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It's Barcelona again

There's a certain inevitability about some cup draws. Having tripped up over our own seemingly comfortable group stage draw we've been rewarded with everyone's least favourite knockout round opponents.

We'd have to have beaten them, or someone who had beaten them first in order to win the trophy of course but it's a tough ask given the spanking we got from them last season. Cup competitions seem to throw up these sequences where the same opponents are pitted together quite often.

In a knockout tournament so much depends on factors on the day whether injuries, decisions, the simple run of the ball that the form book isn't always a great guide. Cup games have a dynamic of their own and progress in this competition will depend on us having our best players fit and on form if we are to bury a few ghosts. We have done so in the past as few gave us much chance of beating then reigning champions AC Milan in the San Siro a couple of seasons back or a strong Real side in the Bernabeu. It can be done, it has been done - that's both the tantalisation and the torment of cup football.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 17 2010

Time: 11:48AM

Your Comments

Shatkar game comes back to bite us I'm afraid.
Wyn Mills
Lol.. Walcott said that you guys wanted to face Barca... Wish Granted!
ramir7s
The team has no one to blame but themselves. Could have and should have topped the group. It will be an interesting game, of course, but I just don't see how we can beat Barca.
prits
Tasty.
Tom14
Exciting, guess we will really see how far the squad has come in 12 months, oh and.....Cesc Fab he is ours, Cesc Fab he is oooooours, F@*k off up Las Ramblas, Cesc Fab he is ooooours!
iceman10
If we knock them out, I'd fancy the boost it would give us to carry us all the way.
Little Dutch
Anyone who watched Barca annihilate Real should take a relative view of our progress.
Wyn Mills
At least we can have a good trial run for the Barca game against stoke 2moro......
iceman10
Oh my the gloom. Agree with LD, this could be the proving ground. W.B /Newcastle/Hull all have beaten us at home when we where certain to win; its 11 men against 11 men. We played them in the final and we nearly won with 10 men. Perhaps its our turn now. If every game of football was so easy to forecast who would watch football.
alwaysgunner
OH DEAR
cb25Yid
Didn't the Arse players ask for this tie though? As stated earlier, wish granted. Smile :) My brother is an Arse fan and he doesn't know this news yet (new baby in the house), I cant wait till he finds out lol. On a serious note though, surely it wont be as bad as the last time you guys met. Should be a cracking game though. Best wishes....
Zbam
I will stump up the cash for someone to take Messi out one way or another.
paul_ownz
I dont think we have nothing to fear against them ,we can show that we're on par if not better than Barca
ajwb
Double negative there ajwb. But I do agree with you. We have a great deal to fear. If Messi gets crocked in the interim I reckon we might stand a chance.
Wyn Mills
Awesome use of the double negative.
Tom14
We didnt do that badly last time we played them. We drew 2-2 at home and took the lead away with Mikel Feckin Silvestre playing centre back. Also we had no Arhavin, Gallas, RVP or Song and were in the game until the same old naivety struck just before half time. Of course Barca are super favourites but what have we go to lose? There is also a 1 in 4 chance we may have broken our trophy drought by then as well, so the pressure could be off.
iceman10
If Messi, Xavi, Inniesta and Villa all get crocked then we’re in with a chance. I wonder which shirt Fabregas will put on ;-)
Sir Henry
"I dont think we have nothing to fear against them ,we can show that we're on par if not better than Barca" - please let me know the kind of psychotropic drug you're using, I'm interested in getting some. At least we'll have one less competition to worry about once we're very easily eliminated.
jaelle
If nothing else, it's another opportunity for us to benchmark ourselves against the very best. I don't expect us to go through, but I am certainly looking for some improvement from last year's mauling. We concede far too many goals against average teams, so we'll have to outscore Barca to beat them. Not likely.
Gooner_Vin
If nothing else, it's another opportunity for us to benchmark ourselves against the very best. I don't expect us to go through, but I am certainly looking for some improvement from last year's mauling. We concede far too many goals against average teams, so we'll have to outscore Barca to beat them. Not likely.
Gooner_Vin
oh my god. if based on the performances from the last games vs Barca (70%-30% possession game), we will be thrashed again.
fcdematthew
We seem to play better when there aren't many expectations of us. Know one will give us a chance to get within 5 of them, who knows, stranger things have happened and Walcott scares them hence Messi's comments after the WC. Still think we'll lose but we have a shot to nothing.
PENZ
Tasty.
Sajit
I've been bed ridden with debilitating Man-flu all week ... terminal the doctors tell me, so I'd forgotten about the draw. This hardly makes me feel any better boys. Thanks a lot.
Rocky7
If they have injurys to Xavi and Messi then youd have a great chance. PS i think your poll is outdated
HuddersfieldYiddo
Ouch...
TheFamousNo7
if our supporters done believe we could knock 'em out, no wonders the players wouldn't give it a go!! Arsenal to go through, cesc to master the game in camp nou
Gooner SA
yous are ****ed unless something happens to the messi-ah or xavi
Seanmccan
i hope we go in with a plan and not like a punchdrunk teenager... As usual we don't pay enough attention to the opposition strengths, believing in our game and all that... it might work against the lesser lights of the PL but this is the barca of messi and errors will be punished just like last year... I think Clichy shouldn't go past the halfway line and should sow himself onto messi... barca love nothing more than pulling players out of position and inter frustrated them last year by not budging.
Gael-Force
message for Jaelle ;Gooner vin ;Rock 7and wyn mills why are you so bloody negative, have some faith in your team, your supposed to come on to the web site with at least some pretence of being a positive supporter at the moment you sound like a bunch of whinging whyning god were going to get stuffed plonkers have some faith and stop with the negative vibes
cornish gooner
Well you can't say we didn't deserve it...
Arsenales F.C
You're ****ed.
fifthcolumnblue
Negative vibes? IT'S BARCELONA YOU MUG. Or have you been under a rock the past 3 years or so? It's not game over by any stretch of the imagination but going in to the game expecting us to turn them over despite all evidence to the contrary is bordering on retarded.
Gunnerman
I honestly think this is the perfect draw. Either we shock everyone and beat them proving to our boys and the world we're ready... or we lose and the squad can focus on the league.
smithdj74
I still don't see what bearing last year's games have on this year... Take Messi (RvP) and Iniesta (Fab) out and have Barca play with their 5th and 6th choice CB pairing for part of the game and see just how good they are. If we are healthy we can play with anyone. If we are missing the spine of our team we will get creamed. Why do people miss the difference in those last two statements?
Bergkamp4Life
Bring them on I say. This time hopefully with a full first team squad fit, we can go out and prove to those bloody Catalans once and for all whose DNA is better
Eboue=GOD
cornish gooner Agree with you mate I must, be a retaard too. Nice one Gunnerman nice to have you as a wing man. Its a game of football and on our day I back us tobeat anyone, so bo..ks to your opinion and go the gunners.
alwaysgunner
it is a pity that Uefa and Fifa practices has now turn to be an indoor arrangement ... it started from the England World cup bide where an unexpected Russians where chosen ahead of the much expected England, and thereafter we all witnessed the selection of World footballer of the year , where players like Diego Folan and Shinelder of Inter-Milan were all missing , choosing a world cup missing messi ahead of them... what a pity.. now its the turn of the CL draws, the same of the same , i am afraid football has gone from natural practices in terms of arrangement. we will surprise all in taking Barca out of the CL this time, i am praying for injury free
Arsene001
fifthcolumnblue: I must say it makes me laugh when you have rival fans coming on here saying "your *****ed" when the best their team can muster is the Europa league. If playing the creme of Europe in the CL means "were *****ed" then I will take that every season thank you very much....after all why change the habit of the last decade.
gunnerman76
It does ***** me off a bit when you have people on here slating the team for not having the "belief" to beat the likes of utd...chelsea. Whats the point in them having the belief if we haven't! Do you think West Brom came to the Emirates thinking "nah ***** this were going to get hammered"? They came had a *****ing good go and got there rewards! I have no doubt if we have a poor game against Barca we will lose, but I could say that about many other teams. I REALLY do believe with a full strength 11 firing from ALL cylinders on our best day we CAN beat anyone. Barca are not *****ing invincible....they HAVE lost games recently you know, and to some pretty pathetic teams. SNAP OUT OF IT GUYS! YES they are favourites....so *****ing what. Shall we just roll over and pull our pants down?? We must play our game ....and at pace. As soon as we lost the "dear in the headlights" after being 2-0 down in the first game, we played our own game with pace, high up the pitch and it scared them to death! 10 more mins on the clock and we would have been going to Barca for the 2nd leg with a lead! Barca's only way of defending is by attacking. When teams put there back line under pressure they fold. I don't rate any of there back line....I think the rest of the team flatters there back line. The key is making there full backs defend, because there both useless at it....There defencive game is basically keeping there opposite number deep in there own half, there fantastic going forward yes, which means there will always be ACRES of space behind them........this is why THEO was so effective against Barca and why Alves wont relish having theo rip him a new ass again. We have to keep there fullbacks in there own half if were to have any hope, and the only way to do that is to play them at there own game high up the pitch. If we sit back and try to nullify them we will get hammered.....simple. Its not the way we play anyway.
gunnerman76
Your right g76. West Brom winning at the Emirates is a bigger suprise than us winning at the Nou Camp. Underdogs yes, Out of it? Absolutley not.
paul_ownz
Cornish Gooner, how on earth am I being negative? I stated a perfectly honest opinion that we are in this position because we failed to get the right result at Shatkar, largely due to a complacency Wenger has himself admitted. He said after that game that he'd learnt a lesson about losing focus ( a staggering confession from a man has been taking his team into Europe for many successive seasons). The team promptly went on to show the same complacency at Braga. Is it any wonder some of us would rather not get our hopes up too high? The Barcelona draw is a good test for us, but surely one it would have been better to have avoided until later. I am simply sceptical about all the bravado surrounding this tie, and claims about 'having to beat the best teams anyway'. NO, this is a tie we should have avoided. This is about winning the competition. On current form you'd have to say we are not favourites to progress, unless Barca's form drops and we find a level of confidence and belief that is not entirely evident if we take last Monday's performance as any yardstick. Those who think we've progressed massively should watch a few Barcelona games and then put our progress into some perspective. If you want to dance around with joy please be my guest. But please don't try to tell me how to act as a fan.
Wyn Mills
well all l have to say is that there is big politics in the way champions league is drawn
mathebi16
wyn mills the intention wasnt to tell you how to act as a fan ive supported arsenal since iwent to my first match at highbury in 1952 as a 10 year old i was trying to make the point that no matter who the opposition the belief that we can and have done, stuffed the best the rest of the world has thrown at us over the years should always be there dont take things so personally, to me all arsenal fans are the crem"e de la crem"e
cornish gooner
Wyn Mills: I hear what your saying about finishing 1st in the group, but to be fair, there are no easy ties at this stage in the competition, from here on in there is just no room for error whether it be Barca or København.....it just so happens to be Barca. Rubin took 2 points off Barca at home and so did København. If they can take 2 points off them at home then we are MORE then capable of taking 3! I do think we HAVE to win at home to get through though, which is not an impossible task. I hear your frustration and apprehension about the tie, but we cant change it now, and as it stands we are STILL in the competition. Lets just hope the team put in the best 180 mins of there life, if they do I'm sure we will progress.....if we don't progress THEN lets get into the "ifs and buts".
gunnerman76
Cornish, Whinging plonker? I have huge faith in the team, but I choose, for the sake of my health and sanity, to temper that faith with some perspective. While I admire your bravado we've been doing this Champions League lark for a few seasons now so we all know it takes more than blind faith to win it. We need to be prepared to learn some lessons and humility from past campaigns, hopefully before we get knocked out again. Mate, I do have the belief we can beat Barcelona, but its not blind belief. Does it follow that because Rubin took 2 points off Barca we will too? That same logic says we should have taken at least 2 points off Braga having thrashed them at home. Take off the rose-tinted specs and acknowledge the strengths of our opponents, as someone above has said already. Only by doing this will we devise a strategy to beat them. I'd rather everyone gave us little chance. That way I know the team will really be up for it.
Wyn Mills
My belief is not blind WM. I have already stated above if we don't perform we will lose, also if we don't win the home tie we probably wont progress.....hardly blind belief. The point I was trying to make with regards to Barca's group games is that even they can be fallible. And if this is the case when we meet then we HAVE to take full advantage.....but I think you knew that already. I am a realist......I absolutely know the strengths of this great Barca team, give me some credit.... I certainly don't where rose tinted specs or any other colour for that matter. Can we be friends now? :)
gunnerman76
Sure g76. I see all fellow gooners as friends. We have different opinions is all.
Wyn Mills
If we didn't have different opinions then what would we have to talk about hey!
gunnerman76
Well as a City supporter I say you had bad luck with the draw but you can only do your best. I think that on a day anything can happen and if your team is up & firing then you can beat them. I think you have a hard job ahead of you but good luck anyway. BTW a merry Xmas to you all and good luck in 2011 to you and your families.
Oziman
Having seen Barca again on the weekend, I can't see us getting through the tie without Xavi or Messi having signifcant loss of form or injuries. We need to take a leaf out of Inter's book last season to have a chance, i.e. win well in the first leg and then absolutely stifle/frustrate them in the second away leg. Sadly, I don't think this team is capable of that kind of performance, so our open, attacking game will yield only one result.
Gooner_Vin
Careful GV. Claims of negativity coming your way!
Wyn Mills
My final say on Arsenal v Barca always learn from history, because if you dont it will come back to bite you in the bum. If someone can say will no doubt that Barca will beat us in the CL well good onya because no one knows. We have starred in games (FA cup) where we should have wiped the floor with the teams against us and have had to eat humble pie. Two such games stand out in my memory; one of them my poor old Dad had to suffer. Was 1933: Walsall 2-0 Arsenal and I 1992: Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal. I still think and hope we beat Barca and thats it for me.
alwaysgunner
Yes we should have won all our games to top the group, but we didnt. so what? we shouldn't turn up because its Barca. Granted they are favourites to go ahead, but there have been games where we were pitted against the very best in Europe and we scaled through. Barca are a diferent brood - faster, stronger and hungrier in front of goal - than we are. And they pass better and are in the form of their lives. Yeah Yeah.. We will come with our game and enjoy the spoils (whatever that is). Com'on u gunners, lets enjoy the game, i'm pretty sure its not gonna be a bashing, for either side.
gunnerwest
Doesn't change the fact that you're *****ed goonerman.
fifthcolumnblue
u guys should just forfeit and save yourself the embarrassment no offense.
trueblue4.0
 

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