Arsenal & Identity: A Follow-Up

Since my last post on the topic, I’ve been thinking long and hard about the concept of identity and how it fits into my overall view of the squad as it is currently constructed. Yet, I could not encapsulate my thoughts in any kind of way until I took a look at the first images of Cesc Fabregas leading the team out to training, Van Persie and Vermaelen in tow, with even Aaron Ramsey (!) out and about without crutches, and it was as if the spirit of Tony Adams took a hold of me, because all I could think was, “#*(% off Barcelona – seriously, #*(% right off – Arsene Wenger told you to, I’m telling you to, and now, by the looks of it, EVERY SINGLE ARSENAL PLAYER is telling you to #*(% right off.”

Identity crisis? That was so last week. If there was any doubt that this (admittedly, still to be fully resolved) saga hasn’t put an upright spine in the whole of the squad, from the manager down to the loanees, I have had all of my doubts removed as of today. There is a team spirit, an all-hands-on-deck type of confidence emanating from this team, that I have not truly felt over the past few seasons. With Cesc in tow, is there even – dare I say it – a swagger with this club? I certainly hope so, because even as I scan the tabloids looking for new signings that are desperately needed, I am emboldened by the “can-do” attitude of the young guns joining the first team; by the very sight of Robin Van Persie in a No. 10 warmup top; by the full-on leadership capacities of the new emergents, Vermaelen and Nasri; by the (forthcoming, knock on wood) rededication of the Arsenal captain; and, finally, by the raised middle finger of the normally stoic Arsene Wenger, putting a rage and resilience into this team by standing up to the big, bad (not to mention broke) bully.