Now it's no use slagging off the likes of van Persie and Modric for a lack of loyalty to their current clubs. Whether it's for trophies or cash (or both) the Dutchman and the Croatian are entitled to move on to pastures new (and RVP has been at Arsenal for 8 years). They are, in the final analysis, just guns for hire. They arrived here to find fame and fortune (and there's nothing wrong with that), and they both look like leaving (van Persie maybe to another English club) for the same reason.
Most fans, of course, won't see it that way - they will talk of betrayal and 'judas'. But their clubs would have ruthlessly cast them both adrift if they hadn't performed, so loyalty cuts both ways. Football is clearly a dog-eat-dog world.
Rarely these days, in fact, do you see a player remain with one club throughout a senior career. And that's where Liverpool's Steven Gerrard comes in. Sure, Gerrard is well paid, but he could certainly have left in the past for significantly more money), and yes he won a trophy with Liverpool last year (The League Cup), but he could have won countless more during his career if he had chosen to move on.
But he didn't. A Merseyside lad through and through, Gerrard has enjoyed the highs (who can forget that Champions League win), and the recent lows, but he has always played his heart out, never complained when the club appeared to be falling down around him, and has been the perfect role model both for Liverpool and English football.
Gerrard, however, is different - a local lad who became captain of his favourite team. Nothing and no-one has been able to entice him away. Yet Gerrard is the exception. It's no good condemning the likes of van Persie and Modric, because most of us would do the same in their place. But Gerrard is in a class of his own - the real 'Captain, Leader, Legend'. There is, as some people say, only one.....Stevie Gerrard.
image: © etyek