Alexander Hleb: "I regret leaving Arsenal for Barcelona"


#1

How many time does he need to say this? We get it. Stop talking about it.

Alexander Hleb has admitted that he “made a mistake” leaving Arsenal for Barcelona in 2008. The Belorussian moved to Spain for a fee in the region of €15 million but failed to make an impact, being loaned out after just one season before finally leaving the club on a permanent basis in 2012.

Approaching 36, Hleb now plays for BATE Borisov in his native Belarus and is on the verge of securing a league title but has expressed his regret that his career has never got back on track since leaving London.

“I was at the peak of my abilities in London and living some of the best moments of my career,” he said in an interview with Reuters.

“In my first season we reached the Champions League final, which we lost. But I remember it a lot more than the final that I actually won with Barcelona in 2009. I didn’t play,” he added.

Hleb, whose spell at the Emirates coincided with the club’s high-profile dry spell, didn’t win a single title while at Arsenal but he quickly became a key component of Arsene Wenger’s side. After just a season in Barcelona, however, he was loaned out to his former club Stuttgart before having subsequent spells with Birmingham City and Wolfsburg, also on loan.

“Part of me regrets not staying at Arsenal,” he said. “Wenger was like a father to me and he trusted me. It saddens me to think about it. But at the same time, Barcelona was – and is – the bigger club. I didn’t play as much, but I did play a bit.”

Hleb doesn’t blame Pep Guardiola, his manager at Barcelona, for his failed spell at the club, citing his own poor attitude. “I should have been more professional,” he said. “I acted like a teenager.”

However, he did admit that the coach didn’t make it easy for him. “Guardiola was young and had just arrived at the club. He didn’t find the right words for me,” he said.

“If Wenger had been in that position he would have come up to me and spoken to me,” he continued. “I don’t blame Guardiola; I should have been more professional. If I hadn’t taken that bad decision I could have played at the top for another five years.”

Turning his attention to England, Hleb said he was optimistic about Pep’s chances in the Premier League with Manchester City. “He can have the same success he had in Manchester as he did in Barcelona,” he said. “I think that City and Arsenal will fight it out for the title.”

http://en.as.com/en/2016/10/06/football/1475767415_319674.html


#2

Well it’s probably the most significant thing in his life, and the only question he’s ever asked.

He’s playing in Belarus, can’t he at least have the joy of talking about playing for Arsenal and Barcelona? :stuck_out_tongue:


#3

Well. If he is giving interviews and the interviewer asks about it, what other can he say about the subject? Sorry, no comment?

It seems like they recycled quotes btw…


#4

Just goes to show the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Lets think about it for one moment. We’ve had a lot of players who left us and went on to win many things, during that 9 year gap without a trophy. But which players have generally done better for themselves long term without us? I’m struggling to think of one really.

Guys like Nasri, Fabregas and van Persie got their title winning medals here, which they deserved. But they only got one good year out the clubs they moved to and then started to drop in performance. Never even close to being fully appreiciated like they were here.

Too many footballers seem impatient or too easily led to go elsewhere without really thinking through the decisions properly. Too short term thought process, and lack of long term vision. Everything has to be now.


#5

Song, Fabregas and van Persie stayed here for 6 to 8 years though. Sagna and Clichy too. It didn’t seem like we were getting any closer. A three year run to you, after which Hleb, Nasri and Adebayor left, is being impatient?

Of course they were never fully appreciated elsewhere. Hleb, Fabregas, Nasri and van Persie were our best players at the time. We didn’t have anything better during those years. At other clubs they were not. There were bigger stars out there who got more of the spotlight. Xavi/Iniesta/Messi at Barcelona, Silva/Aguero at City and Rooney, and maybe Ferguson himself, at Manchester United.


#6

Good thing you posted this thread. I might not have heard he said this again otherwise.


#7

RVP was easily better than Rooney at United, he crashed and burned too fast, probably would of stayed at a higher level in our system. As for City having 2 better players over Nasri, well so did we.

Essentially none of these players performed as well in other systems under other coaches, they all had their best seasons here.


#8

Ah, Dribbly McNoscore. Divides opinion amongst Gooners more than most players.

I always thought he was one of the best technical players I’d seen, but the lack of that “end product” (:mask:) was always telling. Far better than the likes of Podolski and Gervais Lombe Yao that followed him however.

Basically a player for whom one aspect of his game was exceptional, others very frustrating. Arguably too good for Arsenal at his peak; not good enough for the Cuntalan team of that period.


#9

Goals are overrated anyway. A player like Hleb is what football is supposed to be about.


#10

I don’t remember him playing for Arsenal much but any player would regret leaving


#11

On this day in 2005 Arsenal signed one of my favourite players ever. Sadly the guy also was a fan of those Spanish cunts.


#12

He was so skilled with the ball, one of the best dribblers we have had. You can see why he thought he could make it at Barca but you just have to be the best out there to remain at clubs like Barca, Madrid etc. Doubt he will be remembered much by the Arsenal faithful or by any of the clubs he played at. Perhaps Stuttgart.


#13

Ah, here he goes again…


#14

Fuck off


#15

I think he regrets not holding on for two more years so he could have joined Manchester City.


#16

Get him back :xhaka:


#17

Yeah.
It must have been a difficult decision leaving us to join the best team in Europe.


#18

I love Hleb, he was the standout for me in the CL final in 06 when I first became a fan. He was magical on the ball, I wanted to play just like him. Wenger is a great man from all accounts, so not surprised Hleb was torn.


#19

That must be why every one of our best players has gone to better teams and won more trophies.


#20

The novelty of his regret wore off after the 17th time he said it.