Am I The Only One Who Likes Jose Antonio Reyes?


Jose Antonio Reyes: Going To Be Huge This Season

The media have nothing better to do than make up stories when transfer news is lacking and another Arsenal player has been linked with Real Madrid, this time our number 9 Jose Antonio Reyes.

But he has publicly come out and said he’s staying at Arsenal.

But many Arsenal fans have said how good it would be for Reyes to leave.

Am I the only one who likes Jose Antonio Reyes?

Yes, I will admit that he has struggled at times but he always gives 110% for the team which counts for a lot.

The fact is that Reyes started his Arsenal career in fantastic form, scoring twice against Chelsea on his home debut in the FA Cup when Arsenal were 1-0 down to a Mutu goal.

And for the rest of our unbeaten league campaign he was in superb form.

Then at the start of the 2004/2005 season he kept up his impressive displays, with a Man of the Match performance against Manchester United in the Community Shield scoring a goal and helping Arsenal win 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium.

Then in the Premiership he was Arsenal’s MVP as he contributed numerous assists as well as scoring goals against Everton, Boro, Norwich, Blackburn, Fulham & Charton – all before October!

Not bad for a winger!

But then came the moment of Jose’s demise.

On October 24th 2004, Arsenal were 49 games unbeaten and avoiding defeat at Old Trafford would secure 50 games unbeaten in the top flight.

With Arsenal in such a rich vain of form United resorted to rough-house tactics in which Reyes was singled out for ‘special’ treatment. Roy Keane, Phil Neville, Heinze and Gary Neville all went in with particularly bad tackles and Jose Antonio Reyes has suffered ever since.

None of the free-flowing, confident football.

No more beating a man with skill and pace.

Reyes has just seemed to go off the boil for the last season and a half although he has shown glimpses of what he could do against Real Madrid last year.

People talk about unfulfilled potential but people forget the kid is only 22 years old – and should be allowed to have dips in form every now and then.

And remember even the great Thierry Henry was only struggling at Juventus at his age!

Most Arsenal fans would agree that Jose will relish the the Emirates Stadium with the much bigger pitch whichn will give him much more space.

Despite all the rumours of a move back to Spain over the last couple of seasons Arsene Wenger seems determined to make sure Reyes will be a hit at Arsenal.

And this season could be his year.

At Last Chelsea & Arsenal Talks Have Begun…

Finally Chelsea and Arsenal are holding Cole talks to engineer a move to Stamford Bridge.

Not exactly a surprise, and with the Bergkamp testimonial and the tributes given to Dennis for his years of outstanding performances and unquestionable loyalty over the past week, I don’t think Arsenal fans will be giving Cashley the same reception!

To be honest I can only see positives from this move.

Firstly, we have two more than capable players at left back, who are hungry, loyal and will fight for everything in Gael Clichy and Mathieu Flamini.

Cashley only played in the Champions League Final because Flamini was injured!

Secondly, Arsenal should free up some cash for summer signings, but whether we use it will be another story!

Leave your Ashley Cole tributes er.. memories here…

Does Tony Adams Have A Problem With Arsenal?


Mr Arsenal Bigger Than The Club?

With all the Arsenal legends turning out for Bergkamp’s testimonial, especially from the 1998 double winning team there was an obvious absence from that list. Captain fantastic himself, Mr Arsenal.

Does Tony Adams have a problem with Arsenal?

With all the ex-Arsenal players making a special effort to give Dennis a memorable send off, it was surprising how Tony didn’t even make a brief appearance to wish Dennis well and welcome the new home of Arsenal.

Or was it?

Tony Adams was also conspicuously absent from the Highbury send off, when everyone you could think of associated with Arsenal made showed up.

So what’s going on here?

One missed major Arsenal event is one thing but to miss two important occasions is very strange. Is Tony Adams simply to busy and important to do this kind of thing?

There’s no question what Tony Adams contributed to Arsenal – he is more than certainly the greatest Arsenal player of all time with what he’s contributed to our club.

Did he leave on bad terms?

Or does he think what’s in the past is in the past?

Who knows!

Everyone Talking About A Vieira Return?


One Man In, One Man Out?

We know Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira are great friends on and off the pitch and now the Great Dutchman has spoken out and said he’d like Vieira to return to Arsenal.

Is this sentimental talk or serious contemplation?

Who knows?

What we do know is that Vieira is still a great player, and although no longer at his peak still a force on the football pitch.

But we also know that in the last 18 months of his Arsenal career his dedication and performances were sadly lacking.

That’s why Arsene gave him the boot!

The big question does Vieira still have the drive?

Juventus have been kicked out of Serie A, stripped of their Serie A titles and could even be relegated to Serie C next season.

While Arsenal have a new stadium, new optimism and some of Paddy’s dearest friends.

Will it happen?

I very much doubt it. Vieira looked okay on Saturday for the few minutes he was on the pitch but Arsene Wenger doesn’t want him back.

Wenger has changed the way Arsenal play with losing Vieira and Bergkamp and Cesc is the man who is the future of Arsenal. He is young, determined and more importantly to Wenger hungry. Patrick was great for Arsenal but times change.

And with reported interest from Barcelona and Inter Milan we’d have a fight on our hands anyway. But apparently we are still owed money from the Vieira transfer so we could possibly get him back on the cheap.

If Wenger did bring Vieira back then he would have to play Gilberto, Vieira and Cesc in the middle, which probably wouldn’t work. But he couldn’t leave any of them on the bench!

But if Gilberto or Cesc get any type of injury this season then we would really be in big trouble!

Everything That Is Right With Football…


A Great Send Off For A Great Legend…

Yesterday was a wonderful event – the first game at Arsenal’s new home was the setting for the departure of one of Arsenal’s true legends Dennis Bergkamp.

And it was emotional to see players like David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Martin Keown, Steve Bould, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Edu, Kanu, Marc Overmars, Ray Parlour, Gio and of course Ian Wright.

And even Alex Manninger, Oleg Luzhny and Glenn Helder turned up!

And Thierry took time out from his family holiday in America to pay tribute to Dennis – simply amazing stuff.

Yesterday was everything that was good about football – the passion, the emotion, the respect and the appreciation of a player who was gifted and special, but on top of that was a true professional and a real role model.

You couldn’t ask for anything more from Dennis Bergkamp on or off the pitch.

On the pitch, Bergkamp was outstanding and was for me the greatest ever foreign import in this country.

And when legends like Frank Rikjaard, Japp Stam, Edwin Van Der Sar and the de Boer brothers want to be involved then you know how much of a contribution to the game Bergkamp gave everyone.

Even Spurs player Edgar Davids braved the Emirates Stadium!

And when Johan Cruijff and Marco Van Basten made a surprise appearance on the Emirates turf it must have made Bergkamp’s year!

The great Dutch legend Johan Cruijff was the manager when he gave Dennis Bergkamp his debut at Ajax and Marco Van Basten was the man who Bergkamp eventually replaced.

And they were on the pitch at the same time.

Stuff dreams are made of!

And off the pitch, Bergkamp was an example to others. He kept himself to himself and concentrated on football – refreshing by todays football players.

No signs of celebrity weddings or late night clubbing here then.

And of course, Arsenal Football Club have done another great job making it a special day for Dennis Bergkamp and the Arsenal fans, with the presentations, organisation and even the Dennis Bergkamp T-shirts to give the crowd a great red and white atmosphere.

I recorded the Channel 5 coverage of the testimonial, and when Spurs players and managers such as Paul Robinson, Teddy Sheringham, Jamie Redknapp and Martin Jole pay glowing tributes then you must be a special, special player.

Dennis Bergkamp is an Arsenal legend because of his huge influence over our success over the last 11 years and his unquestionable loyalty to Arsenal Football Club.

We all wish him the very best in the future in whatever he does.

Back to the testimonial, and it was Thierry Henry who scored the first ever Arsenal goal at the Emirates Stadium after 8 minutes of the second half. Bergkamp played it to Dixon on the right, who floated a cross into the area, which Henry coolly controlled and slotted past Van Der Sar.

It felt just like the double winning season of 2001/2002!

And how fitting that Arsenal’s highest ever goalscorer got the first goal of our new home!

Edgar Davids managed to get through the Arsenal defence a few minutes later and chipped the ball over David Seaman and looked certain to score.

But then Gilles Grimandi hacked down the Spurs player and prevented Davids from tapping it in.

Brilliant stuff!

Then Ronald De Boer stepped up and blazed the penalty over the bar!

It really was Bergkamp’s day.

Then Kanu made his appearance, and on 80 minutes strolled down the left hand side and his deflected shot crept in at the near post.

He was almost in tears – seemingly overawed by the occassion.

Then Bergkamp was through in the last minute but Menzo saved it!

Nevermind.

And at the final whistle Bergkamp made an emotional speech thanking the Arsenal Football Club, the fans and the players. He also thanked Ajax, the club he started at and his family including his mother, father, wife and kids.

He also said goodbye to the Arsenal fans and paid his respects.

Vieira, Henry and Gio got Bergkamp onto their shoulders and lifted him to the centre circle – it was an amazing sight!

A great day for a great player.