Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Hleb Wins Work Permit Appeal

As I revealed in a previous post Alexander Hleb has won his appeal for a work permit. He will now be looking for a new house in the Hertfordshire area.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


'I don't wanna go to Chelsea'

'Chelsea showed a lot of interest in me and I was very flattered,' said the 24-year-old Hleb, whose dribbling skills made him one of the most exciting performers in the Bundesliga.

'They are, of course, a top club, Champions League semi-finalists with an outstanding coach and squad, but I had decided much earlier in the day to sign for Arsenal. I believe they are my ideal club. I had the impression they really wanted me, that they saw me as an important part of their plans. I gave them my word and saw no reason to go back on it.

'I'm sure I've made the right choice. Arsenal are a club with huge ambitions, who expect to win trophies every year. There are only stars in the Arsenal team. I'm thrilled by the prospect of playing with world class players like Henry, Vieira and Bergkamp.

'I'm really looking forward to my new life in the Premiership. The grounds there are always full and there's a special atmosphere. Supporters get right behind their team; they back them vocally from the kick-off to the final whistle. I can't wait to step out at Highbury wearing an Arsenal shirt. I visited the ground for a League match against Liverpool towards the end of last season and the noise of the crowd sent shivers down my spine.'

'It didn't take me long to realise that Arsene Wenger was the coach for me,' says Hleb.

'He set out Arsenal's objectives, described the club and totally won me over. He has a worldwide reputation as a great coach and I'm convinced he can make me a better player. He stands for fast, spectacular attacking football and that's how I prefer the game to be played.'

'Naturally, everyone connected with Stuttgart was frustrated last season,' says Hleb. 'Our aim was to make the Champions League and we came up short in fifth. We received a lot of criticism and that's understandable. On a personal level, it was not a particularly good year for me. I know only too well that I didn't consistently play to a high standard. I stagnated.

'I believe the time was right for me to move on. I needed a fresh challenge, to take the next step up in my career. I had five largely good years at Stuttgart and learnt a lot there. It was not easy to leave them. I'd grown to love the club the city, the fans, but the temptation to play for a top club in a top championship was too strong.

'Every player dreams of going as far as he can in the game, of testing himself at the highest possible level. Although a lot of people will not believe it, I haven't come to England for the money. I want to win things. Arsenal will be in the running for the Premiership title and FA Cup and with some luck we will be in contention for the Champions League.

'I know the competition for places at Arsenal will be intense but I'm prepared for it. It's up to me to show every day on the training ground that I'm worthy of a regular place in the side.'

'I should score more and it's an aspect of my game I'm working on,' admits Hleb, whose record for Stuttgart was less than impressive as he scored just 13 times in 137 Bundesliga games. 'Ever since I was a child, my first instinct on the pitch has been to make chances for others. There's something in my blood.'

'I don't think the physicality of the game in England can be any worse than in the Bundesliga,'

'I was covered in bruises after every game in Germany. Sometimes it was unbelievable how aggressively I was treated. Anyway, in the Arsenal team, there are players who will be more closely marked than me.'

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Alexander Hleb is still enjoying pre season training with the Gunners and I understand his medical is a formality. Arsenal are still waiting on the work permit application which should be done before Arsenal depart on their pre-season trip to Austria on the 19th July.

Alexander could be in the first team quciker then he thought if reports are true about Vieira heading off to Juventus.

Thats about it for today. Hopefully we will here of his work permit application being successful sooner rather then later.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Hleb's First Day

Alexander Hleb participated in his first ever training session today as the Gunners reported back for pre-season training. Hleb is still waiting for a Work Permit and a Medical but it seems Arsenal have no worries over his fitness.

Alexander did not get to meet all his new team mates as Gilberto Silva, Jens Lehmann, Patrick Vieira, Philippe Senderos and Kolo Toure, who were all involved in internationals after the end of last season have been given extra time to relax.

The entire squad are unlikely to be together until Arsenal depart on July 19 for a pre-season training camp in Austria, where they are due to play three friendlies.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hello again, sorry for the lack of updates recently. I have been in Southampton sorting out my accommodation for next year at Uni for the last few days.

Anyway there is a nice article on the UEFA web site about Hleb's history and what not.

Sky Sports reports that Hleb want's to help Arsenal to Champions Legaue Glory.

Hleb said "Arsenal have a great team, but they have been unlucky in recent years and have not been able to go all the way in Europe,".

"I can play my part in Arsenal achieving that goal this season. I rate Arsenal as one of the best three teams in the world.

"Anyone would be delighted to be allowed to play alongside a player like Vieira and I'm going to give it my best shot.

"I am not worried about the pace or ferocity, but I might need some time to adapt."

Lots of positive news from Hleb there. Stay tuned for more updates.

Also thanks to roscoe p han-dbag and by for your comments. Much appreciated.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Player Profile: Aliaksandr Hleb (Belarus)

Belarussian Aliaksandr Hleb has decided to leave VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga to strike out in the Premiership with Arsenal. Brian O’Driscoll profiles the 24-year-old who is likely to become a household name in England.

Aliaksandr Hleb may not seem the most glamorous summer signing for those whose European football knowledge tends to dissipate at Dover. Belarus, the country of his birth, is a comparative minnow in international football terms, and Hleb is not a preening poseur lamenting how football interfered with a promising boy band career. Yet, at VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, Hleb has been a big star, well appreciated by a knowledgeable German audience exposed to his weekly deeds – on the football pitch rather than in the nightclub.

Born in Minsk in the winter of 1981, the football life of Hleb began in earnest 19 years later when the promising midfielder left local club BATE Barysau to join top German outfit Stuttgart. Slightly-built, lean and tall, Hleb soon established himself in the first-team and prospered under the tutelage of former West German midfield dynamo Felix Magath.

A strong Bundesliga showing in 2002 took Stuttgart into Europe the and a crack at the Champions’ League. Victories over Glasgow Rangers and Manchester United highlighted Hleb’s importance to the Swabians, and his priceless ability to set-up crucial goals made him indispensable to a team playing some of the most flamboyant football in Europe.

Better was to follow in the Bundesliga, with the player netting a series of spectacular slalom-like goals as Stuttgart set off like a train at the start of the 2003/2004 season. While Hleb was orchestrating the midfield machinations of a gloriously swashbuckling young side, Timo Hildebrand was smashing Oliver Kahn’s domestic goalkeeping record by shutting-out all comers for over 800 minutes, Philipp Lahm was becoming the best full-back in the country at 20, and Kevin Kuranyi the nation’s great scoring hope. When the domestic title challenge failed in the spring, Stuttgart allowed Magath to leave for Bayern Munich, and Hleb was widely-tipped to join his erstwhile mentor in the departures lounge. Nevertheless, he opted to stay and commented at the time: “I feel very much at home here in Stuttgart. We have got a very young team that has grown over the years. I am sure that we will continue to develop as a team and be successful in the future."

However, his form waned under new coach Matthias Sammer, and, while Stuttgart remained competitive in the Bundesliga, Hleb was never the same influence under the new man. The former Dortmund coach placed less emphasis on the flamboyant football so beloved of Magath, and thus, by extension, on Hleb. Linked with a host of clubs, he finally opted for Arsenal when Sammer bit the bullet after missing out on Champions’ League qualification. He leaves the German game with a reputation for magnificent creativity, but a penchant for fading when the sun starts to shine.

Nevertheless, Arsenal fans are in for a treat when he settles. He approaches the future with a heavy heart. On his move to London, Hleb told respected German football publication Kicker Sportmagazin: “I see changes with mixed feelings. On the one hand I look forward much to playing for Arsenal, but on the other hand I am also a little sad. I owe so much to the Stuttgart and that is something I will never forget.”

On his reasons for leaving, he says: “It is time to take the next stage in my career. I learned much with Stuttgart. I love the club, the fans, the city, everything. But I I must now move in order to further develop.”

Melancholic and sensitive he may be, but he’s also realistic. On his hopes for the new season at Highbury, he is disarmingly honest. “I hope to play better than last season. I know that I did not play constantly on a high level. It was not a good year for me and my development stagnated.”

With Hleb keen to kick-on again, and the Arsenal collective sharing his sense of inertia after an anti-climactic season, the Belarussian may just be the catalyst required to launch a serious assault on the Premiership and make his club’s final season at their old home a stately one. Maybe the state of Belarus will become less mysterious too…even to those who see Dover as football’s Land’s End.

Brian A. O’Driscoll


Friday, July 01, 2005


Welcome to The Hleb Site

This is a Hleb Site dedicated to Arsenal's new Belarusian signing Alexander Hleb. We signed him on 27th June from Vfb Stuttgart on a long term contract, in a deal which could rise to approximately £10 million.

Alexander is still only 24 but has already played for five years with Stuttgart making 137 appearances. He has 18 International caps for his country Belarus and played in the majority of Stuttgart's Champions League games in the 2003/04 competition.

"We are delighted that Alexander Hleb has agreed to join us," Wenger told the club's official website.

"He is a player I have admired for some time now and I know he will provide our squad with great quality.

"Hleb has proved his ability with his performances in the Bundesliga in recent seasons and he definitely has the potential to do very well with Arsenal."

Despite this many Arsenal fans don't know as much about our new signing as Wenger and are wondering why Wenger is so please to have signed him. This Hleb Site will give you all the information you wanted to know about him.

Alexander Hleb was born on 1st May 1981 in Minsk, Belarus. He singed professionally for FC BATE Borisov in June 1998 and won the Belarussian league Championship a year later. He is an experienced Under-21 international with 30 caps. This caught the eye of Vfb Stuttgart who he transferred to in July 2000.

He scored on his first International start for Belarus, a 5-2 victory over Hungary in April 2002. He was then voted the Belarus Sportsman of the Year for 2002.

He has been a permenant fixture in the Stuttgart team for many years and in 2003 they finished runners up in the German Bundesliga.

You can read what Raphael Honingstein, a sports journalist for German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung has to say about our new striker over on

Stay tuned for more updates.

Hleb Quote: "I am very happy to have this fantastic opportunity to join Arsenal. They are a Club with a great history and many world class players."

UPDATE: Pat Sheehan has done a peice in The Sun on Alexander's accident last December. His Audi was involved in a collision which claimed the life of a passenger in a BMW.

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