Robin van Persie’s reaction to the substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has sparked much discussion over the last couple of days, but the captain has come out strongly to deny any talk of a rift between him and the manager.
Speaking to The Sun, van Persie said, “I was not having a go at the boss on Sunday. I was just sad to see Alex leave the pitch as he just gave the assist for our only goal.
“I was not questioning his judgment. I know it’s not my place to challenge what Arsene Wenger does. He is the boss, he makes the decisions and that’s it… end of story.
“I have worked with the boss long enough to know there’s always a good reason behind his decisions — and there was again on Sunday. When Arsene makes a decision, it is based on a lot of information that everyone else might not know about.
“He has all the information, he knows when a player is carrying a small injury, or has been ill, or is tiring. Arsene’s remarkable success in the game is proof enough that his decisions are made from knowledge and experience.
“There is no problem, there is no conflict and there is no controversy. The boss knows that, I know that, the players all know that.”
And he urged his teammates, and fans, to get behind the team as they try to find a way out of this spell of bad form.
“We are all committed to doing the very best we can to bring success to The Emirates,” he said. “We are not giving up on a top-four finish, no way.
“There’s plenty of games still left, we have recovered from reverses like this before and we will win again. So anybody writing us off is making a mistake.
“This could still be a good season for us. We have the FA Cup to look forward to and the Champions League. We will all be giving 100 per cent to make sure we bring one of those trophies home, hopefully both of them.
“Let’s all stick together and fight.”
Arseblog News believes the reaction to van Persie’s ‘crime’ of showing displeasure at the change has been blown out of all proportion. The club, and Robin himself, have moved quickly to make it a non-issue and talk of dressing room mutiny and transfer requests is so far wide of the mark it might as well be a Theo Walcott cross.
And while frustration may be high, if the team are going to fight then they need the fans behind them too. It might simplistic but there’s no escaping the truth of it.