Massive thanks to JAT who has been blogging in my absence, with two excellent posts reviewing the season so far and the Everton game… Cheers Big Man! I owe you at least one bottle of Jack Daniels!
Adios to the Flamster
No sooner did I get off the plane did I find out what we all thought was going to happen, Mr Mathieu Flamini has signed for Milan on a four year contract for £60,000 a week. We’d supposedly gone up to £50k, and some newspapers even reporting we’d gone up to £55k, but it looks like the $$$ were too alluring for the young Frenchman and despite being a boyhood Juve fan, he’s signed for their arch rivals, AC. Vice-president Adriano Galliani said after the win against Inter:
“Flamini is set to arrive tonight. He will sign a four-year deal”
And that seems to be it. Arsene has been playing Denilson in recent games in the holding midfield position, but knows he’s got to dip into the transfer market to replace the Flamster.
“We have done what we had to do, it is now down to him to make a decision. At some stage you have to make a decision and if he goes we have to look at our options.
“We can’t wait until July. You could lose players if they come on the market. My ideal solution is that he stays, so I am not happy if he goes – but we’ve done everything we can.”
It will be interesting to see who Arsene brings in as we’ve got to progress on this season’s results and to have someone new brought into the team and integrate immediately is a big ask. A defensive midfield version of Sagna will do? Arsene?
Well, the most obvious secret of modern football, Jens Lehmann has played his last game for the club. Arsene brought him on today for a cameo appearance (more on the game later) and that signalled his final game for the club.
“He is a super professional and super talented. In the seven years I worked with Jens I could not fault him.
“He was focused every single day and worked very hard.”
There have been mixed words from the big German but ultimately he was a great signing at the time, and had a good few years at the club… not sure if it was 7 Arsene, Jens seems to think it was 5!!
“The moment at the end was an amazing feeling for me – after five years and a lot of emotional moments. It was a great farewell for me and I am really grateful to the supporters and they will always stay in my heart.”
Well, thanks for your years of service Jens, and good luck to the future!
Arsenal 1 – 0 Everton…
When I boarded the plane, it was 0-0 just about to kick off and when I landed, the game was 1-0 to the Gunners and that puts us one point behind Chelksi who can hand Man U the title if they lose to Newcastle tomorrow which will surely be an interesting game at St James Park.
Niklas Bendtner struck in the 77th minute to gain all three points on the day. Here’s a line up overview:
Fabianski (Lehmann 70’), Toure (Traore 70’), Clichy, Gallas, Song, Denilson, Gilberto, Walcott, Eboue, Adebayor (Senderos 87’), Bendtner.
Subs not used: Djourou, Gibbs.
Howard, Hibbert, Lescott, Yobo, Jagielka, Carsley (Yakubu 80’), Fernandez (Baines 90’), Pienaar, Neville, Osman, Johnson (Anichebe 80’).
Subs not used: Wessels, Rodwell.
Arsene agreed with most of the 909 / 606 listeners that I heard on the way back…
“The fluency was a bit difficult sometimes, and you could see that it was a little bit an end of season game, especially with the fact that they didn’t open up, Everton, at all. They played with Johnson up front, but we were sound at the back, controlled at the back, didn’t create as many chances as usually but we scored a great goal and in the end, I think we just deserved a win today because they didn’t create a lot, Everton, and overall we deserved to win this game.”
But did find time to single out the progress of the young Dane, whom has come on leaps and bounds this season. A player that maybe not all fans like and definitely some players, but some of the callers on the radio today were bang out of order saying his was the weak link. He’s just a kid and if it wasn’t for injuries to VP and Eduardo, he’d have been blooded more slowly, but everytime he has come in he’s looked impressive. So good luck to Niklas, continue improving and show us you can be an Arsenal great in years to come…
“Bendtner? Fantastic. I think if you look at Bendtner on the 1st of August and Bendtner on the 1st of May there is a massive difference. He has become a good player, and if you look at the chances he has created, in the time he plays, and the times he has scored, especially the goal he scored today… You need to understand the game because he’s on the move, he meets the ball, he finishes well, I’m impressed by him.”
Well, that’s me back in the country… I’m going to watch Real Madrid lift their title trophy and catch up on MOTD on a day that saw Stoke promoted and Leicester relegated.
Football, eh? A funny old game…