Arsene Wenger to be best man at his ex's wedding?

Arsene Wenger Looks On

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may be forced into humiliatingly seeing his side give Manchester United's Robin van Persie a guard of honour at the Emirates next Sunday.

It was back in the summer of 2004, realising his star Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp would be soon heading for retirement, Arsene Wenger headed to Holland to find a replacement.

There he found a spiky and fiery upstart, called Robin van Persie.

It was not smooth sailing at first, but a rocky relationship with lots of high and several moments of frustration had begun.

Van Persie had a penchant for the spectacular, but while his problematic temperament soon became something he was able to control, a bigger issue would blight his Gunners career: His fitness.

It took him until 2011 to finally break free of an injury curse, with a whirlwind 18 months from January 2011 to May 2012 seeing him score for fun like never before for Arsenal, leaving fans to wonder what might have been all those years had he been able to stay fit.

Van Persie suddenly found himself the most sought after player in the country, and refused to commit his future to Wenger and the club.

Like a woman starstruck by becoming an overnight celebrity, Van Persie found the faithful Wenger who had expected to be his mentor through his whole career, to be a man he no longer needed; one he perceived was holding him back.

Realising he could no longer hold onto him, Wenger introduced the Dutchman to a new suitor, Sir Alex Ferguson.

£24 million later, Van Persie's divorce from Arsenal was complete, and he became a Manchester United player.

Now he stands on the verge of becoming a Premier League champion, and getting the status he always wanted.

Tottenham's win over City means if United beat relegation-threatened Aston Villa, Van Persie will receive a title winners medal, one game ahead of his visit to the Emirates.

This means there will be no crashing the wedding, for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, who could have prevented the inevitable and delayed Van Persie getting his hands on the medal for another week by beating United.

Instead the Frenchman will be forced to stand by and applaud his former protege, with his side potentially having to give a guard of honour.

Wenger will be like a best man at his ex's wedding, with the added twist that he helped his former star meet his new destiny.

He will want to escape from the moment, he will not want to watch, but he has to be there, and he will not be able to avoid it.

It will be tough for him to take, and for the whole club and support. Arsenal will try to give United a lesson on the pitch, but even a win will not take away from what could have been.

Could Arsenal have held onto Van Persie another season, what would have happened if they did? 

Should Wenger and Arsenal even give United a guard of honour? What do you think about what could transpire over the next week? 

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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