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Arsenal winger backs down after slating manager and team-mate

Goodness me. A player gets plucked from obscurity, has a decent season in the Premier League and turns into the footballing equivalent of Whitney Houston in the process. The Independent reports that Alexander Hleb is busy trying to retract recent comments made about the Arsenal manager and Cesc Fabregas, especially as he may yet be teaming up with them when the season starts!

To say that Hleb has handled the situation badly since the season ended would be a massive understatement. He and Emmanuel Adebayor seem to be having a competition to see who can make the biggest ass of themselves before securing a transfer away from the Emirates. Anybody would think that Arsene Wenger has left them rotting in the reserves all campaign, rather than giving them a chance to shine in front of a global audience.

“I am very grateful to Arsène Wenger,” he said. “He is the best coach of my career. And not just a coach. He is a very good man and intuitive psychologist. I very much appreciate his support. I talked to him twice before the end of the season [about my future]. It is also not that easy for me to leave this club, because it has become my home. I think he is upset, though it is better to ask him, maybe he is glad.

“In life, everything changes,” Hleb added. “I believe that there are 10 top clubs in world football and when a couple of clubs are interested in you and offer better terms, I believe that others would have done exactly the same. But Arsenal is dear to me, I am grateful to Wenger for everything he has done for me. As an Arsenal player, I can say that there is no better club in the English Premiership.”

The 27-year-old also sought to clarify his relationship with Fabregas, insisting the pair get on well. “Cesc and I understand each other very well on the field,” he said. “And it is very, very pleasurable for me to play with him. He’s a very pleasant guy both in life and as a footballer. He is just more egoistic in goalscoring opportunities, if he had a chance to score, he always used it, unlike me.”

Somebody has been having a word in Hleb’s ear, especially as he accused his Spanish team-mate of not passing him the ball enough recently! Is Arsene Wenger fighting a losing battle buy virtue of the fact that he gives unknown players a shot with Arsenal, only for them to leave straight away? Perhaps he’s doing his job too well!

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