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Happy Slapper Hleb Could Face Ban

Gunners' wing wizard Aliaksandr Hleb could face a three match ban that could curtail his season, after appearing to bitch slap Graeme Murty during Saturday's 2-0 mauling of Reading. Though rumours that Hleb shouted, 'who's your Daddy, beatch?' in the immediate aftermath remain unsubstantiated.

Referee Peter Walton missed the incident in real time (and in true Arsene Wenger fashion, I also did not see it) but Hleb could be banned on trial by video. An F.A. Spokesman said, 'The first thing is to wait and see the referee's report but that is not necessarily the end of the matter.'

Steve Coppell called for Hleb to be punished retrospectively (nothing to do with the fact we are still to play their relegation rivals Sunderland), 'Hleb slapped him across the neck and it is clearly visible on the video. It is there to see,' Coppell said.

'I don't know how the procedure is at the Football Association. It seems some mystery man phones in and says 'have a look at the tape'.

'The whole process is unexplainable and arbitrary. Maybe someone in their front room somewhere will do something about it.'

I must confess, Coppell's cynicism towards the F.A. is quite amusing. The fact that nobody in the Premiership respects them or has any idea as to their procedures is quite telling. The in no way hypocritical Alan 'Elbows' Shearer waded into the argument, 'I think the F.A. need to look at that.' Stand by next week as El Hadji Diouf condemns footballers who spit and Myra Hindley expresses her support for the 'hug a hoodie' campaign.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 21 2008

Time: 1:38PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Hlep in for a 3 to 4 game ban for smearing Murty's makeup and Taylor 3 game ban for attempting to amputate Eduardo.........well it would not surprise me.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 14:02:00

Well, Hleb does deserve the ban. Very uncharacteristic of him. Considering that this is his 1st such misdemeanour in over 3 seasons of the Premiership, lets hope this is a one-off.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 14:02:00

Anyone got a clip of it. I didnt see it live at the game, just say Murty hold his head and claim he had been elbowed
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 15:00:00

In truth, the rules of the game say that it will and should be a three match ban and we can't have too many complaints. But does anyone else look back on tackles Hleb has been on the receiving end of this season (Noble, McShane and Carew) and think, where's the fricking justice?
Little Dutch
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21/04/2008 15:15:00

Yes. I have said many a time that the biggest joke of a rule is retrospective punishment not being implemented when a ref has dealt with a situation badly. The F.A's hands are tied because it has been dealt with. I am sure most people would agree Nobles challenge should of been upgraded to a red. Stephen hunt, etc
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 15:26:00

He would have been better off getting a yellow.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 15:50:00

The really stupid thing is, if Hleb would have punched him properly, he would have got the same punishment. How ridiculous is that? If you get the same punishment, then Hleb might as well have used up the full credit on his account and lamped him Paul Davis style. In fact, on one website that reported this story, they dredged up the Davis Cockeril altercation. Can you believe that? It even said, "nearly twenty years ago, Paul Davis was banned etc……" And did anyone else think Murty's reaction was a bit pathetic? He's Scottish for christ's sake, Hleb's slap was pretty much an endearing greeting method in Glasgow!
Little Dutch
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21/04/2008 15:52:00

I've noticed something happening to Hleb this season. He's become increasingly demonstrative on the pitch of his frustration. He never used to show much emotion, certainly not any anger at a player or the ref. I think it was last week that I saw some comments from him in the press about how the English game is very physical and how the refs let defenders get away with bad tackles. He said that defenders in England get away with things they wouldn't elsewhere because they know the officials won't do anything about it. He's been on the receiving end of some of the worst challenges in the PL this season. Maybe it influenced his decision to go out for an ice cream in Italy. When I saw the replay of that slap I thought Hleb was reacting to something, that he was provoked. As for punishment, certainly we can't complain but the inconsistency beggars belief. How many times have we seen the FA declare they can't hand out a punishment for something because the ref didn't see it? The use of video technology for handing out punishments is incredibly selective.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 15:59:00

....and diaby takes his place
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 16:21:00

I think we should try Traore on the left to see how it works. Maybe put Clichy LM, Traore LB. I think that would be a good combo, Clichy certainly has the qualities to be a winger.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 16:25:00

What a lot of ado about nothing - it was an open handed girly slap! It will be very sad if a meal is made of this given, as is said above, some of the shocking tackles he has had to suffer without recrimination. Murty wasn't hurt was he? WHere's teh harm. If Hleb did things like this week in week out, it would give rise to questions, but as someone mentioned above, one has to wonder what was done to him to make him react like that.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 16:28:00

Good point Jaelle, I've noticed it too. Even his yellow against ManU was him venting his frustration, rather than a poor tackle. Hleb has done well to adjust to the Premiership, and I hope the special attention that defenders pay will not prompt him to move.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 17:04:00

I also felt Hleb was provoked, cos Murty was stalking him the whole time and some bad challenges on him went unpunished before that incident. But it did look like he's fed up (how would you feel if you get kicked like that every single time you play without fail?) and just slap the guy. That said, I think Hleb has added some steel into his game, same as Cesc, Clichy and Theo. He's shown that he's not to be kicked around. Speaking of his possible stand-ins, Diaby, Traore and Djourou are playing tonight for the reserves. Barazite, Wilshere, Nordveit and Mannone will start too. If you have ATV/ATVO/time, do watch, it's a home game vs West Ham. See if Diaby and Traore look ready to stand in for Hleb. I think the latter has looked good in LW lately.
Lou the Gunneress
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 18:32:00

Oh Djourou's injured again. Probably Song will get the remaining games in CB when Kolo's out.
Lou the Gunneress
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 19:09:00

I'm glad thierry has realised where home is
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 21:01:00

Anyone really concerned that Hleb may leave in the summer?
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 21:35:00

Fellow Gooners, wanted to run something by you. I was thinking about Wenger's policy of buying young talented players well before they become established stars. We've got Walcott and Fabregas, then have Vela, Merida and Nordveit coming up. However, there's always going to be more and more younger players coming up that may turn out to be brilliant, and we can't buy them all. Isn't right that, in certain cases, we have to wait until players mature and we buy them when they have peaked and are definitely in the world-class category? I am just concerned that the youth policy will never bear fruit and we'll always be waiting for that time when the team 'comes of age'.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 21:39:00

The team has almost 'come of age'. We just need 3 quality signings for the squad for this team to win trophies. The youth policy has already borne fruit. I think those concerns are a bit over rated.
Report Abuse
21/04/2008 21:45:00

i hope they ban him this season n not next season!
Report Abuse
22/04/2008 16:13:00

Could be the last game he played for us :(
Report Abuse
22/04/2008 16:41:00


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