barca’s tapping up might keep Fab at Arsenal

A few weeks ago I would have bet money that Fab was leaving for barca this summer. And if not this summer, then this was to be his Ronaldo season (swan song) and he was gone for sure next summer. But then barca started acting like, well barca. Laporta & Co. seem to be  trying as hard as they can to keep Fab at Arsenal. Any semblance of class, let alone respect for Fab has gone out the window. Arsenal can handle ourselves; we’re a big Club. But if barca keep this up, by the end of the World Cup, hopefully Fab will realize that home isn’t always where one is born.

Spending time with the Spanish team right now, Fab is sure to love the camaraderie of his countrymen. But he also has to notice his role in the side. He’s not number 1, or 13 for that matter. He’s that far down the pecking order. Which wouldn’t be such a big deal, except barca keep pouring salt into that wound.

Arsene knows this and must be loving this game with barca. He knows that the longer he waits the more atrocious barca will act and the stronger the argument for Fab to stay at Arsenal will be. Can you imagine if Arsene and Fab were to speak right now about his potential transfer?

Fab: Boss, I still want to go.

Arsene: Sure of course, but they only offered £29m; they paid £34m for Villa. You wouldn’t expect us to accept less than that, would you?

Fab: Less than Villa? No, of course not.

Arsene: By the way, did you hear about their inquiries for Torres? They might pay £60m for him. They said you weren’t even worth £30m.

Fab: But that’s just negotiation, right?

Arsene: Um, yeah sure.

Fab may not appreciate where his future best lies yet, but his time with the Spanish team is an opportunity to understand that. Yes, Fab is Spanish; yes he’s from Barcelona; and, yes, he grew up loving the club. But life doesn’t always go the way one thinks -it’s a lesson of getting older. For Fab, barca is a path that is no more. The Club have never wanted him as a player, just as an ego stroke. That’s why they let him go. They committed to the Argentine Messi, but they gave up on Fab.

It’s no surprise barca’s pursuit of Fab is half hearted; it’s mostly ego driven. To put it in perspective, barca’s opening bid was just £30m, about £4m less than what they paid for Villa. That’s disrespectful to Fab.

Sure, at some point, when Fab was 16 he was all barca. But something changed. It wasn’t the move to Arsenal. And, it wasn’t playing in the champions league final in 2006 (he started).

No, bonds happen through experience and development, when a manager gives you a chance to maximize your potential. Bonds grow when a player feels the love, belief and energy of 60,000 people behind them. When one gives everything on the pitch and scores and the crowd rages and the badge is kissed, something more happens. It’s transcendent; it’s football.

Players are fans as well as players. They feel it too. They strive their entire lives to be in this (Fab’s) position. It’s rare; it’s special; it doesn’t generally happen twice at two big clubs.

So now Fab is at a cross road. He can join barca and fulfill a childhood dream. Which is funny since he’s only, what 23? Or he can stay and fulfill a footballer’s vision: legend status and maximization of his potential at Arsenal.

Fab left barca at 16. Young and full of potential, he made the right decision then because he realized he had no future at barca. And the cut throat world of football left him lingering. Now, almost 8 years later, he wants to return because he wants to prove himself. This is the problem that he and his father need to let go of. The best way to prove himself is not by returning, it’s by forging a dynasty at Arsenal.

For Fab to reach his full potential, he needs to stay with the Professor.

Fab is Arsenal. Fab is a Gunner. Hopefully he won’t need  to return to Spain to learn this. Only time will tell.

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