Skip menu

Main menu

Content menu

Top of page


Link to related content


15.12.2008 13:08

Arsenal: a young team that plays well

Jordi Clos

Arsenal, who are one of Barça’s potential rivals in the Champions League, are staying true to Arsène Wenger’s philosophy of football. However, the side skippered by Cesc Fabregas are having an up-and-down season, especially in the Premier League.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Olympique Lyon are the four rivals Barça could get in next Friday’s draw for the last 16 of the Champions League. In the run-up to that draw, each day www.fcbarcelona.cat will be looking at one of these teams. The first is Arsenal, the side managed by Arsène Wenger and skippered by Cesc Fàbregas and which reached the final in Paris in 2006 with Henry and Hleb in their line-up. They would be a tough nut to crack.

Wenger’s team

Arsène Wenger has now been in charge at Arsenal for twelve seasons and is the most successful manager in the club’s history. In that time he has given free reign to good football and a commitment to fresh talent. Indeed, he has recently made the 21-year-old Cesc Fàbregas, the ex-Barça player who has become a symbol of the passing game the Londoners play, into club captain. The Gunners play their home matches at the ultra-modern Emirates Stadium.

Pipped by Porto

nasrigole.jpgSurprisingly Arsenal are in the pot for teams who came second in the group stages. They had a good chance of finishing top with just one match to go, but a 2-0 defeat away at Porto meant the Portuguese headed the group. However, they still have the third best goal difference (+6) behind Barça (+10) and Bayern Munich (+8). Their main threat in attack is Adebayor and Van Persie, who have found the net three times and twice respectively.

Arsenal are also having a less than excellent time of it in the Premier League. After drawing away at Middlesbrough, the Londoners have won nine, drawn three and lost five and are in fifth place eight points behind leaders Liverpool.

Ex-Gunners Henry and Hleb

A Barça-Arsenal clash would be very special for Thierry Henry and Aleksander Hleb. The French striker was the Gunners’ top player between 1999 and 2007, while the Byelorussian was there from 2005 to the summer of 2008. “It would be a very special tie,” says Hleb. “They are a good team who are hard to play against.”

Arsenal would be the favoured opponents for Touré Yaya and Bojan Krkic. The midfielder would like to play against his brother Kolo, while the striker is anxious to experience the atmosphere at the Emirates.
Photos: www.arsenal.com
Photos: www.arsenal.com
Promising precedents
Arsenal and Barça have only played each other in three competitive games. In the group stages of the Champions League in 1999/2000 the Gunners got a draw at Camp Nou but the Catalans then won at Wembley by 2-4. The last time they went head-to-head was in the final in Paris in 2006 when Barça won 2-1 to lift the second European Cup in their history.

Top of page

Back to top

Related content

Football News

Back to top
Top of page