In his press conference ahead of the Arsenal v Barcelona match in the Champions League, Arsene Wenger spoke yesterday about how tough our task will be against Barcelona, the current holders, in the Champions League. As reported by The Mirror the Frenchman was full of praise for our opponents and especially their dangerous attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez.
But Wenger also sounded at least hopeful of getting a result, as long as the Gunners do not help out the Spanish La Liga champions by giving them any easy goals or making their job easier by getting a man sent off. He also suggested that all 11 Arsenal players need to be on the ball and fully focused throughout the match.
The boss said, “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.
“Belief, confidence and let’s go for it.”
However, he also reminded his players that this game at home is only half the tie and so we should not worry too much about getting the right result here.
He went on, “Last year we were favourites against Monaco, it’s the biggest upset we have known in recent years.
“We didn’t start the game well and we paid for it.
“So tomorrow we need a good mixture between commitment and keep our nerves. No stupid fouls or red card like happened before.”
I like this comment from the manager and not just because it might stop the Gunners from over exposing ourselves at the Emirates tonight. What I am worried about is that our players are so focused on doing well in this UCL match that the wrong result could have repercussions over the coming weeks.
Our game against Man United in the Premier League at the weekend is more important and a heavy defeat to Barcelona would be damaging but if the players are so focused on beating the Spaniards and fail to do so, could that also damage our Premier League chances?
It is a bit of a balancing act, but can Arsenal fully focus on this Barcelona game without letting a bad result get to us too much?