Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thoughts on Robin v.Persie

I still remember this goal like it was just scored yesterday.

Hleb (yes, remember him?) received the ball from a cross-field pass from Gilberto (an underrated player to me), chested it down with Eboue (miss that clown) doing an overlapping run to his right. Hleb then measured an inch-perfect pass to Eboue and with a swing of his right foot, the ball travelled from the right side of the field, with pinpoint accuracy onto v.Persie's left foot.

Well some might argue that Eboue's cross was downright lucky but the thing that happened next was anything but.

Racing towards Eboue's cross, v.Persie jumped to make contact with the ball at the edge of the penalty box. He jumped to perfectly position his left foot around 4 feet off the ground to make that connection. That connection happened while v.Persie was still in full flight, airborne and in one swift motion of that deadly left foot of his, the ball fizzed through the keeper into the top right-hand corner and nestled at the back of the net.

Blockbuster. Breathtaking. Electrifying.

I truly believed that goal announced v.Persie onto the world stage as someone special. A world beater. Someone of messianic potential perhaps. No more untapped potential. No more unproven talent with Ifs and Buts.

Believe me at that time I was a huge fan of Thierry Henry and I'm not going overboard by saying that no goal Henry scored could match that particular v.Persie's effort against Charlton. Even the flick-turn-and shoot goal against Man Utd or the solo run starting from Arsenal's own half, taking on all of Spurs defence on the break and slotted it home with his left foot 10 seconds later. Well maybe not the latter but you get my point. This is the v.Persie goal that I'm talking about.

This v.Persie goal oozes class. Perfect technique on the ball; which had also been his forte throughout the years. Add that with something I like to call controlled aggression. It's so easy for other players to balloon that ball into row Z but v.Persie is not like other players. He managed to track that ball all the way onto his foot and controlled every single muscle fibre in his body to position himself to strike that ball with perfect force behind it. The ball travelled in a straight line. It didn't curved upwards or downwards, nor curved to the left or to the right. This makes the effort and the amount of focus needed that outright extraordinary. Superhuman. Godlike if I may say so.

To people who are reading this that couldn't care less about technique, v.Persie's goal is like me having all four Charlize Theron, Kate Beckinsale, Milla Jovovich, and Choi SooYoung, all with short hair, as my wives. And having all four of them to be making love with me simultaneously, love doing it and me having endless amount of stamina and monk-like control over orgasm and ejaculation. This example is to depict how mortally impossible of an effort it was but v.Persie made it all possible. Guess he had been having orgies on a daily basis eh? Haha

Then came the bombshell.

He's not going to extend his current contract with Arsenal which will expire next summer. This effectively means that he'll not be an Arsenal player come August 18th.

I was heartbroken. I was distraught. I was fuming. But most importantly, I was disappointed.

I truly believed that he'll be extending his contract and plays out his professional football playing career with us. Being a legend to the club. Loved by fans and respected by opponents alike. Having his own statue outside the Emirates.

This was largely due to his performances last season.

How many times had he brought us back from the dead?

How many times had he led the line majestically?

How many times had he offered his hand to pull the club over the finishing line in monumental games?

How many times had he brought us Arsenal fans joy and hope throughout the season?

Never since the days of Henry had I put so much faith in a player to win us games in every football match. v.Persie was indeed, to me at least, irreplaceable. By having him in the team we are at least 60% certain of winning that particular football match.

He brought us that aura of invincibility that the likes of Henry, Bergkamp and Viera used to bring.

Throughout the Euros I've kept faith that he had/will extend his contract with us. The whole silencing act was either to force the upper echelons of the Arsenal hierarchy to fork out the cash for Wenger to make additional important signings or to help Wenger play the guessing game with other teams regarding potential future signing because Arsenal were notorious to losing out on target players to other teams.

But strangely, the feeling of acceptance resides more in my heart than anger or denial. The pain of losing Henry to Barcelona was bigger than this particular heartbreak.

Even though both Henry and v.Persie spent the best part of 8 years of their careers with Arsenal, I guess the former managed to capture my heart and imagination more than the latter.

Maybe because the news of losing your important players before the start of every new season is something that I've come accustomed to as an Arsenal fan?

Maybe the possibilities of losing out on a top 4 finish due to the departure of your influential players no longer scares and worries me due to the brilliance of Arsene Wenger?

Maybe Arsene Wenger is the main reason to why we'd achieved 15 consecutive seasons in the Champions League despite the departure of many influential players? Oh wait he is!

And what makes things worst and pathetic is that Arsenal, Arsene Wenger to be precise, stood by v.Persie throughout his injury-stricken days of old. The man believed in his talents and nurtured him, eventually enabled him to achieve that first breakout season in English top-flight football where all of a sudden, people everywhere started to take him seriously.

Arsene Wenger was like a father-figure to v.Persie. So too was him to the likes of Fabregas and Clichy. I guess my heartbreak is nothing compared to what Wenger is feeling every single season. Hopefully he will not give up on trying to do things the right way, The Arsenal Way, or should I say The Arsene Way. Stay strong old man.

Do not get me wrong. This is not a plea of trying to get him back. Nor a desperate prayer hoping that he'll have a change of heart. Even if he does stay and decides to end his career here with us, he would have to work extremely hard to regain the trust and affection of the fans.

He used to be on everyone's golden pedestal.

He could've had a statue in his honour built outside the Emirates.

He could've been a legend with goals like the ones stated above as a reminder to future Gooners that the field on Ashburton Groove was once in the presence of magnificence and splendour.

And now he destroyed all of that in the pursut of trophies. A vain attempt of a response to him being hesitant  to whether he could add more silverware since 2005 due to him being 29 next month.

I considered him to be a demigod before this, but then he'd chosen the path of trophies (hopefully that is).

A brief moment of having your name up in lights....or having people signing songs of praises about you, or having a statue built for you, or being treated like an absolute god, or having tales that will forever immortalise you as one of the all time greats, he had chosen the former and disregard all others.

If you were to ask me, between being a god and a demigod, the choice is clearly there for all to see.

Well demigods come and go but life goes on. We'll find our next demigod but next time, he'll be able to have sex with 5 women at a particular moment! And good luck v.Persie on your future endeavours.

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