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.”
Reading Views: Looking To Arsenal
Reading Views: Arsenal