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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Reyes/Bergkamp/Henry is AFC's most fluent attacking combination

The Reyes/Bergkamp/Henry combination made only its second appearance of the season in last night's 4-0 thumping of a sub-par Portsmouth team. The first time also resulted in four goals scored when Fulham visited Highbury on matchday three.

Injuries to all these players has prevented Wenger from fielding this trio simultaneously. It is fantastic that he has not forgotten the power, fluency and deadly effectiveness of this proven winning combination.

Its fair to say that Theirry thrives most when Dennis is in the team. He loves Dennis and over the last six years they have built-up a unique bond and ability to maximise each other's attacking talents. These two up-front together is a proven magical combo for Arsenal.

Since arriving at Highbury, Reyes has been at his best as a dynamic, attacking left winger who will get into the box to support the front two and score goals with his accurate left foot. Last night, he got in the box to support Henry and score a superb second goal to effectively end the game on 13 minutes, and on 42 minutes he sprinted into the six yard box to receive a Pires pass (I really hope the excellent Pires is given two more years!) only to be bought down for a penalty.

Reyes' youthful energy perfectly complements the legendary guile of Bergkamp and all round attacking power of Henry. The fluency of their attacking play at extreme pace and skill is simply brilliant, and is my favourite attacking combination for AFC because it consistently maximises the special talents of each of these players for the overall advantage of the team.

Arsenal more often than not fly when these three are in the same team. I hope its not another four months until I see it again!

Wenger's experiment with the 4-5-1 - maximising the talents of Fabregas and Hleb in the CM - got its first win away at Charlton, and I see good potential in its use as a Plan B, especially away from home. But in the tight confines of Highbury I prefer the compact and proven successful 4-4-2, so yesterday was excellent for seeing that Wenger will still apply this as his Plan A with the fantastic Reyes/Bergkamp/Henry combination as its spearhead.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure how many games Bergkamp has got in him and we need to find a replacement quickly as he wont be around next season.

Bonds need to be built and I think last night's result was more down to Flamini's drive and determination in the middle.

I am a massive fan of Van Persie and think he needs to start a long side Henry instead of DB10.

I am most concerned over Hleb. He cost over 10 mill and he cant pass the ball or go more than 10 yards without falling over. I thought this guy was supposed to come back from injury a stronger player?

12/29/2005 10:35 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last post about Hleb is rubbish. Why do you bother? Post about your spudsteam instead. They lost 2-0.

12/29/2005 10:52 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 100% gooner I just dont see what all the fuss is about.

Did you see him against Doncaster and Chelsea?

For that sort of money I expect better than the player he has been so far.

How many goals has he scored?

Why is AW trying to fit Hleb into the team when there are others out there who can do a better job.

12/29/2005 11:04 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hleb will be so good...hes only been here a few months you need to let him settle... i see him scoring a bucketload next season...
ps can't pass? you w""ker!

12/29/2005 11:14 am

Blogger madgunner said...

I re,eber hearing the same words about Henry when he first arrived here. Hleb has only been here for a few months durign which hes has been injured for 2. Give the guy a chance and he will blossom. He will be great on the wings. He has the potential but he needs to build sefl belief and get in the flowing type of football that we are playing. He will start to show his pptential in february. I bet you that he will be a great player that will fill in for ljungberg in the future. I cant see anyone taking Reyes of the left wing at the moment. He can share it with Pires for the next 2 years during which Quincy will be developing. Ljungberg and Hleb will fill the second. He will also feature in the 4-5-1 tactics away from home where he will be the attacking midfielder

12/29/2005 11:15 am

Anonymous tunadog said...

it very often takes a continental player at least 1 season to settle..more informed comment abt Hleb should be left for a season...his biggest fault at the moment is losing the ball in dangerous areas ...dribbling the ball out of defence where a simple pass will better help the team . I hope A.W has now realised that trying to convert Reyes into a striker is not going to work...the guy is a winger full stop.Last 2 results should not mask our need for a central midfield general.

12/29/2005 11:44 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hleb is quality and I have no doubt he will prove his worth. I don't think he will score many goals - he didn't ripple the net too often in the Bundesliga either. What he will do, once he settles into the team, is set up goals for fun for the other attacking players. Give him a chance!

12/29/2005 1:21 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

Arsenal looked really good night. They will find it impossible to replace Denis, I thought Pires also looked good in attack.

What has happened to Fredie? He was on fire last seaso, he hardly features these days. I am a fan of Fredie, and as a non-Arsenal fan I have been disappointed with him.

12/29/2005 1:24 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you guys really know Hleb? Have you seen him play before donning the colours of Arsenal? He was a constant treats to many big clubs. You should see how he terrorize Manchester United in the Champions League game last season. Also, ask Bayern Munich what he can do. This guy is a total gem and 10 million pounds is definitely a bargain. You can see his potential during the first game against Chelsea before he got injured. A simple stepover from him is enough to fake the consistent Makelele of Chelsea. Give him a few more games. You'll see his worth soon.

12/29/2005 5:36 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks for your comments so far.

I'm with Madgunner, Tunadog and the last two Anons on the Hleb question: He is an amazing dribbler and passer of the ball and I have faith he will prove this in time. Regular readers to EFT will know how much I was impressed with his performance for Belarus in both WC qualifiers against Scotland... I can't wait until he displays similar playability in an attacking CM role for Arsenal.

Unfortunately he got injured at Hampden Park and has only just returned to the first team. Once he gets match-fit and more accustomed to his teammates he'll prove to be an excellent assists man for the team (his assists record in the Bundesliga was staggering). Agree with Tunadog though that AW must tell him not to make high risk choices on the ball in his own half!

Skipper, my best explanation for Freddie's sub-par form is that he has had niggling injuries so far this season and for this reason is yet to get into a good match rhythm. For a time last season he was our best player along with Francesc, and I'm sure he can still make a good impact soon for the team. I must say though that in a 4-4-2 I prefer Pires on the right with Reyes on the left as was the selection yesterday.

Maybe Fred's future for now is in the alternative 4-5-1 supporting TH from a right-hand side attacking position as seen against Charlton and Chelsea.

12/29/2005 7:27 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

The potential is mostly there when Bergkamp plays with Henry, while Reyes has good skill and left foot and can fill in as a striker in the interim. But I agree with Anon (11.44am) that the focus should remain on the central midfield.

As for Hleb, OK, people have their opinions. I've said it once, I'll reiterate: Bergkamp wasn't vibrant in his first season, and after then....well, he started a legacy at Highbury. The difference is Hleb hasn't the international reputation Bergkamp came with yet the Belarussian has shown pace and good passing.

I've seen him pass accurately so often in a game for Arsenal I made comment on it to T, so the promise is there for the Gooners. He is a good replacement for either Pires or Ljungberg, but would need to be more involved around the box to replace Pires.


12/29/2005 11:17 pm

Anonymous LG said...

I agree we have not yet seen the best of Hleb, but there have been good signs. However I reckon he is better in the centre midfield than on the wings, we have better players for those positions anyway, and I think he could be enormous as an attacking CM.

12/30/2005 12:23 am

Blogger T said...

Definitely ditto that LG... this is where he plays for Belarus and played his best football for Stuttgart. I reckon one of the main reasons that Arsene is perservering with a Plan B 4-5-1 is to accomodate Hleb in the attacking CM position.

Redsman, I certainly agree that nothing should sidetrack Wenger from the need to bolster our strength in CM.

12/30/2005 9:54 am

Blogger anish said...

I think Hleb has a lot of potential. He has pace, he can dribble with both his feet, and damn all those who say he cannot pass. He has a great football mind, and some of his passes were vintage. Yes sometimes he gives away possession cheaply, but he is young, has great scope and is a typical Wenger player. Give him time, not 5 years or something, i say, another year and he will be among the best.

Yes I agree that Hleb is more of an attackin midfield player than a winger, and maybe wenger should use him there.
My ideal arsenal team would be






1/09/2006 10:44 am

Blogger T said...

Anish, I agree with you opinion on Hleb. Pires also had a slow first six months and then gradually grew into one of the best midfield performers in Europe.

Hleb has big potential and personally I can't wait to see him maximise his potential because it will great to watch!

I like your first team selection- it will be interesting to see if Wenger ever does decide to play Hleb at the front of a diamond. For the foreseeable future Wenger looks to have his Plan B set on a 4-5-1 with Hleb and Francesc in front of Gilberto... so I don't expect to see a diamond any time soon.

1/10/2006 10:08 am


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