There are times when I wonder how Arsenal takes care of their in-house business; not the public way, but the behind the scenes way. It makes me wonder if they're as tactless as new Barcelona signee and former Arsenal Alex Song says they are.
He is letting his frustration be known about the way Arsenal repeatedly postponed his contract talk. He is also adamant about the fact that he never wanted to leave the club.
Song left Emirates for Barcelona earlier this month for a reported fee of £15 million. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger consequently suggested that the Cameroon international had expressed a desire to go to Spain. But Song is saying he wanted a new long-term deal with the Gunners. He has also been irritated by the reports suggesting he took a lenient attitude to training.
Song told the Sun, "I woke up and read those things in the paper and was really surprised and disappointed. I love Arsenal, I never wanted to leave." He added, "I was ready to commit my future to the club. All I wanted were talks about a new contract but each time we were due to sit down, the club postponed it. I was fobbed off."
He went on to say that he wanted a five-year contract with Arsenal, but in the end, he got one at Barcelona. Ouch. Why did the Gunners give Song the cold shoulder? Were they too busy trying to please Robin van Persie? If so, that worked out well for them.
The leaders at Arsenal didn't think they needed to negotiate with Song, but the biggest club in the world took the time, and they gave him what he wanted, which is something Arsenal seems to be having a difficult time doing for their MVP's for the last several years. If Song is telling the truth - which I'm sure he is - it puts Arsenal in a bad light when it comes to how they treat players when negotiation time rolls around.
Song loved playing for Arsenal and the Gunners' decision makers didn't feel the need to negotiate with him. If that's the way they take care of players who love the organization, how do they treat the ones who want to get out.
Song said he didn't want to talk about money, he just wanted to discuss a new deal and commit his career to a club he loved. I'm sure money would have come up during the visit, just once. That might've been the main reason Wenger and others were avoiding him.
Note: I've been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at an early age.
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- Alex Song