Fabulous Fab, uncertainty and the heir apparent.

An ugly shadow haunts our hallowed pitch: we aren’t sure if Fab will stay with us.  Our team is built on Fab; and, to be sure, Fab hasn’t said anything to unsettle us.  But one always has this dread that Fab might leave, especially if the offer is ridiculously big enough.  This uncertainty clouds our play.  Luckily, we have an heir apparent and future talisman.  More important, he gives us identity.

Our competitors don’t have the issue of identity.  In west London the team is full of mercenaries, and loyalty is bought by money.  But so long as the money is there, the team is solid.  Up north, everyone is dedicated to fergie and the EPL.  But not us.  We have a lot of uncertainty surrounding the one player we can’t have uncertainty about -Fabulous Fab.

As great as Fab is, so long as we live under this shadow of uncertainty, the team is gong to be unsure of itself.  Yes, Fab is great and I’m not advocating for him to leave.  And yes, we have other issues: we need a GK, some restructuring of our backline and a shake up of our strikers.  But more to the point: we need players dedicated to the cause that everyone knows are dedicated.  Talent is not enough.

This is why I like Ramsey.  The pundit and I debate Ramsey all the time.  I like Rambo.  I think he has the quality and stature to run our midfield for a long-time, to be an Arsenal legend in the most classic of ways: time, commitment and leadership.  He’ll leave it all on the pitch and give it all for the shirt.  He has the potential to be the type of player that fans and other players love and follow.

I’m not knocking Fab.  I think he gives his all.  But I also know he’s Spanish or to be hyper-specifc, Catalan.  Fab’s home is on the Peninsula.  And all of us that have been to Barcelona know why he loves it.  Throw in the amount of money Barca can and the fact that Arsenal might need the money (remember the Anelka sale?) and we get uncertainty.

So I’m looking to Ramsey to start to assert himself on the team in the coming weeks.  Yes, already.  Unlike Fab, there is no doubt about Rambo.  Ramsey is going nowhere.  The British isle is his home, playing in the EPL is his dream.  Just like rooney in manu, terry in chelski, and stevie g. in pool, Ramsey can be Mr. Arsenal.

I’ll grant that he still needs to develop, and one of the big issues with Ramsey has been how he plays with Diaby.  But in truth, I think both of these players might have grown enough this year to forge a new midfield.  While neither might impose the fear of Viera, they have the potential to create a strong and physical midfield that scores from a variety of positions at all the right times.  And truth be told, “fear” is overrated.

Indeed, economics and tactics would seem to argue that our future should be placed in their hands today.  Both are young and still developing.  Both are dedicated to Arsenal and happy in London.  Both are under contract and there are no transfer fees for us to pay.  And, both can play solid physical football.  Surround them with the right talent, namely locking down the backline and adding one more strong striker and we have powerful starting XI.  It might not be as flashy as barca, real madrid or chelsea.  But the quality, consistency and identity are there.

So I’ll end with this.  I don’t want Fab to leave.  But if Fab leaves this summer the decisions are actually quite easy.  Our heir apparent might already be here.

-the student

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