I’m writing to you in response to your statement you released, which was supposedly for the fans. I’d like to express my disappointment at the irresponsible way the statement was released, its tone, and the fact the statement was “for the fans” when in reality it was for you, and you only. This situation could have been handled much better by you, and means you don’t leave Arsenal on good terms.
I understand you are at a point on your career where you have a make a decision, and maybe you thought it was the right time to move. While I am disappointed that you are going, I respect your decision, but what I can’t respect is your statement, a statement which was childish, irresponsible, and has left a bitter taste in everyone involved at Arsenal football club, not least the fans. It is full of so much disrespect and double standards it is laughable.
Where do I start? I don’t know where to begin. Let’s look at the bigger picture shall we? By releasing this statement to the public, your value has plummeted. If potential suitors were in doubt before, they are in no doubt now that you want to leave. This reduces Arsenal’s bargaining power to get the highest price possible. OK so you’ve decided to leave us, fair enough. The least you could do is keep quiet about it so that you can help the club achieve the highest price, and do that much for the club who has remained loyal to you for eight injury plagued years. Apparently you don’t have even that little bit of respect.
Another lack of respect is the fact the club had absolutely no idea you were releasing this statement. Wenger went out to the media the previous day saying how much we needed you and wanted to sign you on. Then, you, did what looked like an irresponsible childish prank and decided to embarrass your boss and release your statement. You also lied in your statement about Ivan Gazidis. He isn’t on holidays as you mentioned, the club denied it. This was just another cheap shot from you making it look like the club isn’t doing their job.
Let’s get into the actual statement then. You speak of “respect” and “loyalty” to the club, and you talk about “huge respect” for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans, but then you straight away rip into the manager and the club for lacking ambition, and tell them you won’t sign a new contract.
OK so let’s get one thing clear. What part of “respect” is ridiculing the club, basically telling the manager he is an idiot, disappointing the fans, and acknowledging that the players who are already at the club are inferior? What part of “not going into details” is telling everyone that the club supposedly lacks ambition (which is the main point anyway)?
Your double standards continue. You say you want to bring the club back “to its glory days”, well then why are you abandoning us?
Given the damage the statement has done as a whole in addition to the above, saying “I love the club and the fans no matter what happens” sounds quite fake.
This statement wasn’t about the fans at all as you tried to claim. This statement wasn’t about Arsenal, this was about you, you, you and nobody else. It was about you trying to force through a transfer, nothing more. We aren’t stupid.
One key thing I noticed is that you didn’t thank the fans or the football club. You made a statement about “always loving us”, but it sounded forced, a sort message on the side to your big message of wanting to leave. There was no thank you. If you really had your heart in the club, the bulk of this statement would have thanked the club, and saying that you had to move on would have been a side statement.
I think the worst part of your statement was the fact that you failed to acknowledge Arsene Wenger at any stage, apart from that contradictory so-called “huge respect” for him. Not a single thank you. Let me tell you a few things mate. In 2004 when you arrived here you were deemed as a loose cannon, a player who was placed on Feyenoord’s transfer list. You weren’t even good enough for them. Nobody believed in you, except Arsene Wenger. You then spent eight years at our wonderful football club. Unfortunately, due to your injury worries, you only played more than half the games in two seasons, 08/09 and 11/12. Who believed in you all these years while you were on the treatment table? Who always talked you up as one of the greatest strikers in the world when the media would criticise you? Who was the first person who defended you when you had an average EURO 2012 campaign? Who never gave up on you? The answer to all those questions is Mr Arsene Wenger. This is a man who’s had offers from Real Madrid, the French national team amongst many others, but turned them down to stay at Arsenal. The man has shown incredible loyalty to this wonderful football club, and also showed you so much loyalty while you were on the treatment table. How do you repay him? Not only do you walk away, you didn’t even say thank you. You ungrateful disgrace.
Look mate, I am frustrated at the lack of trophies, WE ALL ARE. Don’t make this just about you. Everyone at Arsenal wants to win trophies. We are all pissed off. We have signed two quality strikers already this transfer window. Podolski and Giroud are quality, established strikers who performed exceptionally well for their respective teams. They carried their teams in their respective leagues and ensured their teams overachieved. I don’t exactly know what you mean when you say the club lacks ambition. In Podolski and Giroud, we have acquired some of the best talent that is available out there. They would have complemented you very well. I got news for you, there aren’t that many better players out there that are AVAILABLE. Messi, Ronaldo, Rooney and Xavi aren’t for sale mate. In my opinion, these two signings alone (with more to come I’m sure), clearly represent that the club are as ambitious as they can be realistically.
It is true that the competition is as fierce as ever and it will be harder than ever to win titles, as we’ve seen in recent years. It will be tough, no doubt about it, I totally understand that, but for yourself who has said of plenty of occasions that you want the club to return to its “glory days”, and that “you can’t imagine playing for another Premier League club”, doesn’t it make sense that you stay and fulfil this ambition? Doesn’t it make sense that you stay, and give back the loyalty to the club who was so loyal to you all these years? You have your first real great season and you turn your back on us.
But OK, despite everything I’ve said I still respect your decision to want to move to get more chances for winning trophies. I don’t agree with your decision but I understand it. You could have handled it so much better though.
I’m extremely disappointed for your lack of respect for the fans, the club and Arsene Wenger especially. Something as simple as “I’d like to thank Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and the fans, but its time I moved on” would have been just fine, but in your statement you went out your way to disrespect the club, its fans and our manager, making it all about you as you look to force through a transfer. Without Arsenal you are nothing, yet you didn’t even have it in you to say thank you to anybody not least the only man who believed in you, Arsene Wenger. Without Wenger you would have been rotting in the Feyenoord reserves now, or God knows where else. We will always have a Flying Dutchman who wore number 10 that will be an Arsenal legend. His name is Dennis Bergkamp. You are nothing compared to him. I leave you with a famous quote from that great man:
“do you really like Arsenal? Or just Arsenal with trophies?”
On behalf of Arsenal’s fans