Barca’s day-after thoughts: Fed up with injuries, it has to stop
Written by Chris on April 1, 2010 19:30
Only a fool would look back at yesterday’s game and say that the scoreline is a fair one. It is a flattering one and if the world was a fair place, the game would have ended just like the ones against Chelsea and Manchester United, a heavy defeat with many questions raised. But you know, the world is not a fair place as Barcelona know and we draw a game which according to many, had to end 0-5.
But let me just say this. What is the reason why we lost against the big teams this season, and what is the reason why we deserved to be hammered by the Catalans? If your answer is that we’re not good enough, allow me to disagree. Not entirely, but I disagree. I mean I’m not sure if feeling the pressure or not raising to the occasion make us not good enough, but I know that when we decided to play, and that’s when Theo and Denilson came on, well, we scored, leveled things up and went close to win.
Seriously, I don’t think Arsenal’s problem is that the other teams are better, it’s rather a mental problem which probably a young team like ours will always suffer from. I mean, provided he wasn’t injured, how on earth can you explain Abou Diaby’s game? Based on this season we know he’s a very talented midfielder with some exceptional skills on the ball, but yesterday he looked like a 3-year old playing football for the first time in his life.
To conclude this introduction, the resilience of the lads who came back from two goals down in style was superb. And I am optimistic ahead of next week’s game. The Spaniards will not sit back, they will try and score to make up for yesterday’s disappointment, and that is when players like Theo Walcott with their pace can do the trick nicely.
That Barcelona are the best team in Europe and probably in the World is no flash news. But they are not perfect. I feel that our major mistake was to not put enough pressure on their back four. It’s easy to say it with words I know and I also know they are so damn good on the ball that taking it away from them is almost mission impossible. But again, when we had possession we failed to do anything worth mentioning with it, mostly because we gave it away straight away.
At least, until the Brasilian came on. After the first twenty minutes, enough to understand Abou would have had a shocking game, I suggested to the friends in the chat room for Denilson to come on as he is more suited for teams like Barcelona. I’m glad I was right, he stopped Barca’s midfielders in their tracks and I’m very, very happy for him, although it’s sad to know that in the English Premiership not many teams are more technical than physical like the Spaniards.
Maybe, just maybe, I accept Arsenal to always go so close in winning titles yet not making it because Arsene always opts not to sign one-two players in the January transfer window. But I don’t accept to see Arsenal players getting injured over and over again because they are thrown out there early despite not being match fit. William Gallas – with Arsene regretting using him yesterday by the way – played because Sol Campbell is not fit enough to play two games in a row and Andrey Arshavin has been nursing an injury since, well, I can’t even remember, maybe November. And what about Denilson, falling to the ground against Everton because he came early from a back injury?
You can praise Arsene’s mentality as much as you want but in the meantime, one after the other, all our players, seriously, ALL, have suffered injuries some time this season. They are over used, rotation is not a word in the Frenchman’s vocabulary and this is no good. I love the players and to see them struggle throughout the season like this is painful. The result can only be one as the three weeks on the sidelines of William and Andrey clearly show, not to mention, of course, Cesc’s misery.
We caused all sorts of trouble to Barcelona because Theo Walcott has pace, so let’s use the Wolves game to try new things out in this department. Carlos Vela – no idea why not even on the bench yesterday – should be given a rare start. He can cause the same damage at the Camp Nou but on Theo’s opposite flank.
For those not updated with fixtures, we play on Saturday at 15:00UK time this weekend and as always, I’ll be back on Friday with the preview. Until then, take good care of yourselves friends.