As Arsenal get set to host the European champions Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that his team are capable of beating the all-conquering Spanish giants when the teams take to the field at the Emirates stadium.
Speaking ahead of the big game, Wenger said: “We have to find the right balance between being audacious but also strong defensively as a unit. No team is perfect. Barcelona are not far from it. We need to take our chances. Barcelona are super favourites, we need to raise the urgency level. Tomorrow everybody is convinced we need to absolutely be totally focused to have a chance.
The Frenchman also commented in regards to how he plans to stop the lethal MSN trio: “I know that individually [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suárez and Neymar have exceptional talent; the only way we can beat them is collectively. Resilience, great solidarity, intelligent as well, let’s not forget that we have a good defensive record and a great goalkeeper as well.”
Let’s be honest here, I’m sure we can all agree that Barcelona are indeed ‘super favorites’ as Wenger said. But the question is whether this Arsenal team have what it takes to step up and take the game to the Catalan club. If you’d ask me, there is certainly enough quality in the Gunners side to beat anybody in world football, it’s just a matter of turning it up.
As the boss pointed out, we need to stay compact as a strong defensive unit and pick our moments to attack. Looking at the team, we’ve got Cech, Sanchez, Ozil and Giroud, who has proven himself to be a big-game player. Most importantly, chances will be at a premium and will have to be dispatched for the team to stand any chance.
While I wouldn’t be confident enough to bet on an Arsenal win, I wouldn’t completely write off the Gunners either. Personally, I completely agree with what Le Prof had to say – Barcelona are not perfect and CAN be beaten.