Monday 7 March 2011

A Date In Barcelona...

You get the feeling that this Barcelona tie has been a bit of a distraction and it has been in the back of everyone’s mind for a while. The boss said something along them lines too and I think he is right.

How can a game like Barcelona not play on the minds of the players? This last week has been tricky to say the least. Wembley, Orient and Sunderland, all three were totally different but Sunderland (in the bigger picture, Wembley was awful and certainly hurt the most!) was very frustrating. We always seem to be relying on others to drop points and do not take advantage when we have the chance too.

The performance was a bit flat but Arshavin did score a goal and should have had a penalty and Bramble even praised Arshavin for being honest, but Saturday showed, honestly does not always win.

When asked in the presser about that incident and why Arshavin did not go down, the boss said ‘if he goes down, his a diver’ implying you just cannot win. You look at the penalty Newcastle got against us then look at this and it just puzzles you further!

Three points behind with a game hand (game in hand is at the lane) and still to play Manchester United at home so the league is still in the balance. There is not a league game for a while now (and no home league game in what seems like ages!) so focus swings elsewhere.

Barcelona away is the focus now. Cesc Fabregas looks as if he will start and so does Jack Wilshere. Alex Song is a big miss and off course he was missing last year too but he has looked a little tired over recent games so maybe, just maybe, it may not be the worst thing in the world if a fresh player comes in and does well. Id play Abou Diaby there (even though many will disagree) rather then Denilson. I really think Diaby can be a player but with his injuries (and in particular one really bad one) and not getting a run of games just keeps setting him back. I still think he has a lot to prove but I think he can do it.

I think we need two goals in Barcelona and we really can get a positive result. As I am a betting man, I have got a 3-2 to Barcelona prediction and that score line would see us go through (may not be good for our blood pressure or heart though). As the boss said, ‘it’s an illusion to think Barcelona will not score, so we need at least a goal’ but id go further then that and say we need two goals. Two goals mean they need four to go through.

Compared to last year, we are in a better position, not just the obvious goal lead but we have Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin fit and have a centre back partnership that is better then last year (perhaps not Vermaelen but safe to say JD and LK6 are better then Silvestre). We do not have Theo Walcott this time around but have Jack Wilshere who has been massive this season. Sammy Nasri is a better player this year then he was year so there is all to play for. We have put our self in a better position then last year and football is so unpredictable that anything can happen (Messi may only get three this year and we may get 2!).

Now, enough talking and lets make history!!

Come on you Arsenal!!!

Now I was just about to publish this and the news is out about how Robin Van Persie has travelled to Barcelona! What a boast that would be! Being included must mean he is capable of playing a small part and that small part could be the difference!

Come on you gunners!!!


  1. It is an interesting debate who to play in Songs role. Have read a lot of different opinions on the internet recently and there are pros and cons to all of them. Personally i think you may have it right. Diaby would be one of the only other players in the squad that could match Song's all around physical, athletic play. He has size, and strength we all know that, but does lack discipline with and without the ball. Denilson is very tidy with the ball and does position himself well in defense (helping him intercept a lot of passes rather than tackle) but i think his individual defending is dire and not what we need in this game.

    I know i don't but if i had a choice, i would go for Diaby in there, but have a real good long chat to him and help him understand the importance of his discipline. Also the key to beating Barca's press, which we did so well in the first leg, is passing around their first set of pressure. Diaby is good with the ball but often takes too many touches and dribbles in the wrong areas. If he can be more efficient with the ball, and buzz around in the midfield he could help restrict the driving runs from the middle when Iniesta/Messi get on the ball and run with it.

    Only imagine if Frimpong didn't get injured. We could be seeing him and Wilshire play together at the Camp Nou...would be sight to see.

  2. I know Diaby has flaws, he sometimes takes extra touches like you said that are not needed and gives it away but when he has a good game, he does have a good game and i hope tomorrow is one of them!

    Denilson is okay but just sometimes get caught and is a bit slow on his feet, diaby will get stuck in but as you said, needs to keep his head. If he does, it could be a massive day for him.

  3. Yea lets hope he can be disciplined. Also with Diaby he is just as likely when ball drops to him 20 yards out he puts it in the top corner, which hasn't happened for a while, it could be his day tomorrow!! And in a game where we are going to have to score at least one goal if we want to win, we need to be as dangerous as possible.

  4. I also think that Barcelona have everything a team could want in terms of footballing ability and skill but one thing they may not have as much is height,messi,pedro,villa,iniesta,xavi,masc,alaves etc are not the biggest so my theory is, usually we worry about set pieces against but here, we may actually benifit from set pieces and could get a goal from it, so once again, id go with Diaby because of height.

    Just one of my theories and opinion though...

  5. tbh Song wasnt that effective in the first leg and in my opinion he was in need for a rest anyway, his tank seemed empty for the last couple of games which is the big question Diaby or Denilson? i agree with akhil, just feel that Diaby offers more than Denilson and he also has a presence about him......if he can maintain his position and know his role in the team we should be ok.....and RVP what a boost!! noone saw that coming, think Wengers been sly on this one, you would fancy his chances against busquets and abidal,

    My prediction would be 3-2 to barca but i reckon we MUST score first.....and whatever happens lets hope for a great game!

  6. a great game a famous win! (over 2 legs!)

  7. If that goal comes off Diaby...YOUR A FUCKING GENIUS!


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