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26 May 2006 @ 12:16 pm
Bob to Valencia  
So after six years of service to us, Bob is finally on his way. He took a while to get adjusted to the Premier League but in his watershed 2001-02 season, in which he equaled the record for assists in the league and won the Football Writers' Association accolade only to have his season end prematurely and miss the World Cup through injury, he more than answered his critics. However, while his compatriot Henry took to the London lifestyle like the proverbial duck to water, marrying a local and having an English son, Bob seemed to keep the place somewhat at arm's length. He never fully acquired the lingo, only dated foreign women and to this day, refuses to give interviews in English.

A typical season would see Bob with a goal tally that most strikers would envy, and while he has come up with some goals this season, he hasn't reached the lofty heights of his past - and at thirty-two it's more of a matter of time than questionable form.

Due to contract negotiations in which neither party could find a satisfactory conclusion (this down to Arsenal's policy of offering players in their thirties no more than an one year contract) and for me the writing was on the wall and I'm disappointed for nostalgia's sake but not too surprised to see him go. In my opinion Arsenal's one year policy is justified and I haven't seen him play well enough this season for an exception to be made in his case. If a player of Lehmann's calibre has to settle for a year's contract, why shouldn't he?

However, I recognise that Bob has played a huge role in the various trophies we have amassed during his time at the club (including scoring the only goal during a less-than-standard Arsenal performance against Southampton in the 2003 FA Cup final) and for that I thank him from the bottom of my heart and personally wish him all the best.
 
 
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