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Monday, April 25, 2005

Bergkamp and Reyes will turn it on tonight/Arsenal Ladies

With Thierry Henry out for a few more weeks the onus is on Jose Antonio Reyes and Dennis Bergkamp to turn from primary providers to primary scorers.

By my reckoning neither have got on the scoresheet since the demolition of Palace on February 14. They are both overdue.

As our closest neighbours visit I sense that this evening is the time when Jose and Dennis will respond to the need for goals by putting on big performances.

Jose has endured a bleak winter that followed a promising start to the season. The cold has got him down; persistent fouling has got him down; and spoof radio hosts have got him down.

Jose is young and is a confidence player. He needs the fans behind him and his team behind him. He smiles when Thierry applauds an attempted pass, but puts his head down when Thierry asks for better. In the cold mid-season his head has been down quite often.

However, as the spring warm air touches London, I sense from the last few matches that Jose is picking up. He is warm weather player; the sun reminds him of Seville and he likes this. His banter in the Chelsea tunnel prior to kick-off with his Spanish speaking contempories Senderos and Fabregas was followed by an enthusiastic performance. He is looking happier and is on the up.

Now what Jose needs to complete his positivity is goals. A sunset evening kick-off in mild temperatures against Spurs are the perfect conditions for Jose to do this. With TH out he will know that the team will look to him to score and I believe he will be completely determined to achieve this.

The momentum he has recently been building is timing nicely for the game tonight.

Dennis Bergkamp is an Arsenal legend. He is the father on the pitch and simply is irreplaceable.

But his future is uncertain. The recent emergence of Van Persie and recent talk by Arsene Wenger that suggests his number one transfer priority is an established striker to replace Dennis means that this may be the last time Dennis starts in a match against Spurs.

Dennis should be thinking: I deserve a big match and some goals as the curtain comes down on my career. With TH out I will give everything to get my name on the scoscoresheet and leave my fans with one more special performance to remember.

There will be nothing more special for Arsenal fans than to see Dennis claim a vital matchwinner in the big games coming up. His exceptional performance and goal against Man Utd at Highbury was forgotten amongst the Man Utd goal blitz in the second half.

This performance had me on the edge of my seat. It was the legend putting on what he and everyone knew would be one of his last big shows and it was moving to see. But it was overshadowed.

Now I want one more classic Bergkamp performance that is not overshadowed. One opportunity is tonight. Another will be in Cardiff next month.

Can Dennis delight and do it in both matches?

I would be happy with just one, and tonight at Highbury would be fantastic. I sense Dennis Bergkamp will be thinking about achieving this potential. And with a resurgent Jose Reyes looking for a similar impact, expect big games from the two of them tonight as they seek to take on the goal-scoring role of Thierry Henry.

EFT wishes to congratulate the Arsenal ladies team on yet another title success. They are a credit to football and the Arsenal name.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Van Persie starts tonight and i think that's right.

Van Persie and Reyes worked well together in pre-season and it deserves a chance.

Bergy is Henry's preferred partner and he'll be back to partner him for the Cup Final, which could be his goodbye !

4/25/2005 11:40 am

Blogger Abdul said...

Oh dear. I've just looked at the weather forecast. Looks like there will be drizzle and a blustery wind over North London this evening... contrast there's a forecast of lovely weather in Madrid.

4/25/2005 12:15 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

It will be a good match to watch, though I sense a draw will happen. At home in a match that could prolong or cease the title chase, this is the ultimate stage for Reyes, Van Persie and Bergkamp to shine against the bitter rivals. Expect Arsenal to go for the jugular from the kick-off.


4/25/2005 12:34 pm

Blogger Berry said...

Bergkamp has served his club and the English football well and should retire at the end of the season. As for Reyes, (as well as the FA Cup final) this is a good opportunity for him to show his commitment to Arsenal.

4/25/2005 5:36 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

Bergkamp is a genius.

Jose, looks like he is finding his form once again. This is not a surprise given that we are in April, when the weather is slighlty better.

4/25/2005 10:02 pm


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