Friday, April 25, 2008

Hleb and Flamini will both leave, wrecking Arsenal's summer transfer plans.

Both Alex Hleb and Matthieu Flamini are as good as gone. Hleb will definitely not play for the club again; Flamini may, but if his deal is not signed by next Wednesday, then why would Arsene pick him for the final two games of the season?

Flamini is set to join AC Milan, according to these reports emanating from Italy. Maybe I'm giving too much credence to the Italian media, but it would seem unlikely that these ideas are being plucked from thin air. Flamini has procrastinated all season, in a rather unseemly way, over signing his deal, and it would seem odd that at the eleventh hour that he'd turn round and sign the contract. He blew off his hometown club (Marseille) to join us, so I doubt he has any deeper loyalty to us.

It's hard to judge what type of loss Flamini is: he's been a revelation this season, but, to be frank, a bit rubbish before then. Nevertheless, our midfield was reliant this seaon on a player we won't have next year, and, on top of this, we've lost another player that we bought to take over from Gilberto - Diarra. I'll write more on the Diarra fiasco come the end of the season, but, for now, it is obvious that this was a massive mistake by Arsene and the club.

Hleb, will also go to Milan, according to Myles over on ANR, but to Inter, not AC. I very much doubt this deal has actually occurred, but given Arsene's rather panicky statements about Hleb on recently, the silence emanating from Alex himself, and the new FIFA rules which allow Hleb to buy himself out if his contract, I'd say a transfer out of the club is imminent. Who knows; maybe in Serie A he may score more than his colossal 4 goals this season, 2 of which came in August.

I've defended Hleb since he arrived at the club, but maybe it is best he moves on. At the very least he needs competition for his position, and perhaps a lecture from Arsene about how attacking midfielders are meant to score, not just create, goals. Even so, I would keep him as a squad player, instead of losing more experience from the squad.

Overall, while both players have done well for us this season, especially Flamini, neither are irreplaceable. However, if both were to leave, we would need to sign 2 replacements, plus the 2-3 players we actually need to push us on to trophies next year. We have Vela coming back, but would he really be a replacement for Hleb, or yet another player who needs 6mths-year to settle in? Gareth Barry has been mooted as a replacement for Flamini but he's a) 27 b) will cost a fortune as he's English and c) probably not quick enough to play for us. Krankjaer is a player who is far more interesting, but, again, I don't fancy our chances in brokering a deal that Arsene see's as good enough value.

In short, what I fear is a semi-meltdown in the club this summer. Our squad was too thin last summer to challenge for trophies, and if two key players both leave, who Arsene clearly wishes to keep, it means we not only have to add, we need to replace. And, I fear, only replacement, if that, will occur. If this is the case, no trophies will be forthcoming next year. We have the quality, but not quantity in the squad at the moment, and two major departures would make reconciling this situation even harder.

Moreover, the team Arsene has been 'building' will lose two of its vital foundations. That's the problem with building something; if you don't do it quickly enough, it can fall apart. Let's hope this isn't the case, but I'm worried.


Kos said...

Don't get me started on Diarra!

Flamini will be huge loss and I share your fears about the summer. He gives us tempo and much needed agression in midfield.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite happy about this.

I don't think Flamini and Hleb are the ones to take us to glory.

Fabregas carries Flamini - the latter allowing the former to do his job. We need someone with real personality. We need a Vieira, a Juninho or a Makelele.

Hleb is not world class. He's a world class dribbler, but he can't score. The Arsenal way is to score a lot of goals. We can do better. We need a Pires / Ronaldinho / Ronaldo, not a Hleb.

Point made.

Kos said...

Oh for Robert Pires! Flamini has pesonality on the pitch and is still young and developing. Pity his personality seems to lack a little loyalty.

Anonymous said...

Wenger will not replace either player properly. He'll lowball Real for Robinho for a couple of weeks, then spend the rest of the summer moaning about not being able to compete with Chelsea, and there 'not being enough time'.

Anonymous said...

Happy days if Hleb leaves.

Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

Don't be fucking stupid.

If Hleb goes, we're fucked. Not just a bit, but quite a lot.


Archie said...

You're right - just daft.

If we sell Hleb, who do you suggest we sign? Kranjcar? The Zog?


Danish Gooner said...

It is a blessing in disguise losing Hleb.......he is far to much of a show pony.He didnt score many goals in Germany and he never ever scores for Arsenal.This will FORCE wenger in to doing something new and it is about time.

Danish Gooner said...

Regarding Flamini it is a bigger loss but to say that we are losing creativity is far fetched.....he is a bruiser and a fighter but not very creative.We must get someone who actually can play through midfield and be a danger like Pires and Ljungberg(and remember ljungberg could scrap too) more show ponies like Hleb and Rosicky but real proper footballers.

Anonymous said...

Danish, how many did Hleb create though?? Quite short sighted if you just focus on goals scored... And if you think it's that easy to pick up a replacement who is going to both create and score and slot into our midfield straight away then i think you are being naive.

Anonymous said...

The keyword in this article is "foundation". No matter who you bring in this summer cannot fit in straight away into the style Arsenal have created. Hleb and Flamini are major pillars in that foundation. If fans on blogs feel we have players who are world class dribblers and cannot score, may I remind you to remind yourself about why Arsenal fell short this season? "Personnel"..."thin squad", to mention just two.

If you all want to be honest, do any of you see Arsene Wenger bringing in five players in the summer? IMHO No!.
Wenger just doesn't buy in bulk like that. When last did he do that in one summer? When last did he make 5 signings in one tranfer window? I cannot see it happen and it will. In the absence of Lehmann and Gilberto leaving, I believe Arsenal need at least 4, ideally 5 key signings this summer. If Hleb and Flamini goes then you are talking of at least 6, ideally 7 signings for us to even think about winning anything next season.
I'm as worried as the editor. I just feel Arsenal are on the way down at the moment. The only way to take control now is to do the right thing. Keep those 2 players at the club. Then look at additions. If that fails then Wenger has no choice but to buy buy buy. We all want him to buy. I do. But if Hleb and Flam both go, then another rebuilding will start again and I expect Wenger to start buying 19 and 20 year olds in the summer. Truth must be told!

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern is just reading the amount of articles/blogs/reports on arsenal fans fearing the club are not strong enough to compete for the title at the moment, which sadly I fully share with everyone. It clearly goes to show something is fundamentally wrong with whats going on at arsenal at the moment, Im deeply concerned about whats going on at our club. As much as I love wenger is he becoming a hindrance on us really moving forward? He’s becoming stubborn with this "I believe in these youngsters nonsense" which hasn’t got us close to winning anything in 3 ys. looks like were set to lose more players this summer and as everyone has pointed out at best just likely to replace them, not add to our squad. Are we really not going to learn?? Last yr we lost henry/freddy/alliadiare/babtise ( all be it some of them were useless)- 4 players out and bought in 2. A deficit of 2. Were not building anything so this nonsense wenger keeps trying to push on the fans and the media just doesn’t wash with me anymore. Enough is enough. We need to inject money into this club and start bulking up our squad, and then, only then can we go the distance and start seeing silverwar back at our club! whats most depressing is that half the players he might want he wont pay the fees, failing to see that the market dictates these silly price tags these days. We Will buy £8-9 mill player who frankly is not proven to be world class. enough of my moaning, iv been depressed ever since clichy decided to turn his back in the box in the last minute of that Birmingham game!

Anonymous said...

Uh? What the hell!

Iamtheshit said...

Blogger you chat crap, your no better than the cunts that write the newspapers. You are actually basing all this on what you read/see in the media. And as for myles palmer, he`s the fucking anti-christ of arsenal blogging he constantly chats megabollox.

Hleb would be easily replacable.
Flamini on the other hand a little harder....but i expect the two of them to sign new deals.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal is now a nursery for the big Italian and Spanish clubs. The fact is that not only can we not afford to buy or pay big players we can't afford to keep the best players we have. Arsenal needs an injection of big money so that we can cpompete with the other top clubs. Wenger will retire in 2 years- we don't want to be playing in the Championship when he does.

weedz said...

Disagree with your opinion on Diarra. If your talking about loyalty, he has none. Dont need his sort in our tight `family`

Anonymous said...

What makes it depressing is fans listen and believing everything they see and hear in the papers and pundits.

If they said the sky was literally to fall on the emirates staidum - then fans would moan and post blogs about how its wengers fault or the board or Ade fault for not scoring enough goals and completely take it in.

Its pathetic, honestly. even fans from other teams are really shocked at the pathetic-ness of our fans moaning. and think we are all fair weather.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:09

I quite agree. I think Arsenal must have the most moaning set of the fans in the world. Just think what they would be saying if we were playing crap football and out of the top 4. And if we did not have one of the best stadiums and managers in the world, a great set of young players coming through etc. etc. etc. I think some of them need to get a life!!

Anonymous said...

This is definatly a blessing in disguise... Hleb is by no means our most important player, neither is Flamini. Hleb is a show-pony, i would be cool with that if he scored a shit load of goals... but he doesnt.

Flamini is nothing without Fabregas... Lets be honest, neither player will be the same when playing in Italy.

It still pisses me off that these clubs who think they are bigger than us think that they are far superior and our players will drop everything to join them...

Flamini is only in it for the money, if he wanted to play for Arsenal he wouldnt have let his situation get this serious. Can someone please explain to me what is so fantastic about Juventus and Milan??... Milan arnt even gonna qualify for the CL.

Wenger knows what the fans want.... and i actully think he will spend some real money on some well known players this summer..

I love us signing young players but
we do need some world-class players... theres no doubt about that...

We will be fucking unstopable next season


Anonymous said...

You're fucking idiotic.

With the squad we have and losing another 2 without replacing or adding, we should looking to the season after the next right now.

We are not adding with Wenger at the helm. Period.

Can we end next season right now?

Maybe we have to look forward to the season after the next after the next after the next....

Gerry Gooner said...

Reality check- Inter/ AC/ Juventus ARE bigger clubs than us.

Reality check #2- we don't have funds to seriously compete in the market- Why? New stadium? Should we ot be better off now.

Reality check #3- Goonerboy is 100% corect.

IF we retain all our current players we need at least 2-3 to come in all of whom should be experienced 23-26 year olds. If we lose hleb and flamini it will cost about 20 million to replace them with quality- thats prob our funds spent. that is a problem.

Reality check #4- Diarra wanted to leave- no point keeping him. He wanted to play week in week out- ironically Flamini was keeping him out of the team. Arsene is too soft on players- we know this. Contrary to the media Diarra has been only quite good at Portsmouth not brilliant. remember chelsea couldn't keep him from us either.

Reality check #5- if we don't spend serious money this summer - we will not win the league and Arsene's honeymmon is over- all the spin about kids and great football won't wash with us again. We want a winning team and money spent- not too much to ask from a fanbase which pays top prices to fill a 60000 stadium every other week.

Anonymous said...

If anyone actually bothered reading FIFA's article 17 they would realise this site (& all the others who revel in wallowing in this absurd & widespread Arsenal negativity) is talking out of it's backside with regard Hleb's contract situation.
The new regulations (article 17)provide a protected period for contracts which is 3 years service for a player whose contract was executed before he was 28, and 2 years for a player whose contract was executed after he was 28. As far as I'm aware Hleb is 26 & has only served 2 years of a 4 year contract so if he doesn't sign a new contract this Summer then we can all go hang ourselves through worry next year.

Anonymous said...

hleb we can do without - pretty football yes, dribbling yes, goal creation and possession yes but still something ineffectual about his play - not just lack of goals but also over-elaborate play sometimes that destroys good attacking positions. he may develop but it looks like he'll get better in Italy not London.
Flamini on the other hand not as skilled but will be missed - and has left us in the sh*t a little but too, because he replaced Gilberto and caused Diarra to go. And to be honest ha left me feeling like he's ditched us.
But if he wants to go let, him sit on a bench or play lb somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

hleb we can do without - pretty football yes, dribbling yes, goal creation and possession yes but still something ineffectual about his play - not just lack of goals but also over-elaborate play sometimes that destroys good attacking positions. he may develop but it looks like he'll get better in Italy not London.
Flamini on the other hand not as skilled but will be missed - and has left us in the sh*t a little but too, because he replaced Gilberto and caused Diarra to go. And to be honest ha left me feeling like he's ditched us.
But if he wants to go let, him sit on a bench or play lb somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

You guys need to understand that Flamini would be a huge loss, no doubt but hleb most times play when Rosicky is injured and if arsene buys ben arfa from lyon and rosicky is fit, hleb would have to force his way back to the bench since he his often used most times as a second striker(Lack of strikers) or as a replacement for rosicky.Carlos Vela is coming back and for Flamini to improve that way carlos vela could even improve better than that since he has been a regular in Osasuna.

Connolly's agent said...

We could do without Hleb IF we have a replacement. We could do without Flamin IF we have a replacement. I think that doubts arise because we know Wenger doesn't buy like-for-like replacements. He'll buy some no-name, talented 24 year old and graft him into the side. It'll take 2 years for him to find his niche, and by that stage, Cesc will start to agitate for a move.

I'm more worried about Wenger. His outbursts are out of character.

Anonymous said...

Hleb does nothing, too few goals, too few assists. Easy to replace. Flamoney had 1 decent season but hes no Essien, hes no Makalele, hes no Vieira. Again not difficult to replace. Im far more worried about our defensive frailty's. If our defence was better we would have won the league at a canter. If I was manager, i'd buy Ben Arfa, Kompany, Queresma and Makoun. Perhaps sell Roshitty.

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