The Three Musketeers - Hleb, Fabregas And Rosicky (Reading Away)

Cast your minds back to this time last season and Arsenal’s visit to the Madejski Stadium.  Arsenal ripped a Reading side – tipped for Europe – to shreds and it was a ‘perfect’ game of Football if I ever I saw one.  The way we passed the ball was amazing and the Reading fans all stayed till the end and applauded BOTH sets of players.  This season we go there with even more confidence and there is no reason why we could not do the same.  The Football played this season has been better than last and Reading have found it hard of late.  That is not to say the result is in the bag before a ball is kicked – it never is anymore – and the players still have a job to do.  However an early goal and the floodgates might open.
The catalyst last season was the midfield trio of Fabregas, Hleb and Rosicky.  Together they make a deadly triple team, the three Musketeers if you like (although not French).  They seem to know exactly where the other will be and the link up play is wonderful at times.  Hleb may be selected to start on the right wing but his tendency to marauder from his flank makes him tough to pick up and his ability to keep the ball while moving forward causes space to open up for his team mates.  Rosicky is far more direct than Hleb in the way he attacks defenders at pace, making things happen in a different way to Arsenal’s no.13.  He carries the ball forward and together they take the pressure off Fabregas as the oppositon have to try and isolate all three players.  This is an extremely hard job!  It leaves Fabregas much more space to spray the ball around and dictate play while giving him opportunities to get forward and score goals, as he has done this season.  He summed it up on the weekend when he said this:
“Alex is the kind of player who makes you play better, he makes you look better, certainly. I swear, if Alex was not in the team I don’t think I’d have scored 11 goals.”
Rosicky is fit for tonight’s game and if picked to start we may see this trio in action together in the midfield.  I personally would opt for this combination with Flamini acting as the cover once more.  Fabregas also mentioned the Frenchman when discussing Arsenal’s great form this season:
“It’s true I feel more free to go forward and that’s down to [Mathieu] Flamini. He doesn’t stop running, chasing the opponent. He has amazing energy.”
Theo Walcott had a poor game against Slavia in Prague and continued in true Theo fashion: a few good games followed by one or two bad ones.  Hopefully this was just a blip and he can continue with the sort of form he showed against the Czechs at home.  Tonight could be the perfect opportunity to re-find his feet with Reading shipping goals a plenty recently.  If he doesn’t go with Walcott I think Eduardo will start alongside Adebayor.  Eduardo showed the finishing ability he has against Sheffield United and if he can transform his Croatia form into the Premiership he can be a crucial player for us this season.  Adebayor needs a goal after 7 games without one; he looked sluggish against Liverpool and Man Utd but having had a bit of a rest hopefully he can get back to scoring ways.
The back 5 will remain the same as most games this season with the full team as follows:
Subs: Lehmann, Gilberto, Eboue, Eduardo/Walcott, Bendtner
Van Persie is expected back in two weeks and the same applies to Senderos.  Barring any fresh injuries during the dreaded international break we will have a fully fit squad and if we can keep this into the new year we can really push on.  Tonight we need to keep up the form and get back to winning ways in the Premership after 2 hard fought draws against our rivals.

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