Arsenal’s lucky Champions League year? It still could be

When Arsenal had just pulled ourselves back from the brink of an early exit from the Champions League and the unwanted distraction of Thursday night Europa League games, Arsene Wenger was clearly delighted. So in his post match interview, flushed from the success and performance against Olympiacos, the Frenchman suggested that it might be Arsenal’s lucky year in Europe.

Well it still might, but our luck is going to have to change a hell of a lot if that is to be the case. Bayern Munich in the group stages left us little hope of topping the group and that meant we were hoping for a kind draw for the knockout stage. As I´m sure you know by now, that did not happen. In fact we got the worst possible draw against Barcelona.

But that does not mean we are out, it just means that we will have to be at our very best to beat them and we will probably need a bit of luck as well. We are due some to be honest because it is not just the draw that has gone against us so far.

The two harsh yellow cards that saw Giroud sent off set the tome on the first group game and the same can be said of many of our UCL campaigns. Remember Szczesny´s red card against Bayern when Robben was clearly going away from goal? So maybe this will be our lucky year.

One thing is certain, Arsenal will be in no danger of taking our opponents lightly and as they say, you have to face the best clubs at some point so we might as well get it out of the way now eh Gooners?

Tags Barcelona Wenger


    1. over one leg we can beat anyone and have
      two legs- round of 16 is our trophy- half a mile bus parade

      still two glamour ties, then we can focus on league an fa cup
      we havent the squad depth for this

      1. Deff. not, Muffinman. Thats why i annoy people so much with me calling for more players. Losing badly will sratch on our reputation. We need to show a good game against them. Barcelona are vulnerable to speed and counters. But Messi alone at times is to much. And i am just naming only his name.

        1. If Santi is not healthy, then we do not progress through the round. As we saw when we were against Bayern and home, his ability (as well as Mesut’s) to retain the ball in tight spaces under pressure, allows us to beat the first two lines of the high pressing FCB teams. Ramsey cannot do that — sure the guy is lauded because he covers a lot of ground, and arrives in the box, but he is guilty of losing the ball coming out of the back too often. We need technical ability to beat the pressure.
          We can’t effectively break on the counter if we can’t beat the first two lines. Cover in the transfer window may exist if we can’t get LeCoq healthy, but not for Santi.
          We also can’t have the BFG going up against the MSN. Has to be Paulista for this one.

            1. I forgot that Jack may be healthy by then. A midfield of Mesut, Jack, LeCoq, should be tidy enough to break pressure. A front line of Theo, Electric Sanchez and Ramsey/Joel/Welbz should be fast enough to catch them on the break and cause problems. Bring in Giroud off the bench to hurt them aerially. Same plan that was used against the other FCB that was successful at home.
              Reality, however, is that we most likely have be on our A+ game in front of goal, and hope that Barca are a bit wasteful.

        2. If we play like we did in that first Bayern game we can beat anybody. Strong defense And counter with Walcott. The back line is weak. Kind of..who thought we would get this far with these injuries.

  1. Youv got to be in it to win it.We’re in it so let Barca worry about us.Many a favourite has been beaten that’s why bookies are rich.Bet Wenger doesn’t treet this home tie lightly.Go for it you wonderful gooners.

  2. The best draw possible for us and here is my reasoning –

    1. If we lose then no one expected us to win anyway – so no loss and we will be able to concentrate on domestic league.
    2. If we win then who knows how much confidence that will give the team for both champions league and domestic league

    Either way we get to watch two great nights of football against one of the best teams in the world.

    1. Spot on dude. My thots exactly. Even if we had drawn Zenith and progressed to the next stage, we would still have to play one of the big boys. Better to weather the storm now and see if we can progress. If we do, then it just means we have one less of the big boss to play. If we crash out, we have enough time to concentrate on the EPL and FA Cup. Doing the double will compensate more than enough for crashing out of ECL. Bring on Barca’s South American musketeers!

    2. totally agree

      we will continue from a hecktick winter schedule and they will be fresh from their winter breaks

      like Platini said English teams are like Lions before Christmas and become Kittens after Christmas

      hope our returning injured players will contribute well in the new year

  3. Very hard,almost impossible…but if we survive this I think we can go all the way to the trophy.Still need DM as reinforcement,the Barca scary trio cannot be stopped by the likes of Flamini or Rteta…the goodnews is,except that formidable trio,Barca looks “almost normal” in the middle and back.If you ask me,almost on the same level as Bayern.Hope dies the last…we have absolutely nothing to lose,Barca has everything.

  4. This draw is a blessing in disguise. Barca draw might force Wenger to go for a defensive midfielder, maybe even a center back.
    Playing Flamini and BFG is more then a liability against a side like Barca, so who knows?
    I’ve got my hopes up not for going through the last sixteen, but actually seeing fresh faces in January.

    1. u dont know wenger do you?

      this is a man who played yaya sanogo against bayern munich in the knock out stage of the champions league rather than buy reinforcements

      1. But this time he has time to think deep about a squad that can actually beat Barca at least in a home game.
        I mean he has to pretend that he intends to go through to the next stage, so the least he can do is buy a blooming DMF.

  5. Extremely difficult draw for us. Let’s think that all the teams that have reached this far are here on merit, so any team we were seeded against would have been a challenge. Everyone needs to be fit and in top form for us to pose a threat in both legs, plus Wenger needs to purchase players in Jan that are able to challenge for the first team and eligible to play. Still a few months away, Barca could have some injury problems, you never know. But with our luck, we are out but luck can change. COYG <3

    1. That looks like Wanyama for DM, good and eligible to play. That leaves out other targets Lars Bender (My favourite) and Krychowiak. If we can’t buy a DM. Why not move Koscielny to DM and have Gabriel take his position as centre half.

  6. we need to bring back yaya sanogo to have a chance at beating barca.
    the way he runs and falls over himself will bamboozle them

    they wouldnt know how to deal with this
    post office powerhouse
    recorded delivery ronaldinho

  7. I dont want to be pessimistic but we got spanked by bayern and I personally think this barca side is better then bayern. And with our record we are more then likely to get more injuries from now to then, and wenger isnt a fan of the jan window so i wouldnt be surprised if he didnt buy anyone

  8. Out of the Best teams we got the toughest opponent but not impossible to beat. Remember we lost big to Bayern b but we also beat them 3-0. Also Barca have had some loses and draws too

    The tastiest matches as a neutral is also
    Bayern v Juventus
    PSG v Chelski

    Also, City are not guaranteed into the last 8. Dynamo could beat them

    I am hoping this draw will persuade Wenger to strengthen in January with at least a DM (especially without Coquelin) but not holding my breath

  9. If we do not buy a DM this would be my tema to play against Barca. Let them come and we play on the counter.

    Bel, Mert, Gab, Mon
    —-Kos, Ram—–
    Welb, Ozil, Alexis

    Yes Koscielny as DM. In the game against Aston villa I noticed a lot of forward runs.

    Ideally we still buy Wanyama

      1. I know he is. He is also the most comfortable on the ball. Gabriel is good defending wise but less of a ball player. We need someone that can do a Coq job and I think Kos is best at that.

  10. I hope a tie of this magnitude gives the extra incentive for Le Coq and Jack to speed up their recovery. Would love to see them and Ozil in midfield.
    Other than that, going to try and put this tie in the back of my mind until there’s a better indication of our form and available players.

  11. I saw the team sheets, when we faced them the last time………and it looks a much better situation now……. So I am really fancing my chances……!!!

  12. Hoping that atleast one of Messi, Suarez or neymar will be injured,but knowing our luck probably our entire defence will be injured

  13. It was obvious that we would get Barcelona,
    As long as beat them 4 nil at the Emirates we should sneak through lol.
    There not exactly setting the world on fire at the moment,
    Are they?
    Sometimes the winter break takes away the momentum and it takes a few games for the players to get back into the swing of things… So that’s a positive for us.

    If we have a fully fit squad by then,
    I’m confident we can beat them at home and get a draw in their back yard.

  14. I knew we would get barca somehow.whether we draw barca or not, we need reinforcements in this team,what the draw has done is to furhter make it necessary for Wenger to sign players.
    We just want a DM, dats not much to ask for cos even if Coq is fit we may need a fresh DM later on and we don’t want flamini or arteta in this kind of game.

  15. I am pumped for this game what a fixture this is going to be! Barca are unreal though no team has ever defendned the UCL, could be a good omen for us and lady luck could be on our side you just never know what Arsenal are going to show up. If its the fully fit Arsenal squad and the blueprint of the Utd game to just take the game to them, we have nothing to lose as barcas defence isnt that good and we have Giroud/Theo/Alexis, GTA… just like the game… explosive!! Coq back or cover bought (wanyama, eligable for ucl) and i fancy our chances to make this really hard for barca amd maybe nick it like what has happened to us v them/munich in ko stages!!

    1. Coq/Rambo/Ozil assisting GTA
      Biscuits/Rakatic/Iniesta assisting MSN

      There is not alot init in the middle either!

  16. We might even need to use both Coq and d new Dm together @ some point.similarly,I think Wilshere will be a very good if not the best partner for le coq…what do u think of that?

      1. Different strengths… My realistic (in terms of our injury list), ideal squad assuming they’re all in good form would be:
        Bellerin Mertz Kos Moreal
        Coquelin Wilshere
        Ramsey Ozil Sanchez
        Giroud at home/Theo Away

        1. Jack is one of the most talented players we have. If you fail to see what Xavi and others see in him then do us a favour and give up on watching football.

  17. If we can get a win somehow in the first leg and then put Coquelin, Flamini and Ramsey in midfield for the 2nd leg, we might have a chance.

    1. The day I see Arsenal playing Barcelona with Flamini on the pitch and Ozil on the bench… I may just join the WOB’s.. Probably not, but I’d lightly consider it!!

  18. Guys relax Arsenal is among the top 5 best football club in the World ain’t we? Why is every Arsenal fans keep complaining about this draw, one thing I know for sure is that, Wenger is a wounded lion don’t think you can take him down so easily because of his injury we know is hard sometimes for any team to face Bacerlona in the peach but is 11 players either side only the quality some times but we do have quality players too so why is the worries come on guys i know We can do this Wenger can do it, is our season it’s a reason for the past 9 seasons without trophy God have something special for us & this is it.

  19. I don’t want to say this, but in the interest of Arsenal’s Ucl success over Barca, I want to say, if the Ucl attacking quality of Barcelona’s 4 players of, Suarez, Messi, Neymar and Rakitic will play for Barca against Arsenal in both 2 legged ties, the Boss MUST consider the possibility of upgrading the Arsenal’s 2 CBs & DM position with 2 or 3 top quality new additions of a CB, DM and a striker to face Barca and knock them out of this round of 8 fixtures.

    We’ve seen the Ucl goalscoring capabilities of those above 4 mentioned Barca players which are incredibly powerful over the last season till now. Rhinosacker is well known to be not up to speed at CB for Arsenal. De Abreu defending quality was suspect at CB in both the Premier and Ucl games as evident against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena and at West Brom. And would Flamini be up to speed and strength to make the Gunners back-line impregnable by covering his defense-line tightly? He’s been holding fort well in the absent of the injured Coquelin so far in the Premier League games. But against Barca in this big Ucl game, maybe another contrasting story may happen. I am not an advocate of a DMF signing by the Boss for Arsenal as other Gooners have been advocating. Because Arsenal have 2 DMs in place before the commencement of this season campaigns who had and is successfully coping well in the Premier League. But now we have to knockout the big team of Euro League Barca, I wouldn’t mind if the Boss will recruit a new top quality DMF for the purpose of this advanced Barca knockout Ucl game and other Ucl advanced ties.

    The key to Arsenal beating Barca at Ems, is likely and possible if the Gunners can combine the quality of their home Ucl game against Bayern Munich and Olympiakos together and play the 2 games quality in 1 game against Barca. Then will we think next on how Arsenal will beat Barca at Camp Nou. I think the Boss can also get a top quality striker in the region cost of Aleksandr Kokorin to bolster his attacking striking options for this advanced Ucl campaigns.

  20. Lmao of course.
    Predicting 3-1 loss and a miraculous 2-0 win to go out on away goals… As usual… Sigh

  21. How should we even approach this game ,is ito press thenm high up and blow then away within few minutes a la Man U or a compact style to play on the counter a la Bayern .
    Personally, I prefer the high pressing style

  22. Barcelona is one of two best teams in Europe, and on betting form they should beat us over 2 legs. So we’ve nothing to lose and should take same approach as we did against Bayern at home. The away leg is another matter of course, but let’s focus on first leg and see how we can compete at all levels.
    By the time we play Barca we’ll know if we’re in with a shout of winning EPL. A good home performance against Barca will set up last 12 games – with only Manure, Citizens and Spuds as big threats.
    Let’s enjoy a great European night at the Emirates, and see where it takes us

  23. Yeah ok it’s Barça
    Just ask yourselves how did we get out in recent seasons…always away goals or one goal difference.
    Focus is the key word

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