Saturday 24 May 2008

Good riddance

Some players are complete professionals, and despite leaving always showed respect to the club and fans with their behaviour in so doing. Mathieu Flamini was an example of a good pro in my book, he may have left, but he never behave improperly and did everything by the book, with his agent never trying to unethically engineer a move whilst he was not allowed to. Players like Mathieu deserve no abuse or bitterness, they have done nothing wrong.

The same cannot be said for Alexander Hleb. He and his agent have behaved shambolically in recent months, despite being under contract they have broken the rules in talking to other clubs and said a lot of things in public that have been designed to engineer a move away from Arsenal. There has been the Milan ice cream shambles, the pathetic comments about London not being rural Germany and now some more disgraceful words from his agent.

He may not have gone on strike a la Anelka, yet, but Hleb and his agent have certainly forced the club's hand. Importantly Hleb has two years left on his contract, so he really should be prepared to see it out and behave like a professional, rather than petulantly stamping his feet for a move or else. If he is unhappy living in London then there would have been much better ways to go about leaving the club without speaking to other clubs being Arsenal's back.

Frankly I can't be arsed to be angry with Hleb, he's just revealed his true slightly cowardly colours. He was a player who consistently flattered to deceive, for someone with so much technical ability there was remarkably little end product. Apart from a short burst of goals earlier this season, his goalscoring record has been abysmal while his lack of assists also rather stands out. We don't need players who don't give 100% and don't get stuck in if we are to win the title next season, so good riddance Alex, your unprofessional conduct means you will not be remembered as fondly as you could have been at the Emirates.

1 comment:

Ted said...

I agree again. Shocking.

Hleb reminds a bit of Kanu - great technical ability with his feet, not enough goals and not much end-product.

Could you imagine a 5-a-side team with Kanu and Hleb, you'd never get the ball off them and they would never score. It would be 0-0 after 4 hours of play...

Overall though, I don't condemn Hleb for wanting to leave. It hasn't really worked out for him at Arsenal - I can't think of many occassions, if any, when the fans have sung his name. He clearly wants a more central role with a new club and I hope he gets it. If we can get over £10m for him then I think everyone should be happy with that.