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Henry, Pires and Reyes are all letting Arsenal down in their quest for domestic and European glory.
Tony Cascarino, 02 Dec 2004
Having already named Thierry Henry a fortnight ago, I’m going to add Pires and Reyes to the list of Arsenal players who’ve been taking the piss recently with their Premiership and Champions League performances.
I don’t think Arsenal will have a problem going to Rosenborg and getting the win they need to get into the Champions League knock-out stages, but if they’re not prepared to track-back and close people down they’re going to be murdered by a team like Juventus or Inter Milan.
That James Mellor strike would’ve caught most sides out, sure, but prior to that too many of the Arsenal players were going through the motions like they did a couple of seasons ago when a 2-2 draw at Bolton cost them the Premiership. They were 2-0 up when Henry started doing all these fancy flicks that look great on Saturday morning telly, but didn’t stop Campo waltzing straight past him and costing the Gunners a goal.
Contrast that to Chelsea who, even when they were 4-0 up against Charlton on Saturday, chased every ball. There were no silly lapses in confidence or last second goals conceded, they worked their socks off as a team, which is why they’re five points ahead of Arsenal and among the favourites to win the Champions League.
Something which sums up the lack of heart at Highbury perfectly is that Everton, a team who in many ways aren’t fit to lace their boots up, would’ve overtaken them in the Premiership if they’d won at Newcastle. An average squad of players is breathing down their necks because they’re all doing the basic things you expect of a professional properly.
There was no ranting and raving from Arsene Wenger in the post-match interview, but he knows who the shirkers are and will be telling them: “Start delivering or I’ll bring the youngsters in.” The likes of Owusu-Abeyie and Karbassiyoon showed in the 3-1 Carling Cup demolition of Everton that they’re physically and mentally up to the task, so why not start ‘em against Birmingham and give the Fancy Dans a boot up the backside?