Hleb about Arsenal's chances against BATE Borisov


Hleb about Arsenal's chances against BATE Borisov

Belarusian player Alexander Hleb has told the CTV Channel about BATE's chances against FC Arsenal in the Europa League. The match will be played at Borisov Arena on September 28.

- You wanted to play against Arsenal F.C. in Europa League. Why?

- This is because of Arsenal F.C.

- Did you want to play on Emirates Stadium?

- Just to play against Arsenal F.C. Well, I have already said, mainly because of Arsenal.

- Are you upset that things turned against you, that you would not play for BATE against Arsenal?

-Well, it is a normal decision by FC BATE Borisov, and we should respect that. Everything is fine. Arsenal is probably the most important team in my career. So of course it is great that Arsenal come to Minsk. Here are a lot of fans of Arsenal. I'm glad. Sometimes I look back. It was an unforgettable feeling when you're out on the field. Of course, English fans are something special. Incredible atmosphere was at each stadium. We just wanted to play, prove, delight, and of course, to fight for the championship. Unfortunately, we have not won it.

Henry was the team leader, no doubt about it. You know, there was such a selection of players, based on their character, talent and football qualities. And the selection was equal, I can't say that someone distinguished themselves, except for Henry. I don't want to compare, to be honest. Well, we couldn't compare Lacazette to Henry. Lacazette is a great player, but Henry is a legend. There were only few players in the world like him, and still, I believe, there are no more. Kazim-Richards is also a great, technically skilled player. He has great passing abilities. Well, we are different, in any case.

Of course, special games were against direct competitors (Liverpool F.C., Manchester United F.C., Chelsea F.C.). Also we played against teams from the bottom half. They showed for the most part, physical football, and it was not so easy: all played on defense against us.

I think this is the most spectacular league. Especially now: unreal sums of money are invested from TV, and every team can afford to buy a top player. And of course, everybody is strengthening, it can be that a last-placed team beats the leader. It is difficult to speak about the top four in England, as it was before. More teams are struggling and showing interesting play. And they all expect to win in the Premier League.

Wenger is Arsenal F.C. and Arsenal F.C. is Wenger.

Of course, I understand the fans who criticize the result, who criticize that the Premier League have not been won for a long time. Of course, I want him to stay. Great respect for this coach, he gave me a lot. Nobody who worked with him could say bad things about Arsène. He is the coach who has always supported, understood and felt each player. It is just a set of circumstances, because leaders leave the team almost every year. He needs to build a new team, buy new players and so on. It's not too easy. Seriously, the competition is real and tough. The amount of money spent by competitors is incompatible with the money spent by Arsenal F.C.

-Why don't well-known players want to move to Arsenal F.C.?

- Competitors pay a lot of money that Arsenal F.C. can't afford. Although I do not know, maybe they can, but don't want to, maybe it is the club's policy. When Arsenal F.C. gives 100 million dollars, and others give 180 million for a player, of course a club is interested to sell a player at a higher price, for example to Manchester City F.C., Chelsea F.C. or Liverpool F.C. Today's reality is like that.

- What do you think about these realities, where Mbappé is worth 180 million dollars, Neymar 222 million dollars? If I recall right, you joined Arsenal for 15 million dollars. In those days, it was a great sum of money.

-Yes, now it's funny to remember. The world of football is crazy. It is an unreal sum of money, especially for the Premier League. Everybody was shocked at that time by the sum of money for which Ronaldo and Bale were sold. And now almost every player is worth about 100 million dollars, or more than 100 million dollars. I can only imagine what will happen in a couple of years.

- You joined Arsenal F.C. in 2005. How much by today's standards you would be worth?

- I do not know.

- 50 million dollars or more?

- I don't know, maybe more.

- What strategy will Wenger choose in the game versus BATE Borisov?

- Wenger always gives a chance to young sportsmen in such games. Leaders are usually given a rest. I think a lot of young players or those who have little experience will play in this game. Of course, Arsenal F.C. usually play home matches better than away. Actually, like Barcelona. In any case, FC BATE Borisov have to fight, maintain discipline, because those players to whom Wenger will give a chance will be very motivated and will use every chance.

I think that FC BATE Borisov need to play on counterattacks, use set pieces, run to fast counterattacks, because Arsenal F.C. don’t have fast defense, especially central defenders.

This is what they have to do.

I don't think that FC BATE Borisov will dictate something, dominate or put pressure. Arsenal F.C. is always well-prepared to all games. I remember when the team went to play in the Champions League group stage, probably against Czechs, and the game wasn't too important, the team also played not very well.

Therefore, there is always a chance to get a point.

I don't think FC BATE Borisov will win this game but in any case, they should fight and try hard. However, I think Arsenal F.C. will win.

If BATE salvage one point, chances will be good. FC BATE Borisov should concentrate on their direct competitors, Koln and Red Star Belgrade.

I really like FC BATE Borisov, especially can point out defender Milunović. Thanks to him, everything is all right in the defense. Generally speaking, FC BATE Borisov is a stable and good team. They showed it in Serbia (1:1), when they created chances and made counterattacks. It is necessary to act in this way.

- What are you planning now? There are rumors about FC Chornomorets Odesa…

- Now I spend all my time with my family, but soon will take the final decision. I will consult with my wife and we will think what is better for our child. Therefore, it is a family decision.

- When will we learn about your decision?

- I think by October 1.