It is interesting to see how perceptions of players changes with time. Flamini has just completed his fourth season at the club, the first as a regular, having come close to signing for Birmingham last summer. Hleb, meanwhile, has now been at Arsenal for three years, and even this, his best season, only produced a handful of goals, and still the same old frustration.
Exactly one year ago, Gooners everywhere were waving Flamini off as a player who was big hearted but never quite made it. At the same time, they were desperately hoping Wenger would offload the infuriating Hleb, with his fancy feet and lack of end product.
So, if you’d said back then that the only departures in the summer of 2008 would be that pair, everyone would’ve been happy. Some still are. It would be a bit like saying the only sales in 2009 will be Eboue and Senderos.
Food for thought for all those who like to paint the picture of an Arsenal crisis, and for those who assume that no-one will raise their game next season to compensate.