Barcelona were really not that good…

Posted: April 2, 2010 by thevanster in Uncategorized

I’m sorry, what is with the media love affair with Barcelona? Is it me, or were they really not that good?

Sure, the score could have been a cricket score, but it wasn’t. What does that tell you about Barcelona’s ability? That we are better defenders, have a good goalkeeper and they are inefficient finishers – aka wasters! In fact, had we had an even better goalie, it would be us with the win.

I love how when a team like United pulls off something akin to what we did, it is “the stuff of champions”, but when we do it, “Barcelona gave us a lesson in football.”

I love it how when we play pretty football with no end product, it immediately brings back a negative Arsenal stereotype – when it fact that has not been our problem for a couple of seasons now! This argument has been used against us for years, and now I will use it. Football is more than a pretty passing game, where it matters Barcelona were good enough.

In fact, you can look it at this way; we were as good as Barcelona where it mattered. Or lets look at it this way; Barcelona came away from us with nothing more than Birmingham City did.

So, Arsenal took advantage of them in the last thirty minutes or so, when they were “physically drained” from their “onslaught” at our goal. So? We had to suffer and defend the same onslaught. We weren’t complaining. In fact, we had to make two subs in the first half. What does that tell you? That we are physically superior to Barcelona. We are the fitter team.

So Barcelona will steamroller us in the second leg, will they? Funny, I thought it was us who walked away with the mental advantage, because by the end, it was us who were the team on top. All we were guilty of, was showing Barcelona too much respect. When we had nothing to lose, we went for it. And boy did we go for it.  We were equal to, in fact better than them. They will have gone home, down, wondering how we managed to better them.

Chin up gooners. Up the Arsenal.

The Fabster

  1. sinbadtoucheshimself says:

    they were

  2. vivb says:

    The question is whether they took the foot of the gas at 2-0 up or ran out of steam. Like us they are fallable their pressing game up the pitch hides their weakness at the back. However they were missing their best midfield player who will be back next week. But Diaby hopefully can’t play that bad again and Fab was patently carrying an injury. Trouble is in the big games in the past the team freezes like Rome or Man Utd.

    The difference is while Chelsea and Man Utd wait for us to make a mistake and then exploit it Barca imposed their gamne on us. It will however be a great leason to the team and show them the level they need to atain to fulfill their potential.

    • Max says:

      I agree that Barcelona were not as good as all the newspapers and the “fans for a day” are claiming. How can they totally outclass us by playing a draw?

      They dominated at the beginning, but that was due to the inexperience of our youngsters who were left in awe. They all made stupid mistakes and kept giving the straight back to Barcelona. Most of Barcelona’s dangerous shots came in the first 20 minutes and they shot their balls very close to our keeper. No world class finishing for sure.

      Afterward we had our chances as well, but didn’t take them. The goals from the second half could have easily prevented. Almunia was his former self when he foolishly run out of the goal. It was still a great finish from Ibra though. The second goal probably wouldn’t have happened if Gallas would have still been in the team.

      So was this the world class performance everyone is talking about? Do they count on keepers running blindly out of the goal so they can play a draw?

      They are a great team, but they have their flaws. We have a decent chance to win the next match.

      I can already see how newspapers will write that we undeservedly won.

  3. MESSI-10 says:

    Wow, you just keep telling urself that barca wasn’t all that good, Maybe arsenal would school us in our grounds.. RIGHT! GOOD LUCK! Like Arsenal spirit though. You’re fans are tough. If it was real madrid I know those spectators would have been out after the first 2 goals.

  4. matt says:

    That first half was the best display of football I have ever seen. It was blind luck that we went in at 0-0.

    We can still win this tie, but don’t fool yourself that Barcelona were anything other than incredible. With that performance, 99 times out of 100 we would have lost 2-4 as a minimum. We somehow managed to play the 1 out of 100 where we didn’t lose.

    if we really go for it next week with Barca’s 2 central defenders missing, I think we can do it. I’d go 4-4-2, Bendtner and Walcott up front, Rosicky, Song, Nasri, Eboue midfield, then the usual back line with Campbell for Gallas. Play it up to Bendtner to knock it down to Walcott. Let Theo have the central striker role he’s been after and tell him to show what he can do.

    Bendtner had an excellent game on Weds, considering the lack of possession we had. If he can win the first/second balls and put quality balls through to Walcott, I think we can nick a goal or two.

  5. adam says:

    With less than 30% of the ball Arsenal scored as many goals as Barcelona did with over twice as much. Does that mean that Arsenal were the more efficient team on the night? It’s all a question of perspective. I agree with the point about United though.

  6. MESSI-10 says:

    You can watch it from that point. Barca is known to take it down a gear when they are on cruise control. Barca disadvantages (God knows I love them) 1. Victor Valdez – Walcott shot it right at him and the ball went under him (WTF!) Second thing, Maxwell was having a field day on the flank running up and down and when you have the fastest man in the EPL coming on fresh, it would hurt us. The Fabregas penalty, I have my opinion, but I would keep it to myself.

    • Curt.B says:

      Nobody thinks its a penalty when its against their team. That was a penalty, clear cut. Not intentional, but hey, what can you do. Fab was pulling the trigger and Puyol took his leg out; no ball in the tackle. Simple penalty!

  7. yiddo says:

    Barca found it too easy and got complacent. Anyone who differs in opinion is either an Arse fan or a complete moron.

    As for the main post, we have all had matches where we destroy teams and yet for gome strange reason in that particular match the ball bewilderingly just wont hit the back of the net, thats what happend at the emirates, on another night it would have been a cricket score. The way Barca carved you open again and again was just majestic, cant understand how any fan with an ounce of footballing knowledge cant see that.

    Lessons out of this match for both teams:

    Arsenal you cant stand toe to toe with Barcelona, a far superior footballing side, Wenger must alter his approach.

    Barcelona, a games never over untill the final whistle.

    Before all the Arsenal fans start having a go, yes im a Tottenham fan but this view aint aimed to provoke but how i genuinly see it.

  8. Curt.B says:

    Its amusing that both their goals came from long balls. Pep, why don’t you take off that mask and show us all your inner Big Sam?

  9. Curt.B says:

    When a ‘lesser’ team plays direct, its long ball tactics, when a ‘greater’ team plays direct, its called “passing with vision.”

    I am hopeful for the next match, we will not make the same mistake again; standing off in fear of Barca and letting them play. We showed that we can match them when we are brave. i wish that game had 10 more minutes, we probably would have won.

  10. MESSI-10 says:

    “Nobody thinks its a penalty when its against their team. That was a penalty, clear cut. Not intentional, but hey, what can you do. Fab was pulling the trigger and Puyol took his leg out; no ball in the tackle. Simple penalty!”

    Puyol was tackling him??!! sorry sir you have it mixed up, Puyol was next to fabregas and he swinged his foot and it connected to the back of his legs. How could you swing your foot like that in a crowded box and not expect to hit someone. Even your same arsenal supporters on your fan base was surprised. But neway, it was the best match I ever saw in my life and I loved every DAMN single minute of it. If anyone knows where i can download that game pls send me the link.

  11. Mace says:

    Barca beware, we are coming to the camp nou to turn you fancy boys over

  12. Ikram says:

    oh boy, im pumped for this match and just watch if we win it, how am gonna thrash tha english media, they are useless,infact under United’s and Chelsea’s spell. but anyways u gotta admit it that Barca is not as good as they were last year and we are just getting better and better. otherwise they would have never spilled the 2 goal lead. its unbelievable.

  13. Adam says:

    They were good, but only because we treated them with so much awe and respect: they practically had free license to do whatever they pleased in the first 20, so of course they looked amazing. It won’t happen in the return leg, because we’ve got 90 minutes against them behind us, so the team know what to expect now and won’t be so nervous.

    The main thing that stood out to me was how quickly Barcelona closed us down; that caused us a lot of problems, but if we do the same to them on Tuesday, like we were doing during the early parts of the season, then they will have to deal with the same problems.

    Playing Walcott from the start should help us massively as well, because they will not be able to defend so high up the pitch, which will immediately relieve a lot of the pressure that we felt last week (either that, or they will keep the same line and Theo will run riot). In any case, with a makeshift CB pairing, and certainly if Maxwell continues at left back, Theo should get some joy from their defence.

    I think that if Nasri comes into the centre then it could be a blessing in disguise, because he has only really had to fill in for Cesc once this season (which he did brilliantly), so there isn’t an awful lot for Pep to analyse and learn from, and he will be something of an unknown quantity. Abou Diaby, too, needs to actually turn up to this game because he could really give Barca a headache and his usual influence was something we missed at the Emirates.

    The one real issue I think we have is the defensive pairing. I personally think that when Song drops back to CB our midfield loses too much structure and it is very easy for it to come up second best, so I would probably like to see him stay at DM. However, one mistake I thought Wenger did make on Wednesday was with the roles of Vermaelen and Song at CB. It looked as though Vermaelen was being told to keep fairly tight on Messi and keep him quiet, whilst Song was playing deeper and acting as the anchor. Personally, I would have had them the other way round, and if they had been I’m not sure we would have conceded the 2nd goal (well, not that particular one). I felt that Alex’s inexperience as a CB was highlighted by that goal (no discredit to him, mind), whereas he would have been well suited to taking care of Messi. All of this begs the question, if Sol starts at CB – who will be anchoring the back 4 and who will be deployed to watch Messi? I fear that Cambell’s recovery pace may not be enough for him to cope with being the last man, but nor is he very well suited to harrying Messi et al for the whole of the game. I still think that we would be best to start with Alex at DM. One thing that Sol will be able to provide in Fabregas’s absence is leadership, which could prove invaluable and which we could certainly have done with last time out.

  14. hahaha says:

    deluded gooner!!!

  15. goonergerry says:

    Nobody would have been surprised if Barca had hit 5 in the first 20 minutes- and a tally of 22 shots to 6 surely says but for sharper finishing they would have scored 6 or 7.
    I think the change happened at half time- we became more compact and they scored by lobbing 2 simple balls over the top. That is the risk in playing a higher line.
    We started to intercept a few of their passes, gained some control and discovered they do not cope too well with some of our moves- especially the ball inside the full back.
    If we stopped believing the Barca hype and worked harder when they have the ball it would be a start.

  16. bfd says:

    they really, really were

  17. john says:

    i agree with that point about respect ! arsenal showed them too much respect and let them play and just didnt tackle them watsoever ,! but wen arsenal got their act toghter and went for it they are just as good as barcelona ,, quciker style of play imo

  18. Wenger Ball says:

    Most of everything I read in the comments are true; pep admitted that that was the best he’s seen his team play . . ever . . We were in complete dreamland in the first half hour, just mesmerised by barca’s passing, but like so many other times this season the boys keep on going and I hope they can look back now and think – if we start off playing more committed, then we can surely win this tie . . . after all, we played shit, they we’re excellent and the result was a draw . . .

  19. Jack says:

    I’m sorry but any arsenal fan that thinks we were any near to barca the other nyt is kidding themselves and trying to put a better spin on things for their own benefit… I know cos i’ve been doin the same for a few days too… Barcelona came to the emirates and did to us exactly what we do to every other team that comes there, the first 15-16 mins we barely had a kick and they were passing the ball like we do, with flair and one touch attractive and creative football… We were outfought and outhought for 65 mins and it looked to me liked they eased off and as soon as that happened we came into the game more, whether the let us back in or we forced it is open to debate, but what I think we deserve massive credit is for getting a draw with very few actual chances, usually we need 10 chances to get 2 goals, granted one was a penalty but I think I’m right in saying that was theo’s firs attempt and he scored where usually some our players need 3 or 4 attempts before they put one in… It’s a massive ask for us to go there and get a win, but I doubt the 2 nd leg will see our players awe struck like they were in the first, and even without cesc and Arsh j can see us scoring, who knows if we get an early goal what could happen, I do think though that we absolutely cannot afford to concede first, us being at home played a large part in the fightback on Wednesday… Anyway as with the first leg flirting between climbing the Walls in anticipation and absolutely brickin it lol…

  20. Steve says:

    Just heard a Sky commentator say that Wednesday’s match ” would have been football perfection if Arsenal’s goalkeeper hadn’t made all those saves.”

    Turning the sound off for a televised match doesn’t help the atmosphere but sometimes you have no choice. I shall watch Sky’s coverage on Tuesday but I will provide my own commentary.

  21. ManGoonian says:

    Arsenal showed barca way too much respect and a few of our players never showed up, Diaby for one, add to that the injuries and the 2 sloppy goals we should not have conceded and I think Arsenal did themselves proud from the 2nd half anyways! And the atmosphere was brilliant too.

    I think Barca might regret not taking their chances 1st half… We shall see.

  22. Haha says:

    Deluded arsenal fans as usual, lmao you’re a pathetic one man team. Enjoy mediocrity, you’ll never win 6 trophies in one season. Losers.

  23. Trinigooner says:

    I watched the game live on television and two times after that and watch i saw was total domination by barca for the first twenty min after that both teams were evenly matched. I firmly belief that arsenal f.c is going to have a fairytale night in Nou camp.

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