Barcelona build-up interviews: Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola, Victor Valdes
Written by Jeffrey on March 30, 2010 4:00
With Arsenal’s official website asking everyone to be at the Emirates early and wear red and white to create a fantastic atmosphere at the stadium, expectations for the game are incredibly high for what could easily be defined as the most fascinating game of the season for the Gunners. Arsenal and Barcelona, considered by many as the two teams which play the best football in Europe, will clash tomorrow evening in their attempt to move to the next round of the Champions League.
Speaking ahead of the game, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger declared there are similarities between the two clubs, in the way they play and in the way they bring up the young players. The Frenchman explained how at Arsenal, the young ones are a fundamental part of the club, as in his opinion happens for the Spanish giants as well:
There are similarities there in the way we play and the way we educate young players and the way we rely on young players and in the sense of belonging to the Club. I believe that we want the players to have that because it is an important part in the way we see football and I believe Barcelona has that as well.
Meanwhile, it would be foolish to think the away team will come at the Emirates and park the bus, it’s simply, not in their mentality. Pep Guardiola, who enjoyed a formidable season last year, confirmed his team will not change their “attacking football” philosophy as it’s part of his players and something the Catalans believe in:
Since I took the job our play has been marked by brave, attacking football. Sometimes we’ve been bold and, occasionally, I think we’ve played audaciously. It’s a philosophy of football. Win or lose I want us to show who we are and what kind of football we believe in. I want my team to go out and be themselves.
Those of us lucky enough to work at this level in our profession must never forget that it’s only a sport. We live in a world where everything is spiraling in cost and many people need to make a big sacrifice in order to go and watch a game of football.
To end with, goalkeeper Victor Valdes revealed the Gunners was the team they wanted to face in the quarter-finals of the competition. The Spaniard explained Manchester United or Bayern Munich would have been more dangerous for the Spanish giants, adding how captain Cesc Fabregas is the key of the Arsenal squad. Speaking to the News of the World, Valdes said:
Arsenal were one of the rivals we wanted, rather than Manchester United or Bayern Munich. We are not going to play conservatively at the Emirates. Barcelona are capable of winning anywhere. Our experience against Chelsea last season was memorable and will serve us well when we play Arsenal. The key for Arsenal is [Cesc] Fabregas. He is the soul of the club. But they are a team of great quality, full of international players, and they will cause problems.