Fabregas hopes Hleb stays

Cesc Fabregas, representing his contry at Euro 2008 is keeping up to date with what’s going on at Arsenal, he wants Hleb to stay and play with him.

“I have always said that Hleb is an incredible footballer and what he has done is underrated, well, everything that he does, because he is still an Arsenal player,”

“That kind of footballer deserves more credit. But I tell it to you, he is an incredible footballer. I hope we’ll carry on playing together for years.”

This mentions nothing about whether Hleb is actually leaving and I think he needs to make his mind up. It’s very nice that Fabregas wants to play with him, but the transfer saga surrounding him is growing to crazy levels.

His transfer options have been reduvced since Mourinho doesn’t want him at Inter. It looks like Barca might come in for him but nothing is very clear right now.

Gilberto warns players about leaving + Song gets a new deal.

Gilberto, ever the model professional last season, has warned the Arsenal players against leaving the club. This is something I have always empasized, why leave when our current team has such great potential, the players are likely to regret it.

He had this to say about players leaving:

“I don’t know what they have in mind but they should stay a little bit longer, maybe they want to try something different, but they could develop themselves and achieve big things at Arsenal.

“The team is young and getting better. It could be really special if the players all stay. What is important is to keep everyone at the club, for them to stay long-term at the club.

“I haven’t spoken to them since the end of the season but in my opinion Arsenal is still a great, great club and fantastic for any player in the world.

It would be a good thing for them to stay at the club because they know each other very well. They have a better situation than last season and could use the feeling of disappointment as an inspiration for next season.

Well said Bert, you know what you are talking about. A lot of people are suprised with how well Gilberto has taken his demotion to the bench during the last season, and now how he speaks about the club with such passion. This is real devotion if you ask me, and I think Gilberto really wants to make something good at Arsenal, thats why he’s saying this.

Gilberto goes on to make a very rational point about contracts, this is so relevant in the current climate, where everyone seems to be demanding that Arsenal pay players whatever they want.

When you win things you achieve more than anybody else. It follows that you get better contracts and more money,”

“Most of the players who leave miss the club for lots of reasons. The lifestyle at Arsenal is fantastic. You get so well looked after.”

Basically he is saying, you don’t know how good you have it, so stay and make something good of your career, you don’t want to end up like Anelka, who says he regrets leaving Arsenal a lot… 

Looking forward to next season Gilberto wants to stay and help win something with us:

“Next season will be very important for the club and the players. They must win something to keep the ambition of everybody and to maintain the hope of every player.

“If we don’t win anything next year it will be difficult to keep everybody happy. If you don’t see any possibility of winning the title they will change their minds.

“I do want to stay. It depends when I come back if Arsene wants me to stay. I still have one year left on my contract. I’m happy to stay at the club. I will wait until I return to London and pre-season training on 21 July and then I will sit down and talk about it.”

In other contract news, Alex Song has signed a new long term deal with Arsenal, which will prompt people to believe he has a chance at becoming our next defensive midfielder, or a long term option at centre back.

Hill-Wood slams greed while Sagna signs on like a good boy

Arsenal have rewarded Bacary Sagna with a new contract until 2014. The news came out a few days ago but we now know the length of the deal.

“I love Arsenal, they are a great club. The manager is also very good and next season we will be fighting for all the trophies.”

Sagna is definitely the best right-back in the Premiership and was our top signing last summer. In typical Wenger style, he arrived with little furore and proceeded to play amzingly all season.

The fact that we have renewed his contract after just one season at the club is good, it means we can hold onto a top player, but it also reveals the state of the transfer system at the moment.

With players like Hleb being linked away from the club with this Webster Clause and others like Flamini leaving, it seems that we are putting in a concerted effort to keep the team together and happy in their contracts. I have no problem with this, but it does show that the club is a bit more wary of loyalty issues now.

Peter Hill-Wood made comments about the same issue, speaking harshly about the lack of loyalty which is present in football these days:

“Nowadays, a lot of people sign four-year contracts and you heave a sigh of relief. Six months later they come marching in saying they want double the wages.
“The only answer is to tell them they are on that contract and that’s it. Unless you do that, the game will become chaotic and descend into anarchy.

“I think there are very few people who have really got the tradition of the club at heart. You can name them on one hand. Actually I can’t name them on one hand and that’s a great pity.”

“In the old days money was not the big driving force. Nobody was greedy. People didn’t come marching in for pay rises, be they executives, senior managers, players, whatever. People weren’t motivated by the money. They liked the job, they liked the club and they wanted to go to work in the morning. Everyone has become much more materialistic.

“I think that is one of the reasons why Arsene [Wenger] signs younger players. OK, they will probably walk out in five years but at least he has the opportunity to mould them. But some of the so-called stars have got their own ideas about what should happen and don’t always agree with what we think.”

“We are going to go on this way. We are not going to be diverted. We are not going to spend £100 million,”

This is apparent in players like Flamini and possibly Hleb. I am all for sticking to our guns and doing things the way we have been doing them. Arsenal as a club know that we are not like the Chelseas of this world and we don’t have to spend oceans of money to be the best in the league.

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Wenger linked to PSG & he thinks transfer system is dead!

If you looked at Arsenal’s transfers out this summer, you would see Flamini, and that would be it. For all the gossip and rumour very little has happened. Last summer that wouldn’t have bothered anyone.

But with the saga of Hleb, which started with one fateful ice cream in February we have seen a whole heap of talk about Webster clauses and the like, and when Flamini left on a free it brought up a lot of issues about how players leave clubs and how our transfer system works.

Thw ‘Webster Clause’ allows players under the age of 28 to hand in their notice after three years of a four or five-year contract. If they are over 28 they can hand in notice after just two years. This is what Hleb was supposed to be trying to invoke.

Wenger thinks this will spell the end of the transfer system as we know it, unless it is sorted out:

“At the moment it’s either three years or two but believe me, soon someone will challenge that and ask why at 28 years old and not, say, at 27,”

“And then it will be why after two years and not one? Once you get to that stage, the transfer system is dead. You’d have a team built for a year – then you are in big trouble.”

This is a valid point, but the authorities in football should move to simplify the transfer system and regulate it a little better.

People might have said the same thing about Bosmans, but they have blended into the transfer market. Wenger has a point though, this might just be a step too far, and it could bring the football industry crashing down if players get too greedy.

Also Wenger was linked to PSG, purely because his mate has become president there. Why does the Telegraph write such crap?

Do you think Wenger will finish his career at Arsenal?

Van Persie wants extra wages to keep Arsenal together

Last night Robin Van Persie came out saying that Arsenal need to break their wage strcuture if they want to keep their squad together.

Already having lost Flamini, and now facing losing Hleb, Van Persie put further pressure on the club to revaluate the contracts of players like Fabregas and Adebayor. He said:

“They should make sure that these players stay”

“Arsenal have a policy in which they will not go over a specific amount of money when agreeing the salary of a player. They won’t pay enormous amounts of money. I think that they should go to a higher level of salary.

“If you want to keep the group together, you have to keep them happy. If you are 27 or 28 I can understand that you would make the decision to go elsewhere if you can earn three or four times as much. If that sort of money was also paid at Arsenal I’m sure that person would stay.”

“It is very important that Arsenal keep these guys. This group is unique. If a number of them leave it will be different. I think of myself as an Arsenal man but Arsenal should also try to make sure that we all grow together.”



The issue of wages has been hotly debated ever since Flamini left for AC.

I think that RVP does have a point, the club can’t just be naive and hope that players will just stay at Arsenal even when they are offered fat contracts elsewhere.

This is sad, but it is how modern football works. I don’t think that we need to raise salaries greatly though. The best course fo action would be to reassess the wage structure, but the club doesn’t have to go crazy in raises.

We don’t want a system which will spiral out of control and leave us in huge debt. Because of this I do still have sympathy with the club.

It would be even better is if we could just sign some guys who won’t fuck off as soon as they see some extra cash, but instead want to work in a great team at a great club.

What do you think? Should the wage structure be thrown out the window?

Hleb, are you going or staying?

Hleb’s representative Uil Ferber has said that Hleb might stay at Arsenal, but if he doesn’t then he won’t be going to an English club.

“There’s a possibility he’ll stay at Arsenal – we’ll meet with boss Arsene Wenger in the next few days”

“Clubs from Italy and Spain are keen but they will have to wait. If he leaves he will not be going to another club in England because Arsenal is the only English club he will play for.”

Basically its a load of crap, transfer rumours are all put out by agents and if he goes he goes..

Fabregas’ new contract – The result of Flamini’s move?

Fabregas is likely to sign a new contract at Arsenal after the problems we’ve had this year with Flamini and Hleb.

Cesc already earns about £60 000 a week, but to keep him at the club it looks like Wenger will have to be a bit more competitive and may offer up to £100 000 a week.

Sagna has been offered a new contract, and Clichy just signed a two year extension, he had this to say:

“We’re at the end of our discussions. Everything’s going well because my intention is clear: I want to stay at Arsenal.

“I would love to have a career here like Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry, to stay many years at Arsenal and leave my mark on the club.

It seems that Wenger has realised that to keep the best players at the club we need to have them on contracts which rival other big clubs, but we don’t necessarily have to blow our wage structure in doing so.

We have great players, who on the most part realise that what we have at Arsenal is quite special, and that Wenger can bring the best out of a squad, but when big offers come, such as Milan’s for Flamini, they may be tempted.

I would say though that the Flamini situation was exceptional, in that he was a fringe player for 3 years, and was going to leave in the summer.

That was why his contract was not renewed, and then when he played so well this season Milan were able to pull him away with a hefty wage packet, and a chance he couldn’t have dreamed of last summer, when it looked like he was joining Birmingham!

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Wenger’s key issues this summer. Transfer targets

Arsene Wenger has some key issues this summer, which need to be fixed before we can be successful. These are a few I came up with, add more in the comments if you know more things which need doing!

1. Holding on to our current players.

A key issue, we need to make sure the squad is happy and settled before the new season starts. Flamini’s depature has caused some concern, so we need to get everyone together and a have a common deisre and vision. If Hleb wants to go, then let him. Just make sure we replace and don’t lose more important players.

2. Replacing

This has come up as an issue after we have seen Flamini leave, and now Hleb under intense speculation.

We need to replace Flamini, of course Gilberto can fill that role, as he does wnant to stay on at Arsenal, but he is not a long term option. What do you think?

3. Finding in a winger who can score goals.

At the moment we have Rosicky, Van Persie, Eduardo, Walcott, Eboue and Hleb (he’s off) who play reasonably reguarly on the wings. Three are strikers; RVP, Eduardo and Walcott. One is most definitely a defensive player; Eboue, and two are midfielders. This means that we have very few players who can specialise in playing on the wings, as we used to with Ljungberg and Pires.

The stikers can score a lot of goals, but we need players who can come in and score from midfield. Rosicky is regularly injured, and hasn’t been a prolific goal scorer. Hleb is off to Milan, because he wants somewhere more peaceful than London, and he doesn’t score anyway!

When we have won titles in the past we have depended on goals from midfield to support the stikers. An extreme example is C.Ronaldo , who has basically pulled Man Utd to the title with his goals, as their strikers haven’t scored any.

We may not need to buy anyone for this, players like C.Vela may be pointed to but I think a signing may be preferable for Wenger.

Any suggestions?

4. Reconstructing the defence.

This is a sticky issue. We have seen a catalogue of weak defensive errors this season, which let us down, especially in long ball situations. Gallas and Toure have looked awkward playing together this season, neither really attacks the ball, and this has been a problem.

On the flanks we have Sagna and Clichy who are the best in the division and cover. What we need is for Wenger to have a think about how to restructure our defence into a good unit.

We have a great defence when going forward. When actually defending they do struggle in the centre especially. Wenger says he wants to buy a defensive player so we may see some changes.

If Wenger can do these things we will definitely be a stronger side next season.

Wenger close to new signing

Wenger says he knows who he wants in the transfer market this summer and he is hopeful of signing them up.

“I know what I want and I am very confident.

“It would be better to buy someone who has played in England because they are less risky, but it costs more money if they are from The Premier League,”

“Maybe I will try to do both.”

Exciting stuff for Gooners seeing as we normally get to hear little about transfers, except endless crap rumours and players leaving!

Barry and Kranjcar are two creative players who currently play in the Premierhship, but maybe Wenger is looking for ‘that’ experienced defender from a Premiership club, and a creative player from elsewhere. We have the money, so go for it!

If Hleb goes expect some major restrengthening this summer. We are in for the title race next year, and Wenger will want to improve so we can win something!

Arsenal transfer speculation as Hleb’s agent talks

Yesterday morning we were greeted with these words from Alex Hleb’s agent:

“Alexander is preparing to make one of the most important moves of his life””He is leaving Arsenal even though they want to offer him a new long-term contract and better conditions. Only time will tell if leaving is the right decision, but there’s no way back now. Everything will be cleared up in the next two weeks.”

As we all wondered whether he would do a Webster, Arsene has hit back:

“It is not as simple as it looks, this Webster clause, you can’t just come in next day and buy out, there is no rule that says that.

“You should not forget what clubs can do, you have to first go to a Fifa tribunal and if you don’t agree with Fifa, you have to go to Acas. It takes a lot of months.

“You can be banned for the whole period if it’s not done in a proper way.”

He also said here:

“I believe 98 per cent of this squad will be here next season. And the two per cent have already gone.”

Well, Wenger has to be optimistic, it must have been a big blow to lose Flamini, but I am sure that we will find players to fill the gap, he’s after a midfielder and a defender, I’m not sure who, but people writing us off will only make us stronger to be honest with you.

These people will see what happens next season, and so will we!