Hleb medical – Adebayor or Ronaldinho – Sagna speaks the sad truth

Another day, another miniscule bit of progression in transfer sagas involving Alex Hleb and Emmanuel Adebayor. As such, I’ll keep things short today.

It seems that Hleb is on the verge of signing for Barcelona. The Belorussian is apparently on his way to Spain to complete a medical and if all goes to plan will join the Catalan club. Reports indicate that he will be sold for around about the same amount that he was purchased by Arsenal – £11.2million for those who care. When you realise that he’s only scored 10 goals in 130 games for Arsenal the club can perhaps consider themselves a little fortunate that he’s not going for less.

My opinion on Hleb is simple; for all his tricks and flicks and wonderful ball-control he remains one of the few players in the current Arsenal squad that I believe is replaceable. I’ve little doubt that Samir Nasri or whoever else Arsene Wenger has up their sleeve to slot into Hleb’s spot can do a better job than he has ever done next season.

Moving on now and the loudest man in Europe – AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani – has made further comments regarding the conditions surrounding a potential move for Adebayor. Observe:

“Let’s be clear about this: Adebayor is the alternative to Ronaldinho and vice-versa. We consider Kaka and Pato first-team players. Having two players of the calibre of Adebayor and Ronaldinho would create a lot of problems in the dressing room.”

I don’t think he really needed to make this as clear as he has. Indeed, most pigeons would be smart enough to realise that Milan aren’t going to sign both Adebayor and Ronaldinho into a side that already has Kaka and Pato and only employs a one-striker system.

It seems to me that Galliani has a taste for the camera at the moment and simply doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. All he’s doing is trying to unsettle the players as much as he possibly can by keeping the story in the media and it’s getting a little bit boring. Yawn, yawn, yawn. Feck off please.

An Arsenal player who rarely says much at all – perhaps because his English is a bit average – is Bacary Sagan. But even he has been at it today, bless him, making some comments about the meaning of contracts in the modern game.

“[Contracts] don’t mean anything. The proof is that most of the players leave even when they are under contract.”

Good honesty there from Sagna. I must say I always find it nice to hear someone tell it like it is and that is exactly what Sagna has done. It is a bit sad that contracts have become about as useless as a Tomas Rosicky’s hamstrings these days but I guess that’s just the way it is. Sad but true, unfortunately.

And that’s that today. Just a quick note before I go to say that I am preparing a pretty excellent redesign for the blog which will be launched this coming Monday. So, if things get a little crazy between now and then while you’re trying to view the blog, blame me. It’s all my fault.

But it will be worth it. Well worth it. You’ll see. You’ll all see.

What do you think?

Have your say on Hleb, Adebayor or Sagna by leaving a comment.

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18 Responses to “Hleb medical – Adebayor or Ronaldinho – Sagna speaks the sad truth”

  1. Edmund Simpson
    July 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    Agree with your comments on Hleb. For all his sparkling talent and technique, just 10 goals in over 3 seasons is scant return from an attacking midfielder (especially when compared to Pires and Freddie at their peak). And according to some reports we’ll be getting up to almost 15m quid for him (including the usual performance-related bonuses) which represents a handy profit. But I’ve no hard feelings – I don’t like the way his departure was engineered and I don’t think he’ll find the Barca fans as forgiving of his trademark hesistancy as we were, but good luck to him. He’s certainly leaving a better player than when he came.
    Just wish we could start BUYING!!!

  2. darragh
    July 10, 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    Re: Hleb. I don’t know SF, I always thought Wenger played Hleb out of position. He tended to function much better when played centrally in the hole behind a lone striker. But since Wenger doesn’t really play that system a whole lot, he was often shunted to the wing. I still think he is a fairly valuable player.

    Sagna is spot on the money. Contracts are worthless nowadays.

  3. TayGoon
    July 10, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    I agree with you that Hleb is very replaceable. So is Adebayor and Flamini. VERY replaceable. The only player with eye-catching talent among them is Hleb.

    People are looking at Nasri to be a replacement for Hleb, but actually I believe he just gave way to our very own(if he could regain his fitness) Rosicky(i believe he scored almost everytime he played centrally last season). With Nasri and Vela vying for the left midfield position.

    These 3 departures is like a dream come true IMO. I will explain;

    I remember mid-season of the season gone, I was voicing my opinions that both Flamini and Hleb can leave and it will be a blessing. I didn’t see Ade leaving because I sensed AW was almost going out of his way to have him as a starter to the point I mentioned that the only chance Eduardo, Bendtner and Theo had, as central strikers will be if he got an injury of some sort(I wasn’t wishing him an injury, but I couldn’t see AW dropping him then). All three are leaving spaces for players who are more talented than they are. In my eyes, Rosicky is better than Hleb overall, Flamini was the least skilled player in our Midfield, and Adebayor ranked after RVP,Eduardo and Bendtner in terms of being lethal. 30 goals haul can deceive people but if you consider that he was given maybe double or treble the opportunities of other strikers(play time), you will have no reason to fear. Hleb and Adebayor in a 4-4-1-1 made us very blunt upfront. Ade needed a lot of chances before he can put one in, and his support striker won’t even shoot. With them gone, we will have real goal getters upfront, Hopping Dudu will be back by Sept.

    In central Midfield, I would like to see Diaby and Denilson more. Both can play DM better than Flamini, they just need to get a consistent run of games there in the side and by October everyone would have forgotten about Flamini. I, for one, would be content if Nasri and Ramsey are the only MF signing with a straight shot at the first team this season

  4. Jay
    July 10, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    I agree with TayGoon on one thing and that is Ramsey for a look at first team. Your right about Ade and £lamoney but they system worked, dont fix it if its not broken, we were winning and yes Ade had bout 15 oppurtunties per match but if Ade had comitted his self to the club everyone would be singing his praises. But he hasnt so everyone is finding bad things about him. I dont like him much either no more but he scored 30 goals and he was part of a good system. Aswell as £lamoney.

  5. tunde
    July 11, 2008 at 2:23 am #

    yep! i have to agree, we keep saying he is gifted 2wice as many chances as he scores but we forget he has also scored some pretty wonderful goals! ade is a striker through and through and he works with AW’s system…we saw the result on the pitch last season, 95.7896% of the games we played, we dominated and not only fabregas but ade is a big part of that…im sure thats why AW is still stalling on his departure…besides i dont really care, i just want us to start buying…what cost us last season was that our squad got thin near the end,i really dont want that to happen again and our depth should consist of average players, but players that can make things happen!!!

  6. tunde
    July 11, 2008 at 2:24 am #

    i meant our squad should NOT consist of average players…SORRY!

  7. Spanish Fry
    July 11, 2008 at 10:03 am #

    @ Taygoon – I have to say that I don’t agree with your opinions on Adebayor and particularly Flamini.

    I don’t think there is anyone going around in world football at the moment quite like Adebayor – the trouble he causes defenders is quite ridiculous at times. All he needs to do is work on his finishing, something that should improve over time. I’d like to see him stay and if he does go it would force Wenger to change the way he wants Arsenal to attack next season to a certain extent.

    As for Flamini, I think you’re undervalueing his contribution to the side last season. In my eyes he was the Player of the Season and that was because of three things; his energy, his touch and movement, and his ability to bring out the best in Fabregas. I’m not sure we have anyone on our books who can do the same job as he did last year, so I would be encouraging Wenger to look for a new option to slot straight in the side. This becomes even more important if Gilberto Silva leaves to Panathinaikos as expected.

    Thoughts?

  8. jay
    July 11, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    I am very pleased that many of the bloggers like tunde and Mr. Creator SF have agreed with me on my auggestions on Adebayor and not agreed with Taygoon. Me and SF rarely agree which is why i shall cherish the moment even more but tunde and SF are both correct and what they are saying.

  9. Demetrio
    July 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    I agree with Spanish. The comments made about Flamini is ridiculous. If he was not in there last season the team wouldnt have done as well as they did. He was all over the place. He may not be the most skillful player but he plays a lot harder then many skillful players play. He’ll be missed in the defensive mid if Wenger does not bring in a replacement. Diaby is a horrible replacment for a defensive player, he’s too goofy on the ball and dribbles himself into trouble, he’ll cause more grief in the defensive mid then he’ll do good unless he starts to realized he cant take on everyone.

  10. tunde
    July 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    well said everyone but it seems that adebayor ie really going…well we just have to keep our faith in AW!! no one wanted flamini to play alongside fabregas at the begining of the season but AW put him there and look how well everything turned out!! we should all stop worring ourselves and causing unnecessary headaches on this transfer market saga and lets trust AW and support our team!! im sure he has made plans about flamini and hleb and adebayor and im sure he saw what happened to us at the closing end of the season and im sure he has evaluated all this problems and he is trying to solve it…

  11. Panda Bear
    July 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    I (heart) Bacary

  12. Spanish Fry
    July 11, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    I (heart) Panda Bear.

    Also, there’s a new post up and with the risk of sounding like a twat, it’s quite a provocative one. Enjoy 🙂

  13. TayGoon
    July 12, 2008 at 3:30 am #

    This is going to be a long one, bear with me;

    SF: I think I wasn’t clear enough about my assertions earlier. I will try to give my response.
    I like ALL 3 players myself. I am focused solely on team functioning as a whole and not individuals but by so doing people think that I am slugging off the individuals.
    Flamini:
    His contribution to the team was huge and I am by no means undervaluing it. The only thing I could see with Flamini was that it was almost at his peak, if not his peak. He had energy(motivated), tons of it, but I challenge anyone to name our MF with less skill(not energy) than Flamini. The point here is energy/motivation can be aquired easier by an athlete than the technical stuff. I still have the opinion that he may not be able to sustain the same level for long, and the way he played he was more susceptible to injury, and does not give me encouragement as a long term solution. Saying that he brought the best out of Cesc in my opinion diminishing Cesc’s involvement in his own achievements last season. Cesc is a top player and the way I see it Cesc would have been Cesc, Flamini or no Flamini. Lets give Cesc his deserved credit. If that is the case Cesc will be poor this season, and I seriously doubt it. The man happened to play alongside Cesc when Cesc was being Fabulous. If anything, a DM who ventures upfront more often like Flamini would make his CM partner not want to go forward all the time since you someone has to man the MF. Cesc was hungry getting into the season and in my opinion he would have benefitted more having a solid. No-nonsense and un-adventurous DM like Gilberto. But the partnership “Achilles heel “ was negated by the hunger in both players and the fact that Hleb, and even Diaby when he played, would also naturally drift into CM, covering up for Flamini and even Cesc when they both maraud forward.
    Since Flamini was in a way of more talent and better future prospects(I take skill any day over energy), his loss(after showing the likes of Diaby and Denilson of what might be if they applied themselves) will sort of have give them the opportunity after having been given the “Flamini lesson”. In it’s own it has already got them to apply themselves more, case in point, Denilson starting to add “steel” in his game(could also be attributed to Cesc, or Denilson himself).

    Hleb:
    A very good player. I have observed in my past postings that when he had “too much ice-cream” or “ice-cream sick” we were not playing well and whenever he came back to life we were superb. Here is the hidden “blessing”. As long as he was in the side with Ade, AW prefered a playing him as a support striker for Ade. His unwillingness to shoot would have benefitted a more lethal striker than(hold your horses) Adebayor, say Eduardo, or even young Bendtner than Adebayor(I will come to this in Adebayor section). Most of his good work were wasted at the end, by someone else. I prefer Rosicky(when fit) to be able to play as a support striker as well as, and more effectively than Hleb simply because the guy can shoot, and score(remember his dance around L’pool defense @ Anfield? and he scrored!). Since AW didn’t preffer anyone else there before Hleb, we couldn’t see what it might have been with Rosicky in that role. With Vela and Nasri coming, Rosicky and Diaby face a realistic chance of losing the LM battle and both are left to vie for a CM role, or a support striker role, and Hleb is firmly in the way of that. After watching Rosicky’s performances, even goal celebrations, he commands more respect from other players in the team and is a natural leader. I think we might see some adjustments to the roles of Rosicky and Cesc this season and Denilson to throw in a wrench in the mix.
    Adebayor:
    Thanks for the goals and work rate.
    Arguably the least skilled in out strike force(anyone objction, have a go at me. I stand behind that). He has energy, power, size(Bendtner seems bigger than him though) and Workrate of the highest order. He is perfect for a second/support striker in my opinion, and not the main striker. His work rate left him more often outside of where a target man should be. He was probably one of our very important Defender though. What I won’t miss with his departure are, for a man with his pace he could afford to delay his runs and start a yard back and still beat defenders instead of drifting offside needlessly, wasting others good work. He wasted chances because I believe he had pre-decided where he is going to place the ball in the net “30 seconds” before he can do it, and could not adjust for any other changes(defender/keeper anticipation, teammate in position) within that period. Shooting at the wrong spot, or missing an open teammate. This can make you “predictable” to skilled defenders and keepers.
    He couldn’t play well with a striking partner mainly because he was both the second and the main striker ending up where the other should be at times, and when the other striker adjust by being where Ade should be, Guess what?, Ade is there too. You end up having 2 strikers where you need only one, and the other position is vacated. When playing with nimble strikers who can shift positions, like Eduardo and VanPersie, and a “non striker” like Hleb, this was compensated and not more evident, but it ended up becoming an “Adebayor show” upfront. When he plays with Bendtner(a corky striker who wouldn’t let you take his pos and just drop it whenever you wish, while he covers for you), obvious clashes ensues and they seem to be in each other’s toes all the time. Our Strike force became “who can play with Adebayor’s habits” and not “Adebayor playing with others”. The way to defend a guy who runs alot is NOT to run with them, but let them run while you wait in a space they will eventually run into, and that space is fixed, that is why defenses like Milan’s could deal with him effectively, even L’pools to some extent, maybe bacause they were too old to run as much, or they are just “experienced”. Most EPL defenders like to match his runs and that would have been worse for them if the guy was clinical. Ade for the most part played with players who themselves would rather play in different positions (out of position?) who were willing to let him come into their positions and will use that as an excuse for themselves to move somewhere else. All except Bendtner, who will stick to his assigned task and expect Ade to stick to his.
    How do Adebayor and Hleb tie together?
    Since when they were on the field, almost always they were the preferred front 2 in a 4-4-1-1, and their combination left us blunt upfront. If the pairing could have changed and NOT BOTH Ade and Hleb at the same time, I could have worked.
    Simply put, I can’t see too much room for improvement with Ade and Hleb as a striking partnership and would gladly give Adebayor another seasong to give me hope that his footballing intelligence will improve, something I am not going losing sleep in anticipation.
    Let me hear your thoughts…

  14. Susie
    July 13, 2008 at 7:47 am #

    I agree with Edmond Simpson, we need to buy. A well known pundit said ” you don’t win anything with kids”. We ‘school’ the youngsters, then they move on, but where does that leave us? We need top players, who score goals, even if its only for one or two seasons. God forbid we’ll have to harden up, like Man U. If they don’t shape up, ship out! At least the Ladies can do the biz!

  15. Mone
    July 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    Wau!! A true Gunners blog. All speak my heart..tunde, spanish. Will miss Hleb & Flam. never Ade. Excited with the return of Eduardo & Rosicky plus Nasri, Ramsey. Theo needs more chance on the field rather than the bench. New line up looks lethal but sceptical bout defence. My faith is with Arsene. Lastly I go with Edmond Simpson.. WE NEED TO BUY !!

  16. tunde
    July 16, 2008 at 1:52 am #

    mone you are a man/woman after my own heart…you couldnt have put it in a better way

  17. mastolo
    July 17, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    guy was clearly offside.Am seeing a nice nice season in front of the gunners without Ade but Etoo and AW’s trusted ones.

  18. mastolo
    July 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm #

    guy was clearly offside.Am seeing a nice nice season in front of the gunners without Ade but Etoo and AW’s trusted ones.We will really miss Hleb and Flam but don’t they worry MR ARSENE will get their replacements soon,as the gunners fans all over the world hold their breaths.

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