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Pay ME... or I quit

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2008/05/14 | Views: 1590 |

Pay ME... or I quit

Emmanuel Adebayor has threatened to throw Arsenal into full-blown crisis by following Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb out of the door, unless they make him into one of the Premier League's top earners.

•Arsenal in crisis as Adebayor demands £80,000

Emmanuel Adebayor has threatened to throw Arsenal into full-blown crisis by following Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb out of the door, unless they make him into one of the Premier League's top earners.

Arsene Wenger's best laid plans are in ruins after Flamini and Hleb have opted to leave for different sides of the Milan divide, and now the Gunners' top scorer from last season is allegedly demanding £80,000 a week to stay at the club.
Flamini has joined Milan on a Bosman, while Helb is expected to join Inter in the coming two weeks after turning Arsenal's contract offer down.

Adebayor, 24, is currently on £35,000 a week from a contract he signed last summer, but word is that he and his agent are looking to exploit the club's desperation as well as the fact that Barcelona and AC Milan have been hovering over him for some time.
This would contradict recent quotes attributed to him, however, in which he declared that he is staying at the Emirates and eager to continue improving in the hopes of truly establishing himself as one of the best strikers in the world.

Meanwhile, Adebayor has angrily slammed reports that he has asked to leave the club after being denied a new bumper contract.
Several reports last Friday claimed the Togo international was looking to quit the Emirates Stadium after being denied an $156,000 per week new contract.
However, the 30-goal marksman insists nothing could be further from the truth and that he is happy to stay with the Gunners.

Arsenal have already lost midfielder Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer to AC Milan this week, while Alex Hleb continues to be linked with a summer switch to Inter Milan.
“I am very happy here. Reports which suggest I have threatened to quit are rubbish,” said Adebayor in a statement. “I love the club and the fans.

“We have a great set of players here with a fantastic team spirit. We have had a good season, but next year we want to go one better by winning a trophy.”
These days just about every club are looking to work the Arsène Wenger way. Spot them young, buy them cheap, pay them in washers, win the league. What could possibly go wrong? Well, now they know.

Given at least five years and a brilliant technical staff, unearthing and nurturing fine talent, Wenger’s methods might work at another club, up to a point. The point at which the players start doing the numbers and, like those at Arsenal, realise the going rate for a Champions League footballer. Mathieu Flamini is the first, but he will not be the last. Alexander Hleb intends to buy out his contract for a move to Inter Milan despite Arsenal’s objections and, if he goes, what price Cesc Fàbregas and Emmanuel Adebayor, unless Wenger can quickly placate them with replacements that demonstrate that there will be no loss of potential next season.

Take Adebayor. The striker insists that he is happy at Arsenal and talks as if he sees his future there, but for how long? At a leading club, certainly one who qualify for Europe’s top competition each season as Arsenal do, the reward for a striker scoring 30 goals is roughly treble Adebayor’s £35,000 a week. It may be argued that his form in this campaign has been a one-off, but suppose he does it again next year. Will he still be happy earning roughly a third of what Fernando Torres is paid by Liverpool?

We do not buy superstars, we make them, Wenger says, but his way is about to be tested like never before, as is the cosy logic that Champions League football can be attained without breaking the bank.
What Wenger has pulled off these past 10 years is little short of miraculous and by making it look so effortless, he has given the impression that every club can do it.
Well, every club cannot and Wenger may not be able to for much longer, either. Before each season, there are gloomy predictions that this will be one in which Arsenal fall out of the top four and year after year, Wenger confounds those who doubt him, but like the forecasts that Wimbledon would not be able to maintain top-flight status while selling every good player, they had to break even, eventually the prophesiers were proved right.

Timing was always Wenger’s forte. He knew when to ditch a player and he knew a good deal. He did not want to lose Nicolas Anelka, but the money paid by Real Madrid was astronomical. Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira were dispatched at precisely their moments of decline. The portent of this crisis was Ashley Cole’s transfer to Chelsea. Everything that is happening to Arsenal now was predicted by that event and its significance was overlooked because Wenger struck a hard bargain for William Gallas, while Cole took so long to settle at Stamford Bridge, he was adequately replaced by Gaël Clichy.

Cole left over money and was reviled, but the same driving force was at work in Flamini’s transfer to AC Milan and is present in Hleb’s longing for Inter, just as it will one day feature for Fàbregas and Adebayor. There is a tariff for a world-class footballer and Arsenal will not pay it. Hleb may be making a huge mistake and his uniquely ambitious style of play may never be indulged so lovingly by a manager again, but he is not moving to be in a better working environment.
He wants to earn more and equates inflated wages with a greater chance of success. Looking at this season’s Champions League finalists, who could argue?

Is it still possible to succeed the Wenger way? Yes, in a limited fashion. Wenger has taken it farther than anyone could imagine because he began with the basis of George Graham’s defence, and the way he built from there was little short of genius. A manager with less wit would never have been able to forge a Champions League team out of that philosophy and even Wenger is finding it increasingly problematic.
“How you are going to keep them down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?’ the song asks. If a Frenchman no longer has the answer to that, who does?

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