I've heard that life begins at thirty, or is that forty? In any case life at Arsenal certainly does not begin at thirty, far from it.
If you play for Arsenal and you are approaching the big 3-0, then you might as well pack your bags.
Over the years we've seen a steady amount of players leaving the club when reaching or nearing thirty due to the fact Arsene only offers one-year deals when renewing their contracts.
Is it time to change that policy?
Look at Hleb's situation. As you know, I feel that Hleb has taken a liberty at the way he is trying to engineer a move from Arsenal. But he is nearing the age of a footballer when that last long and well paid contract is on offer.
He won't get that at Arsenal. So you understand why, in a way, his reason for wanting to leave.
Most players (at that age with Bergkamp the exception) have left for the same reason. They don't have the security of a long term deal at Arsenal so they find it elsewhere.
I bang on about loyalty on my blog, but loyalty works both ways. If the club aren't willing to show their loyalty to these players by looking after them with longer contracts then the players won't return any loyalty.
Because of this policy players will always leave Arsenal when that final pay day comes. They know when they reach or near thirty, they have to accept these one-year deals or be shipped out.
Maybe it's time for a change. Maybe it's time to scrap the one year deals.
Keep it Goonerish............