Thursday, July 10, 2008


First it was Adebayor and Bendtner, now its Hleb and Fabregas; apparently, there seem to be no end in sight to the now all too familiar infighting amongst the Gunners. Call it ‘sibling rivalry’ or whichever name you prefer, but these persistent on and off the field altercations are increasingly turning into an ugly eyesore for the Londoners. The million dollar question that remains begging here is - how do you explain those unnecessary petty squabbles that have at times taken a physical dimension? I mean, these guys are meant to be working together for heavens sake - as a team, not throwing expletives and punches at each other at the slightest opportunity.

Last season, when Adebayor and Bendtner saw it best to square it out right in the middle of a game, both the Arsenal technical staff and players chose to downplay the infamous incident and no official explanations were given. Just for the records, many will remember that in that Carling Cup semifinal match, while the Gunners were busy feuding, Tottenham took advantage to give them a real hiding, 5-1 was the actually deficit; their worst of the season. But surely, what more would you expect from a ‘team’ that chooses to fight itself?

So now they are at it again. And am I surprised? Certainly not. The source of all the trouble this time round is Alexander Hleb, would you believe it? Apparently, the unsettled Belarusian has not been very happy lately with his manager, Arsene Wenger, over what he referred to as “his role in the team”. Now, that’s a common parlance amongst professional players, many of whom believe that they have a better knowledge of which positions, what and how to play their roles in the team. Quite understandable indeed from a player’s view point. What’s not understandable is where his Spanish teammate Cesc Fabregas came in. For him to have gone as far as branding his teammate a ‘selfish’ player, then am tempted to believe that the two must have been having a longstanding beef and Hleb probably just took the perfect opportunity to lash out at the Spaniard. Maybe that’s Hleb’s way of saying goodbye to an annoying teammate who always gets the all praises for your donkeywork. These guys are really good at washing their dirty linen in public, don’t you think?

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