Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Fair Fight in Paris?

I'm slowly getting myself into Champions Legaue Final mode, I've been trying not to get too hyped up yet but the tension and excitement of our biggest game ever is building and building now.

My point though, is apart from Ronaldinho, are there any Barca players that are better than their Arsenal counterparts. Whilst the bucktoothed one is more than a match for Gilberto Silva, is there anywhere else on the pitch that they are significantly better than us? I just can't see it. Keepers, defence, solidarity in midfield etc...are all ours.

If it came to Puyol v Kolo, if you take away the star attraction of Carlos' name, I'd pick Kolo everytime on the form of the last 18 months. Toure doesn't let in Champions League goals and Puyol was properly grilled by Shevchenko at the Camp Nou but got away with it.

Eto'o is also a worthy consideration and a great player, but Barca wouldn't be serious about TH14 if they thought Eto'o was a better would they? We'll kick the hell out of them on full backs (theirs are our cast-offs) and goal keepers however! The bland battle in midfield of Sivla and Van Bommel is even, so is Cesc and Xavi. If Messi plays, we'll let them have that one on Hleb but Le Bob, Freddie and Jose (especially as the last 2 are confidence players hittin goals recently) can more than match Iniesta, Motta and Guily for big game goals.

I'm also gonna say that discipline wise, we are more drilled than they are. Granted its not our normal formation, but Freddie sticks to his task well, whereas although Ronnie and Giuly/Messi are given freedom, that freedom ultimately will creat space for Ash and Manny Eboue. If each side went a goal up, I'm more confident it would stay 1-0 to the Arsenal due to our organisation than the scoreline stay the same of the Catalans went ahead.

This really is a far more even battle than anyone is giving us credit for. The Spanish press think its something of a procession to the big eared trophy, and I hope they continue that train of thought, but are they really that much better than us?


At 11:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah i think so too. whilst barcalona are a great side, we've got to the final on merit too and the teams are both solid, class sides, with one or two world class match winners each

bring on next wednesay!

At 12:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

think they may have us on marquez v campbell, but then again, i'd be better than campbell on recent form. good stuff

At 6:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a neutral (Rangers) and am looking forward to a great game of open football. But being british, I hope you win. Wenger deserves it to complete his cv. Good luck gunners.

At 10:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our weakest spot is defence - by which I mean Sol. If he plays I can't see us keeping a clean sheet. I've mixed feelings about their central defenders: am a huge fan of Puyol, and Marquez is obviously good, but their record this season is less solid than ours. They were very lucky against Milan. I'd much prefer Senderos, even half fit. No, he's not reliable either, but Lehmann and Toure seem to play more confidently when he's there.

Full backs: Oleguer/Silvinho, Gio van B, versus Ashley and Eboue? even with Ash 30 percent off his best, and despite Eboue's defensive weakness, we are definitely far far better.

Lehmann v. Valdes? Not a lot in it but, if it comes to a penalty shoot-out. I'd say Jens has the edge. (If it comes to a penalty shoot-out, don't think I can watch. Will hide under table.)

Defensive midfield: Gilberto v. Edmilson? Gilberto for me.

Attacking midfield/forwards: Giuli, Deco, Ronaldinho, van Bommel, Iniesta, Larsson, Maxi Lopez, etc., etc. versus Reyes, Pires, Freddie, Cesc, Hleb: they have it, by quite a long way. Great strength in depth.

Henry v. Eto'o? No contest.

Player for player we're the underdogs, and my brain tells me we can't possibly win. My hunch, however, says we do pretty well when we're underdogs. Remember Real and Juve? Remember the Cup Winners cup?


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