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What will happen to Hleb if/when he goes?

Or put another way, will he too suffer the Curse of Arsenal?

Just to refresh your memory in case you have gone beyond the age of 18 and thus have started to lose the brain cells, almost every player who has left Arsenal has done badly – often very badly.   The last one who did ok was a certain Liam Brady who had success in Italy (although later mucked it up at West Ham, and had a dreadful time trying to be manager at Celtic).
The Curse of Arsenal extends not just to the players but also those who muck around with them.   Thus within days of Flamini deciding to leave, his new club failed to make it into the Champions League (although they were favourites to do so at the time of the transfer).  Flamini was dropped by France, reinstated, and then found himself in the middle of a team going into self-destruct.

Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Edu and Thierry Henry have all suffered from a decline in form and a very high level of injury – Pires and Edu in particular suffering in this regard.

As for what happened at Birmingham City after the attack on Eduardo – that story of police raids, arrests and relegation has been told several times.

So what of Hleb if/when he goes.  Will he suffer as other have done before him?   The answer is almost certainly yes – as will Adebayor if any of the stories about him are true.

At one level, players at Arsenal reach their peak, and perform beyond their abilities, and then upon leaving go into decline.  But this does not explain the situation that affected Flamini, where disaster has struck Milan and France before he has even kicked a ball.  Is there a deeper malign influence at work – and will it affect Hleb?

Flamini was, of course, free to leave the club – his contract had run out, exactly as happened with Edu and Pires.  Hleb on the other hand is more akin to A. Cole who simply decided he wanted to go somewhere else.  What happened to Cole was that his form took a dive, he had injuries, and (perhaps more notably) his personal life disintegrated, leaving him (and his club) the laughing stock of football.

Certainly, the Curse of Arsenal appears in all sorts of shapes and guises, and it does not seem to let anyone escape.

You would think therefore that by now players would have realised this, and to be fair I suspect some of them have.  But agents, on the other hand, are greedy beings, and as we know, they can twist players minds.

What we know is that if a player wants to go, mid-contract, he can make a fuss about it, and can force the club to take action.  The club can’t let the player just sit out his contract (that falls foul of “restraint of trade” regulations, although you wouldn’t know that judging by the failure to report it in the press).  It is the same for an  airline pilot.  To be a pilot you have to keep flying, otherwise you lose the licence.   To be a player you have to play, otherwise you lose your sharpness, and you can’t be kept out of the team for an obviously non-football reason.  Deliberately stopping a person perform  their trade for your own private motives is against EU legislation.

So in the end the club has to sell if the player wants to go – although as Arsenal proved over Cole, you can get a good deal if you hold out beyond the last minute (Cole was sold a couple of hours after the transfer deadline went by).

Thus if any of the stories surrounding Hleb are true we could expect that he will be sold at a good price, maybe with the exchange of the mystery player we seemingly want from Barca.  Hleb will then lose form, Barca will have a bad season, and there might even be an injury in the offing.

All in all it is better both for players and teams not to mess with Arsenal.  The Curse (whether you believe in it or not) is there – at least in effect if not in substance.

11 comments to What will happen to Hleb if/when he goes?

  • Jack Staniforth

    There is an aura of style and class about Arsenal that other clubs don`t seem to have. As a player you feel this euphoria radiate from the others around you who are experiencing the same effects. This could be the reason that players reach their peak Arsenal and even play beyond their expectations. Once they leave they step out of their comfort zone and their form goes on the decline. There is no “Arsenal Curse” it`s just that they miss Mum.

  • on d gooner

    On land, at sea and in the air, the Arsenal curse will pursue these chalatans that use a great club like ours as a show case/window for their monetary advancements. Hleb will be no exception. He’s been well nutured at our club and has thrived, now he feels he’s arrived. To be fore warned is to be fore armed Mr Hleb. And same goes for you too Mr Ade-Money-barg-yor before you think you’ve escaped my radar, or for anyone else who wishes to jump a perfectly stable ship.Just look at Anelka to remind you of the fate that awaits any one of you who dare cross our beloved club.

    We can say the same for the spuds down the road as we once had a certain Sol Campell but it seemed a blessing to Sol. The curse therefore I believe is unique to The Arsenal and we love it!!!!

  • jj

    I totally agree with you.

  • Caelestis

    Well you’ve made a very good point but got some very bad facts wrong, Vieirra has won the scudetto twice, Gio van Bronckhurst the Champions League, and Pires is having a revival in Villareal [although his injury problems are a good point]. Not every player that leaves us is struck by the curse there have been a few exceptions. I feel Hleb will also cursed a la Overmars, Petit, Anelka, well the list goes on.

  • Sean

    hahah i think your losing the plot man! 😛

  • Ryan

    what’s stopping you sticking a player in the reserves?

    and how is ‘not playing’ officially defined? how often do you have to go without a game, otherwise you can argue every game where a player makes no appearance is a case of being denied his trade.

    as long as the player gets some reserves games i don’t see how they could possibly be breaking the rules- which is the point of the whole appeal to have such players dropped. playing in the reserves is considered much the same thing as being dropped from the first team, i don’t think people are calling for a total kicking out of the player from every possible match.

  • Ryan

    i’m also not sure how a player could be considered as denied of his trade either.

    he signs a contract saying that he is committed to a club, not that he will play a game for them. as far as i’m aware they are employed only to make themselves available for footballing matters as and how the club sees fit. i can’t see how there’s any strict mention that a footballer needs to actually be playing games, just be on the books as a person contractually committed to the club.

  • Ryan

    in fact i have always thought the contract is more of a setup saying the player can’t play for another team rather than he will play for this team. the situation then being that if he can play for no other team he will play for this one.

    that is of course assuming there’s isn’t a contract demanding a certain number of appearances, like presumably eboue has. there’s no other explanation for how he played so much last year.

  • Arselicked

    And it extends to supporters, if you leave, then your new team will relegate.So go to the Grove and make as much noise as is possible.

  • Alf15

    Good post. I beleive in the curse and Ade would be insane to leave a team that play amazing football and create so many chances for him!

  • I like hleb and I will never wish him bad luck with whomever he joins , but Flamster is in trouble , I will never wish him well for ridiculing the club. I hope Wenger does something fast so we don’t miss this shitty player call Flamster as for Hleb he can go we will always find a good replacement for him.

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