As Alex Song gets ready to be unveiled as the latest Barcelona player to have learned his trade at Arsenal, it is interesting to note the mass of stories which appeared today saying that the player’s attitude took something of a nosedive in recent months and that Arsene, having stood behind the player and nurtured him from a man who couldn’t even trap a ball in to one of Arsenal’s most important players last season, simply got fed up with him. Here was a player who many fans called to be replaced or shipped out as he simply wasn’t good enough during most of his time at Arsenal, but Wenger knew that underneath the rugged edges of a player who had arrived at the club for under £1m lurked a very decent midfielder.
Late to training, ignoring the instructions of staff and senior players and demanding more money after his best season, sounds all too familiar when it comes to the modern-day footballer and it is easy to lump them all in to this category however, it must be said, that the majority don’t behave like the ones we read about in the papers. That’s what makes it ‘news’ when it does happen.
It seems to me like yet another betrayal by a player Arsene has shown faith in and Song becomes the seventh player (along with Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Thierry Henry, Alexander Hleb, Cesc Fabregas) to leave for the Catalan club during Arsene Wenger’s reign. I know. I thought it would have been more as well.
He did, however, at least acknowledge that he would be nothing without Arsenal so that’s something I guess.
As Song leaves the signing of Nuri Sahin on a year long loan draws ever closer but he is far from a like-for-like replacement. I saw an interesting point made on Twitter yesterday in that Arsenal have had a number of years to bring in a purely defensive midfielder since Gilberto was allowed to leave and have chosen not to do so. You would think, therefore, that this is more a decision than lack of available talent to fulfill that role.
In other news, two of Arsenal new boys have been talking. Firstly, Santi revealed how his nickname is ‘fat boy’ and that he chose to sing the Macarena as his initiation song upon joining the club while Olivier has pleaded for time after the press went to town at the weekend for him not being Robin van Persie during his first 25 minutes of competitive action with his new club in a new league.
If you missed it yesterday, Sunday Supplement, who are usually quite negative about Arsenal, really went to town on the club with some pretty pathetic and baseless statements, most which can be read here.
Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Stoke and while it’s great to get it out of the way, perhaps coming on the back of an opening day draw is not ideal for those who love to wallow in their doom and misery would see more dropped points as proof positive that Arsenal are, once again, set for failure, completely forgetting that for Stoke, Arsenal’s arrival gives them the chance to play in a way they don’t really bother to achieve at any other time during the season. It will be a tough game, of that there is no doubt and we’ll look at it closer to the time. For now, I’ll just leave you with a look at Arsenal’s opening day fixture record in the Premier League when we’ve played at home [Sulia].
Gossip, news, rumours and the like on the Gossip site throughout the day, although I have to go out for a few hours so I fully expect Nuri Sahin to be announced during that time.
Oh, and if you missed it, Tottenham want Chamakh on loan. Seriously.------------
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