It’s happened again. The news that all gooners feared. Robin Van Persie is the latest to join that illustrious list of nobodies who used the platform that they got at Arsenal to make a name for themselves only to leave for ‘greener pastures’. I shall not refute the argument of any player who says that they gave their all to the club only to end up trophyless and now they want to win something. Certain players like King Henry and the Fab man are eligible for that. 7-8 seasons of unquestionable dedication, then off to greater challenges. But to a class of players on whom the manager repeatedly showed faith in spite of repeated fitness issues and failures, to those unknowns who were able to hone their skills in this football club only to leave the team when it wanted them the most, loyalty does not mean smack. It’s all oil money now. Mancini has practically built a team out of former Arsenal players. It’s very disheartening to watch. Today, football is about money, no one plays for honour or glory.

I am a Wenger fan, I love Arsenal’s style of play and will always support the club and the manager. However, it is true that for the past seven years, he has been ignoring the exodus of our top players. The performance of the team in spite of that has been nothing short of brilliant. But one has to wonder how long this will last. Arsenal has become a feeder club. The latest hubris was also triggered by the second highest share holder at the club, Usmanov’s letter to the board. He questioned the highest shareholder, Stan Kroenke’s hesitance in providing money during transfer windows. In the premier league, Arsenal is the only club that has actually made a profit out of transfer deals. While Man City has a deficit of 397 million pounds, Arsenal has a profit of 23 million. That in itself shows the kind of money that big clubs are made of. Arsenal FC is nothing more than a profitable business now. It’s sad to watch the  big clubs go after top performers while we are settling for B-grade players. Another question is regarding the quality of the academy. How many players in this squad are from the academy apart from Wilshere? Is the scouting mechanism at the youth level completely messed up? A number of players who were supposed to be the next generation of stars like Fran Merida, Carlos Vela, Gilles Sunu, Nacer Barazite, Denilson, all fizzled out as they were deemed not good enough.

I am tired of questioning the loyalties of players as it does not make sense for a player of RVP’s quality to stay at this club when he knows he’s surrounded by mediocrity even though the incentive for his move was purely money. Similarly is the case for Cole, Clichy, Kolo Toure, Adebayor, Nasri, Henry and Fabregas. I have a funny feeling that we should be looking towards Walcott and Song now. Since the captain’s armband is like a ‘for sale’ sign at the Emirates, Song should be taken care of immediately! If we’re regularly losing players, then there’s something wrong with the functioning of the club. One good move that Wenger made this season is to sign Podolski and Giroud early. If it wasn’t for those signings, the club would have been in shambles. As of now, our priorities should be getting the best price for RVP so that we can invest in his replacement, a decent holding MF, a tall strong experienced CB and an experienced backup GK for SCZCZ. Then comes the curious case of Walcott’s contract.

As for the post of the new gunman, the most likely candidates are Dortmund’s Lewandowski, Fiorentina’s Jovetic, City’s Dzeko and Bilbao’s Llorente. After watching their performances last season, the closest fit to a creative frontman looks like Jovetic. Lewandowski and Llorente seem more like target men whom we already have in  Giroud. Dzeko might be available for a swap deal if City is the one ready to snap up RVP. Dzeko has the added advantage of being a proven goal scorer in the BPL. As for the post MF, M’Villa talks seem to have lost its way and De Jong seems to be the likeliest arrival. He is the kind of low profile MF strength that we need to support the more than often fragile defence. The GK arrival will probably be Italy’s second choice, Viviano. Don’t know much about him. Initial links with Jan Vertonghen suggested that Arsenal is in the market for a CB, but no news in that department after Spurs signed him.

There are certain players in the club who have fallen behind in the pecking order who are finding it difficult to find new suitors like Denilson, Chamakh and Park Chu Young. As of now Real Betis is interested in Vela after his successful loan spell there last season and Turkish giants Galatasary is interested in Bendtner and Arshavin after both of them showed some spark in the Euros. If they both make it to Turkey, that will be three Arsenal rejects in the Galatasaray squad with Eboue moving there last season. Chamakh has been rejected by his former club, Bordeaux and Denilson might get another one year loan deal at Santos. Park is a mystery signing to me. Never a proven striker at the top level, barely saw him play last season and difficult to get rid of.

After what seemed like an optimistic start to the transfers post season, it’s looking bad for us again. But we’ll pull through. Wenger has always made sure of that. But we need more than just pulling though. With the 2003-04 season still fresh in our minds, we all yearn for those invincibles to return. 2012-13 season will be the acid test.

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