Show you've got cojones, Arsenal!

By Avenell Dave

And so it continues.

The long, drawn out saga of Arsenal's refusal to bow to the might of Barca will drag on at least until the end of the World Cup.

For me, it doesn't matter whether Cesc Fabregas comes out personally and says - at a press conference to avoid any third party source confusion - that he wants to leave Arsenal, or not.

This is about more than just a big English club selling their best player and captain to another, bigger club in Spain.

This is about more than the shift in the balance in power between the Premier League and the Primera Liga.

If UEFA have any sense of responsibility for the integrity of football, if they have any genuine commitment to ensure fair play both on and off the field, they will come down hard on Barcelona.

Whether it is Joan Laporta, the sporting directors, players such as Puyol or Xavi or anyone else connected to Barca, the lack of respect for the rules governing player transfers is palpable.

This isn't even as cut and dried as the situation regarding R*naldo and M*nure last summer, when the Portuguese winker made it very clear that he wanted to move to Spain.

Arsenal have a part to play here too and that means making a very clear stand against this time of tapping up.

Keeping Peter Hill-Wood well out of it, I want to see a statement from Ivan Gazidis criticising Barcelona in the strongest possible terms for their conduct and I want him to announce that an official complaint will be lodged with UEFA's Ethics Commission which will bring the organisation's integrity under the microscope as well.

We may well end up selling Cesc - and if we can't provoke a bidding war between Barcelona and Real Madrid (I can't ever see Cesc playing for a Mourinho side, let alone turning his back on his Catalan homeland) - let's make sure we get a proper price for him and rebuld quickly.

I fear that this summer is going to be another one of transition for Arsenal - a new goalkeeper, new centreback, possibly a new midfielder if Cesc does leave and a new striker in Chamkh already on board.

The thought of not paying up for next year's season ticket never crossed my mind even if I wish the club gave us some genuine reason to be excited about our chances during the new campaign.

But if Cesc has to go - and his departure at some point is probably inevitable, let's at least not act like a chump and let Barca walk all over us.

A club relies on three distinct elements - its fans, its manager and its players and right now, the fans are not being given the information we deserve at this crucial time.

Arsenal teams of old used to be fighters and it's up to the board to show that, while the Arsenal way remains gentlemanly, we stand up for ourselves as the Spanish BarcArmada tries to take us for a ride.