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Laurent Robert Interview 45

Taken from his own official (French Language) website 04.03.02


Arsenal came back into the title race with a bang this weekend by beating Newcastle 2-0 at St James' Park. There should be no contesting the fact that over the 90 minutes, Arsenal were the better team.

Yes, they were. We had, in front of us a well organised focused team who passes the ball well, but we kept hoofing it over the top. It was really difficult to keep them quiet by playing this way. They did deserve the win.

What was missing from your side to stop them playing so well?

We should have calmed down a bit and played our game like we normally do. We really missed Bellamy up front. Ameobi plays very much like Shearer, he holds the ball up very well, but we needed someone to run into spaces.

What kind of tactics did Bobby Robson have planned before kick off?

That we should play in our normal 4-4-2 formation, but we found it hard to get any real chances and they were always pushing us back. It was obvious that we were having some difficulties to get a goal.

Did you think that you were going to concede yet more goals going in at half time 2-0 down?

As the 45 minutes went on, we started to improve our play, and we thought we could reverse the situation, but they were too good going forward, and solid in defence.

How did the game go for you personally?

It wasn't so easy.....but ok, we play against Liverpool on Wednesday and I really want to go out there and have a good game. I want to go out and win because loosing at home to Arsenal was really upsetting.

Despite the defeat on Saturday, you're still on course for the title. The game on Wednesday will therefore be a decisive one, which means you cannot lose.

It's true that we must not lose this game. To stay in the running we have to get at least a point. It will be a difficult match, especially as Liverpool are on form and playing well. We have to be strong as Anfield isn't the most pleasant of grounds to play in.

What did Robson have to say to you all this morning in training?

He came back to the two conceded goals. It is true that Bergkamp produced a really nice bit of skill, but we lacked concentration at the back. We were a point ahead of Arsenal, and finally we ended up in fourth position two points behind Manchester. We know that it is now in our hands and that we have everythng to play for until the end of the season. Talk to you on Thursday. 

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