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Ivan Gazidis on kertonut, että Cesc Fàbregasin siirtyessä FC Barcelonaan £30 miljoonalla kauppaan kuuluivat myös Héctor Bellerín ja Jon Toral, jotka tulivat siis Arsenaliin.

 

Voidaan nyt jälkikäteen ainakin todeta, että hyvää kaupankäyntiä. Bellerín nyt on ainakin todistanut olevansa huippulupaus. Toralista nyt ei vielä osaa sanoa, vaikka ihan hyvältä on välillä näyttänytkin.

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van-persie-man-utd-arsenal_3322977.jpg?2

 

Niin vain näyttää siltä, että Percy matkaa tekemään maalejaan silloin milloin haluaa Istanbuliin. Hieno siirto ja tulee varmasti seurattua entistä enemmän Fenerin edesottamuksia Turkissa ja Euroopassa.

 

Kirjoitin paljon pidemmän tekstin ajatuksistani pelaajaa kohtaan, mutta johonkin bittiavaruuteen ne sitten hävisivät. Lyhyesti siis vain, että en ikinä kasvanut inhoamaan pelaajaa niin paljon kuin moni muu, maku meni, mutta arvostus kiitos monien hienojen hetkien on jäänyt eniten pinnalle. Olkoon se Arsenalin paita tai Manchester Unitedin päällä, niin se aika on nyt ohitse. Yksi parhaimmista pelaajista, mitä Valioliigassa ollaan koskaan nähty. Yksi omista suosikkipelaajistani koskaan ja sitä ei mikään aika Unitedissa muuta.

 

Thank You, Robin.

 

"I remember Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger saying to me 'he's better than you think' when we concluded the deal.

He was right… He has had as big an impact as anyone I can imagine,”

Sir Alex Ferguson about Robin van Persie.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zilCOWBo0xI

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Lukas Podolski näyttää olevan Galatasaray SK:n avauskokoonpanossa Celta Vigoa vastaan. Tehnyt 2-0 maali. Ottelu juuri nyt puoliajalla.

 

Fenerbahçe SK voitti Marseillen lukemin 3-1, mutta Robin van Persie ei pelannut ottelussa.

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Nicklas Bendtner periaatteessa ratkaisi tänään Saksan Super Cupin voiton VfL Wolfsburgille.

 

Kuutonen näyttää paraikaa ottelua Ligapokal 2015: VfL Wolfsburg - FC Bayern.

 

FC Bayern kantaa käsivarsissaan surunauhoja kunnioituksena Franz Beckenbauerin 46-vuotiaana menehtyneelle pojalle, Stephanille.

Ollut kyllä hyvä ottelu.

Bayern meni johtoon 48. minuutin kohdalla Robbenin maalilla. Meni kylläkin täysin Wolfsburgin maalivahdin Casteelsin piikkiin.

 

Bendtner tuli 69. minuutilla kehiin ja tasoitti 88. minuutilla lukemiksi 1-1. Rangaistuspotkukilpailu siis seuraavaksi. Hieno maali ja keskitys De Bruynelta.

Ja huhhuh, mitä suorittamista.

 

Casteels paikkasi virheensä torjumalla upeasti jalallaan Alonson rangaistuspotkun. Ratkaisijaksi nousi tietysti jo ottelun sankariksi leimaantunut Bendtner, joka pommitti laukauksensa maalin kattoon.

 

Neuer oli aivan pihalla.

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What happened to Andrey Arshavin? Former Arsenal forward nearing sad end to his career

 

andrey-arshavin-arsenal_3418375.jpg?2016

 

Andrey Arshavin was regarded as one of the most exciting talents in European football when he joined Arsenal from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009, so what went wrong? Nick Wright reflects on a career of fleeting brilliance and wasted talent…
 
Andrey Arshavin may not have left much of a legacy at Arsenal, but his winning goal against Barcelona in 2011 still ranks as one of their greatest moments at the Emirates Stadium.
 
The Russian's sweeping finish sealed a 2-1 first-leg victory over the imperious Catalans and, while it ultimately wasn't enough to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, it's fair to say the Gunners would cherish a repeat result on Tuesday.

 

Five years on from that memorable night in north London, the landscape looks very different for Arshavin. The mercurial forward reached the end of the road at Arsenal in 2013, and at the start of February a brief spell at Russian side Kuban Krasnodar concluded with the termination of his contract. "If there is an offer to continue playing, I will definitely take a look at it," said Arshavin. "If not, I will end my career."
 
Arshavin's sad decline was already in motion when he scored that goal against Barcelona, but he appeared to have the world at his feet just a few years earlier. His scintillating performances for Russia at Euro 2008 drew international acclaim, and he looked like a superstar in the making when he made his £15m move to Arsenal six months later.
 
The club-record outlay represented a major departure from Arsène Wenger's usual transfer policy, but Arsenal were in dire need of inspiration as they sought to make up a five-point gap on the top four, and here was an elite talent capable of making the difference. In Russia, Zenit St Petersburg rued the loss of their talisman, with manager Dick Advocaat describing it as "the bargain signing of the January window".
 
Arshavin was at the peak of his powers and his arrival initially had the desired effect, with six goals and seven assists in 12 Premier League games helping Arsenal finish the 2008/09 campaign in the Champions League spots. Supporters were smitten with the impish little Russian, and his explosive four-goal performance against Liverpool at Anfield wrote him into Premier League folklore.

 

For all his talent, however, there was another side to Arshavin that grew more and more prominent. "In Russia he was considered as a lazy player even at his best times," Russian football journalist Artur Petrosyan tells Sky Sports. "He never really liked to run much. He would be off for 60 or 70 minutes of a game, but then turn on and do something amazing."
 
Arshavin featured regularly for Arsenal over the next two seasons, scoring 22 goals in 91 appearances in all competitions, but the moments of brilliance became increasingly infrequent. Match fitness and work rate were persistent issues, while lethargic performances and an indifferent attitude suggested his heart simply wasn't in it.
 
"He was never the most ambitious person," says Petrosyan. "Actually that's a problem with a lot of Russian players. It's a problem with their mentality. When they achieve success and earn some good money, they just stop progressing and that's it for them. That's what happened with Arshavin."
 
There were controversies, too, most notably a run-in with a group of angry supporters after Russia exited Euro 2012 with a dismal group stage defeat by Greece. "What should we apologise for?" snapped Arshavin. "It's not our problem that we didn't meet your expectations. It's your problem."
 
The comments caused outcry in Russia. "His serious career ended after the Euros in 2012," says Petrosyan. "Before that he was a real hero here and he was considered as probably the best Russian footballer in history, but after that it changed. He was never an easy person and there were always controversies around him, but he made up for it by playing good football. After that, though, everyone began pointing fingers at him."
 
Arshavin had spent the months leading up to Euro 2012 on loan at Zenit, and he returned to the Gazprom-owned club permanently in the summer of 2013. "I don't regret anything, but I had to leave," he said after making just two starts in his final season at Arsenal. "To train even though you know you won't play - it is psychologically difficult. I nearly suffered depression."
 
Zenit, though, was not exactly a happy homecoming. "It was the president of Gazprom's idea to bring him back," says Petrosyan. "Some fans liked it, but those who understand football and don't just cheer for big names could see what was going on. They knew that Arshavin couldn't help the team any more. He wasn't able to, even if he wanted.
 
"In footballing terms, after returning from Arsenal he was a just a squad player, not a regular. So he wasn't satisfied with that but he was still getting paid around 2.5m euros per year. He gained some weight and he just didn't have the desire to play anymore."
 
Arshavin was a peripheral figure as Zenit won the title under André Villas-Boas last season, and the former Chelsea and Tottenham manager confirmed his contract would not be renewed at the end of the campaign. Retirement loomed for Arshavin, but government-funded Russian Premier League rivals Kuban Krasnodar offered him a lucrative lifeline.
 
"It was a couple of months before elections in the Krasnodar region, and the governor thought it was obvious that he needed publicity and PR so he signed Arshavin and [Roman] Pavlyuchenko," says Petrosyan. "But after the elections, the governor lost all interest in the club and the bad times started. Now they're selling all their stars, they've got money problems and they are probably going to be relegated."
 
In the six months before the termination of his contract at Kuban, Arshavin made just eight league appearances totalling 357 minutes. None of them ended in victories, he only completed the 90 minutes once, and there were no goals or assists.
 
There has been talk of interest from clubs in Kazakhstan and Macedonia for one final payday, but the 34-year-old appears to be preoccupied with business interests in St Petersburg. "His footballing career is not the most important thing," says Petrosyan. "If he can't play for another season, he won't be too sad."
 
And so, as Arsenal prepare for another meeting with Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium, the hero of their last encounter nears an unceremonious end to his career. For a player who shone so brightly, Arshavin's plight feels like an extraordinary waste.

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Eilen pelattiin Turkin Cupin finaaliottelu, jossa kohtasivat Galatasaray ja Fenerbahçe. Lukas Podolskin edustama Galatasaray voitti kyseisen kohtaamisen lukemin 1-0, ja maalista vastasi juurikin Podolski.

 

Vastapuolella pelasi Robin van Persie, jonka pää ei ilmeisesti kestänyt ja olikin ottanut ilmeisesti kentällä yhteen Podolskin kanssa. Alankomaalaista ei kuitenkaan kovin kauan tarvinnut katsella, sillä tuli vaihtoon jo puoliajalla.

 

Robin-van-Persie-Lukas-Podolski.jpg

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Nyt oli sen verran upea teksti Källströmilta, että pakko jakaa. Vie kyllä lukijan täysin mukanaan. Ainakin itselle tuli sellainen fiilis hetkeksi, että katson elokuvaa, tai vähintäänkin luen kirjaa.

 

"I look like a boy as I walk across the grass, with the ball under my arm. Well-groomed side-parting, a clean red shirt, white sleeves, and a golden cannon on my breast. I'm a man past thirty years of age, in a boy's dream. It's the semifinal of the English FA cup, against Wigan, with 82,000 people on the stands of Wembley Stadium, among which 50,000 root for us. They are loud and starving fans that hunger for a title. They haven't won anything for nine years, which is an eternity for a club that is considered one of the greatest in the World. They have the most loyal fans, gooners. By strange and unexpected detours, I've ended up at the top club Arsenal, in north London. With straight legs, I bend down and put the ball on the spot. I throw a quick glance at the keeper. I've already decided where to place it. I try not to smile. The moment is here. I'm here - in the middle of the latin motto of the club: Victoria Concordia Crescit. Victory grows through harmony. I can't help myself but smile slightly. I haven't even played half an hour for Arsenal. I debuted against Swansea, for eleven minutes, and now I was substituted on in extra time when it was to be decided. Fifteen minutes of a footballer's life, which changed my story."
 
"I got a call from my agent, Roger Ljung [World Cup bronze medalist in '94]. 'Do you want to be loaned out to a club in the Premier League?" "No." "Do you want to be loaned out to Arsenal?" "YES!"
 
"It was transfer day and a rumour of a new player had leaked. The training facilities were filled with supporters, journalists and tv was transmitting live. When we arrived at Heathrow, we had to drive to a field and switch cars so that no one would recognise the vehicle. Everyone was nice to me, and I get training clothes and number 29. I was sent to a team physician for the obligatory medical exam. While the physician is going through the tests, I'm sitting in the cafeteria, drinking a cup of washy English coffee. I'm dressed in the club colours, in the civilian outfit of the professional football player, meaning a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Players pass by on the way to today's training. I knew a few of them, as they were French, and we small-talk a bit. The physician fetches me, and I'm driven quickly to a hospital for a X-ray exam. Something's wrong. We return to the training facilities. I'm put in a situation that reminds me of a talent show on tv. I'm standing in front of a jury, in Arsenal clothes, the cd with my X-ray images, and bad posture. In front of me sits the team physician, the sporting director, and the powerful manager Arsene Wenger, who has run the club with an iron fist and a low-key attitude for almost 20 years. The physician starts speaking. He understands that Arsenal is a big thing for me and that my hopes have been lit, but the back problem is too bad, and he's sorry. He lays down the facts. There are three cases of vertebral fractures, and I'm out for atleast 4-6 weeks. I'm shocked - disappointed, but I understood. Against the evidence of the X-ray images, neither boyhood dreams or arguments help. I understand. 'If you're injured, you're injured', I say, but in truth I was angry as hell. There's silence in the room. Wenger hasn't said anything. He hasn't even looked at his colleagues as they inform me of their logical verdicts. He thinks for himself. I wait for him to say something. He sighs, and says 'The transfer windows shuts in a few hours. It's impossible to find a replacement. Either I take you or no one.' Surprised, the others turn to the big boss. No one knows how he'll continue, but they know that his words are law. It's evident that he has not anchored his decision among the rest of the staff. Wenger decides. "You'll stay, heal, and train. I'll take you when you're fit."
 
"Now, the next circus starts. I could follow the events in real time, as the media started writing and friends contacted me. In spite of a time difference of four hours, and the Russian football association being closed, the transfer was done. The contract was signed in the last hour. I had left Spartak Moscow when everyone was asleep; I was just gone the next morning. I got a few good luck texts, but other than that, Russia was over for this time."
 
"I train like a mad man in England. I'm good at that. One day at the gym, Wenger stops by. When he enters a room, everybody sort of stops, as if they're waiting for a signal. He has that effect on people. I keep peddling on the exercise bike, as I'm trying to beat a certain time. Wenger is watching with his French, slightly casual, yet serious, gaze. We small-talk and we're on the right track. I felt like I was building confidence with the leader, without having kicked a ball yet. After five weeks of hard rehab, and the uncertainty whether my back would be restored, I'm suddenly back on the pitch. It was a long time since the club had won anything, and the British capital is boiling, with the tabloids as directors. We're favourites against Wigan in the semi-finals, but we only manage to achieve a draw at full-time. The clock ticks, without anyone ending it. I'm sitting on the bench without any personal expectation. There's seven minutes left and I'm suddenly substituted for an exhausted Aaron Ramsey. The ref blows the whistle. Now, one of the finalists must be decided by a penalty shootout. A simple and brutal way to end things. Now, understanding of the game, tactics, and physical prowess are meaningless. Now, there is only a confused mess of nerves and chance. Penalty shoot-outs in football crown kings, and always a scapegoat. You must score. All the pressure is on the taker. I hear Wenger shouting in French: "Kim, do you take penalties?" "Yeah, I'd be glad to take one." "Good. You're second." I decide early where to shoot it. When I walk alone to the spot, in a stadium with three times as many spectators as there are inhabitants of my hometown, Sandviken, I must suppress my smile. It's a long way to walk across the pitch. I'm relaxed - perhaps happy. I put the ball on the spot. Now, I just have to back up and find the right distance to the ball, run up, and strike the ball hard and high to the left. Just do what I usually do, what I know, and always have done. I've done it a thousand times before, and there's no nervousness. The keeper goes early, in the opposite direction of where I had decided to put it. When I watch the penalty on Youtube, the feelings return. The calm and the joy, but I'm surprised where the ball ended up. The ball ended up in the lower left corner, opposite of how I remembered it. I had decided to put it high to the left, but I remembered it as I actually put it low to the right. I'm confused, but the ball ended up in the net. We won the final and we're praised by over 200,000 supporters on the streets of London. Although my contribution was small in the 120-year history of the club, it was a highlight for me. The greatest fifteen minutes of my life, and it turns out I don't remember what happened. Where was I in that deciding moment? Trance, shock, delirium, coma, nervous breakdown, call it whatever you want. The only thing I know for sure is that sports and football are incomprehensible. That's why we love it. As long as that penalty continues to end up in the net, my experience is true. I'm sure of it."

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Arsenal 2003/2004 – The Invincibles
 
Expenditure = £15,6m
Players in = 6
Income = £500k
 
First Team Squad

Age = Age shown is the age the player was at the time.
HG = This player is home-grown.
U21 = Under-21.
British = This player is British.
* = This player wasn't part of the Invincibles squad.
Legend = This player is a club legend.
Captain = This player has held primary captaincy at Arsenal.
Transfer Fee
 
Goalkeepers
- Jens Lehmann (33, Legend, free)
- Rami Shaaban (28, £700k) *
- Graham Stack (22, HG, free)
 
Defenders
- Sol Campbell (29, HG, British, Legend, free)
- Gaël Clichy (18, HG, U21, £250k)
- Ashley Cole (22, HG, British, free)
- Pascal Cygan (29, £2,1m)
- Johan Djourou (16, HG, U21, free)
- Daniel Karbassiyoon (19, U21, free)
- Martin Keown (37, HG, British, Legend, £2m)
- Lauren (26, Legend, £7,2m)
- Philippe Senderos (18, HG, U21, £1,2m)
- Igors Stepanovs (27, £1m)
- Stathis Tavlaridis (23, £600k) *
- Kolo Touré (22, Legend, £150k)
- Giovanni van Bronckhorst (28, £8,5m) *
- Moritz Volz (20, U21, free) *
 
Midfielders
- Edu (25, £6m)
- Cesc Fàbregas (16, HG, U21, Captain, £2,8m)
- Fredrik Ljungberg (26, Legend, £3m)
- Ray Parlour (30, HGBritish, Legend, free)
- Robert Pirès (30, Legend, £6m)
- Gilberto Silva (27, Legend, £4,5m)
- Patrick Vieira (27, Legend, Captain, £3,5m)
 
Forwards
- Dennis Bergkamp (34, Legend, £7,5m)
- Thierry Henry (26, Legend, Captain, free)
- Francis Jeffers (22, HG, British, £8m)
- Nwankwo Kanu (27, Legend, £4,5m)
- José Reyes (20, U21, £10,5m)
- Sylvain Wiltord (29, Legend, £13m)

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Pitäisikö tämä otsikko muuten muuttaa muotoon esimerkiksi "Arsenal – entiset pelaajat" tai muuta vastaavaa? Sanat 'ex' ja 'tykkimies' menevät vain jotenkin aina ohtise, kun yrittää etsiä ketjua. Ei vain jostain syystä aivot yhdistä itse sanaan 'Arsenal'. En tiedä miten muilla on tämän suhteen.

 

Rosicky on tehnyt nyt siirtonsa takaisin kotiin. Viimeinen maali Sparta Praguen paidassa syntyi vuonna 2001, kun tuolloin 21-vuotias Mozart onnistui maalinteossa vastassaan Arsenal. Tuosta seurasi siirto Borussia Dortmundiin ja loppu onkin historiaa.

 

Na_ytto_kuva_2016_08_30_kello_18_59_06.p

 

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Diaby kertoo kuulumisiaan Ranskasta. Pakko arvostaa miestä, ja hienoa kuulla myös niin sanottu kolikon kääntöpuoli pelaajan tarinalle.

 

Vaikka ranskalainen ei koskaan Arsenalissa kasvanut siksi pelaajaksi, jota kaikki odottivat, niin omalla tavallaan seuralegendan statuksen itselleen ansaitsi. Parhaimmillaan maailmanluokan keskikenttä ja olihan sitä pakko antaa pienet aplodit, kun teki maajoukkueuransa ensimmäisen maalin Suomea vastaan Helsingin Olympiastadionilla.

 

When Abou Diaby came to Arsenal at 19, Arsène Wenger thought he'd got the new Patrick Vieira... but instead he became the man of glass
 
Abou Diaby lets out a wry smile. He is talking about nicknames. In France, he knows what they call him. 
 
‘They say I’m “L’Homme de Verre”. It means that I’m made of glass,’ he explains. ‘It can be painful, on a psychological level. They don’t know how much I give every day of my life to try and recover. But hey, what can I do? This is my life story.’ 
 
Over the hour that follows at Marseille’s training ground, the former Arsenal midfielder details the profound ‘frustration’ of his life story. 
 

Abou-Diaby-was-one-of-sev-012.jpg?w=620&

 

Diaby, only 19 when he signed for Arsenal in 2006 from Auxerre, was supposed to be the heir to Patrick Vieira. With those powerful, gangly long legs and skillful guile, Arsène Wenger believed he had uncovered another midfield powerhouse that would drive Arsenal to greatness.
 
Instead, Diaby’s Arsenal career became synonymous with the treatment room. When he left in 2015, British newspaper websites counted 42 injuries in nine years.
 
He has played only seven games during the last three-and-a-bit seasons for Arsenal and Marseille and it is distressing to hear this calm and gentle giant, still only 30, admit that he would be thrilled to play ‘just 20 more games’ in his career.
 
‘A lot of things have been done over the last few years,’ Diaby begins. ‘Basically, it was big rehabilitation. I have worked a lot on the calf, on the scar tissue, on the knee problem, on the ankle problem . . . ’ Diaby starts laughing, pointing to different parts of his legs: ‘This could go on a while!’
 
He is more certain when it comes to diagnosing the moment that his career was for ever changed.

 

Diaby was 19 and only five months into his Arsenal career when Dan Smith of Sunderland crashed into the side of his ankle with the force of a sledgehammer. It makes the cut on YouTube compilations of ‘football’s worst ever tackles’. 
 
Wenger has since described it as an ‘assassin’s tackle’ and in the days after, he was so incensed that he called for legal action.
 
‘Of course it is the moment that killed everything,’ Diaby says. ‘That’s where it all came from. It gave me a big restriction on my ankle and I overcompensated with other parts of my body. Before that, I’d never had a muscular injury, my lifestyle was good.
 
‘But really, there is no resentment any more. I left it behind a long time ago. The only thing I wish is that it had happened later in my career. If it happened when I was 28, things might have been different. Between 19 and 27, I would have had time to progress, play every week and be the player I should have been.’
 
The complications of the shattered ankle seemed to go on and on. Four operations and over 20 muscular injuries followed as a result.
 
Diaby did find a sense of continuity for Arsenal between 2009 and 2013, reaching over 100 appearances for the club. But just as he turned 27, he suffered a cruciate knee injury in training.
 
He would make only two appearances in his final two seasons at Arsenal and for Diaby, the challenge became increasingly psychological.
 
‘Going into the training ground every day, it was killing me. When you spend all your time with the physio and you see your team-mates enjoying everything, it is very hard.

 

‘I had to get out and do rehab elsewhere. I didn't feel comfortable being injured at the club all the time. The funny thing is that at Arsenal, when you are in the physio room at the training ground, you can actually see the first-team training sessions through the window. That made life even in tougher.
 
'I did rehab in France, Qatar a few times, I went to America. It was an escape and allowed me to be more focused on myself.
 
After a while, he stopped attending Arsenal games. ‘I couldn’t sit there every game in the stands and watch. I just wanted to play so much. Every time fans spoke to me, it was, “When are you back?”, “How long will it be?”.
 
Out on the grass, Diaby’s issues became of mind as well as body.
 
‘Over time, I had a bit of fear in my play. When I came back from the first big injury, I was fine.
 
'I remember in one of my first training sessions, I was racing around, jumping into tackles and Lauren pulled me aside and said, “Calm down, Abou, you have just come back from a long-term injury. Take your time, be calm”. At some stage, when I had started to miss whole seasons and got older, the fear became greater.’
 
'The injuries can be psychological as well. You can be a bit scared on the field. It can be in your mind, thinking that the next injury is just around the corner and wondering how far you can push your body. Looking back, I think there were times that my body was good (when I was out).'
 
Diaby had conversations with sports psychologists at Arsenal but admits he might have benefited from further work with counsellors outside the club.
 
‘Maybe I should have done that more,’ he admits. ‘After the cruciate injury, at 27, I thought about retiring. It crossed my mind a few times. I won’t lie. The cruciate injury was from nothing, it just happened in training.
 
'I turned and it went. I had this initial reaction, upset and frustrated. I was thinking, “Yeah, that’s it — now, I quit”. But I went home, calmed down and set about recovering again.’

 

'I knew there's always somebody who's worse off. I have been fortunate. I remember seeing what happened to Fabrice Muamba. I remember seeing the injury suffered by Dean Ashton, a brilliant forward who retired at the age of 26. I always say thank you to God for the opportunities I have enjoyed.'
 
There is an extensive hinterland to Diaby’s character, nurtured by his faith. He is a devout Muslim and while living in Hampstead, he would attend the mosque every Friday.
 
'It helped me a lot, particularly navigating through bad moments. I’m a Muslim but we are all brothers, all human beings.’
 
'I saw the story about the Muslim lady on the beach in France recently. The world now is sick. We shouldn't stigmatise people for what they are. The real problem of society is not what a Muslim woman wears on the beach. There are real social problems, inequality and people struggling to get jobs but we start to stigmatise a group of people and it's wrong.'
 
After finally cutting the cord with Wenger in the summer of 2015, Diaby joined Marseille. After spending nine years at Arsenal, Diaby is better placed than most to explain the outlook for his old club and indeed Wenger.
 
'He is an incredible coach. He always pushes you to reflect on your game, he always wants you at your best. He gives you a lot of confidence. Sometimes he has a belief in you that you don't even have in your own self.
 
'Nowadays in football it is hard find people this loyal. It is a virtue but people want titles and I understand that. I get the perception at the moment because he has not won titles recently. Arsenal have always qualified for the Champions League. But, please, you must understand, the first one that wants to win is him. I spent nine years with him and when he loses, I know how he is. He hates losing. He hated it so much.
 
'There is a desire to win the title but it does seem that those "Arsenal" moments in February or March are very crucial. It's where you have to win. At that point, Arsenal lose points where they should be winning.'
 
So why does it happen? 'Honestly, it's hard to explain. Arsenal seem easier to beat (than Wenger's previous title-winning sides). It's happened a few times at that time of year. They couldn't carry through the victory process. The only thing they are missing is to win.
 
'The talent is incredible and really, the mentality is there. But everyone wants to win in the Premier League. At some stage, maybe, it is all about who wants to win the most - but it does not mean that those who come second or third don't want to win.
 
So how to nurture the winning feeling? 'Maybe that comes at some stage when you realise that to finish third or second is not good enough at the end of the day. People only remember the winners and that should give extra motivation.'
 
'As an ex-Arsenal player, as an Arsenal fan, I really want them to get a title. The club deserves it.'
 
Diaby will continue watching from afar. ‘My target is to finish my career as well as I can. If at least I can play 15 or 20 more games, I can be happy. I played last week, I don’t have any problems. Twenty games, it would be fantastic. If I go more, it would be something of a miracle.’ 
 

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Noin kahden viikon päästä nähdään mahdollisesti, kun Bendtner kohtaa entisen seuransa:

 

Nicklas Bendtner agrees to join Nottingham Forest

 

nicklas-bendtner-action-shot-wolfsburg_3

 

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is set for a return to English football after agreeing to join Nottingham Forest.
 
Bendtner held talks at the City Ground on Tuesday and has verbally agreed to sign for the Sky Bet Championship club, with the deal set to be announced as early as Wednesday.
 
The 28-year-old has been a free agent since leaving German side Wolfsburg last season, enabling Forest to sign him outside of the transfer window, which closed last week.
 
Bendtner will become the 12th new arrival at Forest following the appointment of Philippe Montanier as head coach over the summer.

 

The Denmark international began his career at Arsenal and had loan spells at Birmingham, Sunderland and Juventus before switching to Wolfsburg in 2014.
 
He scored 24 league goals in 108 appearances for the Gunners and has netted 29 times in 72 outings for his country.

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Noin kahden viikon päästä nähdään mahdollisesti, kun Bendtner kohtaa entisen seuransa:

 

Ja sehän me jo tiedetäänkin, että Arsenalin taivan Liigacupissa päättynee nimenomaa Nottingham Forestia vastaan, kun juutti iskee lisäajalla voittomaalin kaljamaha hölskyen. 

 

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Ja sehän me jo tiedetäänkin, että Arsenalin taivan Liigacupissa päättynee nimenomaa Nottingham Forestia vastaan, kun juutti iskee lisäajalla voittomaalin kaljamaha hölskyen. 

 

En yllättyisi tästä lainkaan. Eikä tavallaan harmittaisikaan.

 

Näytti muuten kesän aikana olevan huomattavasti paremmassa kondiksessa kuin Arsenalissa. Tosin tähänhän tuli muutos jo aika pian siirtonsa jälkeen VfL Wolfsburgiin. Myös Hecking kehui tässä Bendtnerin ammattimaisuutta ja kuntoaan harjoituksissa, jonka lisäksi uskoo tanskalaisen pystyvän onnistumaan todella hyvin seuraavassa seurassaan. Muutenkin nyt parin viimeisen vuoden aikana on muuttunut jotenkin kuva pelaajasta, kun ei enää muistele niitä pahimpia törttöilyjä seitsemän vuoden takaa, vaan parikymppisen nuorukaisen sijaan kyseessä on jo 28-vuotias rakastava perheenisä, joka selvästi ammattimaisemmin omistautunut uralleenkin. Saanut muunneltujen kommenttienkin puolesta ehkä vähän turhan paljon roskaa niskaansa, joten toivotaan onnistuvan Championshipissa. On sitä kovemmissa paikoissakin maaleja tehty, muun muassa hattutemppua Arsenalille Champions Leaguessa ja nyt tuoreampana voittomaali FC Bayernia vastaan.

 

Ensi kaudella sitten mahdollisesti takaisin Englannin pääsarjatasolla, sillä Nottingham Forestilla on todellakin mahdollisuudet sarjanousuun.

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Saanut muunneltujen kommenttienkin puolesta ehkä vähän turhan paljon roskaa niskaansa.

 

Tartutaan tähän vielä sen verran, että viittaan siis näihin kommentteihin, kun nuorena vastasi uratavoitteistaan, että jokainen jalkapalloa millään sarjatasolla pelaava pelaaja haluaisi olla joskus yksi parhaimmista ja se on aivan ymmärrettävää. Tämä siis muotoiltiin muotoon, jossa Bendtner olisi todennut olevansa maailman paras jalkapalloilija. Toinen oli kuinka haastattelussa tanskalaislehdistön kanssa häneltä kysyttiin, että jos saisit päättää minkä tahansa seuran maailmassa, jota edustaisit, niin Bendtner vastasi pienenä poikana unelmansa olleen pelata FC Barcelonassa. Tämä käännettiin englantilaislehdistössä, että Bendtnerin tavoite on siirtyä samassa siirtoikkunassa FC Barcelonaan tai Real Madridiin, mikä oli kerrassaan naurettavaa ja tätä pidetään vielä nykyäänkin todellisena vastauksena.

 

Kuuntelin tuossa sivukorvalla pätkän Nottingham Forestin kannattajan toimesta, joka kommentoi tanskalaisen olleen totaalinen floppi Arsenalissakin tehden vain noin 20 maalia johonkin 200 otteluun. Mukana oli myös kommentteja kuinka Bendtner olisi muka sanonut olleensa loukkaantunut 2 kuukautta vain, jotta Messi ja Ronaldo saisivat etumatkaa – joka nyt on täysin internetissä villiintyneiden lapsukaisten mielikuvitusta. Todellisuudessa siis Arsenalissa syntyi 47 maalia ja 22 maalisyöttöä, jotka tulivat 171 ottelussa. Peliaikaan katsottuna, niin maali syntyi joka noin 181. minuutti, eli joka toisessa ottelussa. Maalissa mukana taas aina 121 minuutin välein. Tanskankin paidassa ollut aina avainpelaaja ja viime vuonnakin nähtiin jälleen sitä potentiaalia, joka pelaajalla joskus oli, kun teki 3 maalia Yhdysvaltain verkkoon. VfL Wolfsburgissa puolestaan peliaikaan nähden teki maalin aina keskimäärin jokainen 159. minuutti. Maalit vielä syntyivät suhteellisen isoissa otteluissa joten en itse lähtisi aliarvioimaan tai kritisoimaan Bendtnerin mahdollisuuksia onnistua hyökkääjänä seurassa kuten Nottingham Forest, jossa materiaali on muutenkin sarjatason parhaimmistoa.

 

Ymmärrän täysin, että minkä takia pelaajasta ei tunnuta pidettävän, mutta aika paljon tästä Nicklasin ympärille luodusta imagosta on nimenomaan syntynyt värikynien voimalla. En itse ainakaan enää jaksa katsoa vuoteen 2009 tai muuallekaan, kun 19-21-vuotias nuori jalkapalloilijan alku on pudonnut Champions Leaguesta välieräottelussa Manchester Unitedia vastaan ja tämän jälkeen kuvattu alkoholin vaikutuksen alaisena. Tai sitten kuinka auttoi ja tuki äitiänsä, joka lopulta voitti kasvaimen ja nuorukainen typeryyksissään ajoi raporttien mukaan 100 metriä autolla nautittuaan alkoholia ennen kuin hänet pysäytettiin, koska oli vain yksinkertaisesti onnellinen tapahtuneesta. Teko, jota ei voi puolustella lainkaan, koska olisi voinut loukata itsensä tai jonkun muun kohtalokkaastikin, mutta ei tällaista varjoa kuulu kantaa pitkälle tulevaisuuteen eikä niiden takia kuulukaan osoitella sormella. Yhdistettynä ihmisten mielikuvitukseen ja lukuisiin keksittyihin lainauksiin, niin olen itse valmis ainakin katsomaan pelaajaa nyt vuonna 2016 sellaisena kuin hän on itse nyt osoittanut ihmisenä. On lukuisia jalkapalloilijoita, jotka ovat tehneet vastaavia tai pahempiakin asioita, mutta he välttyvät näin suuressa muodossa tapahtuneelta kritiikiltä, negatiiviselta huomiolta ja suoralta pilkalta, joka on sinänsä väärin.

 

Jos joku haluaa tietää, että minkä takia pelaajan sopimus purettiin kauden päätteeksi saksalaisseuran kanssa, niin se tapahtui yhteisymmärryksenä, sillä Bendtner halusi seuraan, jossa olisi suuremmassa vastuussa ja Hecking näki pelaajalla olevan mahdollisuudet onnistua muualla paremmin. Tietysti tämän jälkeen tapahtui myös pieni imagokolhu VfL Wolfsburgin kannalta, koska Bendtner ei ollut huomioinut mahdollisia toimittajia, kun oli harjoituksien jälkeen noussut Mercedesiinsa, jonka seurajohto näki ikävänä, koska seura on sponsoroitu Volkswagenin toimesta.

 

On pelaajassa ominaisuuksia, joista en itsekään pidä, mutta haluan nähdä tanskalaisessa ne hyvätkin puolet.

 

Tietysti tässä omien ajatuksieni taustalla on ehkä myös se, että kyseessä on tällainen niin sanottu seuran kulttilegenda kuten Abou Diaby tai Emmanuel Eboué. Eri tavallaan vain.

 

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