Sun Reyes

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It’s remarkable how little hype we have had so far about the cup final – which is only two weeks away now – and I suppose we have Liverpool to thank for that. Yesterday’s Times had about six pages of copy on their path through to the European Cup Final, which by the way, is what it should be called. Just as Snickers are really Marathons, ‘Champions League Final’ is a bit of a misnomer these days, as half the time the finalists haven’t topped their domestic league anyway. Liverpool were fourth last year – 30 points behind us.

It just goes to show, too, that with a combination of hard work, a bit of luck and above all, excellent tactics, there’s nothing to say any English team can’t make the final, including ours. We’ve racked our brains for years as to why we keep failing in the European Cup, and I’m sure it’s something Wenger will be addressing big time in the summer. We have an extravagantly gifted and highly experienced squad – so why not? There’s something to chew on.

Anyway, back to the cup final. The lack of hype suits me fine. Fun though it is for headline writers, I’d much rather the 21st May showdown is remembered as a good game of football – in which we prevail, naturally – than an unseemly slanging match. You can say what you like about Chelski, but both games we played against them this season were played in a great spirit, with barely a yellow card or bad foul to talk about.

This morning, le Boss is insistent he wants Reyes to stay and that the young Spaniard will overcome his fear of overcast skies and morris dancers. Personally, I’d still be surprised if he does remain, given the regular and none-too-subtle hints he’s been leaking this year. Surely Wenger’s just talking the price up? I’d love him to stay too, but only if he wants to, and only if he agrees to turn up in the winter months as well as the spring and late summer.

Which is why it’s crucial cup final day is a scorcher. Apart from needing to air my pallid English winter-skin, I get the feeling that, the hotter it is, the better Reyes will play. It’s a bit like Samson being strong when he has long hair, only nothing like it at all.

And with that pearl of wisdom, I take my leave.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Farnborough Gunner

    My concern about Reyes in the cup final is how he will perform with Gary Neville winding him up. Reyes has not enjoyed Neville’s thug-like approach in the past, as evidenced by his comments ahead of the England-Spain match. Neville only needs to kick Reyes early on and get away with it and it’s game over for Reyes.

    Of course, if the ref actually chooses to see Neville’s desparate & spiteful fouls, and he chooses to take appropriate action the story would be much different. But I doubt if that will happen.

  2. Victoria C. Crescit

    I don’t think the question of why we don’t do well in Europe is really that taxing. The legendary Graham Taylor summed up Liverpool’s success by saying Bentiz organises their team with two holding midfield players – Hamann and Biscan on Tuesday – and they make sure they give nothing at all away. You cannot afford to have a dodgy 20 minutes, where you concede 3 goals against teams like Inter Milan or Bayern Munich or have players like Wiltord trying tricks on the edge his own penalty area, as he did in the quarter final a few years ago. If AW does get a couple of more-experienced players in, who can help us make centre midfield more solid and give us cover for injuries and suspensions, we are most of the way there. We can do all the attacking stuff pretty well. I don’t want to lose Jose Antonio but I would like Michael Owen alongside Thierry, for those difficult European games.

  3. Ambrose

    true true, have to say, Reyes has shown signs in the last couple of games tho.

    any thoughts on Sol? hes gotta be pissed at being left on the bench, but how can you take the Swiss Alps out of the team? hes awsome!

    how about a back four of

    cole, sol, senderos, toure


  4. Farnborough Gunner

    Moving Toure to right back to make room for Sol may be worth doing for the remaining league games at least, ‘cos if Kolo or Phil get an injury just before the cup final Sol’s first first team game for ages may be the cup final. It would be useful to give him a game or two to bring him up to full match fitness. Also, have Phil & Sol played together yet?

    On the other hand do we want to tinker with a defence that is working just before a cup final, and two league games which are also important and unlikely to be walkovers?

    Mmmm… I can see why I am not a footie manager. I can see why Arsene got the nod over me now :-)

  5. Mr D

    Poor old Ralph…you can’t drop him for Kolo when it’s his 10 clean sheets as well.

    Mind you – it might be worth moving Ralph upto the midfield to do Poodle’s old job on the right for the cup final. Kolo and Ralph would make for a very robust right side and would do much to shut-down the threat of Manc’s traditionally strong left sided players.

    We need that muscle against Rooney who like to stray out there as well. I used to love the way Ray would soak up the Manc fouling and give a bit back, too.

    I’d play Pires on the left with Dennis up-front with Van P….starting with a team that can live with the kicking. I’d then bring on Reyes late on to run the legs off ’em. All of this assumes that Fred and TH are unfit.

  6. halfNice

    Cole, Senderos, Campbell, Toure. Sounds good to me. I’m a fan of Lauren, but sometimes he scares me when he flies into tackles.

    Did Campbell sign that new contract yet?

  7. matygol

    Hi, I am from Czech.. on wednesday I will be on Highbury.. for first time.. 🙂

  8. Gerry Gooner

    People seem to assume that Kolo will do better at right back than Lauren. Lauren is one of the most under rated players we have. People say he looks suspect- maybe postionally he can be caught out but as Alan Curbishley pointed out- how many wingers have got the better of him this season? I can’t think of anyone who ran him ragged. For me, despite his excellent season lat year and his promising partnership wil Senderos, it would be Kolo to make way for campbell (if anyone).
    Having done without campbell for a while- do we now realise how over-rated he and all the other english centre-halves are? Rio Ferdinand got on the premiersip team of the year cos he plays for England- whjat about carragher?

  9. BlockJ

    Great shout Mr D.
    One of the best memories of the invincible season was Ray getting stuck in to Van Neighstolrooy when he’d missed the penalty.
    They don’t like it up ’em.

  10. Gunnersaur

    It would be pretty harsh on Lauren to leave him out when he’s been playing some of his best football ever in the past few matches. Campbell over-rated? No, but Ledley King is.

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