Wednesday , April 14 2021
Chelsea's 'Kerrby' partnership is like prime Thierry Henry and David Bergkamp at Arsenal, says Emma Hayes | Goal.com

Chelsea’s ‘Kerrby’ partnership is like prime Thierry Henry and David Bergkamp at Arsenal, says Emma Hayes | Goal.com


The duo are being widely praised for their fluid link-up ahead of a key European clash in the Champions League.

Chelsea duo Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby have built up a partnership that is fuelling the club’s attempts to achieve an unprecedented quadruple for Emma Hayes’ side this season.

Nicknamed ‘Fran and Sam’ or ‘Kerrby’, the pair have scored 26 goals in the Women’s Super League between them and racked up a combined 14 league assists this season.

Hayes tried to find a Chelsea men’s partnership to compare her duo to but ended up settling on Arsenal legends Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

What did Hayes say?

“You don’t come across these types of partnerships easily when they are formed,” Hayes said. “Usually, when they are formed, it is over many, many years. So if you asked Sam Kerr if she could find anyone to service her with goals like Yuki Nagasato [at her former club Chicago Red Stars] did, she would question if that would be the case.

“What I do know is Sam Kerr was looking forward to playing with Kirby most in our squad because she saw the potential between them and vice versa. They just get each other. That’s not coached. It is just trying to put them in the right spaces and they figure the rest out.

“They are talented world-class players and I think all of the praise given to both of them is fully justified. They are yin and yang; some call it a brilliant partnership or telepathy.

“They remind me of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole in terms of the spaces that they fill. I was trying to think of a Chelsea version with Didier Drogba or Gianfranco Zola in it, but they never played together. I think they would say it is most like Thierry Henry and David Bergkamp.

“What stands out is Fran’s selflessness, when she makes runs for somebody else or when she sets up someone else when she’s in a great position for herself.

“That impacts the chemistry and it is the hardest thing to get across for players to do stuff for others. Those two understand it in their droves.”

What’s next for Chelsea?

Chelsea have the second leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final with Wolfsburg up next. The Blues hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg, which was registered as an away match despite being played at a neutral venue in Hungary.

That away goal puts the tie in the balance despite holding a slender lead over the German powerhouses. Having already won this season’s Conti Cup, Hayes’ side are top of the league with just four games to play. They also remain in the FA Women’s Cup and are chasing all four major honours.

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