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Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day!

In America they say you can tell when spring is near when the groundhog sees it's shadow. In England you can tell that summer is near when half of the Arsenal first team are preparing to leave. That's right, joy of joys, it's that time again for some of us to start worrying and for others to curse that 'Hleb 13' replica shirt you bought for you nephew's birthday as it mocks you every time you open your wardrobe (why did I give you one of my good hangers instead of a cheap wire one - damn you God!) I'm sure this is something that most supporters will claim to have the monopoly on, what with C. Ronaldo, Berbatov and Drogba attracting some possible suitors for the second season now. However, with Arsenal it just seems to have been the case for about the last 6-7 years. From Vieira to Henry on to Fabregas and now even Flamini?!

Every year the followers of Arsenal have had to forgo the delights of the summer transfer speculation instead settling for the cold sweats as we hear stories of Henry sipping Rioja in a suggestive manner and Hleb enjoying some clandestine strolls through the streets of Milan. I really hope that this summer Le Boss decides to dust off the Arsenal cheque book and bring in some established star players worthy of Arsenal and the football they play. It's something that really grates on me when I read that players like Kaka, Cassillas and Eto'o adore the way Arsenal play leading me to stand outside Wenger's home shouting that we must sign one of them and...oh ...what's that? you spotted a 16yo Kenyan left back? Your right Boss, sign him instead. Why must we always do that? Preferring to spend the summer budget on fat juicy contracts for our existing loyal players. No honestly, it's like signing a new player we're told, well if you spend 10 million on an existing player for twelve months work I guess it is kind of like a new signing....umm isn't it?

This summer Arsenal should use the existing funds plus whatever we get for Hleb on players like Villa to bolster the side so next season they can take the positives from this campaign and add the vitality that new signings bring. This will help a team of promising players to improve rather than hinder them as Wenger believes. We have been led to believe that money is killing football - utter nonsense. Money plus a good manager turned Chelsea from an under achieving club into one of the best in Europe, let's hope that same cocktail will be sampled at Arsenal - starting this summer.

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The Journalist

Writer: VanPersie11 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 24 2008

Time: 12:45PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Arsene can't manage a big squad or egos. Throwing cash around is not the answer.
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24/04/2008 12:58:00

and y the hell shud we sell hleb...thatrs just insane
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 13:06:00

When you're saddled with a huge stadium repayment, you can't really expect signings like Kaka and Messi. I get really bored of this Championship Manager mentality to the point that I just completely turn off of football in the summer, I can't be arsed with all this, "we must sign Villa, cos the papers said we should, I've actually only ever seen him play three times but sod it." And comparing to Chelsea? The club that makes losses of £74m. You think that on top of the new stadium is the answer? Really? Why get so uptight about the whole transfer thing. You can't control it and in reality, we all know sod all about it. It's all very well bandying names about because so and so got an eight on heading on FIFA 2008, but we don't know the intracacies of contracts, personalities etc. Who's to say Messi would even fit in at Arsenal? If speculation about players leaving gets to you- ignore it. It's 99% bull***** anway.
Little Dutch
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24/04/2008 13:17:00

I am getting truly tired of this every summer at Arsenal. Whereas before I was hoping that these players wouldn't leave, my attitude now is if they don't want to be here, then sod off, I don't want them here. I'd rather have some of our youth team promoted and us not win anything. I am sure part of it is the papers enjoying stirring it up, as they always do at Arsenal, but what's the point of buying The Arsenal magazine and reading about Hleb and Flamini saying how much they love it here, and then they decide to go off.
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 13:22:00

Again Vin, that's all conjecture. Have Hleb, Flamini or Fabregas said they're going? No. I'm not saying they're all definitely staying, but what quotes do we actually have from any of those players? Zero. So it is all 100% media generated, ignore it. If they do leave, what can we do about it? The club's always there, I support the club, the team. I didn't buy a Flamini season ticket, I bought an Arsenal season ticket. The reason I don't stress about it is because regardless of whether Fabregas, Flamini etc etc are there next year, I know I'll be there next year. Anything else is beyond my control and therefore, not worth my stress.
Little Dutch
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24/04/2008 13:27:00

I cant imagine Hleb and Flamini leaving, maybe Flamini but this team is near its completion, the club CANNOT afford to let something like this happen. Its not all media generated, you have articles on the official site with Wenger all paranoid about clauses etc..THIS IS ARSENAL why does this always happen to us ? I'm not too fussed about bring this that and the third in before we have even managed to keep this measly squad together, thats paramount and he rest should be put on ice. David Villa would be nice buts its pathetic to make a siging like that the be all and end all of our season, its so unlikely that its not even worth thinking about..
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24/04/2008 13:40:00 A more considered view.
Little Dutch
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24/04/2008 13:46:00

LD - agreed. By the way, I recall a few months ago seeing a link on one of these postings to a table depicting the spend of the 4 top English clubs. Can anyone remember what the link is? I am currently in the midst of an argument with Liverpool supporting mate and would like to ram that down his throat!!
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24/04/2008 13:54:00

thank for the link LD...however, to keep emerging stars like Fabregas happy Arsenal has to start winning trophies...the mentality that Arsenal id a selling club can be changed. Le boss need to strike a BALANCE...its commendable the way Arsenal has handled himself and the club...i doubt that Fergie/MouninHO/ or any other coach and do what he has done with so little...but we NEED trophies...and i think it is unfair to judge him harshly this season...fate has not been our friend but i can say he knows better than ALL of us on here..i'll hold my breath and wait for next season...
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24/04/2008 14:14:00

Two telling quotes from the original ANR piece, written by a guy from the Arsenal Supporter's Trust: "Wenger’s ability to continually generate profits from his transfer dealings and keep the Club at the very top level (10 consecutive seasons in the Champions League) is amazing" and "Of the near £70m of cash balances, £25m is unavailable as it is used to partially secure future repayments of the debt facilities and one also assumes some is set aside to meet the probable £20m of additional transfer fees payable on existing squad members. This does however leave maybe £25m for the squad building (transfer plus wages) that appears all too necessary to sustain a season long challenge for honours on several fronts." All gooners raving and ranting about who Wenger should buy and sell should read the article in its entirety:,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=957&cntnt01origid=30&cntnt01returnid=42 . Yes, I know gooners don't trust Myles Palmer but this piece wasn't written by Palmer. It's simply a basic summary of facts of the club's financial situation, that's it. I know it's cold comfort but it really is quite extraordinary that we have a manager who has kept us consistently in the top 4 and in the CL for so long with such financial constraints. As we all know the world financial situation is teetering at the moment, do we really want to imitate Manu's and Chelsea's business models?
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24/04/2008 14:34:00

Mr Little Dutch, for someone that doesn't get uptight you sure do a good impression of a man that needs to loosen the knot on their scarf and let the blood circulate. Please do not confuse me with one of those hysterical 15yo fans that want the who's who of world football to turn up at the Emirates tomorrow. The article was more of a throw away and someting for fun with perhaps a small percentage of truth behind it. The raising of names like Kaka and the rest was merely that a team that attracts so much praise and attention could cast their nets a little further in the market. Villa in particular was mentioned as I lived and worked in Valencia for 22 months and happened to see him more than 3 times and believe me, he is pure class - the real deal etc... The Chelsea thing was simply there to ask why we can't use the managers reputation along with the funds available to test the resolve of players as other teams do to Arsenal's squad. I would go on but I'm at work and my colleagues are starting to growl. I will let you get back to your playstation (a guess due to the constant gaming analogies) and next time I hope to offer you a more 'considered view'. 1000 apologies VP11
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24/04/2008 14:59:00

VP11, sorry, but your article and post doesn't really address LD's criticisms. To me your article sounds like one of a zillion others from gooners dreaming about expensive players that Le Boss couldn't buy even if he wanted to. He's got £25m to work with, that's it. So any talk of Kaka or Villa is just worthless fantasy stuff.
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24/04/2008 15:13:00

lets welcome THenry back home this summer
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24/04/2008 15:49:00

dude..thats not going to happen
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24/04/2008 15:56:00

It isn't clear from your article VP11 that the Chelsea comparison was anything other than an expression of hope that we match Chelseas spending. There is an excellent article on the front page covering some questioning of Cescs commitment which incorporated quotes from Wenger relating to the difficulties in managing players contracts in the modern game and the impact it has on budgets. It didn't get anything like the attention it deserved because most don't want to have to think too deeply about finances and the complications of player contracts. Most prefer the Chelsea solution and believe their club should be able to match it. But before making such comparisons it is as well to understand where the club is, what it is going through and the patience needed to build a cub able to provide a sustained challenge for trophies and retain its best players. If this annual agonising over who is staying and who is going is unsettling then you would be far better served to follow LDs example and switch off for the summer because it is only going to get worse.
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24/04/2008 15:57:00

But we don't know how much there is to spend, that's the point. We don't know who's available and for what price and what we have at our disposal, so it's pointless speculating. Only the board and the manager know that. I'll settle for Wenger bringing in good players, Sagna and Eduardo were certainly that, as was Diarra until he got in a strop. I think a similar summer this year would see us in very good stead. It's all very well players fawning over us and us using that to garner big names, but if we haven't got the money to pay them then their admiration tends to disappear pretty quickly.
Little Dutch
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24/04/2008 15:59:00

Guys, I don't think VP11 meant to be one of those who call for Kaka or Messi despite our financial situation. If some Gooners felt like to voice his frustration a little bit, just let them vent. I understand the feeling as it does seem like we're the only big club who has the such a number of players troubled with rumours every year. You're not reading Financial Times, relax. I tend to think, along those lines as LD said, if I happen to support a club that does business conservatively, run by a frugal manager, I can hope who we get but I won't expect too much. It's hard if we trouble ourselves with all the disappointments if things don't turn out the way we'd hoped because that's 95% of the case. Tbh, out of the signings of these few seasons, only Rosicky and Eduardo were the only ones I'd known before they joined. I mean if you can, just sit back and see what the manager will do. Before he does anything - and the season hasn't even finished yet - let's not get all worked up. You can start shouting all you want when Arsene introduces a 16-year-old from Nigeria and says he's going to replace the Flamster straight in the first team.
Lou the Gunneress
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24/04/2008 16:33:00

And no, I'm not bothered about the big names. Actually it's even harder to find someone withOUT a big name but can slot right into the team. Yes I'm talking about Mr Bacary Sagna and Mr Eduardo Alves da Silva (applause). Or, ahem, like an injury-free Mr Tomas Rosicky. Do we need superstars to prove anything or attract anyone? No.
Lou the Gunneress
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24/04/2008 16:38:00

I think it is becoming increasingly clear that Arsenal have no money, or not enough money. Yet again the summer promises to be a case of losing the quality we have rather than adding more quality. There is no way Arsenal should be in the situation of trying to keep Flamini and Hleb. Nothing has happened yet so we will have to wait and see, but if any quality player leaves whilst the utterly useless Eboue stays, then it will be obvious that Wenger has indeed been working miracles with no financial support.
Professor Calculus
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24/04/2008 17:47:00

Loving the response from the fellow goons. Maybe this was an impassioned rant for purchases. But I must reiterate it was a piece that I put together that was more for the funny light-hearted quota that was mentioned, btw thanks to whoever deemed it worthy of front page status. But I would ask you if you cannot dream for the best in a club forum, where can you do it? Posts like this were meant to stir debate not be target practice for the more pedantic of our brethren. One last thing for Amos - ix-nay on the condescension-ay there, Chet.
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24/04/2008 18:20:00

Mr Kolo Toure: "I believe in this team, this club, I love this club. I see Arsenal as part of my life now." But let's see when the media will single out the quote "It would be difficult to leave this club, but in football you never know." and ignore the 10 other positive quotes in this report. I can imagine a "Loyal servant Kolo Toure contemplates leaving Arsenal" or "Toure may leave while Hleb and Flamini look set to depart" lol:,19528,11670_3468296,00.html
Lou the Gunneress
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24/04/2008 18:31:00

ur damn right LD, in the end, it is the club that matters. few seasons ago, i was a member of the band that said Henry signing a new contract is more important than we winning the CL final in paris, thinking that Henry will win it for us in the future. how wrong was i? in the end, it's only the club that will stay with us. heroes will come and heroes will go, but ARSENAL will be there with me forever. i love Hleb and Flamini, and until they leave, i won't believe a word that has been said in the media. Hleb hasnt said a word about his future. reading all this stuff that the fans are talking about him will hurt him for sure..
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 18:51:00

Quotes from feb "I can understand why Barcelona would be interested in Alex," Spilevski told The Sun. "But Alex loves life at Arsenal. He feels he is at the best club in the world. "He has the ideal manager, he loves his team-mates and loves London. Why would he want to leave?" "I am very proud to play for Arsenal and I hope I will be with the club for a long time," Hleb told the News of The World. What more does he need to say.
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25/04/2008 00:13:00

Also in october. ALEKSANDR HLEB wants to stay at Arsenal for the rest of his career. The midfielder, 26, has two years left on his contract but wants to open talks over a new Gunners deal. He said: “I’m very happy and want to play at Arsenal all my life. The atmosphere is great in the changing room.”
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25/04/2008 00:14:00

Yeah Paul, I don't really believe the rumours until Arsenal say anything official. But it's not beyond the realm of possibilities that some players might change their minds since Feb, when our chips have gone "down" a bit, or at a push from their greedy agents. I just hope that, apart from the obvious money factor, they realise how lucky they are playing this style of football under Wenger at a healthy, responsibly-run club in the most watched league in the world. Some Spanish "giants" might be worth considering. But Italy, toph, is going one step backwards.
Lou the Gunneress
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25/04/2008 00:31:00

Yeah Lou. In my mind its theres less than 10% chance of Hleb leaving and 50-50 with Flamini.
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25/04/2008 09:27:00

Read in Gazzetta (italian paper) That Flamini has turned down juventus to sign with AC milan. It seems the main factor in the player’s decision may have been the salary offer. While Milan’s Adriano Galliani offered €4m-a-year for the player, Juventus transfer chief Alessio Secco was only prepared to give him €3m. If this is the case and not just paper talk then its dissapointing. If Juventus are your team growing up and they have qualified for the C.L and you go to AC just for the money it shows you are nothing but a Mercenary. I find it hard to understand why players are obsessed with money. When you are earning over 35 grand a week(more than the average man a year) surely you do whats best for your career...
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25/04/2008 11:28:00

Wow, I've taken a quick look there (but la Gazzetta isn't very reliable either). Milan is even more intriguining - UEFA Cup for the next year, against the likes of Spurs and Valencia?! That sounds like it's just all Euros (the of course) and nothing else to me. It's not his childhood club now, I wonder if he says he'd love to play alongside Kaka as the main consideration.. :\
Lou the Gunneress
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25/04/2008 16:21:00

Oh, and Ronaldinho lol
Lou the Gunneress
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25/04/2008 16:22:00

congratulations on winning the epl gommers.
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28/04/2008 01:00:00


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