At his press conference today Arsene Wenger spoke about Robin van Persie was asked what kind of reception he might get from the Arsenal away brigade at Old Trafford on Saturday.
“I don’t know,” he said, “I hope it is a respectful one because he has played for us for eight years, he has done very well for us. I think he will get the reception I hope for.”
Except he won’t. Arsene knows that, Robin van Persie knows that, blind octogenerian men who live in as yet undisocevered tribes deep bneath the crust of the earth know it. It’s just something the manager has to say.
As he did with regards, oh, Samir Nasri. And William Gallas. And Emmanuel Adebayor. And Ashley Cole (time and time again). And any player that has left under contentious circumstances. The reality is that van Persie will find himself on the wrong end of a two-versed chant, the second of which is more than sufficient to let people know how they feel about them.
The moral high ground is a dangerous place to be when it comes to obscene/insensitive chanting, but football fans are football fans the world over and no doubt van Persie will get it with gusto from the travelling supporters.
The manager is more concerned with the game itself than a traitorous, back-stabbing, ungrateful, disrespectful (you guys!), former perma-crock who will never, ever get injured again in his life (see what I’m doing here?), saying, “Saturday’s game is not about Van Persie. Not for us and I don’t think for him, as well.
“For us, what is important is the result at the end of the game, and the quality of our performance. We do not even talk about him.”
Whatever else it certainly adds an edge to this particularly fixture which has been missing for a number of years now. Bring. It. On.