Sorry about the absence of TGIF last week, but rather than dwell on the past. Let us discuss and enjoy the only real Big Issue, The Barcelona Issue! OK ok, we have the not so simple matter of West ham and Birmingham City to negogiate before that Tuesday April 6th fixture at the Emirates, but could you expect me to ignore the draw today?
Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona…
I was driving at the time of the draw and after hearing Bayern Munich and Manchester United, I was resigned to Barcelona coming out of the bag. I was not disappointed. Insiders have already discussed to death the Champion’s league draw in Nyon, Switzerland. Ok we are not favourites as acknowledged by Arsene Wenger during his press conference, and upon the current form of the respective teams and the fact that we do not possess a world class striker and Barcelona can field three, the chances of us progressing seem remote at best and at worst only in a parallel universe. Yet that is the beauty of the game of football that we love. I have to say that had this been the final game, then I would have been more confident over one game, but the thought of having to keep out Lionel Messi on two occasions leaves me wanting to evacuate my bowels loudly.
So let’s leave speculation about our fortunes to nearer the game and let’s focus on side issues. Fran Merida and Cesc Fabregas could see the fixture in different ways. Fran Merida unsettled ex Barcelona starlet could see the tie as confirmation as to why his future might lie in Spain in general and who knows, Barcelona in particular. For Cesc Fabregas however, the inevitable comparisons will be drawn with Thierry Henry after the Champions League final defeat in Paris 2006. Would an Arsenal Captain jump ship to Barcelona, when his team were still smarting after the loss?
Winning the Premier league title might make Fabregas more likely to stay after the World Cup if the imminent summer purchases were of sufficient quality. But I am not sure that Arsene Wenger is going to share his buying intentions with Fabregas do you? So that leaves where he sees his career path, and what quality he sees on display at Arsenal. If he leaves, I would take it as a vote of no confidence in the youth currently training with our Spanish master at London Colney. If he stays, I would really be excited.
Another aspect of the fixture is the successor to Arsene Wenger when that day comes. Pep Guardiola would be the ideal replacement with his brand of football surely? But there is one thing that bothers me. How exactly do you excite someone who has been manager of a club who is able to buy the most expensive players in the world? What more could he possibly win at The Arsenal that he has not already won at Barcelona? So perhaps my musings are pie in the sky and total nonsense so just to add to my attack of lunacy let us consider the final side issue which relates to how a victory for Arsenal would be viewed by the purists. The expectation of Arsenal lifting the Champions League would be overwhelming and I could see this being so immense that we would then go on to lose the semi-final to CSKA Moscow…lol
I cannot wait for the next instalment of the Henry Norris Hour!!!
If ever you needed proof that Arsenalinsider continually try to push the envelope and provide you all with top quality blogs, you only needed to read this sublime contribution. Stay tuned and don’t miss it. At least go and read the first one and see what I mean!
“It [the Champions League] can be a distraction, yes,” he said. “If we speak about Barcelona instead of speaking about West Ham that is where we can show we have matured and that we are intelligent.
“Intelligence is in life to know what is important to you and your success. What is important to us is West Ham.
“I say that because the West Ham game is the next game and in football the next game makes your life. We have fought like mad for a long, long time now to be in a strong position in the championship.
“We are in it so let’s focus on what is important to us”
He is right of course and all this froth about Barcelona is irrelevant seeing as we have a couple of fixtures to negotiate first. If we drop points against the Hammers, we will look pretty silly, and given that they have lost their last three games surely the form book dictates an opportunity to increase our goal difference.
Arsenal will be top of the table if we defeat West Ham. We need to beat them six nil to bring back the advantage of our final run in back to The Emirates…hahaha!
Wenger press conference Key points:
Cesc Fabregas will be available along with Rosicky. The return of Alex Song after his suspension will be welcomed by Arsenal and in our Champions League fixtures, he may be a key player.
The Media focused upon the possibility of Portsmouth fielding a weakened team against Chelsea, Arsene Wenger was keen to point out that Wolverhampton Wanderers received a fine for doing this against Manchester United. He expressed the view that Avram Grant was too proud to roll over and concede the game.
Well, apart from Nicky Bendtner’s hatrick in the last Champions League game, I must also hand it to the lad for being in the right position again for the winner against Hull City. I am warming to Niklas Bendtner. The guy works hard and is full of confidence. Even Thierry Henry missed a few sitters before becoming the world sensation that he is.
To myself FTK for talking too much nonsense and serving it up as this blog I suppose… The problem is that I have been very distracted with domestic matters of late So sincere apologies to you all if the quality of this blog is less than what you expected. I promise you that I did my best given the current state of my head! Going through a divorce isn’t easy, but at least the worst is over. Will try harder from now on, but didn’t want to disappoint you all for yet another week in a row.
Thank goodness we have Alex Song back