Let's discuss Hangeland, Adebayor and more…!

Afternoon all, I hope you’ve all had a wonderful bank holiday. Down in London, we’ve had a lot of sun, but it literally ended yesterday as the bank holiday ended too – I won’t complain, the sun was out in full force for Sunday’s game and it was a brilliant afternoon down at the Emirates.

There’s so much going on in the World of Arsenal at the moment, it’s hard to keep up… so before I get into it all, here’s a few reminders:

Okay, on to all things Arsenal, and the summer of speculation is about to kick off. If you’ve picked up a newspaper today, you may have read the stories about Hangeland – and according to most newspapers, we’ve made a £8m bid. Where on earth the papers get their stories from is beyond me, but I’d like it to happen, definitely – I’ve been very impressed with the Norwegian international!

But just to throw us all off guard, the defender has been in the press today saying:

“I want to stay. We have been going in the right direction from the time I came here in January last year. Hopefully we can agree a new contract, and then I’ll stay here for a long time.”

Of course, the whole thing does have a hint of agent speak about it. Target a club who’s had a bad defensive season and then link your player with the club in order to get a new contract… maybe? Anywho, it’s one to keep tabs on, I’d definitely be happy with Haageland’s signing. It seems that the media have already done our transfer window shopping for us, if it were up to them, Santa Cruz is replacing Ade, who is off to Milan – whilst Hangeland and Lorik Cana are joining and that’s a wrap. They have a point, that wouldn’t be the worst set of signings, but it’s a little weird reading these rumours like they’re a done deal – in fact none of these rumours have any substance behind them!

Adebayor has been in the press today talking about Cesc Fabregas’ future – and it’s a bit weird that he’s actually discussing something not to do with him, but speculation of another player’s future, but that’s Ade for you – he actually said some very interesting things too!

“It would be complicated. He is already the most loved player of the club, a model on and off the pitch and we are happy to have him with us. To me, playing alongside makes me proud – he is talented, has personality, he has helped make Arsenal what they are and they have made him who he is today. To my mind he is fine here, he feels at home and I think that he wants to stay a few more years. He is loved, has everything he wants here, as a consequence I think he will stay, but it is his own decision.”

That’s good news coming from someone inside the camp. Cesc is one of our best players, and of course, you want your best players to stay at the club for as long as possible. I’m sure we’ll win the league under Cesc as captain, and I really hope it’s next season…

Ade also spoke on Arsene on whether he’d leave the club and said:

“Impossible, it would be like a father abandoning his children. The club love him, the fans as well; he has settled into life in England and has won titles that he will keep for life. The players like him as well.”

It seems the tables are turned a little, this time last season, Ade did all the talking and managed to get himself a ludicrious pay hike and contract extension. He’s probably still looking to leave, but now realises that he can’t – he’s contracted to the club for a while and of course, if he even murmours anything about wanting to leave, the fans will definitely not forgive him a second time – this is what he had to say:

“I have no idea of what Wenger has in mind,” Adebayor conceded. “He has always been by my side, he is aware of my qualities. He is the one who takes decisions and for sure if he tells me that he does not count on me anymore, then I will search for a new team, but if he wants me to stay I will stay. Besides I will have to stay because I am under contract.”

A little strange considering Arsene already spoke on his desire to keep Ade at the club. I think it’s going to one of those transfers or stories that we’ll never know the truth about until September 1st.

The good thing is that Adebayor has come out and said that he’d like to stay at Arsenal, win trophies and also lambasted the papers for all the stories… here’s the stuff we’ve all been waiting for:

“All I can say is I am a footballer and if a club like Milan are interested in me then I cannot lie to you, I am happy, because it is Milan,” said Adebayor. “But the thing is that it stops there – I am very happy playing for Arsenal, and this is what I always say.

“At the end of the day you just get bored of this – people read these things and then the fans will boo you for what you never said, but again I repeat that I am very happy here.

“I have got nothing to say to anybody. People are always there to judge – but they are not on the pitch, they are writing what they want to.

“I cannot explain myself to those people. They think what they are saying is right. I cannot do a better job than a journalist. I cannot do a better job than politicians – what I can do is play my football.

“This season I have given 100% of what I have, and I’m looking forward to coming back next season and trying to achieve things.

“I don’t care what we have to do to win something – we have got to do whatever it takes to bring trophies home.”

I’m sure all of this Adebayorism will be discussed fruitfully in the comments section post blog… what do you think? Are you happy to have Adebayor as your #1 striker next season?

And a final word for the youth team today who take on their Liverpudlian counterparts… good luck, don’t be complacent and come  back with a trophy!

  • Fo

    I think there is some real substance to the Haageland link, it’s in every newspaper this morning and also Roy Hodgson said he won’t stand in his way.

    The lad is 6 foot 5 and exactly what we need.

    As for Adebayor, if he stays then I suppose that would be good, I hope he goes back to what he was like last season though, chasing every ball!

  • ArseFan101

    If Haageland is so good, then we won’t get him for £8m. Also, with Hypia leaving and Carvalho and Dunne getting older, I’d probably think Liverpool, City and Chelsea will be in for him too. Bidding war means we have no chance.

    As for Ade, I don’t know what to think about it. He’s not been at his best this season… maybe it is time for him to leave.

  • devday

    Haageland is definitely one of the best defenders in the league, he’d be an asset for us, a leader, has height and is an intelligent defender. He knows the premier league, so would be ideal.

    Man City aren’t in the Champions League – Chelsea have Carvalho, Terry and Alex, so Haageland will be fourth choice and Liverpool, I think have a few at the back too, in Agger, Carragher and Skirtel.

    If Haageland had the choice, wouldn’t he choose us – Champions League – and first choice?

  • ArseFan101

    I see where you’re coming from, I’ve heard figures of £8m as well as £15m for the guy too – are Fulham in need of money? Do they need to sell?

  • Pete

    Would definately be a statement of intent if we land a player like Haaneland, the guy is quality. Wouldn’t surprise me if he stayed at Fulham though to be honest. He’s worked with Roy Hodgeson before in Norway and they apparently get along pretty well. Plus wont Fulham will be playing in Europe next season too having finished 7th? Thats probably enough incentive for him to stay I think.

    Would like to hear more about an expeerienced defending midfielder at the moment though, seeing thats what we lack from the entire squad. But the talk of Haangeland is a good place to start. Could think of plenty of worse players we could be linked with lol :D

    Pleased to hear the Ade saying all the right things. Seems to be making a bit of an effort to be seen positively by the fans, and I’m willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. We know he has ability, so who knows, with a bit of a break, a new signing here and there and a good preseason might just be the trick. I thought up a funny theory regarding Ade the other day, that he’s at his best when no one is expecting him to be. Think back to when Thierry left, no one would have said Ade would go on to score 30 goals the following season. Perhaps one of the reasons he didn’t do as well this year was the expectation got to him. Just a theory lol

  • Fo

    Pete – I think your right re: expectation. I hope the added competition of VP, Eduardo, Bendtner and Vela will push him onto better things next season. I am still so upset at his two performances in the CL semis – he really played like he didn’t give a crap, and that’s just not on!

    Re: Defensive midfielder, Lorik Cana has been heavily linked, he’s a really good player, but like Chris said on the previous blog, he does like to tackle from behind! Nothing too much in terms of paper talk!

    It feels like we’re in mid-summer but we’re still in May, so we’ve got a long way to go!

    Arsefan101 – I think Fulham wouldn’t neccessarily need £8m, considering they are in Europe and have some decent money coming into the club post season!

    PS, where are the usual lot? Debs, Pissed Off, Zohaib, Berth etc? Haven’t heard their views yet!!!

  • Pete

    Cheers Fo!

    Some of the regulars might be away at the minute, or doing exams.

  • ArseFan101

    Fo, Pete is a regular too!

    I think you’re right re:Haageland, although I do remember the Fulham supremos saying they needed to sell last summer (I think)… let’s wait and see…

    Dev – the suspense on the competition is killing me – how many people have entered?!?!!?

  • ArseFan101

    So am I and so are you too!

  • Pete

    Haha, cheers mate :D

    Just took a look at Lorik Cana on Youtube, the guy is hard as nails! lol I could see him adapting to the premier league quite well, He’s a bit scarey too, but I could see that type of player fitting into our midfield.

  • debs

    lol. I’ve got an exam 2moro morning so I can’t really post at the moment. But you lot are doing fine without me! :)

    Oh and Pete, I forgot to say, but congrats on Commentator of the Month for April! :)

  • Pete

    Cheers Debs lol

    Good luck for tomorrow!!!

  • Berth

    Yeah exams indeed Pete. Glad to see the family up in flames of excitement, thanks largely to Devday. Ade and his sweet talks will never fail to amaze me. I don’t know if Ade is playing mind games or what is he is up to this time!!

    For Hangland, its tough to call, but what I do know is that it will be extremely difficult to get him and again I have this sunken feeling that as the time fades deep into summer that wenger will be talking less about our problems and will end up signing no one or just one irrelevant signing – After all we have Song, Denilson, Gallas and Toure ( Just thinking like Wenger).

  • Berth

    *Haageland

  • zohaib

    Howdy folks !

    Sorry I was away. My net was down for a whole 4 days. Hugely frustrating stuff ! Somehow the wires got cut/disconnected from the main pole (?).

    Btw, is anyone else having problems opening SkySports.com ?

    I’ve been trying all day but it just doesn’t open !

  • Berth

    Sky sports is aright, just checked that out.

  • Yemi

    Fulham needed to sell last season, this season they are in europe so hey might not necessarily need to sell but if we really have an interest in Haageland, the CL might be a good lure for him. Being in the top for consecutively for 12 yrs is no mean feat guys and every player will love the idea of being in the CL. Albiet now that we have a really shaky central defence.
    He should have a good run. With kolo looking so unsure of himself these days and gallas ageing gradually and all the meesy arial defending of this season, we surely need a CB with presence (like terry, faye)
    I heard we were interested in Abdoulaye faye, any truth therein ?

  • Fo

    Yes, the Faye link I’ve heard too, but I’m not too sure if it was agent speak again!

    Re: Haageland, I think even if we pay £12m for him, he’s worth it… he’s as good as anyone in the league and if you think that players like Carvalho and Ferdinand went for £26m / £30m respectively, you can see what a difference a good centre back makes!

  • Fo

    No problem with SkySports Zohaib – you’re back!

    What are your thoughts on the Haageland link?

  • devday

    Sorry guys for my misspelling, which of course seems to be a little infectious, I’ve correct the name, and of course, it’s Hangeland!

  • zohaib

    Strange, it’s probably my internet connection then. Always one issue or another.

    I remember reading a couple of different reports where Hangeland said he wanted to stay at Fulham and there was some talk of a contract either being offered or signed, probably offered.

    I don’t think there’s much to it, but I have to admit, I haven’t done in-depth digging and searching to find out how much truth there is in the rumors.

    He’s had an impressive season in the league, no doubt. I don’t know if there is a better defender available at the moment, so I’d be pretty satisfied if we were to get him.

  • Yemi

    Copying and pasting, just got this from his profile and tought i should share:

    A tall and commanding central defender, Hangeland has made over 40 appearances for Norway as well as representing F.C Copenhagen in the Champions League. He was famously part of the line-up that beat Manchester United 1-0 in the 2006/07 Champions League group phase.

    Prior to joining FC Copenhagen Hangeland played under Roy Hodgson at FK Viking, where he was made club Captain.

    Hangeland was an inspirational figure at the back for Fulham during their end of season survival battle. On the final day of the season against Portsmouth the defender was faultless and played arguably his finest game of the season.

    A natural leader Brede has been touted as a future Fulham captain and was handed the captaincy of Norway in August 2008. Hangeland made a fine start to the 08/09 season, scoring his first goal for the Club in Fulham’s early season league victory over Arsenal and his outstanding form has made him an early contender for Fulham’s Player of the Season award.

  • Fo

    Yemi, now I’m excited!!!

  • Berth

    Looks a tough call to get this lad. Nonetheless, Arshavin was a tough call and we made it, I can’t see why this wouldn’t happen.

  • ArseFan101

    Well done to the under 18′s – they won 2-1 at Anfield…!! And that’s 6-2 on agg – our first trophy of da season!!!

  • bops

    think hangeland is very good for a team that plays like fulham do.. but dont think he will fit Arsenal..

    he is very very slow and considering teh high line we follow.. its goin to be suicide.. how many goals have we conceded by strikers doin the offside trap..

    we need someone with both speed and heading ability and experience.. mmm.. true.. not many in the market..

  • Yemi

    i think hangeland won’t be a bad addition IF and only IF we can get a world class DM

  • chris

    Arsene Wenger’s Magical Embryo Farm:

    Arsene Wenger’s Magical Embryo Farm
    By Jonny Neale

    As we head into the silly season, replete with transfer rumours both in and out, acrimonious boardroom tales and disgruntled players all whipped up to a venomous froth by Fleet Street’s poisonous pens, I think it is worth pausing and taking stock. Reminding ourselves of what has already been built by this prestigious club and luxuriating a little in what is to come.

    Having watched the youngsters imperiously dismantle Liverpool in the first leg of the FA Youth Final, it is clear the conveyor belt of talent from below is starting to deliver. ‘Arsene Wenger’s Magical Embryo Farm’ has a bountiful crop and one feels that we will be harvesting it’s goodness for years to come.

    Hopefully most fans are in a more reflective mood and will have tempered some of the gnawing disappointment of this season. Personally, I take solace in the belief that this is a manager working to a longer plan. A club with a different blueprint to the rest; treasuring stability and ‘long-term success’ above all. A club which identified the perfect manager for this task. A manager unlike any other in the world.

    There is not a football club in the world which would not want him at the helm. Even Man Utd, who clearly would never dump Ferguson, would love The Professor as a replacement for when Fergie retires – anything to address their spiralling debt.

    What is happening at The Arsenal is an exciting, intriguing and unique experiment in ’sustainable football’. Whilst clubs across Europe are going to the wall The Arsenal have become the vanguard that other clubs are looking at with awe, green eyed envy and begrudging respect. On the back of Wenger’s visionary acumen something unique has been built. As a result we lucky fans are better placed to reap the long term rewards than any other club in global football.

    The perils of big but poorly run clubs will be all too evident at the moment for fans of Newcastle. The cost of demotion from the Premiership is usually estimated at £50m – £60m and Newcastle are estimated to have the fifth largest wage bill in the division. A fire sale of players seems inevitable and one would not be surprised to see a protracted stay in the lower divisions.

    As we listen all too frequently to whingeing eejits complaining about the lack of on-field success one should hold fast to the belief that Wenger and his experienced support staff, know more about where the club is in terms of talent and progress than any of the ignorant, sensationalist Fleet Street hacks and the multitudinous buffoons of bloggery (with three braincells, two fingers and one, very negative, opinion).

    I concede that the disappointment of the last few seasons hangs in the air like a nappy on a stick. And it is understandable to be a little blue but the move to a new stadium, whilst competing against clubs who sold their souls and bankrolled their way to the top through financial doping, was never going to be walk in the park.

    So be it. We grit our teeth and we come back stronger. Fans, players and management alike.

    The doom-mongers will think they know better, but if you actually listen to the messages emanating from our beloved club, there are myriad reasons to be optimistic. In recent weeks, Wenger has accepted that the squad needs a little more steel/experience but we know this is really no more than 2 players, 3 at the very most. As Rafa moans away about not having the finances to compete against the likes of Man Utd & Chelsea I have read it claimed that Liverpool are looking for another 5! It strikes me that Liverpool’s biggest problem is a paucity of great players coming through the ranks.

    As the season geared towards a tense finale Wenger had been extremely bullish about his team – it is clear that he believes that The Arsenal will enter into an era of dominance in the near future. Some think this the words of an old fool but we must know by now he is anything but? The foundation of his belief is the talent he sees every week. An unprecedented hotbed of youth – pregnant with promise and bristling with balls.

    It may come to pass that Arsene’s greatest challenge was that which he faces now – finding the right blend, retaining some, letting others go and all the while balancing the first team squad. But this is because of the sheer weight of talent coming through which is now coming through, year upon year.

    That he is having to make these vital decisions amidst a cacophony of dissent from ’so-called supporters’, simply makes the task more stressful and arduous. I do not envy him this task. Come to that, having seen how much he truly cares, I do not envy him his position full-stop. Those who have lambasted him from the comfort of the sidelines (and yet know less about football than he has ever forgotten) would do well to remember that no manager has ever done more for this club and no man has ever cared more about it’s success.

    It’s easy to criticise until you have sat in the hot-seat and made the decisions yourself. It’s easy to say, for example, that we would have won the FA Cup if Arshavin had started (though it is still utterly speculative, as his anonymous performance against Man Utd last week showed). It’s easy to think other managers could do better until you look at Scolari & Ramos and the welcoming arms with which they were welcomed.

    Whilst this has been a difficult period for the fans – especially having come so close last season – there is for me a tangible sense of eagerness for the young crop to really blossom. Talk of tomorrow’s stars, if anything, only serves to make us even more feverish. We salivate like starving dinner guests: stuck on 4 years of canapes and starters, all the while yearning for the main course…we have had glimpses of it being prepared in the kitchen but somehow it has never quite reached our table.

    But this was always going to be a process which demands patience – we are going through growing pains, trying to balance the pecuniary needs of the club against a backdrop of unprecedented financial chaos, and the needs of the team with it’s army of hungry fans.

    As Wenger himself has announced -

    “At the moment, what this team has done, with the average age we have now, no team has done that. The most important moment in the life of this club is to be strong now and support this team. At the moment, what this team needs is the support of people who are the fans of the club. That we have no trophies to present today, I’m very sorry”. How sad he felt it necessary to apologise.

    Perhaps a better way for Arsenal fans to appreciate his achievement is to view this as a journey – after all success tastes far sweeter when you have drunk from the well of despair (which amazingly is where some would have you believe we are now).

    Watching the crop of youngsters come through is, to my mind, a far more interesting experience than if we had splurged millions on spoilt-brat mega-stars who have no real affinity with the club. Not all of the enjoyment of football is measured in silverware.

    Those fans fans who are longer in the tooth (the one’s who tend to have a bit more perspective) will remember well the wilderness years between 1938 and 1948 and again 1953 and 1971. That’s ten trophyless years followed by eighteen! A sobering thought, as you watch the mountain of toys being thrown from prams all over the web.

    My dad, who celebrates his 80th birthday this August, is startled at the current furore whipped up by the media. As a wee lad he used to sneak into Highbury. He saw the glory of the Chapman years come and go and lived through those 28 trophy-parched ‘years of wilderness’. He would say that The Arsenal’s last two seasons have been excellent – playing exceptionally at times but in the end being beaten by good teams. Certainly he thinks that the football world has gone quite insane that there would be any Arsenal fan calling for Wenger’s head.

    But I digress, over the next few weeks, as a distraction to the pervasive negative nonsense, I plan to focus on a few of The Arsenal’s young hopes, those who have particularly piqued my interest over the last season. Hopefully you’ll find it of interest.

    Watch this space and for God’s sake! Stick by Wenger and the team – it’ll honestly be much better for your health and happiness if you just enjoy the ride.

  • yemi

    Chris, This is certainly a bit to read. Nice thoughand thumbs up to the young lads

  • chris

    it was not written by me,
    but yes its a great read.
    written by Johnny neale

  • Berth

    Has anyone seen or heard of Torres 50 goals in 2 seasons; how true is that mates.

  • Berth

    Ade had 46 in 2 seasons, does that make him a lesser Player?

  • Debs

    Probably not Berth. If they played the same number of games and had the same injuries in that time, maybe there might be a case. But it’s quite hard to compare players on different teams based solely on number of goals scored to be honest.

  • Jimmy

    I think we need to buy Hangeland quickly, around 12m before h gets serious about a new deal with Fulham.
    Then we should sign Lorik Cana, looks like the destructive midfieleder we have been lokking for, I would value him at about 12m, being the captain of mersielle.
    Then we can start thinking about replacing Ade.

  • Berth

    I like this Cana of a guy, but question marks remains. He uses both eyes, nose, elbows, two legged tackles, tackles from behind . On a good note very very aggressive and also looks like a born fighter, hopefully a winner too.

    But I have doubts if this lad will survive in premiership which is far disciplined than other leagues. In wikipedia its claimed he had been linked with Arsenal before now, which was rejected due to Visa issues earlier in his career; how true is that Dev?

  • yemi

    i also heard we are intersted in Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh, any news there ?

  • yemi

    Marouane Chamakh is rated as 8 million pounds

  • Fo

    Yemi – yeah, we’ve been hotly linked with Chamakh, but again I think it’s all rumours!

  • zohaib

    Wenger’s denied rumors about Chamakh.

    How do we feel about players from Middlesborough and Newcastle ?

    Middlesborough:

    Robert Huth – CB
    Didier Digard – DM/CM
    (these are the two players relevant to us, the next few could also possibly switch clubs in the summer)

    Julio Arca – DM/CM
    Stewart Downing – LM
    Adam Johnson – RM (?)
    Tuncay Sanli – ST
    Afonso Alves – ST

    Hope I haven’t missed anybody out.

    Newcastle :

    Sebastian Bassong – CB (haven’t seen enough of him to say I want him)
    Steven Taylor – CB (not sure he’ll want to leave)

    (again, those two are the players relevant to our situation, and the next few might want to play Premier League football next season, and could possibly transfer)

    Jonas Gutierrez – RM/LM
    Damien Duff – RM/LM
    Michael Owen – ST
    Peter Lovenkrands – ST
    Obafemi Martins – ST

  • http://kierandelaney.net/ kierandelaney.net/blog

    Stephen Taylor won’t have a choice in leaving unles he takes a massive pay cut to stay in the championship.

  • yemi

    Hey zohaib, you left out aliadiere

  • zohaib

    Kieran, so you’re saying he’s definitely leaving ?