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Gone For A Song

Arsenal have confirmed that a fee has been agreed with Barcelona for the transfer of Alexandre Song. The Cameroonian midfielder had hoped for improved terms on his contract, which had three years to run, but sustained interest from Barcelona saw the rumour mill go into overdrive. Song was left out of yesterday's 0-0 draw with Sunderland.

Song joined Arsenal from Bastia in 2004 and was immediately loaned back to the French club for a year. He also had a loan spell at Charlton Athletic in 2007. Song forced his way into the Arsenal side as the Gunners' screening midfielder as the likes of Flamini, Diarra and Gilberto peeled away from the club. Last season he provided 11 assists too.

But reports emerged of a falling out between Song and Wenger in the last fortnight, with Arsenal making the decision to cede to Barca's interest. He will now travel to Spain for a medical and to agree personal terms.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 19 2012

Time: 10:56AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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We support Arsenal, Song worked for Arsenal. The players would come and go, but we are the constant, the fans. We the fans are the ones with romantic ideas about being "gooners for life" we brand our shirts with their names, and sometimes, before we even get a chance to pull that shirt on, they've absconded for pastures new. Football has sold it's soul, the Bosman ruling heralded the dawn of players' mobility, but what is happening goes far beyond that, fans are being forced to reassess their views of players and the exact nature of the relationship. If Diaby has an injury free season, would he suddenly realize just how much he misses Cesc, and how he would love to have some silverware? How about Jack, are we to brace ourselves for even more chicanery when citeh shows up with their bottomless wallets next summer? I support Arsenal, the players are it's employees.
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19/08/2012 11:18:00

deledudu - I understand your sentiments, but getting attached to players is a natural consequence of supporting Arsenal. If Giroud or Podolski start banging in the goals, they'll be the next RvP. I can't help but feel despondent about things at the moment. When we played Cologne last week and had Song and RvP there, it felt that we actually had a squad that could challenge for the title. A week later and it doens't feel like that anymore as we have a pretty much new team that is going to take time to gel. I can almost sense in Arsene Wenger a sadness, a feeling that his vision for the club and game has gone, as losing both Song and RvP in such a short space of time must be hurting him more than anyone, he that used to purr about Cesc and RvP. Anyway, the only thing that matters is results and need to find a way of winning games in any style and getting a confidence boosting start to the season because I feel if we don't it will be very hard to come back like last season.
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19/08/2012 12:04:00

Poignant comments indeed Vin. It truly sucks to see our team constantly broken up like this each summer and the disturbing thing is that I don't see this pattern being broken any time soon. We have now developed a rep as being a selling club and some idiots have gone as far as to label us a 'feeder club'. Letting our players go just perpetuates this perception. But if a player wants to leave, well what can you do? Club loyalty seems to be an alien concept to footballers these days. Just hope AW has a few gems up his sleeve to restore us to some semblance of a title winning team.
Ned Stark
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19/08/2012 12:25:00

I also think the fee is a bit paltry as well TBH. We should have tried to squeeze a bit more out of those Blaugrana ********s.
Ned Stark
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19/08/2012 12:27:00

song can go **** himself
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19/08/2012 12:59:00

Mr. Stillman, I was recently reading in the VitalArsenal archives (don't ask me why) and came over this: "I hope Alex Song leaves Arsenal and makes himself into a world beater elsewhere. If he was to score a goal to knock us out of Europe, then the universe would only be delivering sweet, sugary justice that would turn to acid in the mouths of the idiots." Your words. A bit ironic now that he's gone! ;) Though of course I agree with what you wrote...
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19/08/2012 13:06:00

Ah, the indignity!! Now even your crap players want to leave. sad times indeed for your joke club. At the end of the day, you've got no one to blame but yourselves. You could have forced Wenger out at the beginning of last season, but the best you could do was sling a load of *****ty bin bags over the seats. You're a club going nowhere and you've been betrayed by the people who run it. You want your Arsenal back do you? You go on about how much you love the club, but when it really comes to the crunch you've shown that don't care enough to fight for it. COYS forever
Henry Baker Brown
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19/08/2012 13:28:00

If Barcelona paid 15 million for song then I seriously have to question the sanity of their board :P. I am not a fan of Song and I would not be surprised if the alleged fallout was over tactics, Wenger wanting Song to play more as a traditional DM. If we go out and buy a true DM like M'Vila or Capue we will be so much stronger. Can you picture one of those two with Jack or Arteta by his side? They would Boss any midfield in the prem including Man *****ty.
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19/08/2012 13:38:00

Thing is, what can the club do in the face of a player that is determined to leave? Player power is changing the face of the game, and football is being irreparably damaged by a combination of that factor, and the unsustainable investments being made by the likes of citeh, the Chavs and PSG. I am not disappointed to see Song's back, and had even accepted the loss of Rvp, but the whole situation does demand a degree of introspection. I seem to recall Rvp claiming to have been a gooner from his childhood days, but it would appear that the club's genes haven't prevented him from finding manure's red irresistible. Players will come and go, we will still be here, and we will pass it on to our children when the bell tolls for us. I am seriously disillusioned by the serial betrayal of the best ideals of what was once, a beautiful game. Football will one day eat itself at the rate it's going.
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19/08/2012 14:06:00

deledudu The best way to describe this is by a comment on a football blog I read somewhere. Footballers = Millionaires without honor...
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19/08/2012 14:24:00

Fulham match report dvs, when he was booed. I think my views on that would be markedly different (not because Song has gone, but my views on booing in general have cooled). HBB, mind the gap. It's already one point. Mug.
Little Dutch
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19/08/2012 16:01:00

Sahin deal done according to John Cross. He's been one of the more reliable journos this summer.
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19/08/2012 16:14:00

Armory, they not lack honor, they lack all sense of perspectives or reality, footballers seem to live in some parallel universe, where earning in a week, more than a neurological scientist/surgeon earns in a year, does not preclude an agitation for moves motivated by a desire for more money. I remember now with some shame and nostalgia, the days when Dennis Bergkamp had to practically beg for extensions to his contract, and how some of us, myself included in that number, wished that he'll just leave for new blood to come in. Football has changed forever, and it's not necessarily for the best. It stinks
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19/08/2012 16:14:00

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19/08/2012 16:15:00
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19/08/2012 16:15:00

Good review of the game yesterday:
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19/08/2012 16:33:00

BBC also on board with the Sahin deal:
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19/08/2012 16:35:00

If we get Sahin, I don't think we need M'Vila. I'm a massive fan of Sahin and AW has always favoured midfielders with some creative ability, not completely defensive ones. I'd be pretty chuffed with our transfer business if get Sahin and keep hold of Walcott, even with RVP leaving. Think we are a stronger team overall than last season and think we can challenge for trophies.
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19/08/2012 17:03:00

With Sahin and Santi in our ranks, we should create plenty of chances for Poldi & Giroud to finish. Just hope Sahin deal is confirmed ASAP and goes in our squad to debut against the Stafford Orcs.
Ned Stark
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19/08/2012 17:04:00

I agree about M'Vila. Sahin will probably play a deeper role similar to Jack a couple years ago or Busquets for Barcelona.
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19/08/2012 17:06:00

Not convinced about Sahin. He's another small skillful player most effective in a counter-attacking teams. And he aint that great in the air either, and is one-footed. Even Barcelona know you can have too many of those. Is he the no-nonsense tough tackling shield we need?
Wyn Mills
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19/08/2012 17:43:00

I don't think we need a no-nonsense tough tackling midfielder like a De Jong or Scott Parker. If everyone's fully fit we will probably have a midfield 3 of Sahin, Arteta and Cazorla. Sahin and Arteta will share the defensive duties between them, giving Cazorla more of a free role and I think that should be enough defensively. We also have 3 very good passers of the ball that can then unlock defences. The important thing is that every player presses the opposition when we don't have ball to win it back, like Barca do.
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19/08/2012 18:25:00

Ha. It appears Alan Shearer spoke a little too soon on Twitter: "@MrAlanShearer: What a signing for Liverpool, Nuri Sahin on loan. Arsenal losing out shows why cups and ambitions matter to players. Liverpool look strong." A Liverpool fan bragging about ambition is rich.
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19/08/2012 18:41:00

He's not even a liverfool fan, he's just a xenophobic cock.
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19/08/2012 18:49:00

Yeah, duh. Brain fart. I knew he wasn't a 'Pool supporter.

I think we need another striker too. There was a report on French TV Canal+ that we were in discussions for Llorente. He's not even on the bench today for Bilbao. Even if we don't go get another striker.
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19/08/2012 18:58:00

*Even if we don't get another striker, I'd like to see Arsene try a 4-4-2 sometime with Podolski and Giroud up front. Maybe in a cup game later in the season.
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19/08/2012 19:04:00

Dont understand the logic of Song leaving unless his agent and him were creating a lot of problems behind the scenes. Sahin is not a pure defensive midfielder but that is a good thing. Sahin can also tackle quite well though he uses it more as a last resort. He is more a interceptor in the mould of Gilberto Silva only with more skill on the ball. Would be great if he arrives but the tem itself will take some time to gel. We may see what this new team is capable of only after 5 or so games in the league.
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19/08/2012 19:20:00

His comments just go to show how fu(king anti arsenal the media/pundits are.....all I kept hearing last night was "rvp would have scored that". I actually think as a collective we are much stronger now then last season. In song we haven't exactly lost a DM. Song was about as effective at tackling as Paul scholes. Look at our bench last year and look at it now....even more so in a couple of months with jack back. Arteta, wilshere and cazorla as a middle three im struggling to think of a team with a stronger middle 3....with rosicky, diaby and sahin for back up.....not forgetting ox can play in there. Gervinho looks like the real deal. I'm actually really excited about this new chapter. We have a very strong squad, maybe a decent right back as back up for sagna would be nice but I'm certainly not going to spit my dummy out if we don't make anymore signings. I rate sahin highly, he was the most valuable player in the bundesLiga last year so he's no mug. Wenger knows we need like for like quality on the bench to challenge for silverware and we have not had that for a long time. Last year our bench was a joke, especially the first half of the season. I think most of our core players bar Walcott are on long term contracts now which means we can't get held to ransom like nasri and rvp. I think a top 3 finish is not beyond this team.
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19/08/2012 19:24:00

By all reports, Song and Darren Dein agitated for a move all summer.

Rennes chairman Frederic de Saint-Serni has confirmed that Yann M'Vila has played his last game for the club. He will move this week. Still unsure which club is in for him.
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19/08/2012 19:25:00

If we bring Sahin in I'll quite happily forget Song every existed. Decent player, but as I've said countless times, he's by far the dopiest footballer ever to exist. Billy big balls will find out what kind of a player he is when he gets to Camp Nou. An avergae one. And we'll be all the better for it I think. Sahin in and I'll be well chuffed.
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19/08/2012 20:39:00

I love how most pundits are writing us off. Haven't they learned anything from past seasons? Its a Citeh/Utd/Chavsea/scouser love fest out there.
Wyn Mills
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19/08/2012 21:01:00

Looks like a big clear out is a-foot. Maybe someone has suggested to AW it's not good to have too many under-achievers in the squad so he's getting rid of most of the players that have proved consistently that they are not good enough at the very top level.It's about time IMO - sometimes I wondered how the F*** certain players ever got to pull the shirt on in the first place.
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19/08/2012 22:30:00

I'm befuddled about exactly why Barca would want Song in the first place, they have Mascherano, there's Sergio, I'm certain there's some other promising player waiting to come off their production line as well, and yet, they are coveting a player they don't seem to need. Song was one player Wenger spent years building up and it's unfortunate that all that counted for nothing at the end of the day. Fans of other clubs might take this as sour grapes, but I am happy that Wenger's blinkers seems to have finally come off, we can do a whole lot better than Song, and it's good riddance to bad rubbish.
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19/08/2012 22:52:00

While the game is dictated by money and player wages nothing will change. Every summer the Billionaire club will look to strip us and the other closer rivals of the best players to weaken them. While nothing is done about this, the league will stumble on until fans outside the big three get bored and pressure for a containment of this money virus killing the game become essential. Players are now developed and sold as commodities to the monopolists with the biggest cheque book and highest pay packet without the balance of any sort of commercial reality. This game is now in a mess.
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19/08/2012 23:54:00

I think Song was the last player with Darren Dein as his agent. I wouldn't be surprised if Wenger authorized a low-ball deal just to screw him out of some agent's fees (not really, but it would be funny). Anyway, don't expect Wenger to buy anybody represented by this ingrate parasite again. Daddy's connections got him on the club's recommended list for players looking for new agents and then he spends the next six years screwing Arsenal at every available opportunity. NB- none of the above may be true, it's just what I've gleaned from various sources.
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20/08/2012 00:35:00

Talk about hypocrisy!Damn you guys are hilarious,are you seriously complaining that a richer club takes away your players?Erm...where did those players come from exactly?How many of the players in your team were in your academy at age 15 and below?Didn't they leave other selling clubs,like yourselves, because of the pull of more money and fame?Please stop embarrassing yourselves like this!
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20/08/2012 04:34:00

What possible use could they have for Song?
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20/08/2012 04:56:00

Alex I ain't Complaining about anything mate. And I think your point is about 1 persons opinion, so why exaggerate the fact? But to counteract Your argument I think the original point made was regarding sugar daddy oil rich clubs, now if your comparing us to them, then your comparing every team in the football league to them, they all scout for youngsters to join there teams! You must be a sugar daddy supporter.....either that or a sour grapes spud. Arteta actually took a wage cut to play for arsenal. Podolski was offered untold rubles to play for the Russians, even giroud was wanted by abramovich.....I'm sure he could have doubled his wages at Chelsea. We will never pay 30 million pounds for a player and we don't pay 15 year olds 200 grand a week.....15 year olds join our club to develop as footballers, if they want the pull of money and fame then they join city. Your argument is null and void.
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20/08/2012 05:09:00


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