wasn't demanding a trade to the Yankees or Giants in order for instant glory. He wanted to stay.

Instead of being bitter and angry at Mets management and sulking out of town Dickey wrote the classiest note to New York and Mets fans thanking them, the Mets organization and even the grounds crew at Citi Field. Here are some excerpts from the article that he himself penned and was published in the New York Daily News on Saturday, December 22nd:
I never expected to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:
A chance.
I am not going to lie to you, though. The trade was hard for me at first. This is where my heart was, where I wanted to be, where I lived out a story of redemption and felt that every one of you shared it with me in some form or fashion. I loved pitching for you. I loved your passion, the way you embraced me from the start, and the way you seemed to appreciate the effort I was putting forth. Every time I’d walk off the mound after an outing, I’d look in your faces, the people behind the dugout, and felt as if all your energy and support was pouring right into me — even when I was lousy. It gives me chill bumps thinking about it even now.
Every organization has to do what it feels is in its best interest, and I have no doubt that that’s what the Mets did by trading Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas and me for two young players who, by all accounts, are terrific prospects. It doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.
There were so many special relationships I formed that made my time with the Mets so much richer. Not just in the clubhouse, either. I enjoyed talking with Bill Deacon, the head groundskeeper, about his craft, and all that went into it. The security people who helped my wife and kids get in and out of the family lounge, the policemen who helped me get out of the parking lot, the folks at the Hodges Gate — so many people went out of their way to be kind to me, and they should know how much it was, and is, appreciated.
I hope you know that I will never forget my three years in New York, and never be able to adequately thank you for everything you’ve given me.

Now that's what you call a class act. We Mets fans were lucky to have him in our organization. He is one of the few athletes that actually understands the bond that fans have with their teams and feels loyalty towards those that gave him a chance when others wouldn't. RVP and other spoiled, privileged and over paid athletes could learn a thing or two from RA Dickey.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Arsene Wenger Deserves Nothing But Respect

This is a short one and I'll get right to the point. It's obvious that Arsenal have not been performing at the level fans had become accustomed to throughout the Arsene Wenger era. The arguing and name calling between Gooners that want Wenger out and those that still have faith in the manager is becoming a regular feature of my Twitter feed.

I personally think that Wenger is a genius and that the club and us fans are lucky to have a manager like him. Over 16 years, he has often performed miracles, uncovered hidden gems and been nothing but gracious while being vilified by the media and fans. Yes I want my club to win everything every year, but let's deal in reality folks...there's no guarantee of this and sometimes you don't get what you want. Do these fans that want Wenger out want Arsenal to bring in one of the reusable & disposable names that jump from club to club such as Redknapp, Fat Sam, Mark Hughes, Ian Holloway, etc? (a.k.a the Fergie ass kissers).
Who's my next manager?
I stumbled across a column in the Mirror today written by Oliver Holt and he does a great job in laying out why Wenger deserves respect and not condemnation. The man must have a thick skin as he deflects blame that could (and often should) be directed elsewhere. The man loves Arsenal and wants exactly what the fans want.

Check out the article:

The secret life of Arsene Wenger: How Gunners boss takes it for the team

Then think really hard about Arsene Wenger and all he has done for Arsenal. The man deserves nothing but respect. If a drop in play is automatic cause for #WengerOut then perhaps fans should start following Roman Abromovich's Chelsea and they can have a new manager every 8 months!!!

Be careful what you wish for

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Great Week Be a Gooner

It's fitting that this week is Thanksgiving as it's been a great football week to give thanks if you are a Gooner. Not only did Arsenal humiliate Tottenham in last Saturday's North London Derby and then easily handle Montpelier 2-0 in  match day 5 of the Champions League to secure their place in the next round of the tournament...what makes it even sweeter is that every one of the other "big" EPL teams suffered gut wrenching losses.

While it's not nice or mature to gloat at others' misfortune, in the case of football it's fair game. Seeing Manchester United and their Judas striker get shut out and lose to Norwich last weekend was AWESOME. Now, while their Champions League meeting with Galatasary was not important in terms of advancing in the tournament, it's always nice to see Alex Ferguson's side lose regardless of what team he fields.

Then there's that tight scarf wearing smooth Italian at Mercenary City. Mancini's squad did win last weekend, but their 1-1 draw at home against Real Madrid today eliminated Sheik Monsour's "hobby" from Europe's elite tournament. With so many shiny high priced players at his disposal, it's hysterical to see Na$ri and friends bounced while Arsenal progresses.

Spuds, as previously stated, were put back in their place looking up at Arsenal in the EPL standings. What made it even more satisfying was seeing Adebaywhore get all cocky after scoring, only to get red carded soon after and all but take his team out of the match. He will certainly be included in the obligatory toast on St. Totteringham's Day

Then there is Chelsea and the club's never ending parade of managers. What is there to say of this ridiculous club run by a man child Russian oligarch? Check out this facts that I am lifting from the Daily Mail:

  • Chelsea have spent approximately  £86m since 2004 in compensation for managers – more than Everton’s entire net spend since the Premier League began.
  • Chelsea had eight managers in their first 70 years from 1905 to 1975, they are now going for a ninth in nine years.
  • Since failing to escape their Champions League group in 2005, Sir Alex Ferguson has won four Premier League titles, one Champions League and three League Cups with United. 
  • Abramovich has now had as many managers in his nine-year reign as United have had since 1937.
  • Chelsea have sacked seven managers since 2005 and won seven trophies. 
  • The average life span for a manager under Abramovich is eight months. Only Mourinho and Ancelotti lasted more than a year.
Watching the defending European Champions Chelsea lose to West Brom on Saturday, then get shut out by Juventus yesterday and then firing the man that led the team to European glory six months ago is comedy of the highest order. Abramovich is like that annoying cousin you had when you were a kid that would kick over the chess pieces when he wasn't winning. 

Of course football can also cause you lots of heartache, but after several weeks of hearing all about the demise of Arsenal and how great all these "other" teams are, it's nice to get a week like this when all Gooners can hold their heads up high, while fans of these "other" teams go in to hiding.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Power of Twitter and the Gooner Family

"I have more in common with the people I don't know on Twitter than the ones that I do know on Facebook." I can't remember where I heard this quote but in the case of Arsenal and the club's loyal fan base of Gooners I can confidently say that this is very true.

I never really thought much of Facebook and seeing the type of idiotic and self centered things that most of the "friends" I am connected to on Facebook often post, I almost never look at it. It's always filled with the right wing political rantings of former co-workers I haven't spoken to in years or photos of a new pair of slippers or the baby of a friend's third cousin's step brother. Facebook has basically helped me redefine the meaning of the word friend....those that I speak to or see in person on a regular basis...not acquaintances or folks I once knew back in sixth grade on Facebook.

Based on my feelings about Facebook, I approached Twitter with skepticism. That didn't last long as I have been a believer in Twitter ever since. It's great for keeping up on professional information, various news outlets and other areas of interest. One particular interest that has made me a true Twitter believer is Arsenal Football Club. Being a New York based female supporter of a London "soccer" team is not a common thing. Through Twitter, I have been able to connect with knowledgeable Arsenal fans both in London and the U.K. as well as all over the world. While these connections may be strangers, our common interest and love of Arsenal have created a bond based on a strong mutual interest. In fact, the hashtag #GoonerFamily is often used by fellow Arsenal fans on Twitter to signify the common connection between fans of the team.

When I decided that I needed to take a break from the never ending recession in New York, my first thought was that this would be a great time to finally see Arsenal play at their new stadium. It had been six years since I had last seen Arsenal play at Highbury and I had been wanting to check out Emirates Stadium for quite a while. I looked on line and only saw over inflated ticket brokers and potential ticket scammers. It was then that I decided to take to Twitter to see if any members of the Gooner Family could possibly assist me.

Here is the Tweet that I sent out just three times between September 6th-7th:

Jocelyn Taub
 Gooner Help: Looking to buy AFC tix for Schalke 10/24 & QPR 10/27 any sellers,  help or suggestions on how to find tix appreciated! #Arsenal

That was all it took. I immediately got responses from several of my Arsenal connections offering help or suggestions on where to get tickets. I also received responses from two particular Gooners (their names have  not been printed to protect their Gooner identity) offering tickets at face value. One was from a season ticket holder who would be out of town for the games that I was interested in and the other was a fan that shares a group of tickets with friends and was willing to sell me two of his tickets.We exchanged DM's and then e-mails.

Gooner number one met my friend based in London prior to my arrival and handed him both his season ticket card and his silver membership card in exchange for the cost of the tickets. Being a cynical New Yorker, I found it hard to believe that a total stranger would be so trusting to allow someone he never met the use of these valuable cards. I was blown away at the kindness and generosity of this fan.

His seats were in the North Bank and despite the game versus Schalke being a total bust, my first trip to The Emirates was fantastic.

We had made plans to meet up after his return from his travels so that I could give him his ticket and membership card back and buy him a pint to say thank you. Despite being jet lagged from a flight from Asia, Gooner number one met me at a local pub and we got to have a nice chat and finally connect. I am still amazed at how awesome he was in helping me get tickets that are usually impossible to get.

Gooner number two was going to the match against QPR on Saturday afternoon and we made plans to meet up at the Tollington Pub not far from the stadium and Holloway Road. The place was packed with Gooners and the pre-game pints were flowing. My friend and I met up with Gooner number two and a number of his friends and we headed over to The Emirates together. We viewed another pretty lousy Arsenal performance from the lower tier and eventually Arteta scored a late goal for a 1-0 victory. A trip back to the pub and some post-match fish and chips followed to celebrate the victory.

In addition to the Gooners that were kind enough to assist me in obtaining match tickets, I also met up with another Gooner from Twitter for a pint at The Junction prior to the Schalke match. Not only is this Gooner an Arsenal fan, he's also a UK based Mets fan (yes there's at least one actual UK Mets fan). Gooner number three was awesome and led my friend and I to the match.
The legend in bronze

Despite both games being less than inspiring, it was through the goodness of the Twitter #GoonerFamily that I was able to get tickets to see Arsenal at the Emirates. It was a great experience and has restored my faith in humanity....or at least the humanity that are Arsenal fans.

One small side note...ever since hearing that Fulham owner Mohamed al-Fayed had a statue of Michael Jackson installed at Craven Cottage I've wanted to see for myself what exactly this looked like. So, one afternoon I took a walk along the Thames to find Fulham's ground and this ridiculous statue.

Photograph: Nick Potts/PA
Once there I was glad to see a statue of an actual football player, Fulham legend Johnny Haynes, at the front of the stadium. There was no Michael Jackson statue in sight. I was determined to find it. I then walked along the right side of the venue and just inside the back gate, there it was. Perched upon a pedestal was the strangest thing I've ever seen at any sporting arena...complete with glove and doing signature moves. All I could do was laugh. This statue makes a giant mascot with a baseball on his head, Mr. Met, look normal.

So in summation, Gooners and the #GoonerFamily are awesome and Dimitar Berbatov plays for a club that has a statue of a pop star inside its stadium.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

As the Mets' season stutters to an end, the Arsenal season has gotten off to a solid and impressive start

Heading in to the 2012 season all realistic Mets fans knew that our team would stink. However, the Mets went out and played some inspired baseball over the first three months of the season and made us cynical fans start to believe that maybe they really weren't that bad after all.

Crowd control at Citi Field
Then the All-Star Break came along and just like in Cinderella the clock struck midnight and the Mets magic evaporated. Like a punch to the gut, us Mets fans have endured an inept and embarrassing display of how not to win at baseball. The second half of the season has been pathetic. Here are just some of the ugly numbers the Mets had put up heading in to this weekend:

Home Record                                            4-24  (Doesn't inspire fans to head to the ballpark)
Away Record                                          16-19
Number of games where Mets' offense
has scored 3 runs or less                        41 of 63 for 65% (Futile to ridiculous)
RA Dickey earns win number 19
With just one week left remaining in yet another dreadful Mets season, there is one amazing story that Mets fans have been following all year. RA Dickey is just one win shy of a 20 game season and will have the chance to become just the second Major League pitcher to reach that number this year when he takes the mound later this week. He would be the first to do so for the Mets since Frank Viola in 1990. Dickey is also in the National League Cy Young discussion with a league leading 2.66 ERA.


Talk of the demise of Arsenal after the defection of Robin "Judas" van Persie is fading away as Arsenal have gotten off to an impressive start and look to be a stronger and more complete squad than last season.

New signings Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski have been impressive with Cazorla dominating the midfield and Podolski delivering a couple of stunning goals.

Cazorla and Podolski are making their mark
Defensively, it's apparent that Steve Bould is having a major impact. The once shaky back four have looked solid and confident. Carl Jenkinson and Per Mertesacker often looked like fish out of water last season. So far they both look confident and have been at the top of their game. When Laurent Koscielny is being left on the bench for Mertesacker, you know things have turned around.

Then there's Gervinho. Today versus the mercenaries his finishing was definitely questionable, but his work rate and speed have been on display and he's almost scored more goals in one month than he did all of last season. Maybe the departure of the mighty ego has allowed others to step up and seize their opportunity.

Hey RVP, there's no I in TEAM.
Arsenal still need to get better at defending set pieces and they definitely need to work on their finishing and taking more shots from distance. Overall though, all is well. Compared to last year at this time, Arsenal are looking good.

Meanwhile, the Mercenaries, Manure and Chel$ki have not looked unbeatable and a feeling of new optimism is in the air. It's a long season and anything can happen along the way, but so far the signs are all positive.
Take that you mercenaries....oh and where's Na$ri?
Odds and ends:

The traitor has apparently been elected to be Manure's penalty taker and since the "league rules" mandate that ManU be given a phantom penalty in every match, last year's Golden Boot winner has the chance to run up his goal tally without earning it. So here are the new RVP song, lyrics courtesy of @SaabriinaaDee:

Sung to the tune of last year's "He scores when he wants" it goes, He scores from the spot, he scores from the spot, Robin van Persie only scores from the spot.

Here is previously unseen footage from a recent press conference featuring RVP and Fergie:

There have been a few rumblings of discontent over at White Hart Lane as AVB seeks to destroy whatever Harry built up. When he was at Chelsea one of my favorite sites to visit to stay up to date on AVB's status was: Has Andre Villas-Boas Been Sacked Yet?. Well, the genius who put that countdown clock together is back again:

Check out Has Andre Villa-Boas Been Sacked by Sp*rs Yet?. It's great for following along at home and good for betting with your friends. It's also inspired a new drinking game....whenever the British press uses the word "Crisis" about Tottenham, everyone drinks.

Lastly it's never too early to prepare for St. Totteringham's Day. To keep the party going all season long, here's a new Pinterest board "Countdown To St. Totteringham's Day 2013"..

Sunday, September 2, 2012

How to Leave an Organization With Class: Something RVP Didn't Do, and Should Have Done

RVP sells his soul to the Red Devils
I know that I need to get over the whole Robin van Persie transfer saga but it's been a little over two weeks and I still can't believe how classless he behaved throughout the entire ordeal. It started with his July 4th "statement" on his website that he would not sign a new contract. After that he made no further comments or postings to give fans an update. Instead, he kept his loyal fan base in the dark all summer until August 15th when it was revealed that he had been sold to one of Arsenal's biggest and most hated rivals, Manchester United.

The initial shock is dissipating and acceptance is beginning to sink in. However, I was really hoping that after the dust had settled RVP would do the right thing. I must be naive as I really held out hope that he would attempt to make amends by issuing a statement to the Arsenal fans that had supported him and chanted his name for the past eight years. He had no problem putting out his initial negative statement to ruin many a Gooner's summer; he really owed it to Arsenal FC and its fan base to make some type of statement. Thank you is really something that the fans deserve to hear from RVP. At the very least he should give Arsenal fans an explanation. Instead, his silence has pretty much been interpreted as a big old Go F$@# Yourself.
Truly shocking.

Cleveland fans let Lebron James know how they feel
That got me thinking of some of the many instances where players have left organizations with amazing displays of gratitude to the fans. In fact, in many of these cases the athletes were sent packing by their teams and still thanked the fans. RVP did the opposite and held his club hostage. He certainly wasn't thinking of the fans, the club, his teammates that he was abandoning or the man that made him, Arsene Wenger. The captain of Arsenal had deserted and became a turncoat rather than the leader he was supposed to be. He is to North London what Lebron James is to Cleveland.

Here are some amazing examples of players that moved on with class:

When the Boston Celtics' guard Ray Allen signed with the Miami Heat (the Manchester City of the NBA) he was going to one of the Celtics' main rivals. Allen had been the subject of trade rumors during the season so he was within his rights to look out for his playing future. Regardless, Allen left with class as he placed a full page ad in the Boston Globe thanking the fans,the Celtics and the city of Boston.

Pitcher Ryan Dempster spent close to nine full seasons with the Chicago Cubs before being traded this summer. Before departing town, Dempster purchased a full page ad in the Chicago Tribune thanking the fans, the Cubs organization, his teammates and the city of Chicago.
Two other players that were traded prior to this summer's baseball trading deadline made sure to thank the fans of their respective cities. Philadelphia's Shane Victorino took out an ad in two area newspapers thanking the Philly fans that supported him for eight years before heading to the Dodgers. In Boston first baseman  Adrian Gonzalez found out that he was included in part of a multi player trade that also sent him to LA. On his way out of Boston, Gonzalez took to Twitter to thank the Red Sox faithful for their support.

After 13 seasons as a defensive end with Pittsburgh, Aaron Smith was released by the Steelers. In other words he was told thanks for all and now we're done with you. Smith could have been bitter, but instead he took out an ad in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette issuing one of the classiest thank you letters you'll ever see from a professional athlete. Smith thanked the fans, the Steelers organization, his teammates, coaches and backroom staff and the city of Pittsburgh.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been perennial losers since becoming a part of the NHL nine years ago. Their captain Rick Nash was a loyal and successful player for the team. Despite loving the town and the club, Nash asked to be traded this past season in order to have the chance to go to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Although asking for a move, Nash had shown his loyalty through all the losing seasons and most fans understood his decision. Nash proved his sincerity with an ad in the Columbus Dispatch. The letter read:
“Dear Blue Jackets Fans,Thank you for the unwavering support you’ve shown me over the past nine seasons.I am so fortunate to have had the chance to call Columbus home and to say proudly I am from the Buckeye state.Thanks for the memories. Thanks for everything.Rick Nash”
In addition to basketball, baseball, American football and hockey, this type of gratitude has also been displayed  in soccer. Recently, US Men's National Team member, Geoff Cameron was signed by the EPL's Stoke City from the Houston Dynamos of MLS. Despite Stoke being one of the less attractive teams in England's top flight, it is still a major step up for Cameron and he would have been foolish to pass it up. Before departing for England, Cameron wrote an open letter to thank the Dynamos and the fans which was published in the Houston Chronicle.       
Geoff Cameron left Houston for Stoke
 and made sure to thank the fans
Closer to home, Arsenal have a number of examples of players leaving with class. Most notably was the departure of Arsenal captain and all-time leading goal scorer Thierry Henry. At the end of the 2006-2007 season Henry transferred to Barcelona. The departure of Chairman David Dein and uncertainty over the future of Arsene Wenger were part of the reason. Another issue was Henry's age. Historically Wenger does not like to sign players over 30 to extensive contracts. There were no demands or bad blood involved in his departure.

Regarding his decision to move on Henry stated, "I always said that if I ever left Arsenal it would be to play for Barcelona". He also added, "Because of my seniority the fact that I was a captain and my habit of screaming for the ball, they would sometimes give it to me even when I was not in the best position. So in that sense it was good for the team that I moved on." His love for the club and the fans was obvious in his last interview for Arsenal:

Not one ounce of class was shown by Van Persie throughout his eventual move. So after spending eight seasons with the club he rooted for as a child, Robin van Persie threw away all the love and adoration that he had garnered with no consideration for anyone but himself. Fans would have been disappointed with his leaving no matter what, but by doing so in such an ungracious manner and with no parting comments Van Persie has become one of the most hated figures in Arsenal history.

Matt Law recently wrote an article for The Mirror entitled Why Van Persie's ill-judged statement will taint his Arsenal legacy forever. In it he states:

"He might just rue the day he gave the okay on the statement that has immediately turned him from hero to villain in the eyes of Arsenal fans. The early indications are Van Persie's eye-popping statement came as a result of growing frustration that Arsenal were not willing to speed up negotiations to sell him. But this was not the way to go about things. If Van Persie really was growing angry, he should have been made to take a deep breath. Play the long game, do not disrespect the club and fans who have stuck by you through all the injuries. And, most of all, do not disrespect the Arsene Wenger – the man who covered for you for over a year. Just who does he think he is to try to dictate transfer policy and strategy to one of the best managers in English football history? Before he became the Premier League's top scorer and the Footballer of the Year, Van Persie was a forward who had made just 111 starts in seven years because of injury. Where was Wenger's statement questioning his fitness record? Where was Arsenal's statement asking whether Van Persie was worth his wages while he sat in the treatment room? Both had far more class." 

That Robin van Persie chose not to leave in a respectful manner and has not addressed it since has sealed his legacy as a despicable greedy and disloyal mercenary.

How to leave with class
How to give thanks

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Robin van Persie Shows One of the Most Disrespectful and Blatant Acts of Disloyalty Ever

Disgraceful, Disloyal & Disgusting
Judas Van Persie
I am furious as I write this as I really never thought that this was ever going to happen. The ridiculous amount of speculation and false headlines led me to believe that this was just a circus act that was going to end in the right way. However, the just released announcement that Arsenal have agreed to sell their team captain and last season's top scorer to rivals Manchester United makes me sick.

Where to start? Let's start with the club. Arsenal, you are the employer. RVP was your employee. He signed a contract with you and had one year left. Just because he expressed his desire to leave the club does not mean that you have to give in to his demands. Perhaps the world of football is different than the real world, but you would never see such an act of insubordination rewarded anywhere else. If I had tried that with my boss, I'd be fired or severely reprimanded. If the club felt that RVP would have been a bad influence on the rest of the club, they should have decided what to do with him...you don't let the disgruntled player decide. If I had been in charge of the club, RVP would be playing with the reserves or would have been shipped off to some desolate wasteland like Donetsk or eastern Russia. Of course I understand the money side of the business, but there's also money to be lost by helping your competition to get better. What the hell are the people in charge of Arsenal thinking?
Na$ri - It's about the money
Then there's the timing. Arsenal have brought in three great signings this off-season and the early signs are that there is a new found harmony and unity in the Arsenal camp. Six weeks ago, RVP jeopardized this with his disgraceful public announcement via the Interent. "His" announcement was so smug and rude and obviously took swipes at certain factions within the Arsenal hierarchy. The comments were not addressed or mentioned officially by anyone inside Arsenal Football Club. Since then, it's been one annoying rumor after the other about where RVP will end up. There were at least six various destinations that were floated about with several of them being outside of the EPL. So what do Arsenal do, they wait until three days before the start of the new season to sell their captain and star player to one of their most hated rivals. What this will do to the morale in the Arsenal dressing room, I have no idea...but what it's done to the morale of the fans is CRUSH it. If you were going to cave in to Alex Ferguson, Arsenal sure picked the worst possible time to do so.

Benedict Van Persie
Last but not least is the player himself. Robin van Persie is showing such a lack of class, appreciation and respect that it's hard to put in to words without cursing up a storm. Arsene Wenger signed him when he was 20 years old and stood by his side for years while RVP was out injured, was accused of sexual assault and spent more time out of the lineup than in it. Supposedly RVP grew up an Arsenal fan and expressed how much he loved the club. After the departure of Cesc Fabregas last year, RVP was given the ultimate honor in being named the team's new captain.

As we all know, RVP had the season of his life last year and showed that Wenger knew what he had when he originally signed RVP. The fans loved him and sang his name with pride. When he released that vile statement of his on July 4th it was rather shocking. Whatever problems he had with the club, he owed it to the fans and Arsene Wenger to deal with them in a more private manner. All he did was add further discord to the club and cause a summer of discontent for the club's supporters. If it was so important to him to leave the club, he could have chosen to do so in a more transparent and respectful way. This was just unforgivable.

Guy Fawkes =RVP
I could never imagine world class athletes and team leaders such as Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, Tom Brady, etc. publicly stating that they did not agree with the management of their team and demanding a trade to one of their clubs' rivals. How RVP could do this and how Arsenal could allow him to get away with this is beyond me.

RVP owes it to the fans and Wenger to issue a public statement explaining his actions and thanking them for their support. It won't take away the sting but his selfish and ill-mannered behavior has forever stained any respect he had previously earned from his supporters.

Robin van Persie is perhaps worse than Judas, Benedict Arnold, Guy Fawkes, Brutus, Na$ri and RYAN GIGGS (haven't forgotten that you slept with your brother's wife) combined.
RVP joins another traitor, Ryan Giggs

For centuries to come, Gooners will use the term "You are a Van Persie" any time they are betrayed. Van Persie is now a part of the vernacular for eternity. In the dictionary the meaning of Van Persie is "a pampered, overpaid, ungrateful, disloyal mercenary".

Monday, July 16, 2012

50 Shades of RVP: A Summer of Rumors, Disloyalty and Greed

The star of our story

It takes place every summer. As soon as one season ends, the gossip and speculation begins. It happens at every club, but this year it's been Arsenal and one player in particular getting most of the attention. The Robin van Persie saga has been clogging the sports pages this summer and the football media have been having a field day. If every headline told a true story, Robin van Persie would be under contract to at least six clubs at this time. It's become a soap opera with an ending that is still to be written. Here are just some of the highlights from this summer's hottest story 50 Shades of RVP: A Summer of Rumors, Disloyalty and Greed.

March 10, 2012 - Manchester City strikeagreement for Arsenal's Robin van Persie
This one appeared way back in March in The National based in the United Arab Emirates. Hmmm, what a coincidence. This just happens to be the country where Manchester City's owner, Sheikh Mansour lives and is a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi. Wasn't the regular EPL season still going on back in March?
The Sheikh rules his empire
May 22, 2012 - Why the Arsenal vibe is that RvP will stay a Gunner The transfer saga of the summer takes another twist...
Just two weeks after the season ended this headline appeared in the Mirror and made Arsenal fans everywhere very happy...but the winds of false rumors and yellow journalism were on the horizon.
Ivan Gazidis is on the case
How kind of our former captain that jumped ship just one year ago. Good old Cesc's advice; do as I say, not as I do courtesy of The Daily Mail.
Do as I say, not as I do
May 29, 2012 - Dutch ace Van Persie told to stay at Arsenal... by his mum!
The Daily Mail with yet another "exclusive"...this time it's Robin van Persie's mother that has told her son to stay at Arsenal. She is quoted as saying "Arsenal love him and that’s a great incentive to stay. Arsenal are a fantastic club'. This one really added to the soap opera theme as now "the family" were involved. We're all taught to listen to our mother. Will RVP do the same? Then again, did she really say that?
Mom knows best
The Mirror goes from RVP will stay, to RVP will be sold. Confusion and speculation are everywhere. The Twitterverse is rampant with rumors and theories.
Will he stay or will he go Wenger?

June 20, 2012 - Wenger - Van Persiewill stay 
Leave it to Sky Sports to tell the "true story". No need to worry any more Arsenal fans, he's staying. Or is he?

RVP's agent Kees Vos
July 4, 2012 - Update For The Fans
Courtesy of Robin van Persie's own website, this one was Tweeted on the 4th of July and sent football fans in to a frenzy. Social Media was overloaded with RVP being called all sorts of things. Meanwhile fans of Oil Sheikh City Football Club and several others were already planning on having RVP in their starting lineup and deciding which mercenary that they formerly loved should be booted like trash to make room for a shiny new mercenary.

July 4, 2012 - ClubStatement: Robin van Persie
Touche. Arsenal's official website hit back with their own response to van Persie's posting. Rumors continue to swirl as well as conspiracies. Could it have been RVP's agent Kees Vos behind this statement? Was it a ploy to get more money?

July 4, 2012 - City fat cat:Van Persie opens door to £220k-a-week move to the champions
Now the fun and games really took off. Every paper, every sports blog and every broadcast had a different story. Here The Mirror tells us what "they think" is going on.

July 6, 2012 - Juventus could beat Manchester City to signing Arsenal's Robin Van Persie
RVP Italy bound?
The plot thickens once again, this time courtesy of The Telegraph. Italian champions Juventus are now in the hunt for RVP. I haven't seen anyone wanted this badly since George Clooney was named People's Sexiest Man Alive.

July 6, 2012 - Kolo Toure wantsRobin van Persie at Manchester City
This one from the London Evening Standard is priceless. Former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure speaking on behalf of Mercenary City. Funny, considering he barely qualified to receive a Premier League winner's medal due to his suspension for doping and then being used exclusively as a substitute. Yes, life on the bench has been good for Kolo Toure.
Kolo Toure invited RVP to join him on the Mercenary City bench
July 7, 2012 - Now Barca ‘n PSG join RVPchase
RVP to Paris?
Leave it to The Sun to have the real story. Forget Mercenary City, Arsenal and Juventus...now Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have joined the feeding frenzy.
RVP to Barcelona?

July 10, 2012 - RVP Gets City AdeOf course it's Spuds taking on another Arsenal reject to add more fuel to the story. So according to The Sun, Mercenary City, which bought Adebayor to Manchester, but now wants to dump him, will sell him to Spuds who will take any damaged goods in order for Mercenary City to steal another Arsenal player that they will eventually grow tired of and sell. Sounds about right.
Unwanted goods, Adebayor from Mercenary City to Spuds
July 11, 2012 - Fergie can drive a Van
Another day, another "scoop" from The Sun. This time it's Alex Ferguston and Manchester United in the hunt for RVP.
Fergie gets in on the action
July 13, 2012 - MANCHESTER CITYSET TO SEND KOLO TOURE TO TURKEYThis one comes from the Express. While it doesn't directly involve RVP, it's pretty funny to see that one week after Kolo Toure was begging van Persie to join him at Mercenary City, they are looking to toss Toure out on the garbage heap.

July 13, 2012 - EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal hopeful captain Van Persie will do'a Rooney' and stay
Is Stan the man with any plan?
Extra, extra....this "exclusive" comes courtesy of the Daily Mail. Just when Arsenal fans had fully vented their fury and gotten used to Arsenal without RVP, this headline hits. It's official now, this entire saga has become a circus.

July 14, 2012 - RvP set forArsenal's pre-season tour - unless a bid is made this week
With RVP returning to Arsenal's training camp this one is coming down to the wire. Arsenal's pre-season trip to Asia begins this weekend and the question still remains whether RVP will be on the plane or not...at least according to The Mirror.

The Daily Star is the UK equivalent of the National Enquirer so keep in mind where this story comes from. According to NOBODY (they don't even have the brains to use the old BS standbys of "a source" or "an insider" RVP was spotted house hunting in Chesire. They go on to say that this signals it has come down to a fight between Mercenary City and Man United for RVP.

Ray Parlour
July 16, 2012 - Exclusive - Parlour: Arsenalcould swap Dzeko for Van Persie
Before finishing this posting I checked Google News for any updates on the never ending RVP story and found this one courtesy of talkSport. Here they take a speculative suggestion from former Gunner Ray Parlour and turn it in to the latest theory on the RVP saga.

Stay tuned folks as the next chapter of 50 Shades of RVP: A Summer of Rumors, Disloyalty and Greed has yet to be written.

Meanwhile, film rights for 50 Shades of RVP: A Summer of Rumors, disloyalty and Greed have been secured. No production date has been sent but the leading roles have been cast. They include

Robin Van Persie                                                Ryan Gosling
Arsene Wenger                                                   Gerard Depardieu
Roberto Mancini                                                 Antonio Banderas
Fergie                                                                  Sean Connery
Kees Vos                                                             James Brolin
Stan Kroenke                                                      Daniel Day Lewis
Ivan Gazidis                                                        Ralph Fiennes
Robin van Persie’s Mother                               Julianne Moore
Cesc Fabregas                                                   Gael Garcia Bernal
Kolo Toure                                                          Mekhi Phifer
Ray Parlour                                                         Ewan McGregor