Crazy Jens says goodbye – Flamini set to go – Makoun to replace him?

Crazy Jens says goodbye – Flamini set to go – Makoun to replace him?

It was never going to be a classic game given the dead-rubber nature of the contest from an Arsenal perspective but there were enough nice moments to give the home fans a decent show in the final game of the season at Emirates Stadium.

For those who missed it, Nicklas Bendtner scored the only goal of the game on 77 minutes to ensure that Arsene Wenger’s side came away with a 1-0 win against Everton which means they will finish the Premiership campaign with an unbeaten home record. Good stuff.

Lehmann thanks the Arsenal fans for their support

Away from the goal there weren’t too many other highlights apart from a late cameo appearance from Jens Lehmann in what will surely be his last game for the club. The German goalkeeper was given a substitute appearance by the manager to give the fans an opportunity to say thank-you and goodbye to a player who has given it his all for Arsenal during his five-year stay at the club. The big fellow was quite sentimental following the match and thanked the fans for their support.

“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.”

While Lehmann essentially signed his death warrant when he openly criticised Manuel Almunia in the early part of the season I feel he deserves a lot of credit for the performances he has put in during his five-year stay at the club. If you watch the interview I’ve linked to above you can see how genuinely proud he is to have been such a big part of the Arsenal Football Club.

On a personal level he has been a great favourite of mine over the years and achieved some wonderful success as well. His penalty save against Villarreal will always be remembered as will the general craziness and entertainment value he brought to the game on a consistent basis. In a sport where players are becoming more and more like robots it’s important to have characters to keep things interesting and Lehmann has always done things his way, something which should not be forgotten in a hurry. I wish him all the best both at Euro 2008 and for the future.

Is Flamini saying his final goodbyes to Fabregas and Co?So Jens is off and it is almost certain now that Mathieu Flamini will be following him out the door this summer. Indeed, reports suggest that he may have already left for Italy with AC Milan’s vice-president Adriano Galliani claiming that the Frenchman is set to sign a four-year deal with the club within a couple of days should he pass his medical.

I’ll comment on this one a little bit more when the move is made official but in the meantime I just want to convey how disappointed I will be when Flamini eventually does sign for Milan. For me he has been the revelation of the season in England and the most consistent Arsenal player during the entire campaign and I feel he will be very, very difficult to replace.

As for a replacement I think it’s fair to say that the player who is eventually brought in will be someone of an unknown quantity – anything else and I would be quite surprised. Could it be Lille’s Jean Makoun who comes in? As always, we’ll have to wait and see. More tomorrow.

What do you think?

Have your say on Crazy Jens’ final game, Flamini’s immenant departure or the potential of Makoun signing by leaving a comment.

13 Responses to “Crazy Jens says goodbye – Flamini set to go – Makoun to replace him?”

  1. Horse N. Buggy
    May 5, 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    As an American, I only discovered soccer during the 2006 World Cup. I fell in love with the game and decided I had to start following an English club. As I looked at the rosters of all the teams, my decision on who to support was rather simple – the club with Henry and Lehmann, two of my favorite players from the World Cup. Along the way, I’ve fallen for the whole club (in a big way). However, it is a little sad that just two years later, both Henry and Lehmann are gone. My heart still belongs to Arsenal, but I will follow both of those men wherever they land (if Jens continues to play).

  2. Spanish Fry
    May 5, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    That’s good to hear, Horse. I have a similar story involving Bergkamp in the 1998 World Cup. What made you love Jens so much? The crazy antics or the brilliant World Cup performances?

  3. Grant
    May 5, 2008 at 11:07 pm #

    I felt that the game was pretty boring overall… I was excited a few times – mainly because I do get very excited whenever an Arsenal man is in a scoring position. Bendtner looked like he was up for it, but not a whole lot of the rest did. Traore was great when he came on. I remember reading on Arsenal.com about how he enjoys playing on the wing for the reserve side and I really wanted to see that. He did very well… Almost like a Walcott cameo… 🙂
    Enough on the game. Jens gone. Good riddance. He’s been a great player with character – yes, but he’s been really awful this year. Criticising not only his rival, but Wenger as well… He deserves to go.
    As for Flamini, he’s been great this season as you said SF. I have thought about it a lot, and I don’t think we’ll mis him that much. Has he been the player of the season? Perhaps. But we’ve recovered from losing better players than him(Viera? Henry anyone?). And last transfer season we were set to lose him and no tears were to be shed. He’s been a great squad player for his first 3 seasons and then he’s stepped up in the last. I don’t know, I just feel confident that we can replace him in the transfer market as well as from within. Worse things have happened.

  4. UNPREDICTABLE
    May 6, 2008 at 12:34 am #

    Hi i love ur story, but one thing that is not a problem for me is Flamini leaving, the guy was good for us but no one is irreplacable, Wenger can replace everyone, it shall be well, i only want us to buy David Villa, Barry and a central defender, Song is also very capable to play defensive midfield, he is more capable to do even more than what Flamini did, he can worry people, attack, hold the ball and distribute it very well. Time will tell but trust me, we will come good.

  5. frank
    May 6, 2008 at 2:16 am #

    Lehman has been a great servant for the club. What is sad is that Wenger refused to let him play in preference for almunia. It doesnt reflect wenger’s compliment that lehman is the best keeper in the premiership,… or is wenger just a hypocrite?

  6. Joshua Asante
    May 6, 2008 at 2:31 am #

    Flamini go Flamini come.
    Who do you think Arsene Wenger will bring in to replace Flamini and why?
    Yaya Toure
    Essien
    Gattuso
    Jean Makoun
    Micheal Johnson
    Deco
    Kranjcar

  7. C-Bass
    May 6, 2008 at 4:03 am #

    Nice game by Nik. He really came to play and that goal was good stuff. In all honesty I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of that “traditional” play from Arsenal, particularly if we’re struggling. Take it down the wings and put in the box.

    Cheers to Lens! I thank him for his performances and wish him the absolute best in the Euros. I’ll be watching you.

    Flams gone and it’s really too bad but you can’t blame a guy for making a living. Makoun would be a solid pick up and he’s a player who is in our “wage structure”. Unlike most of the other rumors floating around.

  8. Spanish Fry
    May 6, 2008 at 7:47 am #

    Makoun would fit into the wage structure but remember that negotiations have not even begun yet. He seems like the type of player who would fit in though, and it’s not the first time Arsenal have been linked with him.

  9. kevin
    May 6, 2008 at 9:25 pm #

    flam is overrated. diarra was a potenrial greater loss. goodbye lehman the five years were good

  10. jimmy jose
    May 8, 2008 at 11:31 pm #

    pls wenger should replace flamini with another experience player
    thank you

  11. jimmy jose
    May 8, 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    wenger please replace jens with kegland.

  12. john quinn
    August 12, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    without a doubt it is a mistake to let lehmann leave arsenal he was good for at least one more season

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  1. Flamini’s Milan move leaves Wenger with a real challenge to replace him - May 6, 2008

    […] worried about Wenger’s ability to bring in someone worthy of doing just that. As I said in yesterday’s post there has been rumours about the manager’s interest Lille’s Jean Il Makoun while Aston […]

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