Why do I get the feeling that Alex Hleb is going to get unfairly hammered on the blogs today?
The Belorussian, who nobody really expects to be at the club come the start of the season, has been quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying:
“My view of football and Wenger’s didn’t coincide at all. I don’t know where I will play next season. It’s being negotiated with two clubs and will be decided soon. I would prefer to move to Barcelona.”
According to Arseblogger these are just older quotes that have been republished, so there’s not too much cause for concern there. Even so, what he’s saying is hardly a criticism of Arsene Wenger – it’s merely a difference of opinion between player and manager – something that happens all the time in the world of football. However, the comments that may get Hleb into some hot water with the Arsenal fans were those aimed at close friend Cesc Fabregas and apparently criticised his Spanish teammate for being ‘selfish’. Observe:
“With scoring opportunities he [Fabregas] is more selfish than I am. Given the chance to shoot he always goes for it – unlike me.”
As with the first lot of comments, I can’t really see much wrong with what he’s said here. It seems to me like the interviewer has asked a question along the lines of, “Why do you think Fabregas scored more goals than you last season?” and he’s answered it absolutely truthfully. We know that Fabregas and Hleb have had an excellent relationship during their time at the club and regardless of the fact that the Belorussian wants to leave there’s no reason to suspect this has changed.
So lay off Hleb today, if only for me.
Arshavin within Arsenal’s reach?
Moving on now and the chase for the breakout star of Euro 2008 – Zenit St Petersburg’s Andrei Arshavin – has taken a further twist with Barcelona apparently dropping out of contention after failing to improve on their original offer for the playmaker.
“Barcelona failed to improve their original offer of €15 million. We have therefore decided to end our negotiations with Barcelona. We have received no offers for Arshavin from any other clubs, so there are no discussions taking place about his transfer.”
Despite the comments, I dare say it’s not the last we’ll hear from Barcelona on this matter, but it does perhaps indicate that they won’t push as hard for Arshavin as perhaps many people thought they would. Given that the other club that I thought would be most likely to sign the Russian, Chelsea, have declared they’re not interested after the purchase of Deco, it looks like Arsenal could be in a good position should the choose to pursue.
My recommendation? Get on your horse, Arsene, and give it your best shot. With Hleb surely set to leave there will be enough money to purchase a replacement – remember, Samir Nasri is an addition to the squad, not a replacement for Hleb – then Arshavin would be a great purchase. Just my two cents worth.
To finish on a super-positive note today are some great little comments from Arsenal’s most recent signing, Welsh winger Aaron Ramsey:
“I supported Manchester United as a youngster but once I had spoken to Arsene Wenger, the way he described the Arsenal set-up and their plans for the future impressed me. I thought about where the best place would be for me to develop as a player, and that was Arsenal.”
Good lad. Seems to have his head on very straight, which is wonderful to see.
Have a great Tuesday/night and as I already said, go easy on Hleb.
What do you think?
Have your say on Hleb, Arshavin or Ramsey by leaving a comment.