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Friday, 27 May 2011
Cretins everywhere you look
As much as it's nice not having to worry what the outcome of this weeks fixture will be I have to admit that the close season really is the most boring of times - and this is only the first week. Unless you have a bit of transfer activity there is really very little to get excited about. As a result I suppose I should be thanking Puyol and Pique for their latest attempt at winding us up with the whole Fabregas business.
As you can see from the photo at the top of this post they have taken their opportunity to pose with a framed picture of Fabregas at London Colney. Personally I was very much against Arsenal giving use of the our top class facilities to Barcelona. What have Barcelona ever done to help Arsenal? All they do is disrespect our Club by tapping up our players and trying to buy them on the cheap. This latest crass behaviour from their Captain and his over-rated defensive colleague once again underlines the gulf in class between Arsenal Football Club and FC Barcelona. These two idiots, you will remember, were responsible for forcing a Barcelona shirt over the head of Fabregas at the World Cup celebrations last Summer. It is difficult to put in to words quite how disrespectful to Arsenal this latest "prank" is. Arsenal should have made it in to a major incident and demanded an apology from Barcelona, and then they should have kicked them out of the training ground and told them to sod off to Tottenham.
On the subject of cretinous behaviour Stuart Pearce has been having his say on Jack Wilshere and getting himself a dig at Arsene Wenger in the process. As I hinted at the end of Monday's post Jack was left out of the final squad for the U21 tournament. This was done after Jack told Pearce he was not physically strong enough to take part following a long season. Obviously Arsene Wenger's hand was very much on the tiller with this one, and rightly so. Stuart Pearce's motives for wanting Wilshere (and Andy Carroll) in the team are purely self-serving. He believes that a successful campaign would look very good on his CV. When Fabio Capello leaves his job next Summer Pearce will also be on his way out of the FA set-up. Given that he has a less than average record in management he is reliant on some superficial success with England U21's to convince some sap of a Chairman to give him a job in 2012. Pearce is a joker, and the way in which he treated Jack Wilshere leading up to the squad announcement was very poor indeed. I won't go in to details, but suffice to say he was not happy when Wilshere told him he wouldn't be part of the squad - a phrase involving the words "toys" and "pram" springs to mind. Jack shouldn't let it bother him, though, and I'm sure he won't. The fact that Pearce is choosing to abuse Arsene Wenger over the whole thing does him no favours.
For all that I dislike Barcelona and the way they conduct themselves, both on and off the pitch, I want them to hammer Manchester United tomorrow evening. There can be no doubt that Barca are the favourites - their pace and flair is second to none. However, I can see Man Utd beating them. After all, in a one off game, anyone can beat anyone. Arsenal proved in the home leg that there is a way to beat Barcelona. Had it not been for Nicklas Bendtner falling over the ball we would have knocked them out, despite their second-half domination of our ten men at the Nou Camp.
Barca's pressing game is the key to their superiority. I have never seen a team that works so hard and so quickly to regain possession. That is also their downfall, however. When the opposition has the ball you will see three Barcelona players close them down. If the pass is made then a different three close down, and the same again for the next pass. That means that, if you can make four passes then you are behind them. It is far easier said than done, of course, but if you look at our goals in the home leg against them they really were that simple. You have to have sufficient quality to do that, and Man Utd do have that quality.
I'll be tuning in to the match tomorrow night, even though I can't stand the players on either team. Normally it would give me no pleasure to see Barcelona win, but in the circumstances I want them to destroy this Manchester United line-up. Ultimately you have the best team in the World up against the most over-rated United team in twenty years - anything less than a Barca win would be a travesty for good football.