Saturday, May 7, 2011

7 May 2006 - There's Nothing Like Coming To The Match Prepared

On 7 May 2006, Wigan defender Pascal Chimbonda submitted a transfer request after his team lost 4-2 to Arsenal. And he didn't even have to go into the locker room to get it.

It was the last match of the season for both teams and the last match at Arsenal's Highbury Stadium. The Gunners celebrated the occasion with an early strike from winger Robert Pires (8'), but Wigan quickly rallied to take the lead after goals from Paul Scharner (10') and David Thompson (33'). Just as quickly, Thierry Henry equalized for the hosts (35'), then scored twice more in the second half to lift Arsenal to the 4-2 win.

After the final whistle, Wigan manager Paul Jewell greeted his players at the touchline to congratulate them on a hard-fought match and a top-half Premiership finish. Chimbonda, however, did not offer his hand, but instead presented Jewell with a transfer request that he had pulled out of his sock.

Angered by the show of disrespect, Jewell and Wigan chairman set Chimbonda's transfer fee at the relatively high mark of £6 million and refused to accept a pound less. Indeed, they rejected a £3 million offer from Tottenham and a £4 million one from West Ham. Chimbonda's transfer saga dragged on to the last day of the window when Wigan eventually accepted a bid of £4.5 million from Spurs.

He ended up playing for Tottenham from 2006 to 2008, then again for a brief spell in 2009. He moved to Blackburn Rovers for a stretch from 2009 to 2011 and currently plays for Queen's Park Rangers.

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