Gunners praise Shearer

Last updated : 09 November 2002 By Martyn Elliott

Bergkamp: aware of Shearer threat
Sir Bobby

"It's a big game. We did ever so well at Highbury last season, but tomorrow will tell us how much further away we still are.

"We'll need to get into the game and stay in it. Arsenal have had some disappointments at home lately, but even though they lost their last home match in the Premiership to Blackburn, they still had something like 28 strikes at goal.

"It must have been a disastrously unlucky afternoon for them and I hope they don't take it out on us.

"I don't think it matters when you play Arsenal. Had they won five in a row they would be in full flow, but equally if they are coming out of a miserable patch they have so many fine players you know they will turn the corner.

"We want to stay in the top positions, and to do that you have to avoid losing difficult games. It's a question of can we go to Arsenal, face their best team and come away with something?"

Patrick Vieira

"I know a lot about Laurent Robert. It is unfortunate for him but it will be a big help to us tomorrow.

"He is a fantastic player and I know he is enjoying himself up at Newcastle. I think he has a manager who really trusts him and believes in his ability. He can make a difference with free-kicks and he is also very good in one-against-one situations.

"Newcastle have some great players and I think they have a good midfield.

"It will be a tough game for us because Newcastle are a good side and they are producing results now both in the Premiership and the Champions' League, and they have got themselves into a position where they could go further in Europe which, to tell the truth, I did not think was possible not so long ago.

"I know Alan Shearer is on 99 League goals for Newcastle United and he will want to score. But then he always wants to score.

"I think he is an example of a wonderful career. He is a big player and a big man, someone who other players can take an example from."

Dennis Bergkamp

"Alan Shearer has scored 300 goals now and that's unbelievable.

"His qualities are simple, scoring goals. That will always be his main quality and that is the most difficult one to have and the most difficult to maintain, especially as you get older.

"The type of goals he would have scored six or seven years ago he maybe won't score anymore but he still finds a way to score goals with his head or with his strength. That's why he is improving even at the age he and I are now and that is quite incredible.

"To maintain that level of scoring goals gets harder and harder each year but he just keeps doing it and that is a great quality.

"Indeed, if you look at the older players like myself, Alan Shearer and Gianfranco Zola we will always love playing football and we will always want to play and give everything for the game."

Kieron Dyer

"We might have gone out of the Worthington Cup but we are not getting ourselves down about it.

"We went in against Everton without the likes of Alan Shearer, Gary Speed and Aaron Hughes because the manager did not want them to blow up after our hectic schedule.

"But they will be back tomorrow, and other players like myself, Hugo Viana and Lomana LuaLua took the opportunity to top our fitness up against Everton.

"We again showed that never-say-die attitude against Everton and there is still a great spirit in the squad and this means that we are going to Arsenal full of confidence and feeling that we can come back with a result.

"To tell the truth, I don't think they will be fancying playing against us. Yes, we will probably need a little bit of luck at times in the game and if we get it I am sure we can get another good result down there."

Shola Ameobi

"The gaffer came to me on Tuesday and asked how I was. I was feeling good and I wanted to play against Everton but he felt I needed a rest so hopefully it means I might feature tomorrow.

"Perhaps Arsenal are not playing as well as they can, but we got a marvellous victory there last season and we've got to try and produce that again. You want to play against the best in the league. It's the kind of game you don't want to miss. You want to judge yourself against those kind of lads.

"Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy are the No 1 and No 2 choices, so you have to take your chance when it comes.

"I felt I needed a run in the team. I've been knocking on the gaffer's door in the early part of the season, he put his faith in me and hopefully that is paying off by me producing better performances. The more you play, the more consistent and confident you are and hopefully I can get a few more goals as well.

"There are five or six of us fighting for one position and that makes you try harder to impress the boss. The competition means any chance that comes along you have to take."

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