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GCR Books

Alex Hleb; part of the Flamini effect

Flamini was one of those players who having had two fairly average seasons at Arsenal and then had one good season playing alongside Cesc.

Forgetting the past the press talked him up, just at the moment that his contract came to an end.   Despite the offer of a new contract he chose to leave.

The anti-Wenger press and bloggers blamed the manager for letting the player go.  And yet his record at Milan after leaving was not great and he struggled ever to get a place in the first team.  His contract ran out at Milan, but he found himself unable to get another club, and so signed on again with Milan at a much lower salary, continuing to be a bit player.

Alex Hleb has stated (July 2009) that his decision to leave Arsenal was a mistake – in fact the biggest mistake of his life.  In his first year with Barca the club won the treble, and Hleb started five games.   He then went back to Stuttgart on loan before going to Birmingham City again on loan.  He has said he would like to remain in the EPL – ideally at Arsenal, but  with Barca continuing to top up his wages, he could find nowhere to go.

Both players thus felt the same effect – leaving Arsenal when on a high, and then regretting it.  I called it the Flamini Effect.

Here’s the result of his time at Arsenal

Lge Goals

FAC Goals

Lge Cup Goals

Eur Goals

Total Goals

2005–06

25

3

1

0

3

0

10

0

39

3

2006–07

33

2

3

0

2

0

10

1

48

3

2007–08

31

2

2

0

1

0

8

2

42

4

 

He joined in June 2005, with a four year deal.  He played in all parts of the midfield, and also on the right of the front line with Van Persie in the number 10 position.   However an injury while playing for Belarus kept him out of the Arsenal side for several months.

He played in the Champions League Final, and looked to be developing into a very useful part of the side but on 16 July 2008 he moved to Barcelona for around €15 million plus €2 million if Barcelona won the La Liga.  The club duly came first in 2008–09 which took his transfer deal to €17 million – just about what Arsenal paid for him).

However he only started five league games for Barcelona and was quoted as saying he had had enough of sitting on the bench every match.  Ultimately he went on a round of loans, starting with  VfB Stuttgart, until his contract with Barcelona was cancelled in January 2012 and he moved on to Krylia Sovetov Samara in Russia later going to BATE Borisov in his home country.

As he said, leaving Arsenal was his greatest mistake – and indeed could have proven to be a warning to others, but it seems not to be a lesson that many players want to heed.

The books…

See also…

Other sites from the same team…

6 comments to Alex Hleb; part of the Flamini effect

  • Tom W (gooner in Spain)

    Good article. Well written. I am sure you could have addef others who left Arsenal thinking they were better than they were and then fell off the proverbial cliff.

  • brod

    It is called the arsenal- curse. I don’t see any player apart from Vpersie, who has managed to be sucessful after leaving arsenal. Wenger puts a lot of trust in them, totally unknown to stars and wen they are needed more, they leave. Sincerely saying, most of them don’t have commitment for the club. So bad

  • mark

    I see that Flamini still thinks he’s better than he actually is (the ‘Bendtner effect’?) whereby he’s rumoured to have turned down a two year contract extension at AC Milan

  • Brod, there’s only one other: Ashley Cole. There are some, like Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Eboue, who’ve won trophies elsewhere, but that’s not the same thing as “being successful elsewhere.”

  • Patrick Vieira did quite well.

  • mark

    Andy Cole, even?

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