Arsenal need to learn from Real Madrid and Barcelona

What can Arsenal learn from this weekend’s games? by KM

International break time people. I personally don’t like those breaks. Arsenal are known to get a lot of injuries in them, people travel a lot to distant countries. The players play in awkward days and then you never know how you are gonna shape up afterwards.

And we have a massive game against Liverpool coming up. Beat them at home and we’re 9 clear of them, pretty much putting them out of the top 4 race. Those direct battles coming up till the end will be decisive.

I guess team talks given by the players is the new thing in English football. Liverpool made one team talk that put em on a run, we made one (initiated by the players after Southampton) and we went on a run. United did one after we beat them for the FA cup and their last 2 performances against top 4 rivals were marginally better.

We cannot allow any slip ups any more. After watching Man United v Liverpool and the Classico, you can clearly see why the giants of Spain are much better than the top English clubs. United or Liverpool might represent England in the CL next season and they are nowhere near Real or Barca’s level.

Two things we lack compared to them. Discipline and Pressing. Arsenal should be seeing off a 2:0 win at Newcastle no problem instead of scrapping it and wasting time. Chelsea conceded 2 simple goals having a 2 goal lead at a relegation side. Real Madrid were the better team in the first half, they conceded a goal, but their formation didn’t change.

Real didn’t go on to put 10 people forward and get killed on a counter like we did against Monaco after trailing 1:0. And Real equalized later on. Barcelona remained calm throughout the game and won 2:1 through a moment of sheer quality from Suarez.

The quality of the players those two teams put on was immense and I don’t think that any two Premier League clubs can put on anything close to that. When Arsenal put 2 or 3 fast passes in a row and make good attack we are like “oh, ah!”, but at Barcelona and Real that’s the standard.

And the pressing. How many BPL clubs press throughout the whole game? Not Arsenal for sure. Sanchez looks like a madman, when you see how he’s the only player chasing the ball all the time. This is something you must do at Barcelona or you won’t feature in the team (unless you are Messi).

Pressure causes mistakes. If we can adapt that to our game, we will improve. Defensive discipline so we don’t throw away a game, just because we concede one goal. And a little bit more quality, especially with our finishing. When you win, you don’t count the missed chances, but against Newcastle it could’ve been 3 or 4 and game over (or not, that 4:4 will always haunt me).

Anyway the race for the top 4 places is tight and although we have a bit of a breather, we must keep our focus after the break and keep on the good run.


Tags Barcelona Newcastle Real Madrid


    1. While I agree with the writer that we must learn from Barcelona and Real Madrid, I hope you will all agree with me that another major factor why the play the way the do is because the coaches they have are a major influence too. Their coaches take no nonsense. Like you said, ar Barcelona, once you lose the ball, everybody fights to win it back. Show complacency, and the bench is yours.

      Secondly, those clubs are owned and governed by terribly ambitious persons. Take Florentino Perez for instance. The man will personally do anything to make sure Madrid has the kind of players they think they really need. As for Barcelona, we all know if you are there and you start playing individualistic football, OFF YOU GO!!!

      The board and Wenger need to must start taking Red Bull, the must have a strong drive for glory/victories/trophies.

      1. Barcelona and Real don’t have owners like in EPL. They are owned by the so called socios. Barcelona for example have more than 170.000 of them. This is the highest governing body in the club. Same for Real, Bilbao, Osasuna etc etc.

        1. Budd, I said owned and governed by “terribly ambitious PERSONS”. But they do have “presidents”.

          1. Of course but unlike us they can call the meeting and chose a new president. These guys always have to present what they did for the club in the last mandate and hope for re-election. They are actually paid as normal employees in the club. Stan the Silent does not really give a fsck as long as he’s not bleeding money.

    2. This article is so riddled with vapidity it makes me want to vomit. Go support your dream boys barca and real you twit.

  1. We don’t need to learn 4rm madrid who wasted money on bale. Instead we need to avoid signing free agents who are of no use to us….just wasting space in d team

  2. Good article … The level of passion and effort … In addition to obvious gap in skill level … Is nothing to do with how much money is spent but the attitude of management and priorities of club ….. Sadly that is where the gulf is greatest between current arsenal and these two giants

  3. We need to learn from Madrid,Barca and Chelsea and sign more class players; get a Pogba or JaviMartinez and Lewandowski/Muller/Higuain n we ll become UCL contenders.

    #Class players, thatz the difference btw Madrid,Barca,Bayern n other clubs.

  4. How many of the Arsenal team
    would start for either Barca
    or Real Madrid?
    Sanchez and Ozil, maybe?
    To be fair very few from Utd, City or even Chelsea would start.
    Barca spent 100 mill on Neymar then 70 mill on Suarez.
    Real spent 90 mill on Bale then 63 mill on Rodriguez.
    Who can match that? Not even City or Chelsea let alone Arsenal.
    Winning the EPL seems so far away.
    Is there only so far we can go?
    ECL for the biggest teams only?

  5. Off topic:i hate people saying this game iz nt 4 ozil blah blah blah(nd shld be benched 4 an average ramsey???i guess ds is cumin frm d English fans)..we paid 42m nd we did that 4 games lyk dz.against lvapool,our creativity shld be at its peak(watch the newcastle game) then ozil nd cazorla is a must to start the game.they dnt av any mildfield enforcer so le coq wil do..walcott nd sanchez shld also start plus gab nd bellerin.

    1. agreed. but get off the gab train. still early days, dont overhype, merts is still class. we tend to pick scapegoats for bad form and are nearsighted with new signings, like kids with new toys.

  6. Off topic – The news is that the FA wants to decrease the number of non homegrown players from 17 to 13 over the next few years. Also to qualify as homegrown will now be the 3 years before a player turns 18 instead of 21 now.

    Arsenal is doing will with a high homegrown quota at the moment. If this is true we need to keep hold of Walcott and Wilshere. City and Chelsea are in dire need of upping their home grown quota. They need to start bleeding their academy players in the first team.

  7. You’re talking about a high press in 1 instant and then talk about not being countered the next. High press leaves you vulnerable to counter. The reason a good high press team doesn’t get countered? You close out the space as a unit, stop the quick passes and slow the opposition into submission. Why does this not happen at Arsenal? Because we lack the players to do it.

    The high press game requires 10 outfield players pressing as 1. If 1 player doesn’t do his job, you get countered. If you saw against Monaco (2-0), West Ham and the first half against Newcastle we did achieve the high press. Everything got squeezed back and when they put the ball forward our defence mopped up. We’d pass the ball, reset our shape and then attack. Rinse, repeat. The bad side of this was shown in the latter half of the Newcastle game – high press is physically draining, mentally tough and can swing both ways. Our players lost that yard of pace on Newcastle in the second half – we couldn’t reset when we had the ball, couldn’t track the men as tightly and were generally forced back into our own half on the back foot instead of attacking the ball. We could complain at fitness levels but we were drained after a few quick games off the trot and poor rotation through the squad. Coquelin was flagging hard in that second half, Monreal was struggling to keep pace and Cazorla couldn’t get his foot on the ball at all. High press needs to be done as units or it just tires the team out and just leaves big gaps.

    What I’m getting at with all this is simple: We already know how to play the RM/Barca way. What we need to do is work on squad rotation and making sure we don’t burn out in games. Not to mention, when under pressure, we need to improve our ball retention. Coquelin must have lost 8/9 balls under minor pressure on Saturday – I love the guy but his game is about defending and he doesn’t have anywhere near the composure to play facing our own goal in our half. It’s a gradual job though – the fact we have 2 mobile CBs now will greatly increase the chances of high press game. I’d say we’re not far off a step up towards RM/Barca but sadly our lack of comparative financial clout means actually competing with them is gonna still be a little ways off. Messi/Suarez/Neymar or Ronaldo/Bale/Benzema are both attacks that are just beyond the money we can front.

  8. I think before January this year, Arsenal were playing the tiki-taka possession base football approach. But they hadn’t the right executors (top players) to execute that system of play to the ultimate success like Barca and Bayern Munich have all done in recent times. I think the alteration to the Gunners way of playing from tiki-tata to a pragmatic way of playing like Real Madrid are playing happened when we lost the BPL game at home to the Red Devils of Man Utd FC. With all the possessions the Gunners had in that game, they still went on to lose the game and lost Jack Wilshere too. Something had to be done to arrest the unproductive in results of the tiki-taka attractive football at Arsenal. And Subsequently, the boss decided to turn a new page to a pragmatic way of playing but he did with some adjustments to the orthodox way of playing the game, by making it contemporary in the way to play it. Bravo! The good outcome of that new approach is what we are now seeing since the turn of the year. I think what we still lack is a quality striker on our bench that could have subed a fatigued Sanchez at Stade Louis II at Monaco FC. Which I believe contributed to our been out at the Knock-out stages of the CL. I hope the boss will address this lapse along with others adequately in the summer. I ‘m along been thinking the International break is for friendlies. Not when I was reading a story about Daniel Sturridge latest injury on the BBC sport website this morning have I come to realised the weekend games and the ones after are Euro qualifiers. Which in consequence could make it tougher for our Gunners involved in those games as they may play in the games up to the last ones on 31st of March. And possibly returned back tired to face Liverpool at the Emirates stadium on the 4th of April.

  9. well i think this is an important article because alexis was pressing initially and working so hard and one of the players came and said he should relax. i believe if they all work hard he won’t be as tired as he is right now. he was always working this hard in barca and never got worn out. they work hard in big clubs. it is just the mediocre mind in arsenal that led the other players to encourage him to work less. if arsenal players are lazy, they can’t beat real and the big teams to win the champions league. i am posting here for the first time and it’s because i hate their laziness. some of these players earn so many times what i earn, and i work very hard and i believe if they are not working hard enough they are not good enough in arsenal shirt.

  10. maybe i should not post a comment here again. thanks for not posting it. or if you are outdated you need to improve.

    1. Hey! Be reasonable. EVERYONE has their first post moderated, as we don’t want trolls coming on without a buffer. If you can’t wait for your first post to be checked, then try and find another REAL Arsenal site that lets just anyone (Spuds) post at will…..

  11. We can even learn from Chelsea

    Last summer, they signed the exact players needed to win the PL title: creative midfielder, WC striker and back up quality striker (Fabregas, Costa and Remy). In January they didn’t sign someone they “needed” but someone to improve them: Cuadrado

    We did the opposite. In summer we didn’t get all the players we needed (WC striker, top DM and replacement for Vermaelen). In January we got a player who we desperately needed: Gabriel

    LESSON: In the summer, sign the players needed for a title push (in our case WC striker and DM- IF we lose other players then replace them). In January, just sign extras not players we need.

    1. You have to respect Mourinho’s and Chelsea’s “genius” transfer dealings but not quite as rosy in the garden as you suggest.

      1) A decent striker in 2013-14 would have won them the league – poor management.
      2) Remy and Luis not trusted at all by Mourinho – plays them with a gun to his head.
      3) Costa was a done deal during the previous season in response to being unable to get Torres/Lukaku or Sturridge to perform.
      4) Buying back Matic for £20M after selling him for less than £2M – poor management.
      5) Who has Mourinho got to back-up a lacklustre Fabregas? Mata not good enough – what a joke.
      6) Takes back a 37 year old Drogba as a 85 minute tactical substitute to defend set-pieces.
      7) Honourable mentions for Schurrle, De Bruyne and Salah – all mistakes although all 3 playing well enough now they have gone. Poor transfer dealings.
      8) Cuadrado – someone to improve them??! Well the jury is well and truly out on that one – he looks terrible but sure he will come good.

      1. As ever how you look at situations can reveal several truths.

        1) They had Torres, Ba, and Et’oo that season. Pure speculation said in HINDSIGHT to say they would’ve won the league with a “decent striker”. They had very good options that didn’t end up performing.
        2) Azpiliqueta or however it’s spelt is arguably best LB in the country while Remy has played in 15 league games. What more do you need from a BACKUP striker?
        3) Torres had his chance, fluffed his lines. And I fail to see how you criticize buying Costa because what you have isn’t working….Lukaku has been pony, while Sturridge watches more football than he plays. Buying Costa is poor management? OKKKK
        4) At the time they sold him they had THE BEST DM in the league Essien. When he was done they brought back Matic who has gone on to become best in the league….again, that’s poor?
        5) His name is Oscar, and many Chelsea fans rate him ahead of Fabregas
        6) Taken part in 21 game sin the perm alone this year, free signing, backup….again no idea how that’s a bad move
        7) None fit the system he was playing so were sold for serious, serious money. That’s much better than letting a player rot until he has no value (podolski)
        8) Been in the league 3 months. Not even going to dignify with anything more.

        Faultless he isn’t, but Mourinho gets things right far more than he gets things wrong which is why he wins so much. There’s definitely room to take a leaf from his book at Arsenal.

        1. Charlie – always read your posts, more intelligent and articulate than many, but you appear to always be on the cusp of finding any contrary opinion a personal slight. I was responding to a third party, sorry if you were offended. You present persuasive and convincing counter-points but I think what bothers me is that there are quite a few who make the effort and apply this level of thinking to “big up” other teams and managers but are not prepared to do it for our guys.

          I can respect Mourinho but I can’t abide Arsenal fans cherry-picking the good or successful elements of his two tenures at Chelsea and suggest Wenger should bow down and copy and learn from the Mourinho blueprint. Appears with Mourinho he is always twisting and never sticking – by the law of averages he will come up with some successes. He has only been back a year and a bit but has bought 20 players and spend £220M+. And when you think he came back to a team that had Cech, Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta. Ramires, Oscar and Hazard waiting for him it was all on a plate for him in my opinion. And of all those players he only ever signed one of them – Cech. Costa was not a genius acquisition in the circumstances and Fabregas struck me as being pure opportunism rather than grand design. Good on him for doing both but I am not going to kneel at the altar.

          Totally agree with your first line and second from last line.

          1) JM had 3 months prior to the season starting to assess those 3, he had the January transfer window when it was clear it wasn’t working. Remember the flak dished out on here to Wenger for not buying a striker in January 2014? Also the point the original poster aimed at us as a failure. And they “didn’t end up performing” – is that somehow nothing to do with JM?

          2) Don’t think he has started Remy once if Costa available – even when his goals dried up this year. If he rated him he would have way more than 400 second half minutes under his belt.

          3) I wasn’t criticising the Costa deal – why would I? Absolutely perfect deal/fit for Chelsea. Just saying it was a deal that patched up a problem known about for 15 months. And an obvious Mou/Atletico/Mendez/Span/Port/Courtois mafia deal sealed up for a long time before it happened.

          4) You can present it anyway you want but it don’t look great whichever it is spun. Buying something you owned a few years previously for 10x the amount isn’t the stuff of genius. No foresight, no imagination, no loyalty and lazy. Yes they had Essien but they still relied then, and to this day, on JOM as back-up.

          5) I know many fans who aren’t in love with either at the moment. I notice you say many Chelsea fans rate him – serious question, do you? I can admire him as an effective but properly dulled and neutered CAM/No.10 in the Chelsea machine and suspect he has a bit more in his locker but cynical as hell and full-time simulator par excellence. Less than PL 5 assists per year in a dominate and properly gelled team with UCL ambitions isn’t good enough imo. I assume you would take Oscar over Mata if given the choice – we just have to agree to disagree on that one.

          6) Sorry, again, it just lacks imagination and vision. Bringing back a 37 year old legend just to come on at the end of games to foul and waste time at one end and to defend set pieces at the other doesn’t do it for me.

          7) Fair enough but still mistakes and not triumphs of management acumen. Doesn’t help the perception when AS and KdB are ripping it up in the Bundesliga. Mourinho said he sold them for the money – CFC made around £4M on AS and £10M on KdB, the price of loyalty eh?

          8) And the money reason above doesn’t look so convincing when he goes out and blows £27M on Cuadrado. Ask a Chelsea fan who they would have preferred on the bench at the business end of the season; Cuadrado or De Bruyne and Schurrle. Hmmmmm. I wasn’t trying to offend your dignity – as I said the jury is out. But the original poster used this as an example of Mourinho brilliance – premature to say the least.

  12. Despite the recent spate of dubious/unsavoury incidents in the PL we are also miles behind in terms of gamesmanship and simulation. Pathetic and completely ruined my enjoyment – and has anyone ever heard the Camp Nou so quiet, made our place seem positively boisterous.

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