In American sports there is an expression referring to the most important player in a club. The expression is “Franchise Player”.
It originated back in the 50′s when outstanding players were referred to as “franchises”. Today a “franchise player” is an athlete who is not simply the best player on his team, but one that the team can build their “franchise” (team) around for the foreseeable future.
Now, in American sports, the franchise player is as important to the club as the head coach or general manager because he is the future of the club. The owner listens to him and the manager makes decisions after consulting him.
Robin Van Persie is, by all means, a franchise player.
However, in a club like Arsenal, there is no room for a franchise player, because of the manager’s dominance. That’s why “franchise” players such as Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas left. Van Persie could soon follow them out.
Robin Van Persie loves Arsenal. We are told by the media that he has urged Wenger and owner Stan Kroenke to follow the Glazers’ lead at Manchester United – sign up the club’s superstar performer (him) for life and promise him big players to play alongside him.
Just a reminder: Thirteen months ago, Glazers faced a massive crisis when Wayne Rooney threatened to leave. Rooney, with 18 months left on his contract, said he would not sign a new one, while questioning the club’s ambition (Like RvP does right now). However, within a few days, Rooney had penned a new deal, and United went on to win the title and reach the Champions League final.
At the end of the season, United were granted £80m by their owners to bring in key players.
The Glazers have, quite clearly, turned Rooney into their “franchise player”, and success has followed, mainly because keeping your main star is a huge mental boost for the entire locker room.
Stan Kroenke should now focus on keeping his franchise player, not only by signing him to a lucrative new contract, but by assuring him that a better team will be built around him – A team that better fits his style and vision. A team he will have an active part in picking.
Will Wenger let something like this happen?
If you ask Andrey Arshavin, who said “when it comes to Arsenal, no one would dare approach Wenger with questions about football or suggestions to change something round”, then NO.