Date: 2nd March 2007 at 1:21pm
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Reading Views: Arsenal

Marcus Hahnemann told the Reading Evening Post that he hopes Arsenal don`t take their FA Cup frustrations out on Reading:

I don`t know if what has happened to them would have p****d them off or not, I really hope it hasn`t fired them up too much.

“They will be desperate to put it right and will come out crazy against us. I would rather they were nice and relaxed and not too angry, but we will be ready for it.”

“We want to put ourselves up against the best and I`m sure people will be expecting another routine victory for Arsenal tomorrow.

Speaking about Reading`s previous home tie against Arsenal Hahnemann added:

“That day was a real learning experience, but we have definitely learned a lot from it because we have improved.

“On their day they are one of the best teams in England and when they are like that no-one can stop them and we just caught them on one of those days.”

“The bookies will have us down as getting beaten, but we will feel we can go there and get something. There`s no reason we can`t sneak a win.”

And Stephen Hunt agrees with his goalkeeper, relishing the chance to be the first team to win at the new Emirates Stadium:

“Arsenal haven`t lost at the Emirates but we have just got to get on with it and look forward to it. Hopefully we can be the first team to go there and get a win. We will give it a good go, that`s for sure.”

“That is the sort of thing we love. We have already made history a few times in the last year and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.

“We`ll go there with confidence after our display against Manchester United because we were unlucky at the end.

“We didn`t play well last time. I don`t know the reason for that. Arsenal are a good team and they played really well.”

“The first 20 minutes are vitally important to how the game will go, especially against the big teams. They can kill you off and that`s what happened.

“If we can come back from 3-0 down against United when we were dead and buried then we will always have a chance against Arsenal.”

Meanwhile Steve Sidwell has suggested that his Reading boss Steve Coppell and old gaffer Arsene Wenger have quite a bit in common:

“They are both very calm, thoughtful, they are the great thinkers and know the game inside out. They aren`t ones to scream and shout, although they can if there is a serious point to be made.

“Normally they get their point of view across in a quiet meaningful manner and that is a great skill to possess.

“Mr Wenger would rarely lose it and our gaffer is the same. Since I have been at Reading I have seen him lose his temper just once – at Plymouth a few years ago.

“We were 2-0 down at half-time. We lacked spirit and passion and he gave us a real kick up the backside, but it obviously worked because we came back and drew 2-2.

“Mr Wenger has said some flattering things about me and that is nice, but I have nothing to prove now.’

“I can hold my hands up and say I wasn`t good enough to play for them then and that`s why Mr Wenger advised me to go out and show people what I could do.

“Whether I`d be in their first-team now is the million-dollar question. I just know I don`t regret any decision I have made in football or life.”

Finally, Steve Coppell has told of the great respect and high esteem he holds for Arsenal:

‘In many ways you are just in awe of teams like Arsenal when they are really flowing. You look at their ability going forward and you just think ‘wow!’

‘And I am also in awe of what they are doing with their youngsters. It is a shame they are not English youngsters but you can only but respect the way he is nurturing players there and the way any combination can gel. It’s terrific.

‘You look at the Carling Cup final team and that’s the development I’m looking at. There are English youngsters like Theo Walcott obviously and Justin Hoyte but their overall policy seems to be extracting the best from throughout Europe.

‘I often think about their players and if you are training with Thierry Henry every day then it won’t half make you a great defender if you are having to face him in five-a-sides.

‘Just being there rubbing shoulders with the best, that’s the benefit. It’s an education even if you fail.”


12 Replies to “Reading Views: Looking To Arsenal”

  • hahnemann! what a pessimist, we need to be respectful to one of this countries footballing powers btu we cant be submissive or fearful we have eevry chance of taking something tomorrow!

  • Link, Hahnemann is spot on we need to be very weary of Arsenal on a warpath the last thing we want is to get creamed there. Its no good for confidence. Lets go out there and hope we can get a draw at very very best.

  • i completely disagree RTID! most of your comments prove your narrow minded and this solidifies it! we can go out there and get something, Reading prove time and again we are a great side and against a weakened Arsenal we have to fancy our chances!!

  • I can respect Hahnemann’s viewpoint but we cannot be scared of teams like Arsenal – THEY CAN SMELL FEAR!!!! We must be weary of them though they are the only team to beat us by more then 2 goals and we have to respect that. I think Huntys attitude is spot on. What Coppell says is something we have to be careful of… if we are in awe of them we could find ourselves losing confidence. there’s a thin line between respect and fear…

  • To be fair, lads, any team with Philip Senderos in defence is likely to leak goals, and if the likes of Hunt and Little can get at the Arsenal backline early then we might be able to take the game to them.

    Is only Pascal Cygan was playing too…

  • To be honest as a gooner I do think Reading could become the first team to win at the emirates. We have no right back (eboue & hoyte out), our left back is struggling & senderos is far too slow. We only have one fit striker (aliadiere) & whilst being a decent player, is not what you would call arsenal standard. Baptista is an attacking midfielder being played out of position & at the moment due to lack of games his touch is poor. I have a real respect for everything reading have done this season & coppell truly deserves the manager of the year award. Whatever happens saturday I genuinely wish you all the best for the rest of the season & hope you beat fat sam & his vile bunch to the uefa cup slot!!

  • I like Hunt’s attitude towards the game – we relish being the underdogs and have surprised a few people already this season, so why not again?

  • Thanks for the refreshing attitude you’ve brought here, Ashburton Gooner. Is Henry definitely out for this one? Aliadiere played against us with Wolves last season and didn’t really pose a threat, but with the likes of Fabregas being the creative force in midfield, he might have more chances this time.

    Arsenal have been the only ‘big’ team that have thoroughly impressed me this season. The way your team pass the ball and pull the opposition out of their positions is a joy to behold. It’s just a shame we went behind inside the first minute at the Madejski Stadium.

    Good luck to yourselves too. I’m sure you’ll have one eye on Wednesday’s game with PSV and hopefully you’ll have the big players back to turn the tie around.

  • Sidwell is a top man and deserves recognition for his humble attitude. Other English youngsters we’ve let go, Bentley, Pennant (not to mention Cole), have done nothing but whine, but Sidwell has kept his head down, his mouth shut and proved what a top player he is. I recall seeing him, Pennant and Aliadiere in the same youth team. Coppell is also a top, top manager, but becuase he doesn’t big himself up Mourinho or Allardyce style, he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. That’s a shame, but I guess Coppell likes it that way. Whatever the result tomorrow, I sincerely hope you guys get a UEFA Cup spot, you’ve shown that teams can be humble, hard working and play the game in the right way and be successful. I hope others follow your example.

  • You guys have been fantastic this season and you deserve *****loads of credit. None more so than your boss! He’s got you up in the top half of the table on a shoestring budget playing some fantastic football. I think that we’ll (Arsenal), just shade a very close game tomorrow 2-1, but if you guys get a UEFA cup place at the end of the season, and I can’t see any reason why not, I’ll certainly be raising a glass to you guys! Even more so if it’s at the expense of the Bolt-ons or Spurs. Good luck, and here’s to a good game!

  • Senderos is a shocker!!! Its a shame he didnt start becos then we could have won the game!¬

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