I get the reason for Arsene Wenger bringing up the last time Arsenal faced our Champions League opponents Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium, as we did beat them 2-1 despite being under the cosh for a lot of the match. I’m sure the boss would take that again when Luis Enrique and his treble winning side turn up in north London next Tuesday.
I would as well, of course, but I do not think that the Gunners should focus all our efforts on this one game and I have good reasons. Let’s just take a step back and look at that fantastic win over the Catalan club. It was a great night because at the time Barca were, like they are now, widely regarded as the best football team in the world.
The fact that they had recently demolished Real Madrid in an El Clasico game by 5-0 and were on the way to a Champions League and La Liga double made our win over them pretty special and the performance of a young Jack Wilshere is still talked about today.
BUT. And there are big buts if you will pardon the expression, we did not make it through to the next round so our joy was pretty short lived. Barca won the replay 3-1 with a big help from the officials when the referee took the bizarre decision to show Robin van Persie a second yellow card for shooting at goal after he had blown for a free kick.
Time wasting he called it, despite the fact that you could not hear yourself think in the cauldron of the Nou Camp. If you think that Arsenal would never have such bad luck with decisions again then you have not been paying attention.
Let me just remind you of another little nugget from back then. A few days after beating the mighty Barcelona the Gunners went to lowly Leyton Orient in the FA cup and were held to a draw. Let’s be honest Gooners and admit that the FA Cup gives Arsenal a much bigger chance of a trophy and maybe even a double win.
We are not ready to win the Champions League even if by some miracle we were good enough and the refs were fair enough to let us get past Barca. We did brilliantly to beat Bayern Munich this season but look what happened in the return leg. A 5-1 smashing in Germany.
I would rather Wenger was realistic and made sure of beating Hull City to progress in the FA cup. After all we are on for an amazing three wins in a row. Do you agree that this should be our main focus rather than the dream of beating Barcelona?