In the absence of a post this morning I thought I’d write a short piece and ask this question that has been playing on my mind. It is over to the technically gifted observers to develop the debate and flesh it out with tactical analysis.
We are shortly to see how these two highly successful yet differing footballing cultures match up in the Champion’s League final. It’s a one off game, so the answer will not be definitive, but it is nevertheless a mouthwatering prospect.
The main difference I can see is that Barca is overflowing with talent and invariably manages to get the best out of their gifted players. They have superior players in every game and a system that maximises their potential, and that is why they are winning La Liga and in the CL final.
Manu are also going to win the Premiership and join Barca in the final, but they have managed to win or at least gain a draw in many games whilst not playing the best football. This is not a criticism, if anything, it is to be greatly admired.
Arsenal, like Barca, has many gifted players. We compare our team to the opposition man for man before a game and conclude that ‘we should win’. But we lose when we should win as frequently as Manu win when they should lose.
Why is this?
My answer may not be popular. We have some fantastic players but most are not at the level of their Barca counterparts. With our budgetary constraints we are unlikely to ever be able to compete with Barca for buying top players. So we should forget the rather high brow distraction of thinking we are the English Barcelona and examine how we can be more like Manu (sorry chary)
Manu have the advantage of a winning dynasty that permeates throughout the current side. They are not the greatest group of players but they are a very good team. They have a rock solid defence and respect the basics of football. They have strength at the back, power and passing ability in midfield, pace on the flanks and goalscorers up front. Add those traits to a steely determination instilled by their manager and it becomes obvious why they are so successful.
How could we make Arsenal more like Manu? – it sickens to even ask the question, but if we want to add trophies to our much admired playing style, I think that is exactly what we have to do.
I’m not going to answer the question…. over to you…