There really isn’t a great deal to say about yesterday’s game. I’m thankful I was watching it in a pub with other Arsebloggers yesterday because it was a snoozefest and a half. A real end of season game and even though Everton had something to play for the lack of ambition they showed meant they deserved exactly what they got. Which was nothing.
The goal came when substitute Armand Traore whipped in a good cross and Nicklas Bendtner, who had started the move, arrived with perfect timing to power home a header. That’s 9 goals in total for the young Dane and while his game still needs work and he can improve a lot of his play, that’s an impressive return for somebody who played very much a cameo role this season. When you look at how Aliadiere fared in similar circumstances it’s easy to see the difference. The Dane has more goals in one season than the Frenchman in his entire Arsenal career.
There’s not much else to talk about really. Alex Song did well at centre-half again and there was a nice touch from Arsene Wenger who brought on Jens Lehmann to give him a chance to say a real goodbye to the fans. And that’s the most memorable thing about yesterday, the fact that we’re losing two of our players.
Jens has found it hard this season after being dropped. Some of his comments were rather impolitic and I was critical of him for that but I’m going to miss the mad old cunt. What he achieved with the club shouldn’t be forgotten. He had the unenviable task of replacing a true legend in David Seaman and he was ever present in the team that went unbeaten for an entire league season. I remember at the Champions League final in Paris seeing him after the game walking to one of the family/sponsor areas and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look as gutted in my entire life. After the heroics of the semi-final against Villarreal it was heartbreaking. He’ll go and play for Germany in Euro2008 and then make a decision on his future – so for now it’s thanks Jens and good luck, you toe-stamping, Drogba pushing, ref baiting, Gallas shouting, top save making loon.
Extra: Sky Sports interview with Jens.
Mathieu Flamini appears to have flown to Italy to sign a 4 year deal with AC Milan (who kept their Champions League hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Inter and saw nearest rivals for 4th place Fiorentina lose – boooo!). Whatever way you want to look at it, AC Milan is a massive club with huge pedigree. The chance to join a club like that doesn’t come along for too many players and when you factor in the kind of money he was being offered it’s understandable that he’s gone. Disappointing too but we have to be realistic about it. Go back 12 months and how many people would have been up in arms if Flamini had gone to Birmingham (like the rumours suggested) and how many would have sanctioned a wage deal of Â£55,000 a week for him?
I suppose in the modern game all you can really ask of your players is that they give you 100% every time they go on the pitch and that they respect their contracts. Flamini did that on both counts. He was a trojan worker and all he did was take play the game by its rules when it came to his new contract. It’s a shame he’s leaving, I think we had the perfect combination with him and Cesc in midfield (something the manager needs to replicate for next season), but there you go. Good luck to him but life goes on and the Arsenal will, like the Dude, abide.
By his own admission the manager needs to sit down with Gilberto regarding his future and with Hleb potentially about to do a Webster it could be a busy few weeks ahead. More of the manager’s thoughts about yesterday, Flamini, Jens and Bendtner, here.
It’s a bank holiday here so it’s a short one today. The sun is shining, there’s a game of five-a-side later on and I’m going to spend the day chilling out.