Undeniably, Arsenal Football Club forms special bonds with every player who passes through London Colney.
Even Harry Kane.
Former players are frequently seen in the media raving about the club (Parlour), returning to train with the club as a coach (Bouldy) or just for fitness (Pires), scouting for the club (Karbassiyoon) or in a television studio either trying and failing (Keown) or sometimes not even trying to hide (Wrighty!) their support, passion and love for this club.
Some are just in the stands watching over the current generation (basically all of them).
Some, like Thierry Henry, do all of the above.
When it comes to players who leave the club, whether of their own volition or not, many of them choose to publicly announce how they still watch our games, how they still look out for our results and how they still harbour hopes of returning one day.
From the youngest schoolboy to those racking up hundreds of appearances for the first XI, numerous exiting Gunners have declared their eternal love for the club.
As Thierry Henry so aptly put it when he returned on loan “Once a Gunner you are always a Gunner, you can’t change.”
Cesc Fabregas was another to famously make the “Once a Gunner, Always a Gunner” comment following his move to Barcelona, and ended up having to delete his tweet as it upset the poor sensitive Chelsea fans so much when he signed for them.
Goodness knows how they must have felt earlier this season when he gave an interview where he said, “I will always feel a Gunner and [my] return to the Emirates…will be a special moment.”
Even Emmanuel Frimpong, a man who receives endless abuse on Twitter and who now plies his trade in the Russian league following a less than successful spell at Arsenal which saw him farmed out on loan a number of times, regularly reacts to support and defend the club, whether posting his own views or retweeting anything pro-Gunners he sees.
A player who Arsenal fans were never all that bothered about and who didn’t get treated all that well now has a bond such that on his birthday he thanked “the Gunnerfamily – nice to know the love is still there”.
So we turn to Harry Kane then.
To all intents and purposes, and as Tottenham fans declare with great regularity, he’s “one of their own”.
He’s been at Spurs for ten years, and although he was unceremoniously shipped off to four different loan clubs, he has now established himself in their first team.
And yet, and yet….
As a kid, Harry Kane joined the Arsenal academy, pulling on the famous red-and-white and learning from the very best.
In fact, theory holds that you are at your most absorbent when you are youngest, so all the good parts of Kane’s game were probably picked up in his spell with the Reds.
Nevertheless, playing alongside the likes of Benik Afobe, Chuks Aneke and Nico Yennaris (now at Wolves, Zulte Waregem and Brentford respectively), Kane wasn’t deemed as good as those players and was released.
It’s all too easy to say “I wanted to wear a Tottenham kit” now, isn’t it Harry?
Even then he didn’t go straight into the Tottenham academy – he followed his time at Arsenal with a spell at Watford where he was again let go.
Obviously he’s improved a bit since then, and ultimately he’s found himself at a club where the standards are that little bit lower.
Still the memories of Tottenham fans get shorter with each passing day – apparently they’ve forgotten how they used to boo him when he came on or cheer when he was substituted, they’ve forgotten how he was seen as a bit of a comedy figure.
Now they sing his name loud and long, conveniently forgetting that he’s not exactly one of their own.
Turncoat behaviour, but nothing less than you’d expect.
All the evidence points to the fact that Harry Kane is just doing a very good job of fooling them.
If the likes of Henry and Fabregas still proclaim to be Gunners, having left the club to go to rivals and ultimately be quite successful, then what chance does dear Harry have, slumming it down at the Lane?
One year at the Arsenal is worth a hundred at Spurs.
No matter his protestations to the opposite, Kane still has Arsenal in his heart.
Of course he’ll try to talk the talk, to walk the walk, but underneath it all we know how you feel, dear Harry.
But don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us.*
Once a Gunner, Always a Gunner.
*Although if you want to get sent off, miss penalties and score own goals on Saturday, then be our guest.