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Wenger Confirms Song Can Go

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Alex Song is free to leave Arsenal this summer for the first time. Earlier in the week, Wenger had refuted reports in Spain that Barcelona were close to concluding a dead for the Cameroonian when he said, "There is nothing in that. We know the Spanish press is not serious."

But when asked a double barrel question at his Friday press conference as to the possibility of Song leaving and another big name coming in, the Arsenal manager was unusually candid, "Both could happen," he remarked pointedly. When pressed on rumours around the club`s interest in Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin, Wenger confirmed, "He is one of the players we are following."

Putting 2 and 2 together, it sounds as though Arsenal want to complete on Sahin once the Song deal is closed. Sahin was supposed to be close to joining Liverpool, with reports emerging last night that Arsenal had made contact and asked him to hold his horses. Whispers have also circulated this week of a training ground bust up between Song and Wenger owing to Song`s behaviour since the links with Barcelona became public. In other news, with van Persie now gone, it looks as though the coveted number 10 shirt has been allocated to Jack Wilshere. Lukas Podolski`s squad number remains a mystery for now.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 17 2012

Time: 10:30AM

Your Comments

If Sahin comes in I'm happy to wave goodbye to Song. Not a little bit of sadness, actually happiness that we don't have to put up with his constant wandering and clattering into people clumsily from behind. Of course now RvP has buggered off he's got no reason to try that clipped ball over the top 30 times per game.
Rocky7
If he's replaced, it's all good with me. But it does mean the team will have changed almost entirely in the space of two years. (Only really Sagna, Vermaelen and Walcott who were in the starting line up in 2010). That's a big flux and it also means we're counting on a lot of players to hit the ground running- most of them in a new league. In the short term that's a big risk. We've got a tough start.
Little Dutch
There must be something about football that makes the players delusional. I've no problem with any professional, looking to earn better wages, and whilst I would have preferred to have kept Rvp, I have no qualms whatsoever with Song heading to Barca to reacquaint himself with Cesc. Thanks for the chipped passes, don't forget your hair coloring, wander off to Barcelona, the benches have good heating on them. Just ask Hleb.
deledudu
They wion't have any choice but to hit the ground running LD. In any case m, they are all uinknowns in this league and we've seen time again newcomers to this league fly out of the traps and then suffer second season syndrome. Fingers crossed atleast teh first part applies to our guys. I cannot see many fans being gutted about Song leaving, improved or not he's had a bit of teh billy big bo**ocks about him in recent seasons.
Scotch Eggs Rule
That is true LD, but with Chesney, Sagna, Kos, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, (Diaby?) and Walcott, we've got a decent core of players who know Arsenal and the Premier League. The front line could be concerning, but hopefully they'll get off to scoring starts and we'll never think about this again.
Rocky7
Have no problem with Song going. I don't think he'll ever grow discipline enough for the role he plays. This for me will be the end of Song. He'll be out of his depth at Barcelona who will not put up with his mistakes. Expect him to be at Spuds in 2014 on loan.
Trennon
With regards to Song, this has got Hleb written all over it. No way is he good enough, or disciplined enough to play the Barca way. He'll flop more than me from the top of a diving board.
Rocky7
Indeed, Busquets is younger than Song, Mascherano is there. Can't see him being more than a squad player there. Anyway though, cheerio.
Little Dutch
Barcelona may actually improve Song in certain ways, as their game seems to rely as much on tactical discipline as technique, but his problem will be getting enough game time. He may find himself playing CB as I'm sure they like his versatility as much as anything else. In one way it is a shame, because doubtless Arsene has believed in him and worked on him in training to a point where he could be brilliant, but he probably is just missing that extra factor mentally that separates the true greats.
Gooner_Vin
Although we can all agree that Song isn't anywhere the cheating, snide, diving tosspot that Biscuits is.
Scotch Eggs Rule
**Peeks from behind fingers** I've got not idea what you're talking about Eggs.
Rocky7
Song off? No tears there for the reasons above and the fact that he is very likely one who will soon grow to become too big for his breaches. He gave us physical presence in midfield and did shackle Yaya Toure, who is himself a bully, when our side met City. But, such a quality can be replaced by change in tactics or getting a more disciplined midfield enforcer. We just have to wait for our first game to see how our new forwards bed in. I am convinced they will fare well.
Naijagunner
Sahin is a much better all round midfielder than Song from what I've seen of him when he played for Dortmund. I think he would suit our style of play as AW likes the players not to have too rigid a role and interchange positions. Just wished all this transfer business was settled before the season starts. I suppose it can be a complicated business sorting out fees and contracts and players and clubs both considering their options before a deal is concluded.
bowiecokemirror
Rocky7 - Mate, your post was spot on as usual, I just can't help myself. I develop tourettes when anyone ever mentions Busquets, Alves or (who's that other cheating tosser that plays for Barcelona on the wing?).....lol
Scotch Eggs Rule
Gooner_Vin, I believe it is his versatility Wenger will miss the most. I recall a few times when we were in need of a goal how Wenger will take off a CB and have Song cover as CB and make useful forward forays, using his skills, long range passing and strength to play the role, with efficiency, most of the times (we usually get the goal). We may just need to get a player in the same mode or recreate our tactical approach to defending.
Naijagunner
Yeah I can't stand Biscuits either. Proper scum of the sporting world. He's not even a big jessie like some of the players, just a massive, massive cheat.
Rocky7
Naija - Thomas Vermaelen is more than capable of buggering off up field and causing problems for the other team if we've in need of a goal. See Newcastle at home last season for confirmation :)
Rocky7
the thing is here the moment barca showed interest in Song Wenger was willing. I think its a case that Wenger has finally given up on song becoming the player he believed he would
Trennon
He's also the last player at the club with that utter scab Darren Dein as his agent. Maybe tactical manoeuvring from Wenger and the board? I wouldn't put it past them to finally oust the Dein influence over the club and get rid of a not wholly committed player in the process.
Scotch Eggs Rule
Not sure it's that trennon. Song has been hankering for an improved contract- with Vermaelen and Kos having renewed and been given improved terms. I'd imagine the club, reasonably, said they have more urgent contracts to sort and AW got fed up with him being a dick. Reading between the lines anyway.
Little Dutch
Spot on there, Rocky. Only thing is Song does it in a 3-5-2 formation when Wenger throws on a 2nd striker and sacrifices a CB. Newcastle was one turnaround for the team, eh. Can't get over that lung-bursting run by Vermaelen.
Naijagunner
SER, you know, I have been thinking that way too, re: being rid of the Darren Dein influence, but I wasn't sure if Song was the last player in that stable. Now, that would make sense, in my view.
Naijagunner
We only want people who are committed to the cause. Gtfo song.
Sajit
Ld, when chavs won league in 2005 I think only terry and lampard were regulars and old timers. Risk, I agree but , worthwhile risk
Sajit
Naija, Darren Dein is a smug little ***t who's ridden his Father's coat tails all his life. The sooner we clear out the last of his stable the sooner he can be barred from the stadium, training ground or anywhere else owned by the club.
Scotch Eggs Rule
I've never heard Arsene talk about a current player transfer so nonchalantly. I won't be too bothered about Song.
gunnerkid107
i hope he doesn't leave. sahin is too similar to arteta, rosicky and wilshere. get m'villa & keep song. that gives us more tactical option. we can play 4-4-2 with song & m'villa as dm or 4-5-1 with various cm combinations
Joe_@**
I hope Song goes. For me the Song situation is very similar to Nasri. Cesc was the really world class player (like Robin was). Nasri was a very good player (but replaceable). This is exactly Song's situaion. Here is a player who , like Nasri, has become too big for the club. He simply has to go. Just like we were not hurt by Nasri's departure, we will hardly mourn Song's loss. There are plenty of players out there who can replace him.. More importantly, there are plenty of players who are more humble and who wnat to play for the cannon. ***** off Song.
Sajit
Sajit - not too big for the club, too big for his own boots mate.
Scotch Eggs Rule
i think if we still pay the type of wages we are paying, the trend of players leaving every season will not cease. i do not agree it's morally right but it's the inevitable reality. just like many mid table teams, the reason they find it so difficult to move up is because they have to work within their budget and every season their star performers would leave for 3 times higher wage package elsewhere
Joe_@**
There seems to be something else to the Song transfer. Wenger is not bothered about the situation, he has not come out and said - he is our player, tied to a contract, we want to keep him here.......none of the usual platitudes reserved for this topic. Looks like Wenger just got *****ed off with Song. That means another year of 'transition' for this squad. There are too many 1st 11 players who are new to the league to bed in at once. Think we'll have to write off the League this season (in terms of a challenge, don't think we were going to win even with RvP & Song). A good cup win becomes even more paramount.
prits
Thing is, Joe, is that Cesc left for his hometown club and Robin never got to discussing terms; I'm led to believe that he was to be offered a massive wodge of cash to remain at the club, but had decided he wanted to move. Maybe because there's also a 5m(?) signing-on fee, maybe he genuinely wants to win trophies and believes he has a better chance with the mancs.
It's been mentioned on here a few times that Arsenal's wage bill compares with the top payers - I think we pay 3rd most in the league, don't we? - because we pay our players well for their age. The problem as I see it is that we pay the players well, develop them, make them very good/world class players (debatable of course); and at this stage where we have a squad of quality players, the constant media knocking and bull***** cliches ("Arsenal haven't won anything in 7 years","there's no plan B" etc.) get into the heads of the players who decide that they're too good to stay.
damiano_tommassi
By the way - do we have anything else to go on other than "Both could happen"? A little bit of context at least? Because Wenger is wonderfully pragmatic, and I can see him getting annoyed at people banging-on and asking about a Sahin deal that he's trying to keep quiet by saying 'Yeah, it's possible.Anything's possible' / "both could happen".
damiano_tommassi
Agree with Sahin being too similar to Arteta. We need a physical presence in holding midfield. A big bruiser of a player with skill and speed (not asking for much!). I'm also concerned about the level of turnover in the squad. If it doesn't all click it could be a very difficullt season.
Wyn Mills
dt, paying the 3rd most in the league is itself a problem of policy. a team would be better off to have the abilities of 2 good players rolled into one great player and paying that one great player 2 players' worth of wage. ultimately a team can only play 11 players at a time. at the current rate, very good players here are paid in the region of 200k whereas our highest scale is around 80k-100k
Joe_@**
Hey Joe. So you want half as many players on twice the wages? But I regularly read complaints that 'our squad depth isn't good enough'.

Is there anyone in our squad who deserves 200k/wk? (Or, regarding the moral argument, is anyone in the in the world worth that) - and do you not think we would've given RvP top dollar if he'd stayed and signed for four years with us?
damiano_tommassi
We bought players who can provide, we bought players who can score, he said. I read some articles and some people just add the goals of one player to the other - football doesn't work like that, it is more complicated and also more simple."- Wenger.(obviously a broadside at those who add Rooney's and Robin's goals of last season in predicting what their totals would be like this season).

The Manager has stated that the club had anticipated this situation a long time ago and prepared for it. Well, I can live with that. Roll on the season!
Naijagunner
Though not officially announced, twitter sphere is saying that Song is gone.
Gooner_Vin
dt, i maintain that am not endorsing the inflation of wage but merely looking at wage issue in relative term. if we are among the top wage payers and not winning anything like the others who are willing to go up to 200k, then something must be not right the minimum requirement of a title winning team is having 3-4 great exceptional players in my opinion. we had one in rvp last season & we finished 3rd. the issue of players leaving due to wage should not be discussed on individual case basis. it's a chain reaction. had we spent on a few top players with top wages for the past few seasons, rvp would have most probably stayed. then again, i am not screaming for us to pay 200k. i was merely trying to convey that players will keep leaving if the wage gap is so huge and us as fans can only adapt (lower) our expectation on the team given this reality.
Joe_@**
on the the team's lack of dept, it is a manifestation of the same problem. we have a massive squad of mediocre players unable to fill in when needed.
Joe_@**
Gooner_Vin, I thought that was very clear, from Wenger's posturing; again, I noted he wasn't even in our training pics. Probably works well for the club to get Dein-free. Question is Who replaces the man?
Naijagunner
There is no way we can hold on to players with the wages ManCity/Chelsea are paying now. if we have over 8 layers on 150K + a year, then we will compete. Utd has over 4 players earning 100k +. Rio, Vidic, Rooney, RVP.
Arseniger
Make no mistake, we are selling Song coz we WANT to. And I agree with Arsene. And I hope he will replace him with quality. I am pretty sure he will.
Sajit
BTW I do think we will go for an out and out DM , not Sahin type
Sajit
Sahin on a one-year loan was always intended as a replacement for Jack W, take the pressure off him, etc. The names I have seen bandied around as Song replacement are Biglia, Kara Mbodj, Capoue, Wanyama...players like that.
FunGunner
Arsenal's wages are 5th in the Premier League, behind Man City, Chelsea, ManU and Liverpool. Of course, there are corrections required in the structure which will probably take another 2 years to accomplish (wait for expensive contracts to wind down or sell those players), but the positive is that Gazidis and the club seem to have realized that. There is no way for a club of Arsenal's size to pay 200K pw. Its simply not possible. The revenue gap with ManU is too huge, and that needs to reduce before we can even think of those kind of wages.
prits
Yes indeed....if we don't start finding a way to pay top top wages, top top players won't stay with us very long ! At this rate we won't see a testimonial at the Emirates ever again !
radarman
Its a shame but I have no problem with Song going provided that he is replaced. I think the M'Villa deal may finally wrapped up now provided the Spuds have not got their claws too much into him. Behavioural problems yes, but that traitor who recently departed who shall remain unnamed, was a delinquent little ***** when he first joined us and Le Prof straightened him out. Why not M'Villa? On a different note, hearing that Sahin wants to play for us over Liverpool but Maureen is doing what he can to make sure he goes to the Scousers.
Ned Stark
Slightly disturbed by the ease with a player with 3 years still on his contract can just demand and be granted a move mere days from the start of the season. Surely its the club who should be calling the shots? Now we hear reports of Song's agent hawking his player round europe for 3 months. I hope this isn't a reaction from Wenger's wounded ego.
Wyn Mills
Wyn, it IS the club calling the shots. Wenger simply doesn't want Song around at the club, let's get that clear. Otherwise, he would have surely held on since Song has 3 years left on his contract.
prits
Much more of the cold ruthless Wenger please, the gentle father figure to these spoilt little brat fecks has failed, you fanny us about you're out, there are players we don't want to lose and there are sales that are fully sanctioned like Adebyewhore, this is a sale that is fully sanctioned and encouraged, it's the last pube that Darren Dein dangles off the clubs balls from which I think is no small factor, I think the club has tired to such an extent of his poisonous disruption of our squad that he will now be persona non grata for any of our squad, it will be made quite clear that the club will no longer tolerate any player to be represented by this bitter little daddys boy with a huge chip against the club. I'm only surprised at the touted price of 16 mill, that does seem very low for his age and remainder of contract.
nikolaijns
Niko my son, don't believe the hype, Song is at the least, 30yrs old. Unlike in Europe, where birth records are public documents that are accessible to the public within reason, births are rarely registered where Song was born, I am a Nigerian, and Cameroon is just next door, we know ourselves, and I am willing to bet the house that whatever might be inscribed on his passport, a Cameroonian with a marriage that old, and kids, is in his 30s. Song has less than 3yrs left at the top level. He's much older than he's claiming to be. It's wink wink, called, "football age". Lolzzzz
deledudu
 

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