Arsène Wenger believes he may have re-discovered his 'wide boys'.
Each of the 'double' sides created by the Frenchman have had players who can attack down the flanks. In 1998 it was Marc Overmars and Ray Parlour, in 2002 it was Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg. Now it appears Alex Hleb and Tomas Rosicky are ready to pick up the mantle.
In his press conference after the 3-0 win at Fulham on Saturday, Wenger was at pains to point that all the goals had come from crosses - not always Arsenal's most productive avenue. Rosicky had a hand in the first and scored the third while Hleb sent over a tantalising ball for Emmanuel Adebayor to score the second.
When journalists suggested Wenger was trying to re-create the Pires/Ljungberg combination, the manager was never going to deny it.
"Of course," said the 58-year-old. "For us it is important that we can score goals not only through our quick passing in the middle, but also from balls to the flanks, put in quality crosses and get people into the box from midfield. That is what we did at Fulham.
"Rosicky is more of a Pires-type and Hleb is more for me a guy who attracts people to the ball, and then slides it through. So he looks like he always slows the game down [only] to speed it up again. He is more of a dribbler and a passer, whereas Tomas is more of the guy who is in the flow of the game, a little bit similar to Pires."

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21 Jan 2008