I’m raising a glass to Alexander Hleb

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A lot has been written about the quite supreme performances of Cesc this season – ten goals already and the leaves are still falling off the trees – but who of Arsenal persuasion isn’t equally happy to see the way Hleb has improved this season?

He’s been crucial this term, as his delicate dink to set Fabregas up on Sunday illustrated. (Incidentally, YouTube has gone all sinister and removed Premier League highlights due to ‘terms of use violation’ so I wasn’t able to watch it again this morning. The internet will find another way to broadcast these, fear not).

I’ve always enjoyed watching Hleb play, because infuriating though he undoubtedly can be, he thinks quickly and his footwork can be sublime. Perhaps he’s not a natural winger, but so what? He’s one of those players who roams a little freely and although, like many wing players, he can drift in and out of games, none of that changes the fact that on his day he’s a joy to watch and a match winner. He’s a bums-on-seats player is Alex Hleb.

Of course, like the Arsenal team in general, Hleb is high on confidence and there will be tougher months ahead for him, but fair play to the man because so far this year he’s been fantastic.

Give the man another contract, I say – apparently, he’s up for that, so let’s hope it’s signed, signed and delivered sooner rather than later.

So for now, please raise a glass to Alexandr Hleb. Chin chin, noble son of Belarus!


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.