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Jérémie Aliadière; helped expose the rise of dubious refereeing

Jérémie Aliadière was one of those players of whom so much was expected and yet, mostly due to injury, he could not deliver.  Another Wenger young French player, a graduate of Clairefontaine, with Claude Dusseau claiming that  the three best strikers to emerge from Clairefontaine were Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Jeremie Aliadiere, and yet…

He was born on 30 March 1983 and signed for us aged 16.  He holds the record for most goals scored in the FA Youth Cup.   For his first league game v Fulham in 2001/2 he came on for Henry.  What more do you want?

He then went through a statutory League Cup programme and was voted best young talent in the 2003–04 League Cup.  He also got a league winner’s medal that season.   He was then injured for most of 2004/5 so went out on loan when he returned…

Team Games Goals
2001–02 Arsenal 3 0
2002-03 3 1
2003-04 15 4
2004-05 7 0
2005 Celtic loan 0 0
2005–06 West Ham United loan 7 0
2006 Wolverhampton W loan 14 2
2007–10 Middlesbrough 78 11
2011– Lorient 48 18

The idea of the loans was, I think, to get him ready to slip into the team as Henry and Bergkamp faded or moved on, but Strachan having signed him didn’t use him and the plan failed.  What were Celtic playing at?

On 24 August 2005, West Ham took over the loan of Aliadière but injuries struck again.  On 31 January 2006 West Ham reneged on their loan deal and  Aliadière moved Wolverhampton.

He played in the 2006/7 league cup team that lost in the final to Chelsea, but only played four league games and finally on 19 June 2007 he moved to Middlesbrough for £2 million.

Although Aliadière was not a huge success at Arsenal, he did later help to highlight the fact that something was seriously wrong with the referee system in England when he was given a red card for gently hitting Javier Mascherano on 23 February 2008.   Mascherano had already raised his hand to Aliadiere right in front of the referee.  Middlesbrough’s appeal was rejected by the FA and the ban increased to four games.  This was so ludicrous that even Harry Redknapp at Tottenham complained, comparing this treatment with that of  Michael Essien of Chelsea who had had an appeal upheld at the same time..

If there was a moment when the rumblings about refs turned into a roar, that was it.

On 30 June 2010 Jérémie Aliadière’s contract ended and he left as a free agent, but injured himself in pre=season training, and was left without a club.

In March 2011, still without a club Aliadière trained with Arsenal and played in a reserve game with Jens Lehmann who had recently been signed for emergency cover.

But finally on 5 July 2011, Aliadière signed a deal for Lorient, with the aid of support from Arsène Wenger.

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