Arsene Wenger knew Robin Van Persie was going to go — not to Man United — but somewhere. Arsenal knew he was going to go so this isn’t as great a shock as losing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri just before the start of last season. Indeed, the Gunners went out and bought players to ensure that they don’t enter the new season on a low. And on that front they have succeeded.
So even though Van Persie’s absence will hurt especially in terms of experience, Arsenal have enough ammo up their sleeves to rise up from this loss and make a run at the title. Here are five reasons why Arsenal fans shouldn’t fret too much over the Dutchman going over the enemy’s side…
1. Don’t get carried away by his 37-goal season, Van Persie will probably never see a season like that. He is more likely to get on Alex Ferguson‘s bad side and have a shoe thrown at him if he doesn’t deliver the goods. And being good doesn’t mean that you won’t spend more time on the bench than the field — just ask Dimitar Berbatov.2. You don’t ever want a team to rely on just one striker — but that’s what Arsenal did all of last season and they didn’t have another option. This time though Arsène Wenger has three young attackers in Lukas Podolski, Oliver Giroud and Santiago Cazorla and they will be pretty excited by the thought on getting a lot of game time. Something that they wouldn’t have got with Van Persie in the side — so expect them to make the most of the opportunity.
3. At some level, Wenger might even feel that he’s got a pretty good deal. A £24 million four-year deal for a striker who had just one year left on his contract isn’t bad given how injury prone he is. Van Persie wanted to leave anyway – the fact that Arsenal makes some decent money out of it means that financially they continue to be stable.
4. Van Persie moving out of the team means that there is now no ‘King’ in the pack. All the players are equal and more than anything that should get the team together. They will also realise that Arsene Wenger is boss and the Frenchman works best with a young team. Arsenal’s football has always been exciting to watch — they can be inconsistent but on their day, they are tough to get a handle on. Expect that to continue.
5. Less expectations. Every season, Arsenal are expected to rediscover their glory days. But this time, with their top striker gone, even the most fanatical of supporters will lower his expectations and that once again will work in favour of the youngsters. It will allow them to find their feet and once they do, even Man United won’t exactly have an easy time.