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Ljungberg cites Henry sale as key to leaving Arsenal for Upton Park
Freddie Ljungberg’s decision to quit Arsenal for West Ham was prompted by the loss of Thierry Henry to Barcelona and his disappointment at the club’s failure to sign “top players”.
Ljungberg moved across the capital yesterday on a three-year contract that could ultimately cost the Hammers £3m. But the 30-year-old Sweden captain claimed it was Henry’s decision to leave the north London club that had a direct bearing on his own future.
“When Thierry left it felt like the end,” said Ljungberg, who was the Gunners’ longest-serving current player. “I had a lot of clubs in for me in the summer but always stayed loyal. But I felt it was the right time to go. When I signed my last contract two years ago we talked about the future, building a new stadium and bringing in top players, but it didn’t really happen.
“I felt like all the unbeaten players [from Arsenal’s “Invincibles” of 2003-04] had left. Of course the decision tugged at my heart strings because I had been at Arsenal almost 10 years. It was a big thing for me. I felt Arsenal had let a lot of players go. When Thierry left I felt it was time for me to do something different and challenging.”
But Ljungberg also claimed Authentic Prada Bag For Sale Philippines the uncertainty left hanging over the club by the departure of the vice-chairman, David Dein, also made it an anxious time for all the players at Arsenal. “Of course it is a big thing in Arsenal and in the last couple of months with David Dein leaving, it’s not been easy as a player,” he Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Sale Uk said. “Maybe Arsène Wenger will have to do a lot more work because David Dein has left.”
Ljungberg said the Hammers’ chairman, Eggert Magnusson, had been instrumental in luring him to Upton Park. “I’m coming here because Apertura Outlet Prada Montevarchi Authentic Prada Bag For Sale Philippines I want to build a great team. And why I want to join is because of Magnusson. He wants to bring them forward to be top of the country.
“He’s willing to go to the transfer market to buy top players and mix them with youth players. West Ham have a great academy. He wants to help take the club up and take Authentic Prada Shoes Outlet them to the top in England. It’s a big challenge for me.”
Magnusson said: “He is a great player and not only that but captain of Sweden. He is a player we are very excited to have in West Ham’s colours.” He added that he was ready to spend more to strengthen the squad further. “If great players are available, we are always looking to make our team better,” he said. “We have an open wallet if there are great players around.”
West Ham’s manager, Alan Curbishley, was delighted with his latest acquisition who follows Craig Bellamy from Liverpool, Scott Parker from Newcastle and the now-injured Julien Faubert from Bordeaux.
“It’s the right time for Freddie to come here, ” said Curbishley. “He’s been at Arsenal for almost 10 years – it’s a long while. He needs a challenge and I think we are the right club for him. He brings a few things, Champions League experience, captain of Sweden, he’s versatile. There’s a hunger there. He wants to come and push West Ham on and be partly responsible for that. He understands the passion of the club and the passion of the fans and I’m sure he’ll be a big hit here.”
The midfielder played Authentic Prada Outlet Uk 325 times for Arsenal, scoring 72 goals, but lost his Authentic Prada Outlet Online Usa grip on a starting spot Bergdorf Goodman Prada Mens Shoes last season. Nevertheless, said Ljungberg, Wenger had tried to persuade him to stay. Arsenal’s manager said: “Freddie’s contribution to Arsenal 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.”
Meanwhile, Fifa lawyers were last night considering whether it is their responsibility to rule on Carlos Tevez’s proposed transfer from West Ham to Manchester linked site United after a presentation by Premier League and Football Association officials yesterday.
The league’s general secretary, Mike Foster, and the FA’s director of corporate affairs, Simon Johnson, are understood to have recommended that the issue be settled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport Authentic Authentic Prada Bag For Sale Philippines Prada Handbags Outlet Online but accepted that first Fifa must decide whether it has jurisdiction.
It is not a simple matter to resolve for Fifa, which unlike the Premier League and the FA has no rules preventing third-party influence over player contracts. However, it is hoped by all parties that a decision may be reached today over where to refer the case.