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What Hazard really said: ” At Arsenal you have Wenger, Vermaelen and the beautiful game….”

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By Walter Broeckx

Earlier this week I have heard a part of the world coming to an end because some rumour told that Eden Hazard would go to Tottenham. The rumour was spread by a French magazine.

I have now been able to put my hands on an interview that appeared in the Belgium football magazine Sport/Foot Magazine. It is a  magazine written in French  and as Hazard is from the French speaking part of Belgium the interview was done in French and so it will not be lost in translation.

For those who do not believe me they can read it themselves in French but for those who don’t speak French I took the liberty of translating it in English.

So here we go.

Intro: After an exceptional year 2011 with Lille, Eden Hazard will certainly leave France for England late in the season. For which club? Tottenham has been cited, but Arsenal,  Wenger and Vermaelen is still favoured by the  prodigy of the Red Devils.

2011 was the year of Eden Hazard:  title of best player in the championship of France which crowned a league and cup double with Lille who had not won a trophy for over half a century. That deserved the No. 1 spot in the Top 100 Sport / Foot Magazine – RTBF.

Sport/Foot magazine : In January, you were announced  almost every day at a big club …

Oh, I was not aware. (He laughs).

These rumours, they make you laugh or they irritated you?

People say everything and anything. I know my situation. They send me in the best clubs, it’s been fun, but maybe I’m not interested in everything you hear.

You know your situation … That is to say?

I know what direction I will go.

England is your priority?

That’s the championship where I think I can express myself better. Where I can learn more, too. Difficult to explain why. Question of feeling. The level of the matches, the atmosphere in the stadiums: this is still well above anything I’ve experienced so far in France. And that attracts me.

They quote you a regular at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger likes you a lot, you’ve always been a fan of Thierry Henry, … This club inspires you because it has a tradition of the  beautiful game? This will be a priority for you to sign for a team that plays good football?

Of course. It’s always more fun when it’s beautiful. In addition, at Arsenal, there is a coach and French players. And Thomas Vermaelen. There are several clubs that interest me in England and Arsenal is really a part.

The sooner you go, the better?

All in good time: First, finish the season well with Lille. Then, I will make the right choice. Going abroad to find myself on the bench, is something I’m not interested in. I know I can still raise my level. But, ever since the beginning of my career, I have always set the bar a little higher. And I worked to be able to cross it. And I know many people in England. This is another added attraction.

At one point, they talked mostly Spain. Real Madrid, for example …

I never told myself that I wanted to go to Real Madrid. Others have done in my place. I’m obviously not against the idea. Who does not dream of Real Madrid? Or FC Barcelona? I have never closed the door to anyone. I like all major championships : Spain, Italy, etc.. But I am convinced that, for now at least, the ideal for me would be England. I am lucid enough to realize that being holder in one of two Spanish grandees, at my age it would be complicated.

Read the full interview exclusive Eden Hazard in your Sport / Foot Magazine this week.

Daniel Devos and Pierre Danvoye, Sport / Foot Magazine

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This interview was done because of the fact that Hazard was named as the best Belgian player in the magazine that appears this week. So it was very recent as the even mentioned the  Tottenham story. Now I must admit I don’t have the full interview because it isn’t sold in the Flemish part of Belgium where I live.

Again a fine example of how a rumour gets a story and how the player himself denies it and says nothing is done or signed at all.  And he even makes it clear that Arsenal is very much more his favourite club. I think those at Tottenham who were dreaming already will be glad to know that Hazard seems to be a polite boy but he sure has more the red and white running in his blood than any other colour from any other club in London.

And if he comes or not we will see it when it happens. If he comes, great. If he doesn’t there are other players that could come. And besides we got a player like The Ox coming through very fine now.

But please let us not get carried away with each rumour that is spread and start shouting and swearing and throwing abuse.  Relax and don’t believe every rumour that goes around and is repeated.

And for those who want Hazard to come but also want Wenger out: the latter will mean that Hazard will not come for sure.

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51 comments to What Hazard really said: ” At Arsenal you have Wenger, Vermaelen and the beautiful game….”

  • legolas still trust Wenger

    i believe Wenger is the key of our success . to be honest with all of u i hate Gazidis and Kroenke .i still believe that Gunners can do a lot when they stick together & play with passion and fight and never accept defeat. this spirit is the invincible team once.
    i love Arsenal and i feel so sad and mad when they point at wenger as if he is to blame. he is not he is gr8 i adore him.

  • It’s quite clear that a lot of journalists know nothing about the internet and considerably more about sheep, err, people. Even that paragon of linguistics, Google translate, does a better job of not mangling that interview into inflammatory hate speech for the AAA.
    In this century, if you are journalist you will have either zero credibility or hardly any readers.

  • Arvind

    Not true Woolwich… Untold has a lot of readers 😉

  • Mandy Dodd

    I will take Wenger and Hazard.

  • @Arvind,
    I wouldn’t stoop so low as to call the writers at Untold “Journalists”!
    For many people the word is associated with hacking the voice-mail of a murdered child and other unsavoury acts.

  • Zigzag

    Great stuff, thanks for putting the record straight and easing the pain of all the young hotheads. Where does Hazard mention Tottenham? I get a feeling Wenger has big plans for summer and Eden is a part of it. I expect a few heads to roll too. If someone is to rebuild this team into a force to reckon with, it is Arsene, no doubt about that. Never mind all the pseudo-fans, secret spuds lovers and all plastic idiots.

  • Zig Zag – no Hazard says nothing re Tottenham – it is the person conducting the interview who says there have been mentions of Tottenham, what do you think. Hazard just talks of Arsenal.

  • Woolwich

    I was a journalist but then I went to secondary school

  • moza

    Thanks for the translation buddy!

  • Maverick

    great article as always guys

    @Tony “I was a journalist but then I went to secondary school”

    watch it Tony…….you might get your phone hacked or your stories stolen and distorted with such candidness!

  • Goonerbeall

    My oh my, where do I start? Arsenal board has to realise that we have gone too far wisful thinking about a turn around. The team that was at San Siro is what we have and Wenger recruited them so he has to take blame for its shortcomings. This is how clubs start when declining. People go on about Hazard and forget that we had Fabregas who was even more talented but he actually left us because we could’nt add on to him so as to win something.

    Hazard is correctly courting Spurs because he knows Wenger wants to buy him and then over use him instead of bringin other quality players who will enhance his play. All this at a pay that is short of what they can get elsewhere.

    I cant see any good player wanting to join us and yet to revive Arsenal, we need at least 5 top class players each costong in excess of £15m and I cant see this being done by Wenger and in short Wenger has taken as far as he could. Time for changes I am afraid.

  • Maverick

    @goonerbeall,

    I can understand why you feel that way but i think next summer you will be quite surprised and we dont need that much to be challenging again. The reason why we are in such a state is we have been missing creativity and been relying on players that dont have it in them anymore. This season we have really missed Wilshere.

    But come summer (if the guy is to be believed) Javier Perez has said quite adamantly and he is willing to stake his rep. on it that we have got Matias Suarez already in the bag, and if you look at his skill etc he is a very formidable striker and some of his movement is like Messi. Also on top of that we are supposedly in regular contact with Podolski and i reckon we will probably land Hazard and with those signings we should keep RVP.

    With those 3 extra players we suddenly look quite a dangerous team. Imagine this next season

    Szczesny

    Sagna Vermaelen Koscielny Santos

    Wilshere Arteta (or Song) Hazard

    Gevinho RVP Podolski

    All of these players as subs: Jenkinson, Mertesaker, DJourou, Ramsey, Arteta or Song, Chamberlain, Suarez, Walcott

    All of a sudden with 3 decent buys we are quite a handful.

  • Arvind

    For some reason smileys do not appear : ( …

    I agree Mandy Dodd… I’ll take both too.. although I really don’t know if Hazard is another wonder kid like Romelu Lukaku who’s done zilch since he joined (not his fault though.. he too is young).

  • bob

    Maverick,
    Let’s start at square one: How do you see us holding on to RvP?

  • Maverick

    @bob, for starters not all players are disloyal, we have done a lot for RVP held onto him when he was consistently had a lot of injuries and was out half a season at a time. I think he would sign again if Wenger made the team competitive again….hence as i said i think Podolski, Hazard and Suarez maybe a couple of others whilst getting rid of duds should be enough.

    How many times has RVP said he loves Arsenal so much and London is his home (Bought a new home here) so why will he just suddenly up and leave and uproot his family and child from school………..i think he will sign.

  • DC

    Ta Walter,
    I’m glad you’ve attempted to clarify the Hazard situation as the manipulated media garbage I’ve been hearing over the past few weeks and days (and the laughable notion of him joining the Spuds with ‘arry almost destined to leave in the summer) has been doing-my-head in!
    I saw Hazard’s interview on French TV and he certainly seems very media savvy at a young age and very calm and sensible. If he’s already playing mind games with the Spuds and our inept media (along with his father as I’ve also nonsensically read) then welcome to the Arsenal my friend!
    There is only one club that Eden Hazard will join at the moment in his career and it is for exactly the same reason why, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain have already joined too – Arsene Wenger!
    Arsene will clear out the senior players he has given the chances to in the summer and have failed to deliver both on and off the pitch. He will bring in senior players and the youth project with the likes of Hazard, Goetze, Eisfeld, Ox, etc will continue! CL qualification is very important within that strategy and he has always stated that. I feel that this summer, the board and the major share-holder will finally be forced to put-up or shut-up before the end of the transfer window!

  • Pat

    Talking about journalism …
    The Daily Telegraph has featured Arsenal on the front page of its sports section for the last three days.
    On Wednesday, the headline was: ‘Exclusive: predictable, weak and no winning mentality; Dennis Bergkamp: the trouble with Arsenal’. Inside was an interview by Alan Smith (yes, the one who used to play for Arsenal) in which Dennis Bergkamp used some of these words, but in a much more balanced context. I don’t suppose he expected his interview to be used in quite this way.
    Why would you want to carry a headline like that on the day one of the last two British teams in the Champions League plays away in Europe?
    On Thursday there was a picture of Arsene Wenger looking old and tired and the headline ‘Humiliated: Wenger calls it his worst night in Europe as Gunners fold without a fight’.
    Today we have a photo of Theo Walcott and the headline ‘Clearout: raging Wenger confronts squad and could sell stars in summer.’ This headline is based entirely on one sentence in the article inside: ‘According to one source, Wenger “went crazy” and vented his anger directly at players for a performance that he regarded as the worst in Europe during his 15 years as Arsenal manager.’ But it gives journalists Jeremy Wilson and Henry Winter the chance to throw a whole load of Arsenal names around and speculate about them.
    Makes your blood boil!

  • DC

    @bob,
    RVP’s decision to remain, and Arsene’s more importantly for that matter, will depend on the transfer activity early in the summer window!
    The senior players which are signed as replacements will be crucial and Arsene knows this and has seen it in evidence on-and-off the pitch with TH14’s return in Jan and Feb.

  • DC

    Additionally, rumours are abound that Steve Bould (he of the famous back 4 + 1) will become Arsene’s right hand man when Pat Rice retires.
    @Maverick,
    I agree and concur with RVP’s loyalty. For all Cesc’s love for Arsenal, he never established familial roots here in London!

  • DC

    As for Nasri & Adebayor, we know where their loyalties lie!

  • This article has been picked up by Arsenal.com and is listed in their media pages. I don’t think it necessarily means that Hazard is on the way, but it does suggest that they welcome the fact that Walter takes the trouble to do exact translations.

    Walter – could you learn Russian, so that when Arshavin does an interview in his native tongue, we can do our own translation of that?

  • Nuetey

    We need just 3 more world class players n then get rid of some old horses. Mean while, we need to make a top 4.

  • DC

    I noticed that too Tony!
    Keep it up Walter! Molodtsom!

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Mr Broeckx

    One thing you will find with the British media is that if they mean Arsenal they write Tottenham and if they mean Tottenham they write Arsenal. When it’s about sensitive things like transfers, anyway. Or gossip which might or might not lead to something.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Maverick

    You need to factor in one or two major injuries EVERY season. Yes EVERY season.

    Vermaelen missed most of the past two seasons before this one. Wilshere most of this one. RVP was regularly injured in several successive seasons. Henry was injured in 2007. Sagna this.

    Part of the test of competing is still winning games with four or five out injured.

  • Maverick

    @Rhys,

    Totally understand what you are saying and Arsenal are the worst for injuries………but that would be a step forward at least, unfortunately cannot overhaul the entire squad of deadwood with new players in one transfer peroid, but at the very least this would be a start. If we did just this in the summer got Hazard Suarez and Podolski and maybe a couple of utility players like Claudio Yacob (on a free but supposedly very useful) and got rid of players that don’t cut it (or most of them) i would be very very happy with that business.

    I really hope this will happen and we dont hear that Wenger is happy with the squad after all that has happened this season if he does this i have to admit i will think Wenger is needing his head examined. But in all honest i think this season has tested him to his limits and certain players he put trust in failed him completely and i think he is set for change.

  • Maverick

    @Tony, you mention Arsenal.com has picked this up, where can i see this? That is totally amazing! I didn’t know Arsenal tracked your blog.

  • jazz

    tony you have always been my favorite blogger, i wanted to ask you what would be your current dream team at Arsenal Fc? (using only young current talent)

  • Joe

    This team, as a team and as individuals, is just a little bit shit. This is confirmed when you see them lose 8-2 to Man U, 4-3 to Blackburn, and in the heaviest European defeat ever 4-0 to AC Milan. So, to see them there in fourth place in a Premier League which collects the best players from all over the world is a compliment to Arsene Wenger.

    I’ll even go another step further and say that Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager this club has ever seen and could even go down as the greatest manager this club will ever see. In years we will come to appreciate what he has done and in the greatest compliment ever we will measure other managers by the standards he has set.

    Already his footballing legacy is written. He was the first foreign manager to win the League. He is the only manager in the Premier League era to go an entire season unbeaten. Two doubles. Fourteen years in the Champions League. He carved London Colney out of the woods and created a state-of-the-art training facility that is used by the England team and is the envy of all. He has launched more careers in football than I care to count. And, possibly the biggest compliment to him is that teams, managers, and players aspire to play “like Arsenal.”

    You’ll note, however, that I left the stadium off that list of accomplishments. That’s because I think we built that stadium. Our money built that stadium. Our money at the turnstiles, at the Arsenal shop, as Red Level members, or even just in passionately following the team and watching games on television. He built us a team that we could love, he gave us a philosophy that we could believe in, and we poured our money and passion into that stadium in return.

    We built Ashburton Grove, because we love Arsene Wenger and what he has done to make Arsenal Football Club one of the greatest teams the world has ever seen.

    One day, days like today will be all but forgotten. Swept away by the memories of winning the League at Old Trafford, memories of Thierry Henry scoring at White Hart Lane, of Tony Adams’ famous goal, Freddie’s goals in the FA Cup finals, and of the Invincibles season. 49 games unbeaten. 229 goals. 229 is a prime number, only divisible by one and itself. Just like Thierry Henry. Just like Arsene Wenger.

    And as the long slog of this season marches toward its inevitable conclusion, piece by piece Wenger’s legacy is worn down. Far from invincible, this team’s defense is quite vincible. Whereas Arsenal under Arsene have always been weak at set plays, there isn’t even any single thing about the Arsenal defense that you can point to and say it needs fixing. The whole team’s defensive set-up is wrong from front to back.

    And worse, whereas teams once feared Arsenal as they would a tiger with our swift attacks, sweeping counter-attacks, and devastating goals, they now look at us as kitten chasing a ball around on the kitchen floor. The sad reality is that Arsenal don’t even play beautiful football any more. Arsenal are now predictable, slow, and frankly, at times boring.

    Arsene’s other great strength was always in finding bargains in the transfer market. But lately, I suspect that the manager is somewhat out of touch with the reality of transfer costs and player salaries and as such keeps thinking that he is overpaying when a team asks for a few pounds more for Juan Mata. And he also believes he is getting a bargain when he sells players like Toure and Clichy to Manchester City. Perhaps it is as others have suggested and his hands are tied in that regard. But if his hands are tied it is with golden handcuffs because he is well compensated for the job he is doing.

  • ak47

    i see this season a rebuilding blip. if we line up looks the way mav has suggested then with or with champs league next yr we will be challenging bar any major multiple injuries.(i know)
    ill be very surprised if robbing left with or without champs league tho i would like to think the team can pull themselves together for his sake as he isnt getting any younger.
    And it would be nice for him to lift it with arsenal after knocking out man oil in the semis with a hazard goal after dispossessing nasri and then cesc gifting us a goal in return in the final with jack getting the winner. ahh escapism.

  • Baja Dour

    Arsenal need 4 good defenders, 4 good midfielders, 4 good strikers and a very good goalkeeper for the next season

  • YID

    You stupid Gooners all quiet yesterday on here were’nt (weren’t) yer (you) when linked with us now you are mouthing today about Hazard! Your (You’re) finished you mugs!Turned up at Milan thinking you could play them off the park?In there (their) back yard!Man you have got so big for your (well done!!) boots have’nt (haven’t) you,wind your necks in…….lol you silly gooners.

    I took the liberty of correcting a few of the errors in this comment so it’d be readable to our regular commenters. Evidently schooling isn’t compulsory in some parts of Tottenham. Phil

  • Notoverthehill

    IF Arsenal Holdings are in dire straits, why is Алишер Буранович Усманов buying shares at over £15,000 a share? I use the B to differentiate from another Alisher Usmanov, who is a reputed terrorist.
    Tony, I always check the actual Russian publications for anything regarding what AA23 really means! ALL Mr. Arshavin’s interviews are really interesting in that he tries to give a direct answer to a direct question.
    Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph has proved that he is as thick as eight planks of wood, to paraphrase Sir Bobby Rodson comment regarding a certain footballer!
    A true Arsenal fan supports the team despite ANY bad result.

  • DC

    Thanks Phil!
    I always struggle to understand what the likes of YID are trying to say; and I’m pretty “street” with my vocabulary and grammar!
    Their (sorry, “There” – he’s got me doing it now!) is no end to the amount of time that Tiny totts wish to spend on Gooner sites! Perhaps they feel that their particular level of education and argument is too high-brow and erudite for their own?…. I wonder?! Mmmmmmm…..

  • gunner663

    I had no idea M. Wender had so many relatives. Check the grave of one H. Chapman spining. He was an inovator if you like. Space prevents etc. Arsene is unquestionably a fine coach. As another Frenchman who is revered once said, `I want lucky Generals` the both had them but their luck ran out. Our manager brought modern dietry and training with him but he didn`t invent them – see Frank McLintock. He added a few well known young stars but Bergkamp was already changing Arsenal. and he thereafter set the style that is attributed to Arsene. As they departed he didn`t replace them. Poor buys and the refusal to acknowledge that after fifteen years, Cashly is the only star to emerge from our junior ranks. Arsenal is the sum of its history and Mee`s blunder in prematurely disbanding the 71 team resulted in eighteen near barren years. Since our nineties squad was gutted it has been downhill all the way. RvP and Weight are two examples of exercise increasing bone strength. They, like many others and almost all top rugby forwards, develop resistance to bone damage in their late twenties. Yet even now Wilshire and Gibbs are being hustled back. They seem to be growing still which suggests they may lack bone density. They should not be risked until medics clear them totally. Fortunatly other youngsters we have are less prone to fractures, Arsene might dwell on why MacDonald`s careeer ended so abruptly. Arsene is not responsible for the ills of the world but it was a team he bought out there in Milan: yet he blames only the players – his players and accepts no responsability for their failure.

  • Maverick

    @YID, you delusional muppet……..you come on here slagging off Arsenal when SPurs are in 3rd just 1 position above us because we have had our worst season in many a decade and all of a sudden you are acting like your team is the best ever. Let me lay some things down for you ok? What you gonna do without old saggy chops? What happens if your better players move on? What are you going to do when your stadium (ifyou ever build it) reduces your spending to nothing or you will hit bankruptcy faster than ever.

    You have 1 good season (with your best player who has scored most of your goals) is a loanee which you cant even afford 1/2 his wages and is our reject and also mancitys reject and you act like a big time Charlie………gotta laugh at these clowns!!

    If we are finished i hate to know what other teams in the EPL are because we are one of the best run teams around and i reckon come next season it will be rather different and it will be Spurs crying in the cornflakes!

  • MistaKen

    There will be more humiliating losses to come before the season ends because we haven’t replaced the good players we sold with as good or better. I defy any Arsenal fan to feel confident about any (and I mean any) PL team we play. I want Wenger to succeed more than any other manager because of the positive and amazing football he introduced. But we have to face facts. To restore our fortunes he has to radically change his transfer policy by spending more than £15mil on at least 3 quality players. Is he really going to do this. I for one don’t know. What I do believe is that if he doesn’t we will continue to witness the embarrassment in Milan over and over again.

  • Kentetsu

    Walter, out of a personal interest, how does the division of Belgium in a Flemish and a Walloon part (plus a German-speaking region and Brussels as a special region) affect the national team. Everybody knows that on a political level it’s a royal mess, but I never considered if/how it impacts the national team. I believe the manager is usually Flemish – like Leekens now – or have there been Walloon managers before? Any thougths on all of this?

  • marcus

    The media sharks love the smell of Arsenal blood…that much we know, and the football establishment is more than happy to carry a penknife in its back-pocket for us.

    Truthfully – Arsenal need leaders and players with passion.

    The sad thing about the Milan game, and I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this, is that Arsenal were playing on a flat pitch. There seemed no bias to me. And in a straight shoot-out, we were absolutely drubbed….

    That is probably why AW was apoplectic…because there were NONE of the mitigating circumstances we are used to. (The only mitigation I can see is that Zlatan decided to become Messi’s bigger brother for the night).

    Like it or no, Hazard if he’s half the player we think would be twice the player Walcott is.

    Rosicky was awful, watching him blunder away the 4th goal was painful….

  • bob

    Maverick,
    Sorry, but Tottenscum aside: What do you actually mean by best run? That we can exist? That’s good, thank god. But what else does best run mean? Does it mean having to generate a 20 percent profit before there is any thought of spending as needed, like say in the x-fer window? Or does it mean selling RvP to generate the requisite 20 percent profit margin? Or what do you know about a non-transparent situation to still call it best run?

  • bob

    Maverick,
    Sorry, but Tottenscum aside: What do you actually mean by best run? That we can exist? That’s good, thank god. But what else does best run mean? Does it mean having to generate a 20 percent profit before there is any thought of spending as needed, like say in the x-fer window? Or does it mean selling RvP to generate the requisite 20 percent profit margin? Or what do you know about a non-transparent situation to still call it best run?

  • bob

    ach, meant to say 20 million above, not 20 percent.

  • Shantanu Khandelwal

    ha ha… I love the way u say – Wenger out would mean Hazard will not come for sure.. 🙂
    He said- “Profits may prevent Hazard swoop”, but i’v heard there’s going to be a declared profit of around £55m..

  • Shantanu

    Ha ha… Yeah! Learn Russian

  • Mandy Dodd

    cannot see Hazard coming, Chelsea will outbid us if they cannot get Modric, Liverpool are likely to outbid us too.
    Think we will get a creative player and Gourcuff will be his name

  • finchmclovin

    now am confused.kroenke or usmanov

  • TheProfessorLivesOn

    Look guys I am as angry about the san siro show as anyone else I sat with my eyes covered as I watched what looked like 10 men in yellow being raped by men in red and black but I just dont understand why.

    Nobody can say that the 11 that started are really that bad Vermalen for example I know can play alot better than that but looked shocking on wednesday he couldnt can’t pick a pass and look scared everytime he was on the ball or near it and look at sagna for the 2nd goal almost stopped running which is unbelievable at that level and even the 1st goal which was a great finish but I have seen the goal aorund ten times now and can’t see an arsenal player even trying to get close to him other than koscinly who was futherest away.

    The truth is that alot of the players havent repaid arsene the faith he has put in them and I believe that Arsene knows now that enough is enough. This season and the back end of last season has been an eye opener to Arsene and I really believe either the players that are there now will up there game or they will be sold and he will bring in some quality players that can play on the big stage.

    You look at the likes of Theo he has been at Arsenal since 2006 and 6 years later he is still doing the same thing I have to say he has improved but not much and although he is young how can we say he is inexperinced when he has been playing for us for 6 years. Arsene needs to sit down with these guys and tell them the truth either you up your game or find another club just like he did with bentdner, eboue, denilson etc its time to stop defending these players and tell them just how it is that us fans have had enough of watching them do nothing season after season.

    Looking back at the milan game I really don’t think Arsene can be blamed for that performance look at vermalen normally solid played so badly sagna another in fact nearly all the players you can rely on played their worst game so how can you blame the manager its like watching the Forman Ali fight normally Forman would KO most in a single blow and Ali would dance round the ring but who would have thought that Ali would stand against the ropes and let Forman hit him with everything and then KO him when he is tired out, who would have thought that our most reliable players just wouldnt deliver.

    Next season if we can get rid of the dead wood I really think a few new signings would make a huge difference I feel defensively we dont need anyone we need M’villa to play with Song and we need someone like Gourcuff to play as a number 10 and another stiker to help when RVP can’t play or when its a tight game I think the best cristism has come from Bergkamp who said the problem with arsenal right now is that all the players seem to play the same which is pass pass pass he said is his day they had players had brought their own strenghts into the game which made them direct and the biggest differnce between then and now is that they wouldnt just sit back and take defeat they would fight to the end everytime.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Kentetsu,
    most managers of the national team have been Flemish. We had Wasseige who was a Walloon and of course Raymond Goethals who was a real “ket” (= nickname for the real and original inhabitants from Brussels who speak a language that has its origins in Flemish but has a lot of imported French words in it). And his Flemish was utterly funny to hear as he just spoke his Brussels language. The press from Holland always needed some translators to understand it. He was hilarious. (I will leave his antics with cheating out of it, he is dead and we leave the dead alone)
    He was also famous for using wrong names for the players of the other teams. Marco Van Basten was give the name Van BaTSen and he just said it all the time be it in a press conference or in the team talk before the game. Some players used to say that his team talk was one long comedy stand up performance.

    But back to your question: the press is divided in two camps. A Walloon manager will get less credit in Flanders and also the other way round. The only way this manager can get more time to build something is by making sure you use both languages in the same way. A question from a French speaking reporter should be answered in French and the same for a Flemish question.

    Putting a team out with only Flemish or Walloon players is the fastest way to the exit (if you lose with that team). The press from the part of the country that feels they haven’t enough players on the pitch will start a campaign to drive the manager out that does it.

    So in a way the Belgium national team is a very difficult thing to work with. One has to keep in mind that you get as close to a 50/50 between Flemish and Walloon players. In fact I think this is one of the problems for Vermaelen to play at centre back for the national team. Kompany who is the only “real” Belgium player (as he is from Brussels and can speak both languages) is good and then to balance the things the managers usually chooses Van Buyten (Walloon) and use Vermaelen (Flemish) on the flank. Van Buyten cannot play on the flanks, Vermaelen can.

    So managing the Belgian national team is like standing in an ants nest where you can get attacked from all sides and places.

    To be honest I couldn’t give a shit about the Belgian national team myself. Their coward way of playing in the last (well as long as I can remember in fact) has driven me out a long long time ago. I usually feel ashamed when I see them lying in front of their own goal, parking the team bus and waiting for that one counter to win the game. Bah….

  • Kentetsu

    Walter, thanks for you answer. It seems like nobody will take on the job of national coach lightly. Also interesting to hear that Vermaelen on the left is at least in part a political play. Incidentally, for an outsider like me Van Buyten sounds very Flemish, so I’m surprised to hear he’s Walloon.

  • John

    I would love to see Arsene sign Vertonghen $10m, Podolski for $11m, Hazard $35m and probably Hoilett for Free. I dont think we need a attacking midfielder at this moment with Rosicky almost back to his best playing in his preferred position. Though he is considered old, I believe he has another few years to offer. Giving time for the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey and probably Chamberlain to play in that role. Hazard can also play in the attacking midfielder role. Even Podolski or Van Persie could play behind the striker if Arsene was to switch to 4-4-2. We would have lots of attacking talents at our disposal. With Walcott, Hoilett, Gervinho, Hazard, Chamberlain to playing out wide. In central midfield we would have Wilshere, Song, Frimpong, Arteta, Conquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky And Diaby to choose from depending on the formation we play. if not I would sign Benayoun and I don think he will cost much but bring wealth of experiences to the team. Striking position will be Van Persie, Podolski, Park.(i still believe in giving him a chance)In Defence will consist of Sagna, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Vertonghen, Santos and Gibbs.

    Players to go- Bendtner, Vela, Arshavin, Denilson, Chamakh and Schillachi to go.