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Image that makes the heart shudder in fear

As fans, we are more than easily riled aren’t we. I will be the first to admit that when it comes to Arsenal, emotions are rarely things within my control. When I saw the way Real Madrid has acted in trying to tap up one of our players, I was incensed. Fair to say, the rage got a little bigger when that player being linked is Jack Wilshere.

What Madrid did was to get their favourite newspaper (Marca) to publish an article about the players that they want to sign by 2014. Operation 2014 as it is labelled is an ambitious signal of intention to procure the best youngster available in the world of football today. It’s blatant tapping up. Do I want UEFA to act on this? Of course I do. Do I expect them to do so? Not in a million years. Just like Barcelona, Real Madrid are an integral part of their sponsorship system. Like most cases in life, money speak louder than any moral integrity.

I know Wilshere has announced his loyalty towards Arsenal Football Club and how he desires to finish his career with us. While that pledge is admirable, it is also something that should be taken with caution.  No one can predict what happens in one year down the road, let alone 10 or 15 years, as is the case with Wilshere.

Since we’re being honest, lest we forget, these are major clubs we are talking about. It’s not like their glory days are in the past, these are clubs that consistently challenge for trophies. Any player who says that they doesn’t aspire to play for them would be lying through his teeth. Which is why it is imperative that on the other side, Arsenal takes this as a challenge.

Arsene Wenger has to ensure that his team are continually up there, challenging for trophies. The moment players see that the team is heading nowhere, doubts will appear in their minds. Let it be known, that I’m not talking about this season in particular, just in a general sense. Of course that only works, if we managed to keep all our best players who have their best years ahead of them, in the current squad.

At the moment, the best player is none other than Robin Van Persie. While talks has presumably been held back till the end of this season, the club must do all they can to ensure that the Dutchman signs on the dotted line (mind you, on an Arsenal contract). Such is his importance that Arsenal have gone beyond their way in their request to Bert Van Marwijk to rest RvP and not play him in the second friendly later today.

I find it worrying that even at this early stage of November, we are seeing signs/data that RvP might be on the verge of getting an injury. Of course, we take into account the fact that RvP hasn’t played a full season for us yet in his time at Arsenal. Given his history, it’s already a miracle that he hasn’t been injured at all this season (I do realise at this point, that I’m risking the jinx on him). With that in mind, we’ll just have to accept the fact that from time to time, RvP will be shielded and rested to protect him.

RvP’s importance to us is also known to strangers or people from outside the club. Ok, fine. Perhaps this particular player is not so strange to us, having only just left the club a couple of months back. Former captain, Cesc Fabregas has come out and sung the same tune. That we need to invest whatever we can to keep RvP beyond the end of his current contract. On a side, I do find this story particular funny.

Now, this is where the emotions part come back in full circle. In my 3 short years of blogging, I’ve learned not to trust one singular article. That in order not to be mistaken, there’s sometimes a need to read through 3 or even 5 articles on the same story. As you would realised by now, some media likes to run sensational headlines. If there’s a part of the interview which facilitates that, then the other sensible parts will be cut out.

There was a lot of anger on Twitter yesterday over what Fabregas said. Now, I’m as unhappy as you are that he up and left the club when we needed him the most. However, we have to look at things specifically, individually and in perspective. We can’t blame him for everything. His quotes were chosen to make headlines and judging by the outrage, it certainly did. We should be smarter not to take the bait.

Still another round of internationals to be played tonight. We were let off the hook the last time around and my fingers are firmly crossed for this one. It surely is not too much to ask for another injury-less round of fixtures for Arsenal. Right?