Former player Steve Archibald would bet on Guardiola’s team to win the Champions League final against Manchester United. The Scot believes that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side "don’t have the discipline necessary to stop Barça".
He’s probably one of the ex footballers who, currently, can talk more about the final at
Wembley on the 28th of May between FC Barcelona and Manchester United. Steve Archibald never misses
a Barça game, as in recent years he’s been commentating on their matches on R@dio Barça for
English listeners. In addition, the former Barça player knows the “Red Devils” manager
really well, having played under Alex Ferguson when Aberdeen won the Scottish League, and also in
the 1986 World Cup for Scotland.
With this background, Steve Archibald gave an in depth analysis of the forthcoming battle
between Manchester United and FC Barcelona.
"They’re missing a bit of quality"
Archibald believes that, at the moment, the English team "is in a transition
phase", and this season "is not as strong". A good example of this is "the lapse of concentration
in the League" the former Barça player said, which has allowed Chelsea to threaten their lead and
Archibald, who played for Barça between 1984 and 1987, believes that this Manchester United
team is different from the one that played in the Rome final in 2009 because "it lacks a bit of
quality in some positions".
"Their strength is playing as a team"
Even so, Archibald sees Ferguson’s team as “very strong, and their
strength is that they play as a team". He stressed that "they always play to attack, just like
Barça, so we’ll witness a pretty open game". Knowing the United manager, Archibald
doesn’t think they’ll change their style of play just because they are up against
Barça. "Ferguson will want them to play his way, playing football and entertaining the crowd,
especially in big games like finals". He also thinks that Ferguson will have studied the Rome
final, but “they’ll try to win the match his way”.
Ferguson would have preferred Madrid
Archibald is convinced that if Alex Ferguson could have chosen their Champions
League Final opponents he would have opted for Real Madrid, as "Barça always have a lot of
possession and being in control of the game is very important" and he believes that this is a
problem for United, since their game is more about "strength and movement, but they won’t be
able to pressurise Barça in midfield, or win many balls". Archibald finally pointed out that
Manchester "have experience but not the quality, they lack the discipline necessary to stop Barça".
Players to look out for
In terms of Manchester United players to look out for, Archibald picked out Rooney,
Berbatov and above all Chicharito, who he believes "is dangerous because he’s very clever in
Then there are Scholes, "who’s not at the level he was at before”, and Giggs, who
"plays in a different position, in midfield, and he’s clever but has lost some of his speed
and power. He’s dangerous, but not the Giggs of a few season ago" said Archibald.