Why did Hangeland reject Arsenal?

By on May 4, 2010
Sports News - March 18, 2010

By Fab4.

Brede Hangeland has claimed he turned down a move to Arsenal, and that Fulham’s miraculous run to the Europa League Final proves he made the right decision. We know Arsene was keen on Hangeland last summer, but i always thought Arsenal were unwilling to match Fulham’s asking price and that’s why a transfer never materialised. But now Hangeland is suggesting he had the chance to join us but chose to stay at Craven Cottage.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper, Hangeland said:

“I’ve had so many great nights at Fulham and that was probably the best one.

“I signed my new contract here so I could take part in games like that and I’m really happy to be at this club.

“Does this justify rejecting a move to Arsenal? I think so.

“Nights like that are for the history books and something I will always remember.”

This may be another case of ‘lost in translation’, but i can’t really believe he would reject a move to Arsenal. Sorry, no disrespect to Fulham, but what player would turn down champions league football, playing at one of the biggest clubs in europe, playing in front of 60,000 every other week and fighting for the title to stay at Fulham? Not in his wildest dreams would he have thought he would be playing in the Europa League final this time last year, so he can’t have stayed just to fight for mid-table and hope for a good run in the Europa League. There must have been more to it, no player in their right mind would turn down Arsenal to stay at Fulham.

So what reason could he have given, either to himself or Arsene Wenger, to justify this apparent rejection? Was Hangeland going to be signed instead of Vermaelen, or possibly as well as? If it’s the latter, he may not have been guaranteed first team football every week so chose to stay where he was. Maybe Arsenal wouldn’t offer him the wages he wanted. Maybe he lacks ambition to further his career and is one of those players whose happy to settle for mediocrity. Or maybe this story is rubbish.

You may have guessed that I’m pretty gutted we didn’t sign him! And this ‘snub’ may also put Arsene Wenger off from making a second attempt to sign him this summer, which would be a shame because he would be a terrific signing for Arsenal. But fair play to him, he has been at the heart of everything that Fulham have achieved this year and i really hope they go on and win the Europa League. But i would love to see him in the red and white next year!

***Check out this post over on cottagers confidential in response to my article – 5 Possible Reasons Brede Hangeland Rejected Arsenal – the author Russ Goldman provides some sensible answers on why Hangeland may have chosen to stay at Craven Cottage last summer instead of joining Arsenal***

What do fans think of Hangeland’s comments? Please leave your opinions below….

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13 Comments

  1. Ed (Fulham fan)

    May 4, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Maybe a player is actually being loyal, besides, it’s not as if Arsenal are actually going to win the league anytime soon.

  2. Phil

    May 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

    So playing in the Europa Cup Final is settling for mediocrity. Remind me what Arsenal have won lately.

    • Fab4

      May 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

      Look, let’s not try and compare Fulham and Arsenal. I like Fulham and tried to be respectful, i just feel that if a player is ambitious he would want to test himself at the highest level, and Arsenal play at the highest level.

      Gary Cahill said this weekend he would have to leave Bolton if a ‘top-four’ club come’s knocking, so my questions was why would Hangeland not want to move up a level as well if he was given the opportunity.

  3. Biggus Dickus

    May 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Maybe he didn’t want to join a team full of cliquey French snobs?

  4. Russ

    May 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Fab4,

    Hangeland is a great player. I don’t understand why you are shocked he wants to play at Fulham?

    He was brought to Fulham by Roy Hodgson. Are you aware that Hodgson was his former manager at Viking in 2004?

    He also came in to Fulham during the relegation battle in the 2007 – 2008.

    When Arsenal were interested last summer, Fulham just had their best season ever in the Premier League finishing 7th.
    They also became eligible for the Europa League.

    Many times last summer it was printed in the newspapers his desire to stay at Fulham.

    Maybe he was a part of building something at Fulham and wanted to see it through? Maybe he is just a loyal person? I don’t know for sure, because I am not him.

    All I know is what he has said in the past and just recently. This situation just might be a player’s desire to play for Fulham. It might have nothing to do with Arsenal.

    • Fab4

      May 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

      Russ, i can understand a players decision to stay at a club like Fulham, play under a manager like Hodgson (who i highly rate) and want to be part of building something.

      But i was questioning his ambition more than anything, not many players would choose to turn down any top club, not just Arsenal, and play champions league football, etc. So is it commitment to Fulham or a lack of ambition? I don’t know, as i don’t know the player either. Perhaps its admirable, perhaps foolish. I’m just gutted he turned us down!

  5. Russ

    May 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Fab4,

    When I am not watching Fulham I watch many Arsenal matches. I enjoy how your club plays football.

    I can see why you are disappointed by Hangeland. He really is a stable force, and when he is out I notice the difference.

    I still think the future is very bright for Arsenal. I read and hear all the criticism about the team being too young. In my opinion you are only a player or two from winning the league.

    I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Arsenal win the league next year.

    I also wanted to pass on this new Arsenal Fans site that might interest you. It is http://www.theshortfuse.com/

    Ted Harwood just launched this a few weeks ago. If you get a chance check it out.

    Good Luck on Sunday

  6. Edwhite

    May 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Perhaps Hangeland thought he was better off staying at a club that is improving, than going to a club that is stagnating at best, or about to do a Liverpool.

  7. TKTD

    May 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    What a pompus bigot.

    He rejected you.

    Fulham were already in the Europa League.

    Fulham have one of the top defences in the league.

    Arsenal sell all their assets (hardly aspirational to move to them then)

    Arsenal haven’t won a thing in 5 years and probably wont for another 2 or 3 at least.

    Players are voicing discontent at Arsenal.

    Players are loving playing for Fulham.

    At Arsenal as it showed against Blackburn, the club is only skin deep.

    At Fulham it’s in our blood.

    There’s no point in playing champions league football if you’re just going to get knocked out year, after year, after year. You’ve only ever been in the final once, you’re record in the competition is shockingly bad and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better.

    Fighting for the title? Even Liverpool have been closer in the last 5 years than you have and look where they are now?

    You’re deluded, secluded, blinded and everything else that goes along with being bigoted. What an idiotic article to write. It’s almost worthy of writing a complaint it’s that bad.

    • Fab4

      May 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      You un-educated muppet. Bigot? ha

      Players voicing discontent at Arsenal? Who exactly?
      No point playing champions league if you just get knocked out every year? What a ridiculous statement! I don’t even know where to start with this. And our record is shockingly bad? We’re one of only two teams to reach the knockout stages for TEN YEARS RUNNING!

      We were in the title race with 5 games left, should and could have won it in 2008, arguably we would have done if the horrendous Eduardo injury never happened.

      Have you ever met me? How on earth can you know anything about me, never mind using words like ‘bigot’ in relation to a football article asking why a player rejected the club i support. You my friend are the one who is deluded if you think 99% of players would choose Fulham over playing for Arsenal, just feel lucky Hangeland is that 1%.

      Who you gonna write a complaint to?

  8. Steven

    May 5, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I’m an Arsenal fan, but I like Fulham too. I don’t think there are many Arsenal fans that didn’t want Fulham to get to the final, and I doubt there are any that don’t want them to win the final. So the couple of morons here insulting Arsenal should stop trying to pick a fight.

    Arsenal’s offer for Hangeland was not accepted by Fulham. We offered 8, they wanted more than 10. He didn’t reject Arsenal, but that does not mean he wouldn’t have rejected Arsenal either.

    When you’re happy, you’re happy. Ambition is over-rated in this world and does not guarantee happiness. Being comfortable and happy for Fulham does not signify lack of ambition.

    The point being raised about why he would not pick Champions League football over Europa league football is valid… but not applicable as he never had to choose. And also, if you’re going to question his ambition, then you can question that of Fabregas (’cause he could be playing at Barcelona and competing for every competition in the world), and you could even question the likes of Lampard, Terry and Rooney… for being too scared to play in another league. What’s left for Rooney to win in England?

    Regardless of what’s been said about Hangeland, he’s a top-class player, playing for a very good club, a very good manager and enjoying his football. I respect that more than a mercenary joining Arsenal and then leaving a few years later (like Greedybayor).

    All the best Fulham… it will be pretty tough beating Atletico Madrid, but reaching the final is a big achievement in itself.

  9. Russ

    May 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Fab4,

    Thank you for referring readers to my story, and putting a link to my article on your post.

    Hopefully on Sunday we will be watching a good game.

  10. kisekka

    May 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

    He had a point. most players make a mistake and go club where he will fighting for a position. But, here his position is garanted.

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