By L Gooner A
In no way are we out of the Champions League. Why? A number of reasons.
We have Arsene Wenger. Need I say more? Well I will anyway. The best manager the club has ever seen, possible the best we'll ever see. Some of you don't like the fact the we are trophyless for 5 years now, but I wouldn't like watching that crap 'football' that Mourinho sends his teams out to play, even if it does win things. Arsene used yesterdays press conference to confirm that he realises we need to, in his words "make the pitch smaller" if we are going to win.This is usually Song's job, but Denilson was brilliant at it when he came on last week. The pressure Barca put on us is one reson they were so dominant early on, and we need to start in a similar fashion tonight.
That first 25 minutes last week was spectatcular. In a bad way. I'm sure I'll never see such an incredible footballing performance again. However, except for that 25 minutes we were in no way the worse team over the rest of the game, contrary to the views of any other football fans or journalists. When we had the ball they were scared of us, and always on the back foot. This even applies to before Theo came on, with Sam Nasri going close not long before half-time.
When Theo did come on we showed just how defensively vulnerable Barcelona are. They were afraid of us. I often watch Barca when they're on TV anyway but have made sure I've watched all their games since the draw was made. When going forward they're fantastic, even when Messi isn't firing on all cylinders, such as last week. However they are poor at the back, and that is when Puyol and Pique are available. Funnily enough, the last time they lost at Camp Nou was against Atletico Madrid, and neither of their first choice centre-halfs were available. Each week Barca look weak at the back, conceding two goals against Real Zaragoza just a few weeks ago. Zaragoza aren't a good side, but had two pacy forwards who gave the Barca back four endless trouble. Similarly Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-1 this weekend. Despite comfortably winning the game they were never comfortable at the back, Bilbao having 3 or 4 golden chances that I trust the likes of Nasri, Diaby, Theo, and yes, Nicklas Bendtner, to put away.
Juve, Roma, Inter, Real Madrid, A.C Milan. We've beaten all of them as underdogs away from home in Europe. None of them match the brilliance of these Barcelona side, but Real still had many of the 'Galacticos', A.C Milan had won at Old Trafford just a year earlier, Juve and Roma were also at the best. No English side had ever beaten A.C, Inter or Real away from home when we did it. Many of those games were very much 'The Thierry Henry Show', well last week Theo was the star, and what an opportunity this si for him to propel himslef onto the world stage and show he is the replacement for Titi that we were told he could be. Camp Nou is the probably the biggest stadium that we've not won at, as Arsene has indicated "We've won away everywhere in Europe - Barcelona is a place where we haven't done it, so there is no better opportunity than Tuesday". Furthermore, Sky Sports has just told me Barca haven't won at home against an English club for 5 games. Fingers crossed.
I believe that, even without Cesc, Robin, Alex Song, Gallas and Arshavin we can win. Rosicky and Sol are doubtful, but I still believe we have enough.