Aliaksandr Hleb: A Lesson For Emmanuel Adebayor In Overestimating One's Talent
A plethora of articles have been written about Wenger's ingenious move to rid his stable of a five-legged Togolese stallion. I'm sure these will continue.
I initially thought of naming the article: "Manchester City FC: Premier Rubbish Collectors." I thought better of it, since the club is not premier in any way, unless you mean the "premier" classlessness of their recruitment of players.
But that's another story for another day.
Instead, I'm sounding a warning to Adebayor about the path he's taking, and the pitfalls that await him.
Unlike Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," the route Adebayor has chosen has been travelled before, and it's a painful one.
By anyone's standards, the above picture is not a pretty sight. No player likes to sit on the bench, especially when they have a rather misguided view of themselves.
Alexandr Hleb, one-time Arsenal fan favorite, play-maker, and perhaps on the way to becoming an Arsenal legend, left Arsenal for the greener pastures of Catalonia. At the time of his transfer, Hleb had completed an excellent season for himself and major clubs were inquiring about him.
Once informed of Barcelona's interest, Hleb whored himself to Nou Camp. Hleb has since moved to Inter after finding game time rather hard to come by.
In spite of Wenger's efforts to keep him, pleas from fans, and Arsenal advising him against the move, the man clearly thought himself a superstar. The same applied to Flamini.
In fact, Arsenal have a long list of players that decided to moved onto greener pastures, only later realizing that the grass isn't always as green over there. Now, in no way am I suggesting that the Great Adebayor will fail, but the signs aren't very encouraging.
A great number of players have left Arsenal looking for trophies and super-stardom. Most have failed.
However, the difference between those who left and Adebayor is that he is leaving purely for greed. At the beginning of last season when Milan courted him, he whored himself, only to make a u-turn when Arsenal offered him a bumper deal.
He promptly kissed and clutched the badge every time he scored, but the gooners saw through him.
So, he leaves Ashburton Grove, a team regularly in the champions league and challenging for honours year after year for a cash-rich team enjoying mid-table mediocrity.
Has Emmanuel Adebayor overestimated his talent? Of course! He is not the first one to do so. Will he succeed? Only time will tell...
Many players bought by Wenger were nobodies, and they succeeded only because he protected, allowing them to develop at their own pace, with little or no expectations.
Flammini, Overmas, Hleb, Reyes are only a phone call away from advising him.
So here's to Adebayor fading away to obscurity in a season or two and kissing the badge of the next cash-laden sensation.
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