Robin van Persie's decision not to sign a new contract at Arsenal will surely see his departure from the club very soon. He has to be stripped of the captaincy and sold to the highest bidder in my opinion. That could be just the start of the problems for Arsenal though, as the effect of his decision reaches the other players at the club.
It's hard to know what the other players will make of RVP's decision, but it could certainly cause unrest among some of them. The departure of the club captain and current star player could send out all the wrong signals to the other players as they return for pre-season training. Despite losing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer, and the impending departure of RVP there are still some very good players at Arsenal.
The first of the fall out could be seen very soon, as Theo Walcott also has only one year left on his contract. Despite having a somewhat up and down Arsenal career so far Walcott had his best season for the club last season. A decision by him not to renew his contract could be another blow for the club and the fans too.
Walcott may not have the same status as RVP at the club, but the club cannot afford to see another player decide not to renew his contract. They have to make every effort possible to get Walcott to stay with the club, and avert another crisis. It wouldn't be the end of the world if Walcott left, but on top of the RVP debacle it would be a PR disaster.
I have no doubt that Arsene Wenger will make Arsenal very competitive this coming season, but players do want to genuinely compete for trophies. What happens if the likes of Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny or Thomas Vermaelen decide they want to follow RVP through the exit door next summer. There is no doubt the three of them could play for the clubs who can afford to pay wages which Arsenal simply cannot match.
In the next few years both Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will hopefully become huge stars in English and World football. There is no doubt Arsenal can help them to fulfill their potential, but the more world class players they play with the better for them. At the moment it would seem Arsenal have a lot of very good players, but the exit of RVP will see the last of their world class players left at the club gone.
It's been a long time since Arsenal haven't had a true star of football in their team. It has never been Wenger's policy to go out and buy ready made star players, but he has turned many players into stars. He tends to buy players on the up with a lot of potential or players who have suffered a setback and need a new focus in their career.
Both Lukasz Podolski and Oliver Giroud could fit into those categories, and hopefully they will become future stars at Arsenal.
It would seem Arsenal are going to have to become more of a team next season, as their dependence on RVP won't be a factor any more. That may not be a bad thing, but at the big moments special players can make a difference. Wenger needs to bring in a couple of players who can really make things happen to boost the spirits of both the players and the fans.
Who those players are is anybody's guess, but the team needs to find stability before the season starts. The shambolic start Arsenal suffered last season cannot be allowed to happen again, and he has to make sure the team are primed to perform from day one. There are only two Premier League games for Arsenal before the transfer window closes, but they must be ready to perform at their best in those games.
There is still a long way to go before that first game at home to Sunderland on August 18, and plenty of transfer business to be done in that time. Besides the players who will come Arsenal also have quite a few players to sell, and some more to be loaned out too I would imagine. It looks like being a very busy six weeks for Arsenal and their long suffering fans too.
It still has to be remembered that Arsenal managed to finish third in the Premier League last season despite all of the problems. It's hard to see how they can be expected to improve on that position at the stage, but hope springs eternal. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the come season brings a trophy, but regardless of whether it does or not my loyalties will always be with Arsenal.
I just wish I could say the same thing about certain players who claim to be fans, or to have the club in their blood. There is only one thing certain for fans of any club, and that is that they love their club more than the players do. Players may come and players may go, but true fans support their club through thick and thin.
That doesn't mean they have to believe blindly in everything the manager or owners say or do. It is possible to have differing views and still support the same club of course. The most important thing for Arsenal is that those fans are right behind the players when they take the field against Sunderland on August 18th.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.