Friday, December 17, 2010

Barca must be cursing their luck for drawing the Gunners

As Arsene predicted, we were drawn to meet Barcelona in the first knock-out stage of the Champions League. Many may consider that this is the worst possible draw for us but with a 25% chance of meeting the favorites, it was hard to avoid to inevitable. We shall not dwell on the two defeats that brought us to this state after starting so brightly with the thrashing of Braga.

Personally, I am happy to draw Barcelona. You might think I am mad but it is the best possible draw for us. Let me tell you why? First, I genuine believe that we have what it takes to beat Barcelona if we performed to our best. We gave them a great fright and rattled them with the performance at the Emirates when we played with an almost full team (just missing Robin Van Persie). I am convinced we would have beaten them at the Camp Nou had we showed up with the same team. Unfortunately, injuries started to take its toll on the first team and we went there without 5 first team regulars and ended up losing. However, we took the lead and it was only because of Messi that we lost the match. He is nowhere near the form he was last year while we have improved the squad. In Nasri, we have currently the hottest player in Europe.

Second, even if we lose, there is no harm to it. It is better to lose early in the knockout stages then going forward into the latter stages only to lose then. Last year was a classic example. Chelsea went out early and could concentrate on the domestic challenge. Ourselves and Man United went forward into the quarterfinals and semifinals but failed to match Chelsea domestically. Therefore, a lost could be the best thing for us since our title competitors would surely go through given their easy match-ups against weak opponents.

Having said that, I don't think Josep Guardiola will be pleased with the draw. The pressure will be all on him and I think he will be having sleepless nights thinking about this match-up. For us, if we win it would be a big boost to our European credentials and elimination of the favorites from the competition. As said, even if we lose there is no big downside to it. So getting Barcelona is the ideal situation for the Gunners.

1 comment:

  1. We have nothing to lose, I have been waiting for this match to rewrites those old days when we are playing with only half of our best line up.

    Barca seems the perfect opponents where other teams are more eager avoiding them in the last 16. Our strength is well developed now and it's in a matter of time for us to translate all this messi thing into reality.