Barcelona’s victory a breath of fresh air for Wenger
Barcelona won the Champions League on Wednesday playing a brand of football that Arsene Wenger would love to emulate at the Emirates.
There is no doubt that Barcelona’s free flowing possession football against Manchester United in Rome would have put a smile on Wenger’s face. At times this season Arsenal have been some way off the Catalans’ high standard and this needs to be rectified.
Seven of the eleven players who started the final in Rome for Barcelona were products of their academy. Arsenal won the FA Youth Cup in midweek with a comfortable victory over Liverpool. Therefore, we can be confident that within the next few years these players can develop into first team regulars.
This FA Youth Cup win is great news for all Arsenal fans as it shows they are still producing players with skill and possessing great potential. It is also music to the ears of England fans that players such as Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong, Luke Ayling, Jay-Emmanuel Thomas and Henri Lansbury all starred in the dismantling of Liverpool.
Wenger has always been in favour of long term stability over short term success which can put a club in considerable debt. Looking through the Arsenal squad it is fair to say they are in a very comfortable position with many Arsenal fans believing they are only a couple of signings away from greatness again.
Looking through the Barcelona team, the main players that made them tick this season were Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and the magical Argentine Lionel Messi. These three players can hold possession under any circumstance and cut through opposition midfields and defences like a knife through warm butter.
They also have Samuel Eto’o up front who is clinical in front of goal. He proved this against Manchester United on Wednesday with a great finish against the run of play which all but killed off the game. A certain Thierry Henry on the left is also worth relying on to create and score the odd goal!
Comparing these players to the Arsenal squad does leave them a little short. However in Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri they have two players who could emulate the type of passing found in Barcelona’s central midfield. Andrei Arshavin next season can act as Arsenal’s Lionel Messi, Eduardo may be able to show the type of finishing expected from Eto’o.
If Wenger can get his team playing near the benchmark set by Barcelona next season, the Emirates faithful will enjoy the Premier League season very much.