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Guest Tulse Hill

Song - Manchester Shall Play To My Beat

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To be precise, it was delivered at about 10pm on the evening of May 5, shortly after United sealed their place in the Champions League final with a 3-1 win at the Emirates.It was Patrice Evra doing the talking. "We were 11 men," he declared, "and they were 11 children." It was a withering low blow – and one which has been quietly absorbed within the Arsenal dressing-room. Indeed, during an hour spent in the company this week of Alex Song, his laid-back and humble approach to an extraordinary life was briefly punctuated only when the subject turned to United's outspoken left-back."We will never forget that," Song said. "It was very difficult to lose the game but, when you wake up in the morning, you see the newspaper and you see someone saying they played against 11 kids."That, for me, is not respect. You cannot say that. Barcelona won everything last year and they didn't say things like that. When we go there, everyone wants to show him we are not kids. We will see, but we are confident."That confidence is largely derived from a start to the season that has seen Arsenal score 15 times in four straight wins. For Song, the improvement relates to what Arsenal have been doing without the ball rather than with it. Like Barcelona, pressing has become as important as passing."We are different to the team that played in May," he said. "We know last year we missed something. When we lost the ball, we didn't maybe turn quickly enough to close down."This year everyone, attackers, defenders and midfielders, when we lose the ball we want the ball back. And we still know that when we have the ball we can play. We love having the ball."The pivotal figure in this subtle change has been Song, an emerging force in that elusive 'holding' role and someone whose name will surely be among the first on Arsène Wenger's team-sheet on Saturday.Song calls himself the "first defender in midfield" and clearly has a considerable appetite for self-improvement.When Paris St Germain were among the visitors to Arsenal for the pre-season Emirates Cup, Song specifically studied their matches against Rangers and Atletico Madrid."I watched Claude Makelele very carefully. He is very intelligent, always in the right position. A great player. I saw some things that I try to do the same."Wenger says that the development of Song has been a "positive surprise" but reward for the four years he has spent nurturing his talent."He's an intelligent player who smells where to be on the pitch, which is the main quality of a midfielder," Wenger said. "Opinions are turning. He had to swim a little bit against the stream."That Song should flourish "against the stream" is unsurprising. Indeed, having lost his father at the age of three while growing up in Douala, Cameroon's largest city, his life has been underpinned by achievement against the odds. "I didn't know my father," he said, "but I have a big family. My dad had five girls – I think you call it polygamy!"I have seven brothers and 17 sisters.:D We are all very close. Some are now in Cameroon, some in Paris and some here. I just say 'thank-you God' because if I can help my brothers and sisters that is great."Song is also married with two young boys. "I know it's important for a boy to have his father. When I was young it was difficult. I'd seen my friends being picked up by their dads. My career means I have the chance to give those kids everything."Having previously played football only on the streets, Song's life changed at the age of eight when his uncle paid for him to join his mother, Cathrine, in Les Lilas, a densely populated suburb of Paris.He did not attend his first organised training session until the age of 12 but, when his family moved to a larger home opposite the stadium of Red Star Saint Ouen, a club formed by Jules Rimet, the path to professional football had been laid.Song was to shine in a pre-season match against Parma and was approached by the manager of Bastia, a Corsican club then in Division One of the French League."When I was 14 I didn't think about being a professional player, I just liked playing," he said. "But, when I watched the professionals play, I thought, 'maybe I can do this job'."At Bastia, he also met Francois Ciccolini, a coach who, with Wenger, has come to fill the paternal void in his life. "Francois is like my dad, he gave me everything," Song said. "I missed him but, when I came to Arsenal, I found another one. The manager here is so close to the players."They told me that the boss [Wenger] had watched all the games that I played for Bastia. He is very attentive. Now I'm not the same as when I was 17. I have improved a lot, mentally as well. I just say to the boss 'thank-you'. He believes and I want to prove he is not wrong."It has been some journey. And, after listening to it, the greatest wonder is that Song is still only 21. Even Evra might accept that this boy is now a man.

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Please.Man took them pictures in Margate.

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Watching Makelele?Sick guyI rate this guy

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Please.Man took them pictures in Margate.
He'll leng u down
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