Arsenal. Class 2012. Baffling. Now dead. Now resurrected. Phoenix. A Gooner observed.
Their victory over Tottenham Hotspur, after going behind by two goals was a demonstration in resilience and spirit.
Their fightback after the Milan disaster, almost overhauling the four-goal deficit incurred at Milan, beating AC Milan three-nil at the Emirates, only emphasizes the enigmatic nature of the present class.
From such adjectives as "fragile," and headlines such as "20 Things Wrong with Arsenal," and "It is time for Wenger to Go?" the media has had to find other adjectives and headlines in the past two weeks.
The Guardian called the Milan rout "Glorious Failure", an adjective this writer had also used, writing immediately after the match. The Guardian, again, called the Tottenham humiliation "a pulsating display."
Whatever the critics think of Arsenal, there is one man about whom opinion is unanimous—Robin van Persie.
Last year he equaled and then surpassed the club record of most scored goals in a calender year, held by Thierry Henry at 34 goals and fell just one short of equaling Alan Shearer's Premier League record of 36 goals.
Since becoming fit, Van Persie cannot stop scoring. Already he has 25 Premier League goals and 32 goals in all competition this season.
Everyone is agreed. It'd be a shame if Arsenal were to let him go. But it is not a question of letting him go, it is more of affording to retain him.
Robin van Persie has yet to agree on talks to extend his contract, set to expire in about a year.
He has been consistent in insisting that talks be postponed until summer. So, although Arsenal have attempted twice to initiate talks, this can only happen with the cooperation of Van Persie.
Arsenal do not have the cooperation as yet. Van Persie insists this is nothing. Speaking to The Sun, he says:
I have been at the club for eight years and I am proud of that.
I am a true Gunner. I love this club and that is no secret.
I will sit down with the manager and president at the end of the season and we will have coffee together.
We will talk about many things but I already do that quite often with the manager anyway.
Speculations are that Robin van Persie wants to gauge the club's ambition towards wanting to win trophies in the coming season before committing his life to the club for another four years, an ambition that would lead the club to sign a few notable names.
If this is true, no one can blame Van Persie.
Arsenal have played Champions League football every year, a tradition and achievement the players want to retain this season.
That, though, for most players, is not ambition enough.
Robin van Persie, thus, would be justified—at least in the estimation of some—if he decides to leave to a club like Barcelona, a club that can guarantee him silverware.
If he decides to leave, he wouldn't be short of suitors. Rumors have linked him with Spain's two top clubs, and even with the cash rich Manchester City.
The big question remains therefore: Will he or will he not leave?
In the following slides, I discuss 10 reasons why I think he'd stay.