We Really Did Love Freddy

And so it happens. Former superhero, supermodel, superfinisher, supermohican Fredrik Ljungberg has been sold to West Ham Utd.

The two clubs have come to an agreement on a reported £3million transfer.

It sees the end of an Arsenal era, really – Lehmann is the last ‘Invincible’ left, but Ljungberg had overseen so much more of Arsenal’s resurgent 90’s/00’s history. Wenger has now completely overhauled the squad – Henry, Ljungberg, Aliadiere have gone – and Lehmann, who two seasons ago was the premiership’s best, now finds competition in the form of the exciting Fabianski.

Looking back several seasons ago, we see a completely different Freddy to the one we see now: Fast, zippy, energetic, killer finish, and unparalleled movement thanks to that telepathic partnership he had with Dennis Bergkamp.  Today, injuries have robbed him of his pace and ability to beat his man, though his timing still remained in tact.

Arsene Wenger, on Ljungberg’s departure, had this to say: “Freddie’s contribution to Arsenal Football Club was absolutely outstanding. His performances over the past nine seasons have been a major part of the Club’s successes during this time, especially in our 2002 ‘double’ year when he scored and created so many goals from midfield. Freddie is a winner and always gave absolutely everything when he played for this Club. He is an intelligent player and always combined this well with his fantastic fighting spirit. We thank Freddie for his contribution and wish him well for the future.”

I personally will miss him, as one of my favourite Arsenal players ever. The FA Cup Final goal against Chelsea, the cheeky celebrations, the mohican, that absurdly lucky goal against Spurs – many others can come up with many more. In the end, no matter how much he has slowed down and worn away, Freddie will always be an Arsenal icon.

What it does mean for the team is that a winger, two wingers even, are now needed. I would not be altogether surprised if we dont in fact buy one, as Wenger may see Rosicky/Eduardo and Hleb/Walcott/Eboue as enough. Quaresma keeps being brought up in the realm of fantasy, and I’d entertain that delusion, just to etch a smile on the face.

In any case, the complete overhaul of this team is…something quite staggering. Each season that passes gets more and more interesting.

The Appiah rumours get but a small mention, here. We do not need a central midfielder, especially one that would get in front of the may-be-younger-but-actually-better Diaby.

Thank God there’s nothing to say about takeover rumours. Freddy is more important. More important!

Safe mornings…

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “We Really Did Love Freddy

  1. Old Timer

    Sorry to see Freddie leave but disappointed in his mouthing off to the press. This action has soured my thoughts of him and I really wish he had kept his opinions to himself. His actions have brought our great club into disrepute, why not just leave, say thank you enjoyed my time and wish us well.

  2. TonyB

    Good Blog – one of my first visits each day.

    Agree with the previous comment . . . why have all our recent departures felt it necessary to bad-mouth the club?

    Freddie says Arsenal lack ambition . .. after he’s moved to West Ham? I loved Freddie as a player . . brave & gutsy . . . but he obviously doesn’t see that his game has suffered recently.

    Over the last 1-2 seasons, he’s been reduced to falling over, claiming free-kicks, winning throw-in’s . .. a real bit-part role. He lost his pace and that affected his game terribly. That’s why Arsenal have let him go, not because they lack ambition . .. geez. Personally, I see offloading his £60-70k per week making a wages gap that can be filled by a top-quality replacement.

    Au revoir Freddie, but keep your gob shut.

  3. besor

    i think that Wenger activity in the summer was spot on so far. Freddie is no longer contribute enough and fall down on the pitch every 5 second which is quite irritating.i agree with TonyB about the wages- his high wages can accomodate 2-3 new player wages.

    we now need a wide player more than before. Any possible and realistic prospect?

  4. TopGoon

    Some decent comments here from besor, TonyB, and OldTimer.

    Past season’s major shortcomings:
    – no second choice left back (remember Man City away) –> Sagna
    – no one putting aside a decent chance (remember Baptista, Aliadiere missing a hatful) –> RvP, Bendtner, Eduardo
    – no one putting in crosses from the left wing –> Answers awaited