Well, Arsene Wenger said he wanted to keep Alexander Hleb. He was quite emphatic about it. Sadly for the manager the player wants out. Last night quotes emerged from his agent which left little doubt as to his future. Nikolai Shpilevski said:
Alex is preparing to make one of the most important moves of his life. He is leaving even though Arsenal want to offer him a new long-term contract.
Only time will tell if it is the right decision but thereâ€™s no way back now. Everything will be settled in the next two weeks.
Oh well, I can’t say I’m really that bothered, to be honest but it’s a shoddy way for Hleb to treat the manager who showed more faith in him than others might have done. It is the moral equivalent of 11 goals in 3 seasons from an attacker. How the deal goes down is going to be interesting though. It’s fairly obvious that Inter are the club on his radar, we know from what Arsene said that the ice-cream was more than an ice-cream and frankly any player who goes to meet another club the night before such a huge game is a bit of a cunt when you think about it.
Will he do a Webster? Will Inter try and maintain some kind of cordial relationship with Arsenal and offer a fee? That remains to be seen. What is in little doubt is that he’s on his way and for all his skill and ability on the ball we’re not losing a great deal of end product. Hleb always seemed to be the square peg trying to fit into the round hole – not a winger, he preferred to play behind the striker but wasn’t even close to being good enough to fulfill the ‘number 10′ role. He can twinkle his toes out the door and go and fuck himself. I know we don’t really need to be losing players this summer but next please. He is very replaceable, in my opinion.
Another agent apparently stirring up trouble is Emmanuel Adebayor’s. The Mail has a story which claims Adebayor is demanding Â£80,000 a week to stay at Arsenal but that Arsenal can’t afford to pay that kind of money. Now, I can’t imagine Adebayor making those kinds of demands. I just don’t see it. And let’s remember the Mail is the paper that ran the story about Gallas having no mates at Arsenal, spinning a story about international colleagues to make it look like he was dumping on the club. But the biggest clue that this story is a load of shit comes when you read this line:
All that could be solved if the club were to accept the help of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, but chairman Peter Hill-Wood and director Danny Fiszman say no.
You don’t have to be any kind of genius at all to work out that the story has been planted by Fat & Orange. This has the dirty, spray-on tan fingerprints of Dein all over it. I mean seriously, if you’re going to try and undermine the club in the press at least distance yourself from it slightly so it’s not so blindingly fucking obvious that’s what you’re doing. Fucking pathetic, I have to say, and I hope everyone else can see this blatant piece of scaremongering shite for what it is – half-arsed, subpar PR for F&O, the fat and orange cunts.
The Daily Express reports that Birmingham’s Karen Brady was interviewed by Arsenal last month and thought she had done well enough to get the job as Managing Director, a job which wasn’t available last month. Hmmm. Anyway, her arrest in relation to a corruption in football investigation has apparently scuppered her chances of the job and we’ll be looking elsewhere.
Some early team news ahead of Sunday’s vital…*cough*…game against Sunderland reveals that some kids are going to get a chance. Kieran Gibbs and Mark Randall are likely to be involved in the squad and with injuries the way they are one of them may even start. More thorough team news from the boss and his press conference today. It’s going to be an interesting one with the Hleb story and I’m very curious to see his reaction to this Adebayor thing.
In this week’s OleOle sponsored Arsecast I chat with Goodplaya about Keith Edelman, Flamini, Eboue and more. There’s a player history, Eboue, some more on the OleOle deal and some other bits and pieces.
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Right, have a good Friday. More on the fallout of all this on tomorrow’s blog.