Written by Rasputin
Are we in the same league as Barcelona?
Barca comprehensively outplayed Manchester United in the Champions League final. The old adage “football was the winner” seems appropriate. The pundits have been variously analysing and dissecting the game and usually at some point, Arsenal’s name is offered as the only side in the PL that passes the ball and tries to produce the ‘total football’ of Barca……… so how do the two sides compare?
To compare the Barca team that played in the final with a theoretical ‘first team’ that AW would pick this season comprising; Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Denilson, Fabregas, Arshavin, Van Persie, Adebayor
Average age… Arsenal 25; Barca 26
Average height… Arsenal 5ft 10ins; Barca 5ft 10 ins
Average height of centre backs… Arsenal 6ft 0ins; Barca 6ft 3ins
Home nationality… Arsenal 1; Barca 6
Internationals… Arsenal 7; Barca 9
Goals from strikers… Arsenal 36; Barca 50
Trophies in the last four years…. Arsenal 0; Barca, 3 League titles, 1 Domestic cup, 2 Champions league
You can interpret these statistics in a number of ways and they don’t take into account the all-important financial constraints that have dictated Arsenal’s transfer policy in recent years. But if you want to be the best, you have to compare yourself with the best.
You could speculate how many of the Arsenal team would get into the Barca side? but that’s not particularly helpful – its about the team.
Most of the Barca players would have scored an 8 for their performance in the final whereas manu’s players only merited a 6.
A lot of supporters would say we are only a couple of players off of a Premiership winning side, others would simply argue that we should support the players we have and by that faith alone, they will develop into the best.
The fact is that Barca know how to win. They have total belief that their style of football can beat anyone and this comes from the history and culture of their football and the quality of the players they produce. We had those qualities with the ‘Invincibles’ and we can achieve them again. The last couple of seasons have been patchy due to loss of personnel and injuries. From this point forward, we need to rebuild the confidence and reinforce the quality of the squad.