Maybe I was wrong on Adebayor. Use the money and buy someone better

In the last few days I have been blogging about the Adebayor rumours. I was thinking that he would stay and that he was dedicated to Arsenal, but his most recent comments show he is an idiot, if he said them.

I am getting sick of all the transfer talk, I think that Ade wants to leave.

You will have all read the comments:

“Milan are a big club but the fact they are not playing in the Champions League next season is less of a challenge. Barcelona have made a good financial offer and there is also the chance to play alongside great players.

“Yes, I am still under contract to Arsenal but it’s up to the directors to satisfy my demands or I’ll leave. If my good form of last season has increased my value, my employers have to take account of that.

“I have to prepare for my retirement. Even if you are not scoring fine goals and you have money, you can enjoy a happy retirement. The time for preparing for that moment is now.”

“People ask if I am asking for the same salary as Henry. That is not necessarily the question. But I am being considered a worthy replacement for Henry while not deserving his salary. The question lies on this level.”

What an idiot – money-grabbing is all I can say. I am sure there has been some funny business – probably involving Ade’s agent – Stephane Courbis. Only a few days ago he was saying, he would stay. Now we hear all this about negotiations and money and being valued etc etc etc.

He isn’t Henry – his head sounds like it’s getting way too big..

I don’t want to talk about it really. If he wants to leave then let him. I can’t be bothered with him. I think he is a great player, but you can’t have someone in the squad who will affect morale.

This puts Wenger’s comments into context – he isn’t worried – but it doesn’t mean Ade will stay – because he will use the money to buy another striker.

Anyway, I hope the whole mess can sort itself out. If Ade does leave then we need a top class replacement with the money we will get.

Flamini, parting shots

Flamini says that Arsenal could have kept him if we had offered him a new contract earlier.

“Last July I told Arsenal I wanted to extend my contract so, of course, I would have signed if they had offered me a deal – but they didn’t.

It all comes down to the fact that he was basically a fringe player till this season. Le Boss was going to offload him, he stayed, but we didn’t offer him a new contract in the summer, because we wanted him ‘to prove himself’.

Basically we didn’t believe in him, and at the time that seemed to make sense. Now at the end of the season Mathieu has made his point.

If we had had a little more belief we would still have him, but when a big club like Milan comes calling with sacks of money, you don’t turn it down. Especially if you feeling a little more than unappreciated by the club you’re at.

We used him, and now he has used us.

Wenger must be feeling a little stung after the happenings this season. Flamini left, and Diarra went, leaving us bare in central midfield. No real likely candidates within the sqaud to take the role on a long term basis. Gilberto will still be here, and theres Diaby, but I think we will see a new face for that position.

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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Flamini: Going, Going, Gone: Signs For AC Milan

It’s official, the Flamster has signed a four year deal with AC Milan, the saga is finally over.

The deal keeps him at the San Siro until June 2012. Flamini told reporters:

“I am very happy, thank you very much”

I hope he is, Serie A is a very different place compared to the Premier League, and Milan are not guaranteed to playing in the Champions League next year. He will be in competiton with the likes of Gattuso, Kaka, Pirlo and Ambrosini for a place, which will be hard.

He has been a key player for us this season, I wish him the best at Milan, but I am very sorry to see him go. We need to find a replacement for him, either through signing them or bringing them from within our current squad.

Wrighty7 suggests Alex Song. I was thinking the same thing. He is a good player who has improved greatly this year. He is a natural defensive midfielder, but can he do the same job for us that Mathieu did? I’m not so sure.

Flamini left Marseilles in a similar way, not having signed a professional contract, we managed to get him without paying a fee, even though he had promised to sign a new contract at Marseilles.

I’ll leave you with the words of his coach at the time, Jose Anigo:

“He’s a traitor – this is a beautiful treason.”

Flamini In Milan. Highlights Arsenal 1 Everton 0

Highlights here.

The game itself was a little dull, Bendtner got a good headed goal and we won 1-0. Wenger said:

“You could see that it was a little bit an end of season game.”

It was, we played some good, football at times, but nothing special. A few points though:

  1. Song had another solid game at centre back, I like him more everytime I see him.
  2. Jens came on for the last few minutes, obviously a farewell appearance.
  3. Traore came on and did well down the left wing, his cross set up Bendtner’s goal. I wouldn’t be suprised if we see him there next year, he looked exciting!

Gallas Strips At Arsenal, Emirates Stadium

Gallas Gets Naked

The players came out to do a farewell lap of the pitch, Gallas threw his shirt into the crowd just in front of me, I didn’t get it though, Jens staying on afterwards, and getting a standing ovation from the fans. He said:

“I had one or two tears in my eyes, It was a great farewell for me. This farewell will always stay in my heart.”

He has been a great player for, even if he is mental. I hope he does well in the future.

Flamini seemed a little awkward, and it seems he has flown to Milan to agree terms with AC. No suprise there, we could see it coming. Not much we can do, he was fantastic this season, but we’ll just have to find a replacement.

Flamini, Adebayor’s Agent and Potential Transfer Targets

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We haven’t heard anything official about Flamini, but if he hasn’t signed by now he is as good as gone. There are unsupported rumours from the Corriere Dello Sport that he has told the team he has chosen Milan. Who knows?

GilbertoSilver thinks that we might have a perfect replacement for Flamini in Kolo Toure. Arguably our most versatile player, I saw huim play up front in his early days! I think he could do a job for us there, it would be convienent because his partnership with Gallas seems a little shaky at times.

I would quite like to see Michael Johnson, the England Under-21 midfield player signed up. We have been linked to him as well as Gareth Barry to replace Flamini. Man Citeh are in turmoil at the moment as their owner, Thaksin Sinawatra has decided to sack Sven, because he didn’t do well enough this year (wait, we are talking about City here right??), a valuble lesson against outright foreign ownership.

Anyway it seems Flamini may start against Everton on Sunday, no matter what his status is.

Adebayor’s agent has also been worrying Wenger by fueling transfer speculation about Ade:

“Today he is happy at Arsenal, he showed it on Monday. But you know football, everything goes very quickly.”

Just money grabbing in my opinion, there’s no reason Ade would leave Arsenal, so don’t listen.

Also, Van Persie is going to miss the Everton game:

“We don’t want to gamble at this stage of the season on a muscular problem. We had a little alert but it is not big at all.”

Fair enough, RVP has struggled badly with injuries these last few years. Maybe a rest will help him recover, I hope Holland get knocked out of Euro 2008 early!!

Flamini Leaves Arsenal?? Wenger Delighted With Clichy

There’s a report here which seems to claim that Flamini has agreed to join Milan. The wording isn’t very clear, I’m not really sure if Flamini has agreed to go to AC, but it may have happened. This is the first I’ve heard of anything. Waiting for an official confirmation.

To be honest I don’t believe it, but Flamini could well be leaving.

On a more positive note, Gael Clichy, one of our most consistently excellent players this year has been praised by Wenger. Le Boss is mainly happy that Gael proved he could play a whole season without injury, as earlier in his career, and play so well:

“I am very positive with Gael because he loves the game and, every day after training, he’s out there practising to improve,”

“There was a question mark about whether Gael would last the season – but he has played more games than anyone else. He had three operations on his metatarsal and he had already undergone hernia surgery, and we were concerned over whether he would be capable to absorb so many games with such a slight frame.

“The big victory for me this year is not that he has played well – I expected him to play well – but that he could absorb a complete season at the top level without any rest.”

He thinks that Gael has a lot more to show, and can play for France:

“There is still more in there. When you see the game he produced at Old Trafford, you think ‘oh, there’s more in the locker, because he takes more responsibility.”

“It was a top-class performance, not only football wise but character – he showed a non acceptance of the defeat when we were down 2-1. He was the one who really moved forward.”

“I believe Clichy is very, very close to the national team. I think he should be in the team, for me. He should be competing with Evra and Abidal.”

“He is the youngest one, he will be 23 years old this year – and don’t forget he was injured for a while. But he has hit many people with his performance at Old Trafford.”

Clichy is another player, like Flamini, who has been outstanding this year, his runs diwn the wing have been the source of many goals.

He is pacy, energetic, great in attack and defence and good at passing, crossing, heading and running at defenders and beating them.

An amazing player, I think he is a great example to all the players of someone with a great work ethic for the team!

Milan Want Flamini As Arsene Hits Out At Greed

Arsene said here:

“There is something in this team which is stronger than a few bucks here and there,

“What is really important is that this team says ‘lets go to the end of our potential together and not walk out for any simpler reason’ – and that is where I expect them to show strength, and care what they can achieve together.”

“We are not any more in a period where you get £100 more at another club and it decides your life.

“Flamini can earn more somewhere else that is for sure because it would be a free transfer – but how much is he ready to sacrifice to stay here?”

This really sums up what Arsenal mean to Arsene and what he wants to see from this group of players. Good players should not be dicated by money if they are already earning large sums.

They need to make decisions about the sort of team they want to play in – look at players like Anelka – he left Arsenal out of greed and has never really fulfilled his potential in terms of success.

The article also mentions Fabianski, and the effect that conceding 5 goals to Spurs had on him. It’s likely that he will start against Derby on Monday.

Meanwhile Ancelotti has confirmed AC Milan’s interest in Flamini:

“A player like him would be good in any team. Since he is expiring, if he wants to come to Milan for us it would be an excellent purchase.”

Mancini, boss of the other Milan club, Inter, has tried to play down his comments on Hleb (see this article), by saying:

“I have never made any declarations regarding Hleb or other players who are under contract with other clubs, for whom I have the utmost respect”

What a load of crap, Inter have gone about this in a very underhand way, first meeting in Milan, and then coming out to the press. Wenger was right to say he might report them to FIFA. As for AC, they can **** off as well.

Another player we are linked to, by Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, is Niko Kranjcar. He’s an impressive player and would work well for us if Hleb went out the door, he has proven his Premiership quality for Portsmouth already. Expect a prohibitive transfer fee though!

Oh and also, because Chelsea beat Man Utd at the Bridge yesterday, we still have a mathematical chance of winning the title. That is, If Man Utd and Chelsea both gain only one point each in the two remaining games!