Thursday is Wednesday: Arsenal on the verge on signing Striker Eren Derdiyok? Hleb, a tale of 2 stories…

In some crazy twisted contrast in reports, we've heard two stories, both completely contrasting each other. On Wednesday morning, it broke in the local Barcelona newspaper, El Mundo, that Hleb had agree terms with Barcelona over a proposed move this summer. It commented that a certain Mr Txiki Begiristain, the sporting director of Barcelona, had flown over to Germany to see Senor Hleb...

Let's see what happens over the next few days...

El Mundo reported that the TB said that Alex Hleb was top of new manager Guardiola's list and would be the third summer signing, after signing Gerard Pique from Man U and Seydou Keita from Sevilla. He also went on to say that Barcelona wouldn't pay more that £15m for the player. I'd personally be happy with such an amount for a player who we all think doesn't want to play here. We did sign him for £11.2m a few years ago, and he is "available" if he bought his contract out for about £5-6m.

But after all of these reports today and a large amount of Hleb's agents speaking in the last few days (why has this guy got three agents?), Alex Hleb has come out today to deny wanting to leave Arsenal and also criticising the sources of these reports. Alex, go speak to your agents! This is what our flamboyant midfielder had to say to website Apologies for the non-German speaking guys out there... but good bits have been translated and bolded...

SPOX: Für viele sind Sie schon ein großer Spieler. Für viele fehlen dazu noch die Titel. Wie sehen Sie das?

Hleb: Sie haben Recht. Titel sind das Wichtigste. Du kannst sehr gut spielen, vielleicht einer der Besten überhaupt sein, aber nach der Karriere fragen dich alle, was du gewonnen hast. Titel zu gewinnen, ist auch für mich das Wichtigste. Die Zeit läuft, aber es ist einfach noch nicht passiert. Es ist ganz schwer. In diesem Jahr habe ich gedacht, dass ich zwei Titel gewinne, aber es ist wie gesagt alles schief gelaufen.

They are right, trophies are the very important. The team can play very well, and perhaps be one the best teams, but when your career is finished then what have you won? The team must win trophies and its is also the very important for me. As time runs out, I have to make sure I do not pass without winning. In this year I thought that I could win two titles, but the run at the end of the season was very bad.

SPOX: Arsenal spielt den schönsten, weil schnellsten Fußball. Glauben Sie, dass man mit diesem Stil Titel gewinnen kann oder muss man vielleicht umdenken?

Hleb: Nein, ich glaube nicht, dass man die Spielweise ändern muss. Wir hatten am Ende so viele Verletzte. Wenn Rosicky gesund gewesen wäre, wenn van Persie gesund gewesen wäre, Sagna in der Abwehr, dann hätten wir es mit dieser Mannschaft schaffen können. Und mit dieser Art zu spielen. Diese Spielweise ist die Spielweise von Arsene Wenger. Es ist sein Werk. Er ist der einzige Mann, der die Mannschaft so spielen lässt. Nur er. Wenn er mal weggehen sollte, ist bei Arsenal eine große Ära zu Ende.

No, I do not believe that we must change the play way. We had so many injured players at the end. If Rosicky had been fit, van Persie had been fit and Sagna in defense, then we could have won it with this team. To play and win with this kind of style. This is the way to play and it’s Arsene Wenger’s vision. It is his and our work. He is the only man, who lets the team play in such a way. Only he ever leaves, a massive era will end at arsenal.

SPOX: Sie haben schon angedeutet, was Arsene Wenger für Sie bedeutet. Können Sie “Mister Arsenal” genauer beschreiben?

Hleb: Arsene ist der beste Trainer, den ich je hatte. Was ihn so besonders macht, kann ich gar nicht genau erklären. Dazu muss man selbst mit ihm sprechen. Für mich ist es so: Er holt einen Spieler von weiß was ich woher und ein Jahr später ist dieser Spieler ein großer Star. Und das macht er jedes Jahr. Deswegen ist Arsene für mich Arsenal.

Arsene is a best coach whom I ever had. He has the ability to make it happen, it’s hard to explain. For me is it like that: It gets an unknown player from nowhere and is one year later this player is a large star. And he does this each year, therefore Arsene for me is arsenal.

SPOX: Können Sie sich eine Rückkehr zum VfB Stuttgart vorstellen?

Hleb: Ich weiß nicht, wann es passieren könnte, aber es ist schon mein Traum, nochmal das VfB-Trikot zu tragen.

I do not know, when it could happen, but it is already my dream to wear the shirt of VfB again.

For the entire interview in German, read it here.

So that’s the interview, and it sounds like Alex has a lot of respect for what we are trying to acheive and Arsene especially. Sky sports had a bit more from Hleb:

“I have a contract at Arsenal until 2010 and now only think of the game against Germany. I have also read [that I have said I want to leave], but I do not know who has written it. That is nonsense. I have also read that I wanted to move because Arsenal would win nothing, this too is nonsense. But I would really not like to comment on the issue really because there is nothing more to say, because the club means so much to me. I have learned so much from Arsene Wenger. This man has always supported me and given me the chance to come to Arsenal. I would therefore never say anything negative about Arsenal. If I’ll go, then only in a different league, in any case, in England, there is only Arsenal for me.”

That’s the Hleb low down. It’s all a bit strange; after hearing the recent reports in the media, it seemed we were destined to lose Hleb this summer and believed Nasri was his replacement. I’d love to keep the Belarussian as a fresh, fit, focused Hleb would be an asset. If can renew his contract that would starve off any ambiguity.

Let’s see what happens over the next few days…

In other news, the Daily Mail, which is becoming renound for printing any speculation it finds, has linked us with young Basel striker, Eren Derdiyok. It’s a typical “Wenger profile”. A good youth record, relatively unknown, young and foreign – which means it could be true or it could be a completely made up story! For all of you who vaguely remember this name, Derdiyok scored against England on his debut for Switzerland… he’s also won the “young player of the year” in Switzerland, so that’s a good sign… he would cost in the region of £5m.

Let’s see what happens over the next few days…

A link which is getting more and more frequently spoken about is a supposed bid for Portuguese defensive midfielder, Miguel Veloso. The bid is supposed to be in the region of £16m, which would make the young midfielder our biggest signing, ever, so I really don’t think there is much substance in the link. The recent reports could have been fueled by the players comments suggesting he’s played his current club.

I do not know if this was my last game for Sporting. Let’s see what the future holds for Miguel. England may be a good destination but I do not know anything about the offers.

Let’s see what happens over the next few days…

Okay, in other news, Cescy has been given the number 10 shirt for Spain’s Euro 2008 challenge this summer, and he spoke to Radio Marca about the forthcoming tournament…

It doesn’t weigh on me. You must play in your position as you know how to and with the same self-assurance as normal. Luis has given me an opportunity, and if I get time on the pitch I must use it responsibly and try to play as I do for my club.

Today’s blog is turning into a true quotathon! Lots happening in the world of Arsenal at the moment…

And a final quote today comes from “special” player, Van Persie. Special in Van Basten’s eyes and possibly he sees a bit of him in RVP! RVP has commented on himself, saying he is an Arsenal man, but in order to keep the world’s best players, Arsenal may have pay more… The quote is from the mail on Sunday, so let’s take it with a pinch of salt…

“They won’t pay enormous amounts of money. I think that they should go to a higher level of salary. If you want to keep the group together, you have to keep them happy. If you are 27 or 28, I can understand that you would make the decision to go elsewhere if you can earn three or four times as much. If that sort of money was also paid here, I’m sure that person would stay.”

A quick one for you on the staff side, we’ve signed Norwich City’s physio Neal Reynolds.

And Finally! If you like the business side of the club, Arsenal have also revealed that they’ve agreed a partnership deal with the United Bank of Africa. The agreement, I believe, means that people in Africa will soon be able to have “Arsenal” branded debit and credit cards… hopefully increasing our African following…

So, that’s a wrap, lots of reading for my avid readers. And I’d like to take this moment to say a massive thanks to all my readers who follow the blog daily, it means a lot to me and I get to to share my opinions with a ever growing group of readers whom share the same passion as me!

Remember, Thursday is the new Wednesday and Friday will be Thursday and therefore there will be no Friday.

‘Til tomorrow…]]>

  • James

    < ![CDATA[That was quote-tastic!

    The Hleb inerview is an interesting one, almost to the point of putting a new spin on proceedings. Alas, I feel it's more a case of Hleb attempting to not burn any bridges before he does leave, which I fear is inevitable. I agree with you; a fit and focused Hleb would be an assest next season, but I think that higher wages are what's going to play an important part here .

    I think RVP has a point, higher wages would be a good idea, not to the point of being ridiculous, but at least to the point of being competetive. We have the funds by all accounts.

    Also, if Thursday is the new Wednesday and Friday will be Thursday, what day am I posting this on?]]>

  • C P

    < ![CDATA[Quite the quotathon :)
    Great blog keep it up!]]>

  • sam

    < ![CDATA[mate god knows were u get this gossip but ur a legend, it every day and i trust wat i says.
    My concerns for arsenal at the monent are that although we have plenty of young talent coming through no1 in my eyes is good enough to replace the flamster and in i think it was him who enabled FAB to have such a gr8 season.
    Nasri looks quality but with him Hleb(if he stays) rositsky walcott eboe all wide players is there enuf space for them all at the club?
    and when will walcott play through the middle? or will he?
    mate keep it up i luv it.]]>

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  • http://ask wrigth

    < ![CDATA[i
    coach wenger
    you team need his player in dear team some like villa and gomez and cruz and africa hitman in team like martins and a replacement of flamin like makoun yaya- toure in team and fabergas some like nasri and moutinh and veloso and rafael-van der vaartin the team he can launch 17 million four villa and 15 milion forcruz and huntellaa four 13 million go four the player befor order club go four player in eroups 2008 end this month.


  • wrigth

    < ![CDATA[i
    coach wenger
    you team need his player in dear team some like villa and gomez and cruz and africa hitman in team like martins and a replacement of flamin like makoun yaya- toure in team and fabergas some like nasri and moutinh and veloso and rafael-van der vaartin the team he can launch 17 million four villa and 15 milion forcruz and huntellaa four 13 million go four the player befor order club go four player in eroups 2008 end this month.