Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Robben and Ribery Are Modern-Day Superheroes; Tactics Board A Look at Where Things Are Going Wrong - - and Right - - on the Field

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Robben and Ribery Are Modern-Day Superheroes; Tactics Board A Look at Where Things Are Going Wrong - - and Right - - on the Field

Article excerpt

Two Gallic workaholics are at the heart of all of Newcastle's good work over the last four games IT used to be Batman and Robin who were known as the dynamic duo.

Everybody wanted to be like them, including Del Boy and Rodney on Only Fools and Horses, of course!

In football these days, though, there is a new combination which is setting the example - Ribery and Robben.

For it was Dutchman Arjen Robben and French international ace Franck Ribery who had football coaches heaping praise their way after some of their performances this year for European champions Bayern Munich.

Now it seems like Newcastle United have taken note - and the workaholic performances of Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran in recent weeks have been a major factor in the winning streak.

Yet what can United and other sides learn from the jet-heeled duo? Like any superstars, Ribery and Robben do not always get on with each other - yet that does not mean they cannot play together.

Only this year Ribery is thought to have thrown a punch at Robben during the semi-final win over Real Madrid at half-time.

The reason? An argument over who should have taken a free kick, no less!

The rumours spread around the football circuit like wildfire but this is how a big club deals with negative press.

Bayern simply released a statement saying: "Whatever happens in the locker room stays there. We will not be making any further comment."

Everybody got on with their lives.

As for Robben and Ribery, well they put in workaholic performances down either flank and significantly, in the Champions League final at Wembley, the duo were the stars of the show, with the moody Dutchman grabbing the winner in the final minute. These days Bayern are spoiled for choice, and we are not just taling choice of Bierkellers or Currywurst stalls in their fabulous home city.

This season they have mixed it due to a rib injury to Ribery (ironic, eh?) and Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze have shared duties out wide with Robben. When in the team in a typical clash together, great things can be expected. The 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach this year saw Ribery enjoy a scary 134 touches of the ball in just 90 minutes. …

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