Whatever happened to Robin van Persie?

On 4 July 2012, Van Persie announced that he would not be signing a new contract with Arsenal claiming that inner voices in his head had told him to sign for Man U.   He transferred on 17 August for £22.5 million plus £1.5 million to follow if Man U won the League or Champs League within four years.   He signed a four year contract at what was said to be an astonishingly high salary given that he would be 34 by the end of it.  Man U won the league and Alex Ferguson left the club, leaving Man U with a very expensive player of rapidly reducing usefulness.

However his 30 goals of his first season slipped to 18 in his second and 10 in his third and on 14 July 2015 he was sold to Fenerbahçe for just £3.84 million a decline of around £22m in just three years.

On 19 January 2018, Van Persie agreed to return to Feyenoord after canceling his contract with Fenerbahçe.   On 12 May 2019, he played his last match and then retired.

Here are the anniversaries

4 February 1888: Arsenal 6 Tottenham 2.  This was a return friendly following the opening match which was abandoned with Tottenham winning 2-1.  No crowd figure is given but the next game between the two in south London the following September attracted 500.

4 February 1905: Final game for William Gooing.  He scored 45 goals in 94 games for Woolwich Arsenal before moving on to play for Northampton Town.

4 February 1905:  Arsenal 0 Bristol City 0, FA cup, 1st round.  Crowd 25,000.  Bristol City were a second division club at the time but subsequently won the League in 1906.

4 February 1911:  Swindon 1 Arsenal 0; FA Cup 2nd round. Crowd 14,861.  Swindon were Southern League champions and as such played Man U in the Charity Shield, and had also played in an early European Cup competition.

4 February 1919: Having just received the support of the prestigious Athletic News weekly magazine, in his campaign to get Arsenal elected to Division 1, Sir Henry Norris took his seat in the Commons for the first time with Lloyd George as Prime Minister, Bonar Law leader of the House, and J Austen Chamberlain the Chancellor.

4 February 1922, The Duke of York attended Arsenal 2 Newcastle 1.  With Sir Henry Norris and William Hall unavailable, directors Jack Humble, Charles Crisp and George Peachey, did the honours.  Leslie Knighton later alleged that Arsenal wasted money that could have been spent on transfers on champagne at this event, not knowing the Duke did not drink.  But really, even if true, how many players could you buy for a couple of bottles of fizz? I suspect yet another Knighton invetion.

 4 February 1933: Arsenal started the month 3 points clear of Villa at the top of the league.  Having won their first game of the month 1-4 away to Bolton to make it 82 goals in 27 games, the news arrived on this day that Villa won one of their games in hand to creep closer to Arsenal.

4 February 1939: The Irish Republican Army bombed the London Underground stations at Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square.  Nevertheless Arsenal’s game against Sunderland went ahead with 45,875 present. Bastin and Lewis got the goals in a 2-0 victory and Arsenal moved up to 7th.  Lewis’ goal tally was now at six.

4 February 1946: The FA Cup tried the experiment of having ties played across two legs and then if the scores were tied, the replay would continue after the 30 minutes extra time until there was a goal. On this day Blackpool 0 Middlesbrough 1 lasted 2 hours 31 minutes.

4 February 1954  25 years old Con Sullivan was signed from Bristol City as goalkeeping understudy to Jack Kelsey.

4 February 1961: Newcastle 3 Arsenal 3; last game for Tommy Docherty (Strong 2 and Eastham got the goals).  Docherty moved on to Chelsea before becoming manager of Sydney Prague.

4 February 1970: Kevin Campbell born. He started as a trainee with Arsenal, joining the club on schoolboy forms in 1985, won the FA Youth Cup and scored 59 goals in a season, but had to wait for Merson and Smith to vacate their positions before he became a first team regular.  

4 February 1975: Arsenal 0 England “B” 2.  The match was organised after England’s game in Cyprus was cancelled for political reasons.  Kidd and Mancini scored for England

4 February 1993 Martin Keown re-joined Arsenal for £2.2 million – over £2m more than they sold him for, but this time he stayed for over 10 years – and enjoyed huge success in the Arsène Wenger era.  He could not play in the cup run however being cup tied for the season.

4 February 1995: Sheffield Wednesday 3 Arsenal 1, Kevin Campbell’s last league game, on his birthday.   He had played 224 times for Arsenal, scoring 59 goals in all major competitions. 

4 February 1997: Three days after a goalless draw in the League at Elland Road between the two it ended Arsenal 0 Leeds 1 (FA Cup).  It was the last game for John Harston and the match marked George Graham’s return to Highbury, as Leeds manager.

4 February 2006: Adebayor scored on his debut which ended Birmingham 0 Arsenal 2.  He played 104 league games for Arsenal and scored 46 goals.  

4 February 2012: After three defeats and a draw in last four games, Arsenal beat Blackburn 7-1.  Robin Van Persie got a hatrick, and Oxlade Chamberlain 2.

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