Monday, October 05, 2009
Arsenal’s squad as good as Barcelona’s?
By Hamzi Mohd
Arsenal’s style of play has often been compared to Barcelona’s. Both teams play open attacking football relying on the high technique and skill of their players, the quick pass and continuous movement.
Another comparison this year is that both teams seem to play a 4 3 3 type of formation and it is interesting therefore to compare the them, player for player.
Below are suggested line ups of the two teams. Others may disagree with me as to the Arsenal line up (Walcott and Rosicky for example may get into the first 11 in other people’s assessment).
I only set out these 11 below in order to facilitate my point. The actual line up is, in some ways, immaterial as I believe that Arsenal has more strength in depth than Barcelona.
Alves Puyol Pique Maxwell
Xavi Toure Iniesta
Messi Ibrahimovic Henry
Subs: Marquez, Keita, Pedro, Pinto, Chygrynskiy, Bojan, Abidal, Busquets, Milito, Suarez
Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
Fabregas Song Nasri
Eduardo v Persie Arshavin
Subs: Fabianski (Mannone), Eboue, Djourou, Senderos, Gibbs, Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner, Vela, Rosicky
A comparison of the first 11 line ups on a player to player basis shows that Arsenal actually could match Barcelona.
It is true that the Barcelona squad has proven world class players who can make a difference whenever needed.
Messi is one of the best in the world, Henry we all know what he can do and Ibrahimovic is a very good striker.
Iniesta and Xavi are both classy playmakers and both their fullbacks are very good going forward.
But we have Arshavin who in my opinion can match Messi’s brilliance.
Van Persie himself is at least as good as Ibrahimovic. Fabregas and Nasri (or Rosicky) can certainly match Iniesta and Xavi.
Song too is almost as good as Toure and will soon be even better. Clichy and Sagna are better than Alves and Maxwell.
When the squad issue is addressed, I believe that Arsenal has more depth than Barcelona’s.
Barcelona doesn’t have that many options if a few key players are out injured or suspended.
They only have Pedro, Suarez and Bojan in the attacking positions. Iniesta can play wide but he is really best in the middle alongside Xavi.
Arsenal however has the luxury of Walcott, Bendtner, Vela, Eduardo, Rosicky, Nasri and Eboue who can all play wide. Although Barcelona has better cover in defence ours is not that bad either.
So by this logic, no wonder Wenger is so optimistic about this current group of Arsenal players.
I just hope they could deliver this season and we, as Arsenal fans, should believe in them and give the team our full support.