May 152008

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.

  9 Responses to “If you’d said a year ago that Flamini and Hleb were leaving, no-one would’ve cared”

  1. We made them… all the other big names in Arsenal. I doubt wether they will make it out there.

  2. pretty sure you guys can get deco on the relative cheap to replace the douchey hleb. he’ll fit in and probably be involved in alot more goals.

  3. Very good point. Flamini was a utility player and Hleb was lacking real cutting edge influence in games. But that is Wengers great ability to unearth gems……Anelka, Petit, Vieria, Pires, Henry….. and of course Cesc. Players owe a lot to Wenger and it seems players stay at Arsenal more due to loyalty to Wenger then for Arsenal…..

  4. so if you think it’s not a big deal, and it’s good Arsenal offload these two guys and will be able to stay intact then, stop talking about it. it seems as if you do care and are moaning about it.

  5. incorrect- i would have been hugely disappointed. flamini had already showed his class on many occasions, on the contrary I was amazed by reports that AW had considered loaning him last summer. as for hleb, he was always going to come good and to try and play down his importance to the team this year smacks of pragmatism or idiocy – he was our best player this season. numero uno. look at any of our highlights and you will see hleb playing a crucical role. he got kicked off the pitch aston villa for this reason. wake up!

  6. orangunner, I don’t and didn’t want either to go, but I do think Arsenal will stay intact.

    My point was that the media are trying to create an ‘Arsenal in crisis’ story out of this, when it wouldn’t have got much airing a year ago. You would’ve thought they’d have learnt after the departures of so many top names in the past.

    timao, I think Flamini will struggle outside the Emirates, I think it was his ideal stamping ground, but we’ll see. As for Hleb, he played a crucial part in build ups, but too many times the move also ended with him. He is half the player we need, but he must be more direct and score more goals to take the pressure of Cesc and the front men.

  7. flamini was a good player. but his disloyalties have nullified that for me. i DONT wish him well and hope he sucks out there. thats how i trully feel about the loser. upset about not winning enough trophies? maybe you should have worked harder.

  8. Make no mistake about this. Those players were good because they played our style-Wenger style beside Wenger is a little bit patient with players when they dont come good he gives them time.

    Not elsewhere, you’ll see. If they dont reproduce they will be frozen. Italians are different from Englishmen so dont think Flamini will simply replacew a big Italian name like Gatuso without concequences? If that does’nt happen, Arsenal hoodoo will get them.

  9. to be fair if Bergkamp scored less then 5 goals in a season he would have been slated and he played a similar role to Hleb by playing deep, I know they play differently but Bergkamp had assists and goals! Do I want Hleb to leave, no , but should his agent act like he is the best think since slice bread publicy no as well! Never doubt Wenger, he always has an Ace up his sleave to play when a player leaves. By the way has everyone forgot that we have Abou Diaby who I think is more than capable of partenering Fabregas in midfield, so no need to worry about Flamini…..

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