Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pires and Bergkamp Set for Celta Recall

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pires and Bergkamp Set for Celta Recall

Article excerpt


ROBERT PIRES and Dennis Bergkamp will return against Celta Vigo on Wednesday after being rested in Arsenal's 5-1 weekend demolition of Portsmouth.

Manager Arsene Wenger will again reshuffle his team for the Champions League as Arsenal face the second major challenge of a demanding seven days in their pursuit of the Treble.

Jose Antonio Reyes and Gilberto Silva are the two most likely to make way for the returning Frenchman and Dutchman, and there may even be a place for Pascal Cygan in central defence to give Kolo Toure a breather in the tie, which Arsenal lead 3-2 from the first leg.

Wenger wants to ensure that the teams he fields at this crucial stage of the season are at their most fresh and dangerous. But although competition for places is fierce, captain Patrick Vieira revealed that those on the bench and the others in the squad are fully committed to the cause.

"We are together outside the pitch as well," said Vieira. " Everybody gives a bit of themselves when they are out there. Nobody is happy to be on the bench and everyone is fighting in training to show the boss how much they want to play. Everyone wants to make it difficult for the boss to pick the starting eleven.

"But it is clear - we are going to win as a squad or lose as a squad.

We are in it together. It went well for us at Portsmouth but that is the work from years and years, we are getting the benefit of five or six years that most of us have played together. We are a young team, really talented and we want to do well. We try to show that on the pitch."

As the compliments continued to rain in on Arsenal for their awesome display at Fratton Park, Vieira refused to be drawn on just how good this current team are.

"We are going to wait," he said.

"It is a fantastic squad but we have to wait before we can say we are a great side. Football is all about winning trophies. At this stage of the season, we have won nothing. Yes, we are top of the league. Yes, we are in the semifinals of the FA Cup and, yes, we are doing well in the Champions League.

"Doing well .... but we are too far away from winning a trophy. …

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