Backpage Roundup - Messi Is Like a Playstation!!!

Needless to say, sieving through the red-tops, black-tops, and over-the-tops, Leo Messi steals all the headlines. It’s none so much about Arsenal’s depressing defeat, but more about getting right up the backside of the worlds most gifted football player. Wenger led the procession in The Sun, saying:
“The fourth goal he scored, I don’t know many players in the world who can score that goal. He makes the impossible look possible.
“He has several great years ahead of him and, touch wood, if nothing happens, he can reach unbelievable levels.
“He’s PlayStation. He can take advantage of every mistake you make. I actually believe we played quite well.”
The boss’ fear now is that the team wont pick themselves up for the crucial Premier League tie at The Lane a week from today, as The Guardian reports:
“It has been a place where we’ve done well over the years, so we don’t go there with a negative history,” said Wenger, who added that Alex Song had to be considered as a selection doubt for the derby. “The match forces you straight away to focus because you know it’s going to be a derby.
“Yes, of course, you worry about the team’s needing lifting. We have to recover quickly because we cannot drop any more points to have a chance to fight for the Premier League. That’s why we have to recover and focus completely on the Premier League now.”
We could begin solving that problem by dropping peanut head Mikael Silvestre and drafting in Sol Campbell, don’t you think Arsene? Maybe David Pleat holds the answers, as he offered some of his, um, ‘tactical analysis’:
“Arsenal needed a midfield stopper. Maybe Messi’s outstanding talent would have made a mockery of such a player. Perhaps. But by allowing the best footballer in the world to find space Arsenal were blown away.
“In modern football the man-to-man marker is a dying breed as teams have collectively become so well organised defensively. But it is possible to sacrifice one of your own players to take an opponent out of the game and accept a nine versus nine outfield situation.”
OK, moving on Dave, and Nicklas Bendtner, who had given the Arsenal fans hope when he opened the scoring last night was another polishing Messi’s crown this morning.
“He’s a phenomenal player and he showed that again tonight.
“We made a great start and it was very important in the five minutes after that we were tight. But in the end, if you look at the whole game they were a better team and deserved to win.
“It is easy to make up excuses, on the day, with what happened they were a better team than us. I would rather get beat by a better team, to be able to say we did what we could, rather than be robbed in the last minute.”
In The Independent, Mark Fleming reminded us that Arsenal’s only hope to win silverware since 2005 now rests on the Premier League. As if you needed telling. He says:
“There was no shame in the manner of their Champions League exit to the reigning European champions, who are capable of moments of such glorious football.
“Yet the genius of Lionel Messi’s four-goal display could not mask the fact that the Premier League now remains Arsenal’s only chance of winning something for the first time in five years, since the 2005 FA Cup final victory, and their chances do not look all that promising as they are three points behind leaders Chelsea with five games to go.”
Wenger was resigned to similar desolate visions of the future, reading from the same auto-cue as the last five years, explaining:
“We are at a stage where we’re developing players,” Wenger said. “[Theo] Walcott is 22; [Nicklas] Bendtner is 22; [Samir] Nasri, [Abou] Diaby and Denílson are 22 or 23. They’ve shown some great qualities and they’ll get stronger every year. We have to add something, for sure, but we have some time to think about that.”
Fleming rightly points out though: “Wenger has spoken at length about the inexperience of his side, but it was Barcelona who were the more youthful last night, with a front three of Messi (22), Pedro (22) and Bojan Krkic (19).”
On the night it was only about quality, not experience. Arsenal had been stripped bare by Barcelona. Although he didn’t feature, Sol was doing some of his own stripping today in The Mirror, going bare for Cancer Research UK and helping to promote its new campaign by urging people to donate old clothes to charity. Our controversial reporter Henry Norris was unable for comment when he saw the images and collapsed on the floor!
Let’s hope Sol isn’t as charitable next week against his old employers. Always look on the bright side Gooners, although if that’s the case, warning, please don’t open the link!

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