Long days of summer seemed longer, for once winter could not arrive sooner for Arsenal fans , we wanted news papers to stop printing, refused to watch sports news or listen to sports radio stations fearing the worst yet deep down hoping what looked an inevitability will some how not materialize. Bookmakers suspended bets, a dreadful sign indeed and yet somehow most Arsenal fans continued to hope and then arrived the 1st of September. We still had our man, our glorious captain, our number 4, our inspiration and play maker, yes Cesc was still with us and will lead us from the front on our charge towards both domestic and European glory this team and Arsene Wenger deserves for the football they play, for the entertainment they provide while remaining loyal to strong principals and values that define this historical football institution.
Even after Cesc committing to the club and its cause questions were asked about his mind set, how committed will he be. Media jumped on every opportunity to knock our little magician, they pointed out that he did not play much of the world cup hence did not need an extended break, this was an argument carried out by fools who did not understand the stress and strains placed on a player who was part of the world cup winning squad. They pointed out that against Blackburn he was below his highest level and yet choose to ignore the fact he has not had a pre-season and was behind most of his team mates who all have had pre-season to condition them for a rigorous challenges of the Barclays premier league.
Then came Bolton to the emirates, our captain was there again to lead the team out this time with the added pressure of needing to make the most of Manchester United dropping points earlier in the day. The magic returned, he cut Bolton defense at will, every pass finding the target, creating goal scoring opportunities at will, small he might be physically but never did he pull out of a tackle against the overly physical Bolton team. He was back to his best we thought, but is he really I wonder, have we seen his best? No I think, the best is yet to come from our Cesc and so no he was not at his best against Bolton and that is what excites us goners most, this wonder will keep getting better with every game and every seasons.
Commitment and loyalty are deemed to be two characters that modern footballers are accused of lacking and yet our magical captain stands an exception to that. In a weekend when we noticed Torres coming under huge media scrutiny of appearing un- interested and un-inspired, a transfer window during which Mascherano refused to play for the club that rescued him from his West Ham hell and paid his wages, we have also witnessed Ronaldo turning his back on a club that brought him all the glory he could have craved for and made him the best footballer in the world, well the examples are endless and yet out glorious captain remains an exception to the norm.
Cesc has been with us since the age of 16 yet he is from Barcelona that is his home town, that is where majority of his family are and he grew up supporting Barcelona and no matter what we will like to think or believe it is the truth and fact. He will always have a soft spot for Barcelona and make no mistake he will one day want to play for them and even lead them towards both domestic and European glories. What an achievement that it could be to have captained both Arsenal and Barcelona into domestic and European glories. The great Ayrton Senna, while driving for a rival, harbored the dream of driving for Ferrari. One can never fault a player for having ambitions in his carrier, most of us do so why should they be any different, what matters is how they go about conducting themselves and Cesc has been an example and joy in the way he carried himself through this transfer window and how he has performed for us since.
It is argued that he will not get into the Barcelona midfield, mostly by Arsenal fans. We would like to think he will not and we will like him to believe us and stay with us. A closer examination of his history tells us otherwise. At 16 he displaced the mighty Viara from our midfield, grew into one of the top midfielders than when we thought he was at his best he proved us wrong by developing into one of the most complete footballer in the modern game and now has grown into an inspirational captain. Will he have achieved all this at Barcelona, we will never know but nothing would have stopped him becoming a top quality midfielder. What part has Arsene played in his development is hard for us to gauge but from the level of respect Cesc seem to have for the great man one senses that Arsene has turned a potentially top quality midfielder into one of the best complete football players of the modern game and potentially one of the finest leaders of men on the pitch. Cesc will know deep down that should he stay longer with Arsenal and bring glory he has the chance to lead his country in the future and if and when he moves captain Barcelona as well.
If one reads the media it seems it’s a given that Cesc will leave coming summer, they could be right of course but somehow one thinks there will be lot of other factors that will influence that decision. What happens if Catalan is granted independence, will Barcelona be part of La-liga or will they have to play in a new Catalan league, how will Barcelona fund the transfer and wages of one the finest in the game, who offers him the greatest chance for glory are just some of those factors.
For now I refuse to get involved in the speculations and instead prefer to enjoy the magic our glorious captain creates and orchestrates on a football pitch……Thank you cesc