Football FanCast guest columnist Jeff Buxton is delighted to see Alex Hleb's is now full of remorse.
If we thought Emmanuel Adebayor was chief perpetrator when it came to initiating his own move out of Arsenal, then we would be sorely mistaken as Alexander Hleb took that crown. Where Ade in his own delusional world was taking out back pages suggesting with phantom stories of Europe's elite vying for his signature, Hleb was actually meeting them face to face and in the case of Inter, having a late night rendezvous on the eve of a Champions League game. The Belarusian clearly had no shame and that wasn't the end of it.
Throughout that summer, once the stories of his meeting with officials at Inter broke, Hleb continually took pot shots at the club, slammed our ambition and eventually he got his move to Barcelona. Once he arrived at the Nou Camp the swipes at the football club continued to rain down, to the extent where he was touting the likes of Cesc and suggesting that our skipper was hoping to return to Spain.
He is a nasty piece of work, a real symbol of everything that is bad with modern footballers who only look after No.1. The sheer crassness in the way he treated us and Arsene Wenger; a man who took him from obscurity and made him a household name typifies his character and I for one took great pleasure in seeing him banished to the bench at Barca last season; apparently that experience (the realisation that he wasn't as good as he thought) has made him appreciate how disrespectful he had been and that he was crazy to leave Arsenal (must be what now playing for Stuttgart does).
Hleb said: "I regret leaving Arsenal. I was playing every week for one of the most exciting sides in Europe.
"I was being guided by one of the best coaches in the world and I owe Arsene Wenger a great deal. A footballer only truly exists when he takes to the field and makes a proper contribution to the team,
"But at Barcelona the season was spent with me almost entirely on the bench. I just couldn't continue with them."
Ah bless him, a come down of mass proportions and I have to say it brought a wry smile to my face. Who knows when Adebayor eventually writes his memoirs we will perhaps see another blatant case of a player who has moved on for the greener grass, only to find that someone has shat all over it. I'm glad to see Hleb's football career starting to go on decline and for me it is poetic justice for a player who tried to smear the club's good name and cause subsequent unrest.
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