Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Will the real Barcelona please stand up

Tonight sees the Champions League return in the shape of "Footballing Showdown" between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp.
The Gunner's go to Spain leading the last 16 tie 2-1 after a gripping first leg at the Emirates, where they trailed the Spanish giants early on but fought back to take a lead into the second leg this evening.
Arsene Wenger has had his side repeatedly compared to the un-comparable Spanish Champions, because his philosophy of total football is paramount, even above results in a lot of cases.
Everyone wants to see the beautiful game played beautifully, and no team, in my opinion does or ever has played it that way more so than this current Barcelona side.
A team boasting such talents as Messi, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Puyol, Dani Alves to name but a few never disappoints as far as watching great passing and movement, and more importantly for the record books, they get the results to boot.
Barcelona destroyed Real Madrid earlier in the season, and the talents Madrid have are no secret, and the 'Galactico's' couldn't get near them. The speed and accuracy of the attacking football is breathtaking and I don't think there is a team who could dampen them, especially if they hit top gear which does happen with eerie regularity for their opponents.
So.....do Arsenal have a chance?? In a word, NO. In my opinion. But of course football is a funny old game, anything IS possible, but I just can't see Arsenal being capable of doing it this time.
They have two options from where I see it, they can either sit tight and try and hit them on the break, nick a goal and hang on for dear life, or go at Barca, play the football we all know they are well capable of doing, get a goal....and hang on for dear life.
IF, and its a big IF, but IF they get the first goal then it could get interesting, if they do not get the first one, then it could be a long night, even for a side of Arsenal's qualities.
Personally I predict a 3-1 home win for the Spanish side, thus putting Arsenal out, but even if that does materialise, they must still take heart from the performance at the Emirates.
If they do go out, it could destroy their season totally, having lost in the Carling Cup final at the hands of Birmingham, stuttering in the league whilst even the might of Manchester United are wobbling, this could really hinder the run in if they lose, the feeling of also-rans will be printed in the minds of their players, because another year without a trophy is simply unacceptable for the loyal Gunners fans.......

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