Friday, January 27, 2023

Alex Hleb – the ice cream man

Midweek arse to you all.

We’ll start with a really odd story about Alexander Hleb. According to reports, the night before the game against AC Milan Hleb and an agent, Claudio Vigorelli, met and went to visit with Inter Milan. Vigorelli is an associate of Vincenzo Morabito who is a director of the First Artist agency, who represent Hleb as you can see from the link.

Morabito has said there was a meeting between Hleb and Vigorelli but denied a meeting with Inter took place, saying:

It’s true that Hleb saw Vigorelli and they went out from the Melia Felix but it’s not true that they went to talk to Inter Milan. They went for an ice-cream. We are sorry that Mr Wenger took it badly and complained because we have a good relationship with him.

They went for an ice-cream? That’s right up there with Mourinho’s “I never met Ashley Cole. I was in Italy talking to Adriano” excuse. An ice-cream? Please give people a little more credit than that. Arsene Wenger is reportedly very unhappy and is considering reporting Inter to UEFA for tapping up Hleb.

The irony is that while Hleb’s form has been poor in recent months the game against AC Milan was his best in quite some time. I suppose there are two ways of looking at that. One is that going out for an ‘ice cream’ before the game had no effect on him whatsoever and he played well for the first time in weeks – or that the ‘ice cream’ was so delicious that it made Hleb work that bit harder, play that bit better as the promise of more Italian ‘ice cream’ was so very tempting.

Either way it’s a shit situation. The night before an important game is not the time to go meet agents for ‘ice cream’ and this stage of the season is not when you should be thinking about delicious cold snacks for the season ahead. We need players to be fully focussed on the games coming up, not being half-arsed cunts because they think they might be going to play elsewhere once the season’s over.

It’s a shame we don’t have any other fit players because I’d drop Hleb like a hot snot now. He’s one of those players who needs competition for his place. When he’s sure he’s going to play every week he gets complacent and lazy in the head. The evidence is right in front of your eyes, AC Milan apart he’s been pretty dreadful for the last few weeks but with Rosicknote out there’s nobody putting any pressure on him. As Rosicknote might say, ‘this is irksome’. Whatever happens he owes us the kind of performance he put in against AC Milan week in, week out. Not just when he’s the donkey with a blue and black coloured carrot dangled in front of him. Maybe give Theo a run on the left, even if it means playing Eboue on the right.

Update: I suppose I should point out that nobody has been particularly impressive in recent weeks, from an attacking perspective at least, and I was tried and grumpy this morning. I do think we should get more from Hleb in terms of goals and assists but, based on the squad as it stands, he’s a player I’d rather have in the team than out between now and May. Mostly because it means no Eboue though. Early mornings can fuck with a man’s head, oh yes.

Speaking of Theo he’s confident we can get back on track in the league, saying:

We have been playing some brilliant football but just cannot get that penetration to finish it. You have bad patches through the season but hopefully if we keep on doing the right things then we will get the results we want.

Fingers crossed we can, starting on Sunday against Chelsea. Theo is also being considered for the full England squad for the upcoming friendly against France.

Another striker, Nicklas Bendtner, also reckons he can make a contribution between now and the end of the season. Fact is we need somebody to step up and do what Freddie did at the end of the 2001-2 season. Somebody who will win games, score those vital goals. At the moment it seems like they’re standing around waiting for it to happen – someone has to make it happen. I think the big Dane has got a few goals in him, now would be a good time to start scoring them.

Loyalty will tear us apart – a new Arseblog column from Safety.

Some guff about Adebayor’s hair, Nigel Winterburn and David O’Leary’s ring. No, really.

Right, that’s it. Nice early blog. Must drink coffee, eat toast and stuff. More tomorrow.

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