RVP: Saying nothing
The speculation regarding the ever dwindling contract length of Robin Van Persie has begun in earnest. It is not going to go away either. The moment a player gives it the "who knows what the future holds?" spiel then you know that he is not exactly falling over himself to sign a new deal. With the way things are at Arsenal, where Van Persie is the only proven world-class player left, you can hardly blame him for thinking about moving to pastures new - especially with the money he would get offered by Manchester City or Barcelona. However, he is currently the Captain of Arsenal Football Club. His contract runs out in the Summer of 2013. The need to get him tied down, or otherwise, by the end of 2011 is huge. If Van Persie has not signed a deal by January then we can be fairly certain he is angling to move away. If this turns out to be the case then the Captaincy should be taken away from him - we've been here before and it has done us no favours. I am a massive Van Persie fan, but we can not go down this road again.
Van Persie's situation is the one that will get the headlines, because he is our best player, but there is a more worrying situation developing. RVP is not the only player with less than two years left. At the same time as Robin's deal runs out so, too, do Thomas Vermaelen and Theo Walcott. Bacary Sagna is also in the same boat, I believe. Oh yes, and Andrey Arshavin. What bone-head put together the deals of five of Arsenal's star players that they all run down at the same time? When you bear in mind that these players will all be capable of getting lucrative deals elsewhere (someone will be stupid enough to take on Theo, while Arshavin would simply go back to Russia) Arsenal should be at panic stations right now and trying to get deals done. We hear the "it's busy when we play every few days, so there is no time to talk" but what a load of old nonsense that is. Arsenal players train in the morning, then have lunch before going home - I wish my boss offered those hours and considered me too busy to talk shop in the afternoons.
It also seemed to be passed over by the press last week that Jack Wilshere spoke of his desire to play in the Champions League. Arsenal will not be there next season. As I say in the headline for this post, Arsenal are heading for an iceberg, and it may be one that sinks us.
Yes, it is quiet. International weeks drive me mad. More tomorrow? Maybe.