United and Chelsea treat Arsenal like the Premier League's cuckolded lover

Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs

First Barcelona star Fabregas transferred to Chelsea, then Sagna joined Manchester City, now Vermaelen may move to Manchester United.

Regardless of Arsenal's FA Cup win, their top four security and continued status as a Champions League team, the club are treated like a cuckold as the transfer activity this summer underlines the fact that, when it comes to Premier League competition, there are bulls and there are cucks.

For the sake of clean copy, the sordid details and definitions will be spared but in the context of the English football landscape, the bulls are the established elite - Manchester City, Chelsea and, even though they have fallen from grace, Manchester United. While the cucks are Arsenal… and have been for some while (think: Ashley Cole, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie).

Any feel-good factor Arsene Wenger was responsible for by navigating his Gunners to FA Cup trophy glory last term has been chewed up and spat out by frothing Arsenal fans who are apoplectic over seeing one of their own, a former captain no less, join a London rival.

While Wenger has an array of attack-minded midfielders to choose from, there are few who are an actual improvement on the player they could have signed for a cut-price £25 million to £30 million fee - Francesc Fabregas who, instead, elected to join Jose Mourinho at Chelsea as it represented the "best available option".

One of their long-reigning servants, right back Bacary Sagna, shunned a new Emirates Stadium deal in order to earn more and have a greater chance of winning more trophies at City.

Even their current skipper, Thomas Vermaelen, is allegedly set to join United after "agreeing a deal in principle," in a report that has since been countered by the player's agent - for now.

Looking at the transfers from the other end it is clear that they all represent solid business. Mourinho is set to supplement the Cesc coup with the acquisition of Atletico Madrid animal Diego Costa - both of them will be developing a relationship whilst on World Cup duty with Spain and could enjoy an on-pitch partnership as productive as Costa had with Koke Resurreccion at the Vicente Calderon.

Vermaelen, according to a HITC: Sport report published five weeks ago suggesting United would be a good destination for the centre back, has comparable statistics to United's main four defenders last year - despite not receiving consistent pitch-time.

City, meanwhile, have two of the top five world-level right backs both vying for the same position at the Etihad Stadum - marvelous competition.

And they have all done that by securing a transfer (or one in pending) with Arsenal, who have their own designs on title contention.

The Gunners can't help but come across as cucks. They were powerless in the Sagna situation but had the option of Cesc, yet chose not to invoke the switch. Chelsea now are considerably stronger because of Arsenal's a: indecision, b: stubbornness (Cesc left, why should he come back?) or c: arrogance (we have superior options… no, you don't).

If Wenger is to take anything away from this summer, it'll be to learn from the bulls. To start acting like a transfer market alpha and improve the squad with elite-level talent - he rarely does this.

The signing of Mesut Ozil, from Real Madrid, is the rare case where Wenger has shown the sway necessary to pull in talent capable of taking Arsenal away from predictable title failures/top four candidates and into genuine challengers.

This summer they need more Ozils.

Serge Aurier was fantastic for Cote d'Ivoire against Japan and could effectively replace Sagna, but the club missed a trick in their dalliance over any Karim Benzema transfer, as the Frenchman appears committed to Real. But who else can salvage Arsenal's market reputation? Aurier is easily purchased… but a player like Mario Balotelli, from AC Milan - now that is a statement.

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