By Tony Attwood
Players released in June, as per Premier League rules, may still be re-employed by their club on a new (and normally lower salary) contract, but also may leave to seek employment elsewhere.
Hence in the list below of the players released today, it is possible that this will happen with one or more of them. In particular Abou Diaby may be given the opportunity to keep training, and play on a pay-by-game deal. But he might also choose to go elsewhere or finally give up the unequal struggle.
Here is the list, with a few comments.
On 1 May 2006, Diaby suffered a severe ankle fracture after being attacked by Sunderland defender Dan Smith. Sunderland were already relegated (winning just three games all season) and Arsenal were sailing to a comfortable 0-3 victory.
The near universal verdict was that the tackle was “horrendous”, although Arsene Wenger called it “a bad kick and an unnecessary one”.
Amazingly, and unforgiveable the Sunderland “manager” Kevin Ball said “Smith is not a malicious, dirty player and I think it’s unfair to make that call on him and say he deliberately went to do it.” To their eternal discredit Ball is now senior professional development coach at Sunderland.
The phrase “not that kind of player” entered the language to represent all that was wrong with the management of certain English clubs.
As for the wretched Dan Smith he only played three games for Sunderland before doing a loan spell at Huddersfield. He was last heard of in Australia.
|2006||Huddersfield Town (loan)||8|
|2008||St Johnstone (trial)||3|
|2013||Seaham Red Star||?|
|2014||Holland Park Hawks||1|
Holland Park Hawks play in the fifth tier of Australian football.
He has played for Nigeria, and Arsenal.com said that he had “a number of competent displays for the under-21s last season.” They also called him calm and composed.
Accoding to Wikipedia, Jack was once called the new Jack Wilshere, but as fast as such accolades can be given they can be taken away. He signed a professional deal at Arsenal in 2012 and was reported as a “technically-gifted central midfielder”,
But in 2013 he was banned for four matches after he racially abused a Norwich City player in an Under-18 game. He was quickly shipped off to Stevenage, but the damage was done, and he has now gone.
Austin went on loan at Boreham Wood last season and played as what is known in the journalist business as a “pacy striker”. He can also play on the wings. He played in the Next Gen competition, and scored two against Napoli in a 4-1 win.
Ryo came as the great hope of our finally finding a Far East player who could play in the team, and initially made a huge impact at Feyenoord. But then the injuries kicked in, and he only played once for us.
|2012||Bolton Wanderers (loan)||12||0|
|2012/3||Wigan Athletic (loan)||4||0|
|2014/5||FC Twente (loan)||10||0|
|2014/5||Jong FC Twente ( loan)||14||3|
Described by Arsenal.com as “Lightning-fast left back Brandon continued his development by holding down a regular starting place for the under-21s last season, making 15 appearances for Steve Gatting’s side.
“The defender, who loves to get forward with well-timed overlapping runs, captained the under-18s towards the end of the 2012/13 season.
“Brandon was an integral part of the Youth League and Youth Cup squads last term and scored one goal in his 32 appearances for the academy sides.
Josh spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Canvey Island where he played 36 times. He then moved up a league to play in 2014/15 for Concord Rangers in the Conference South.
He also played in Arsenal’s Youth Cup games and was said to have impressed. But clearly not enough.
It must be heart-breaking to some of the young players to have made it to Arsenal and then find it doesn’t continue, but maybe they have long since known it was coming.
As for Abou, all I can do is wish him well, and say that there are a lot of us who have felt the pain of seeing such a wonderful talent destroyed in such a way. Proper punishment of Dan Smith and serious reprimands for his manager on the day would not have helped Abou recover, but they might have acted as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour cannot be tolerated.
But football would have none of it, and so the activities of the mindless thugs have continued, with Shawcross being just one more example – a man whose disgraceful behaviour led to an England call up.
These players, their managers, and those who run the game and do nothing to stop the barbarism, have a lot to answer for.