Madrid, Milan, Inter, well we got Barca…


Oh Boy!

It doesn’t get much bigger than this does it?

If you can’t get excited about the occasion, you are at the wrong place – European nights are always such a special occasion but tonight is about getting one big toe in the semi final of the Champions League.

As Arsene Wenger pointed out, we have so many things in common with Barca, the breeding of young players, playing beautiful football which is why there is so much hype around the game. Guardiola has said he won’t sacrifice his attacking football, neither will Wenger, setting up a fantastic scenario for football fans all over the globe. I hope we shall not be dissappointed.

Lets talk tactics

 I’ve been saying here on Avenell Road that Barca are a formidable opponent, they are the European and World Champions after winning a commendable six trophies last term by brushing aside the likes of chavs, mancs and bayern so you should expect a tough match. Last term they played in a 4-3-3 system with Henry, Eto’o and Messi destroying defences left, right and centre. However Pep admitted that teams have figured them out hence he needed to change tactics to keep opponents guessing.

This term barca are playing in a 4-2-1-1-1-1 formation.Their two CB’s are mainly Puyol and Pique with Milito and Marquez as cover. They have two fullbacks in Alves and Maxwell/Abidal.

Alves is the most dangerous FB going forward since he is quick and has superb delivery. Maxwell doesn’t push as far to prevent counter attacks. Their CB’s are good ball players and will push forward when Barca are dominating, acting as extra midfielders.

Talking of which, in midfield they play with a holding player, (Toure/Sergio) a deep-lying creative man in Xavi and ahead of them is Iniesta/Keita to the left,  playing  the attacking role, linking play from the left wing just like Rosicky does for us.

Ahead of the attacking midfield man is Messi towards the right and Henry/Pedro towards the left and Ibra up top. Ibra has most shots on target in the Champions League(17),  it would be suicidal to give him space, he has three goals in three games, he’s a player on form.

When barca are dominating, Alves patrolls the right flank giving Messi the freedom to cut inside. Messi will then run at the defence which will retreat deeper. This leads to plenty of space behind Messi for Xavi and Iniesta to dominate the midfield.

Henry/Pedro will use the left flank to pin the winger and full back to prevent Maxwell from being exposed in defence. Pedro is so underrated, he scores in the big games. Once Barca get you into this position it becomes a matter of damage control. The Chavs and Mancs can absorb pressure all day long but in truth we can’t do it. If a team shows the slightest of fear Barca will tear you apart, so how do you stop them?

The Chavs used a right back to stop Messi from cutting in since he will always attack a defender’s weaker foot. If Messi got past Bosingwa he would meet Essien stationed in front of the back four, because of that, Messi was invincible for 180 minutes.

To do that, the Chavs maintained a high level of discipline which i don’t think we have yet. For us we will have to battle them in midfield. Iniesta is a very good passer of the ball and is a good dribbler hence he can craft space in the meanest of defences but he won’t be available. This will probably mean Keita will start, he is a more physical player and he carries that extra goal threat Iniesta lacks.

Cesc will have to dominate the middle, Song will have to stay in front of the defence since they will try to expose Sol against Messi. Diaby will have to hustle the ball all over the pitch, his moments of brilliance will be needed if we are to score, his runs from deep will be vital since Cesc will get all the attention. Diaby and Song will have to relish the physical battle against Toure and Keita and come out winners.

I think Sagna will start due to his defensive nous, Clichy will have his hands full with Messi and Alves attacking him, he will need all the help he can get. AA will have to come alive in this match, push back Alves to deny Messi a free role in this match.

This is where I feel the game will be won or lost, Barca’s orchestra starts here.

AA has been woeful in front of goal but he is our ace in the pack, if he isn’t fired up for this he better not show up in the stadium. Nasri/Rosicky will have to help Cesc patrol the midfield. Nasri ,AA and Diaby should dribble when necessary. Nasri can take care of Maxwell all day long.

Eboue for me,  is our trump card. He combines pace with strength with feints and dummies which baffle defenders, his diagonal runs are usually very effective as he draws defenders and creates panic in defences.Whether he will start is up to Wenger.

Shooting should be encouraged since Valdez flaps at well hit shots. TR7/Sol/Cesc/AA/Gallas experiences in such matches will be vital if we are to emerge victorious. We need to kill them off with our chances, the killer instinct will have to be on display tonight, right from the start!!

Barca maintain possession for about 48 minutes per match and with Mmessi surrounded by good ball holders he becomes the shark in the sea receiving balls at all angles. Man marking him will end in disaster since he will create space for Keita who scores goals from midfield, unlike Iniesta who doesn’t get into the box often.

We will have to chase them down everywhere, the fans will have to shout the loudest, make themselves heard above eveything else in London.

Barca would love to win it at the Bernabeu to insult the Madristas, we will have to want it more, we will have to show the necessary character to win the tie. As much as we fear Messi – Pep will fear our attack too.

Give Henry an ovation that will make the legend feel humbled, after all he has given us perfomances we will cherish for the rest of our lives, he deserves it.

After that it’s about us!!

Barca don’t concede a lot since teams are too intimidated to attack, their centre backs are vulnerable from quick forwards making runs and this is where Walcott and Eboue’s diagonal runs can hurt them the most. Long balls to Nik will also unsettle them.  Fans should let them know that they may rule europe but not this part of North London, we are in charge here, this is our night….

Finally, we did it in Milan when Kaka was meant to tear us a new one, we did it in Madrid, tonight we will do it in London!!

Lets do for Arsenal, lets do it tonight for David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle – he’d have loved to be playing in this game, make him proud….

Written by KTR-7


178 Responses to Madrid, Milan, Inter, well we got Barca…

  1. rico says:

    Great post by our very own European Reporter 🙂

  2. nice analysis
    let hope we see the performance

  3. rico says:

    rsd, any team news yet, must get the SSN’s up and running – just over four hours to go now….

  4. Sadiq says:

    hi , my prediction : 2-1 ( AA AND FAB) ( HENRY )

  5. rico says:

    Welcome Sadiq, I’m going for 2-0, Theo and AA

  6. Suhail.TV says:

    Good after noon all … I cant wait for the match

  7. classix says:

    Excellent post!
    As a fan you just HAVE to be SO fired up for this one.

  8. K-TR7 says:

    BOOOOM!ive been busy all day but from now its arsenal time.rico marca is reporting that cesc is fit.

  9. rico says:

    Welcome to Avenell Road classix, trust me, we are 🙂

  10. Armourist says:

    Get right f*cking innnnnnnn!!! That’s a super motivating post!!! It had me warming up my lungs for the goal celebrations tonight!!!!!!

    GOONERS!!! Keep the faith!!!

  11. rico says:

    Welcome on board Armourist……

    Hi KTR7, best you stick around to see the comments about you fine post 🙂

    I dont trust Marca 😉

  12. Suhail.TV says:

    In arsene we trust, but why he said that gallas’d be out for the match, Fabregas 60% out, and RVP virtually for rest of season

  13. rico says:

    That’s Wenger Suhail, he doesn’t always tell the truth despite what some think….

  14. rico says:


    The day before the game, Fabregas had a 40 per cent chance of playing and Wenger said he’d be prepared to do the final testing in the warm-up if it meant his skipper could play. William Gallas is back in the squad. The centre half was thought to be some weeks away from a return from his calf injury but Tuesday’s training session was, in fact, his third in succession. He should partner Thomas Vermaelen, who is back from a ban. Slight niggles to Abou Diaby, Andrey Arshavin and Samir Nasri will not prevent their involvement.

  15. Suhail.TV says:

    Good news ahead of match. I have hope and fear abt the no.10 though.

  16. team news now thats a little early can give you the squad but you know that

  17. “Cesc took to the training pitch earlier today and trained without any discomfort. He is expected to appear in Wenger’s starting line-up for tonight’s match.”
    from marca

  18. K-TR7 says:

    Without iniesta barca’s ball retention may be affected,AW knows 06 final we played at a tempo barca couldn’t handle and pep will be a bit cautious with iniesta out.pep seems to fancy sergio-xavi-keita mf when iniesta is out but expect toure to feature.we should start the game at a fiery tempo,rattle them.if we score early they will have to throw caution to the wind which will suit us fine.we are a dangerous team at our best,pep is considering playing puyol at lb,thats how tough he considers without fear you reds!

  19. rico says:

    just wondering what time AW will make a decision on Cesc

  20. rico says:

    KTR7, had Mad Jens not been so mad in 06, we would have won, sometimes i wonder if it was a fix – we were all over them with ten players and any decent keeper would not have got beaten the way Almunia was – this is going to be a home win, i feel it in my bones….

  21. Suhail.TV says:

    Hope cesc will play and for an arsenal win. Am off, bit work to do, bye for all.

  22. rico says:

    catch you later Suhail, enjoy the game

  23. Suhail.TV says:

    Sure.. See u later.

  24. Chipo says:

    Great post. I’m new on here but i will be coming back! Good knowledge!

  25. miche says:

    Arsenal will obvious fuck the barcah

  26. rico says:

    Hi Chipo, I seen you before 🙂 Great to see you here… KTR7 loves his Euro footie…

  27. rico says:

    Hi miche, welcome to AR, i am confident they will too …..

  28. Erick says:

    Am gettin all in K-TR7 I must say your preview is on fire hats off for you mate, if thats not it then what is am all excited Come on you Arsenal

  29. rico says:

    Too right Erick, too right…

  30. Erick says:

    I have to read the post again just love it Rico 🙂 🙂

  31. rico says:

    Its nowt to do with me Erick, its all KTR7’s handy work…. see right at the top of the page too, look whats coming soon 🙂 🙂

  32. Erick says:

    I know Rico K-TR7 analysis is spot on wish AW or the lads would read it that would fire them up and AA should not make it to the Stadium if he does not show his true indentity you should see me jumping up and down as if am in the squad

  33. K-TR7 says:

    Hi Erick.thanks for the vote of confidence.xavi is a great playmaker;he won’t dribble players like messi does.his greatest ability is a variety of passing range.he like barca thrive on space,deny them that they tight games,iniesta helps out xavi here by using his clever footwork to create space for xavi.with iniesta absent,whoever plays will have big boots to nullify xavi completely you also have to limit his outlets as much as possible:he loves to slide through balls to fullbacks&henry/pedro,play one-twos with messi and flicking the ball up to ibra who is almost 2metres tall.if we can nullify this outlets xavi and barca will suffocate.its easier said than done but i hope AW and the boys deliver for us today.

  34. Siya says:

    Well said article,our biggest threat is a certain dani alves so it means if arshavin shows up for the match,we are going to win.

  35. rico says:

    Welcome Siya, good to see you here – thanks for your comments

  36. Erick says:

    K-TR7 you think if things go according to plan we can score 4 or 5 goals kill off the game early

  37. Erick says:

    Am a dreamer please allow me to dream 😉

  38. looking likely cesc is gona start with all the rumbling from marca has spread to english media now

  39. rico says:

    i will believe cesc is playing when i see his name on the team sheet, if he doesn’t nasri will be ok in his role, he’s at home…

  40. K-TR7 says:

    Erick-the scoreline will depend on our europe we manage about 2.25 goals a game,stuttgart would’ve been three nil up in the first leg at half all barca away games i’ve watched they are there for the taking in the first twenty minutes.if a team fails to take advantage they dominate only to tail off in the last fifteen.we are usually good in the last twenty without a doubt.if we are clinical in the first half…

  41. rico says:

    KTR7, have you seen all the comments on your fine post??

  42. Erick says:

    The stast is against us but 90mins will determine everything

  43. rico says:

    SSN’S report that Henry will be on the bench tonight…

  44. Siya says:

    I predict a 3-1 win for us 2nyt.

  45. rico says:

    Soon be team time….

  46. rico says:

    Siya, good shout, i’m going 2-0

  47. rico says:

    KTR7, thats worrying, other than Porto at home we don’t often take our early chances….

    Tonight is the night that all changes…..

  48. Daniel says:

    We are going to play with believe and confident, this is our night, tonight is the night to make history, we are a great team, lets beat Barcelona to shut the critics up

  49. Erick says:

    I hope Rico what we need is an early goal to help us settle then we can do the counter may a Walcot cameo can work wonders

  50. K-TR7 says:

    Rico-at least we have started doing it hope it continues tonight.i have seen the comments am abit surprised to be honest since im not much a writer!maybe you have helped unearth a talent i never knew i had,thanks.i have a nagging feeling about lil morzart tonight…can’t put my finger on it.C’MON YOU RIP ROARING REDS!!!!

  51. Erick says:

    I have mixed feelings but one thing i wont loose is hope

  52. rico says:

    welcome daniel, we will, we will….

  53. bedy says:

    I think it is high time we start to get people informed that Farbregas join barcelona at the age of 13yrs and we got him at the age of 16yrs so he is Arenal trained player as there is no justfication that he learnt the trick of the game in just 3yrs of tender age at Barcelona compairing that the most crucial learning stage of football is btw 17-22yrs and he is at Arsenal at those years and still there now to develop further.

  54. rico says:

    Breaking News on SSN’s


  55. rico says:

    Nasri is in too…

  56. rico says:

    bedy, welcome to AR, we all know, its Barca that needs to learn….

  57. rico says:

    Here is our team for tonight


    Sagna TV Gallas Clichy


    Diaby Cesc

    AA Nasri


  58. Barcelona: Valdes, Maxwell, Puyol, Pique, Alves, Xavi, Busquets, Keita, Pedro, Ibrahimovic, Messi.

  59. Erick says:

    Come on you Red and White its all for Rocky

  60. K-TR7 says:

    My barca midfield was spot on in my earlier post.expect keita to get in the box as often as he can.busquets is really inconsistent.he dives alot(alves too).watch out for pedro he is really quick and can score.

  61. right i’ll be in the terrace guys cant do with f5

  62. rico says:

    quick bite to eat and i’ll be back…

  63. Erick says:

    K-TR7 true but no Yaya so can we “bully” them seem we will have to look 4the ball aggresively

  64. JonJon says:

    top post Ktr7

    AR very own scout… 😉

    once more into the breach my friends…Ktr7 if you were my captain id follow u onto the pitch any day of the week…

    this is it, this is why we love the game so much…lets attack the fuckers and smash em up…

    oh rocky rocky…..

  65. rocky rocky rocky rocastle

  66. rico says:


  67. rico says:

    well well, big al….

  68. rico says:

    just getting better, song is on form yet again….

  69. JonJon says:

    song and al v barca

  70. rico says:

    is diaby playing jj…..

  71. JonJon says:

    yeah rico..hes playing…hes playing shit

  72. like the plan b
    keep a clean sheet and man mark messi

  73. JonJon says:

    and cesc is injured..he shouldnt be on the pitch

  74. rico says:

    thats what i mean jj, he is not in this game at all, thats why so much pressure is on us, we are one man down….

  75. JonJon says:

    ive smoked more in the last half hr than wat i have all day

  76. rico says:

    agree, nasri should have played alongside song… we are f-in lucky so far ….

    diaby needs a rocket up his arse at half time, he tends to play better second half, he bloody needs to tonight..

  77. rico says:

    can i have one… 😉

  78. least sami is playing like damien

  79. JonJon says:

    diaby cant do defending…and cesc is injured…its song v the whole barca midfield

  80. rico says:

    just make sure you get a bit of oxygen in between them 🙂

  81. rico says:

    nasri, song and al….

    i reckon put theo on… they wont deal with his pace and could drop them back a bit,

  82. JonJon says:

    at least he hit the target

  83. rico says:

    clichy is picking up to,

  84. JonJon says:

    barca look dodgy on crosses,

    more crosses and more long shots

  85. rico says:

    second half will be all us, i feel a dipper rollocking coming from le boss, they need it…

  86. rico says:

    gallas is crocked now

  87. JonJon says:

    wengers thrown too many injured players into this one

  88. i think so to all this attacking got to wear them out

  89. rico says:

    he’s ok i think jj

  90. JonJon says:

    put rosicky and sol on for gallas and cesc

  91. rico says:

    its gonna change, just trust me….

  92. he’s not think of bring denilson on is he

  93. JonJon says:


  94. JonJon says:

    denilson may not be a bad move…we need to keep the ball

  95. sami is ruining alves

  96. JonJon says:

    thank fuck for that

  97. Evo in Oz says:

    thank god Ibrahimovic is so rubbish and Almunia has been on fire!

  98. Erick says:

    What a half as K-TR7 said we need to take them chances we still in it

  99. i hate watching swedish tv it just about zlatan

  100. rico says:

    big roasting and a better second half coming up…. its gonna happen…

  101. K-TR7 says:

    They rattled our cage to no avail.we were rattled but we need to pick up at ht…

  102. Erick says:

    Come on Arsenal we can do itttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt get innnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  103. come on you gooners

  104. JonJon says:

    im fucked off now…i did it again..i went for a piss like at birmingham and missed the fucking goal

  105. JonJon says:

    wat happened?

  106. JonJon says:

    oooohhh nikki

    we needed that one

  107. thought valdes was suppose to be week

  108. we’ve still got plenty of time even next week to score

  109. rico says:

    diaby off and bring tomas on…

  110. rico says:

    denilson is doing ok…

    jj, al got lobbed.. and just got beat again….

    oh dear oh dear…

  111. JonJon says:

    thats our season over

  112. rico says:

    4/5 great saves, two errors sadly….

  113. well least we play away next week where goals count double

  114. rico says:

    hate to say it jj, but TV has to take some blame for both, he is so far up the field he has left song exposed…

  115. they play real on sun so that might help

  116. JonJon says:

    why do we look so shit

  117. cos denilson is in midfield and cesc is injured and………….

  118. rico says:

    but so do barcas tonight rsd…. we wont go there and win 3-0, never…

  119. JonJon says:

    weve been outplayed rico…we lucky its only 2

    should be 10

  120. rico says:

    we need a goal to have a chance…

  121. not his fault he never plays with him

  122. rico says:

    cant disagree there jj, they are way ahead of us tonight…

  123. rico says:

    a few players have not turned up tonight…

    aw just had a go at tv, he read my mind…

  124. JonJon says:

    i think we built our hopes up too much for this one…

    a spanking was on the cards….

    manure and chelsea prooved that earlier…

    we just cant deal with the big boys..

  125. rico says:

    not who’s fault rsd??

    tv should know better…

  126. rico says:

    jj, and that is why we all ask for 2/3 players…

  127. injuries havent helped

  128. but least we can do it all when im in the camp nou

  129. yessssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  130. JonJon says:

    come on now lads

  131. super super theo super super theo

  132. rico says:

    thats an excuse though rsd, we are arsenal, we should have the squad to cope…

    Good on you Theo….

  133. JonJon says:

    come on weve got em rattled

  134. injuries in this game tho but is an excuse

  135. they cant deal with pace of the passing

  136. JonJon says:

    we practically started with 9 men

    gallas and cesc werent fit

  137. rico says:

    injured should not be on the park imho, fit players only for this game and every game….

    we shouldn’t need excuses rsd, i dont want excuses, they dont make losses draws feel any better, they bloody hurt!

    like i said, we are arsenal we should have a squad to cope….

  138. i wouldn’t cheer for him

  139. weve got arshavin fuck titi henry

  140. rico says:

    i tell you what doesn’t help, starting with ten men…..

  141. more like nine gallas wasn’t ready either

  142. JonJon says:

    9 men

  143. rico says:

    i’d rather Henry….

  144. JonJon says:

    2-2 not a bad result

    come on

    10 mins left

  145. rico says:

    im talking diaby jj…. 😉

  146. rico says:

    2-2 would be good jj, very good…

  147. 4-2 would be even nicer

  148. JonJon says:

    show some fucking urgency go for it ffs

  149. JonJon says:


    come on now keep ur cool

  150. JonJon says:


  151. JonJon says:


  152. get in yhes thats it fab get another

  153. rico says:

    come on………………..

  154. rico says:

    what long term damage has this done to cesc…… and now we are down to ten…..

  155. yeah we’ve masde all subs now

  156. JonJon says:

    sing your hearts out for the lads

  157. rico says:

    jj, you up for the match report? please……….. xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    forgot they are 10 also…

  158. rico says:

    well well, what a come back, cesc will be fine and we aint out yet….

  159. make it interesting in barca

  160. why cant many do that everygame

  161. Erick says:

    Emirates was singing today not silent at all atleast we can win it 1-0 at nou camp

  162. Erick says:

    Gdnyt guys Keep the faith

  163. so pique and puyol out of 2nd leg i fancy us to go through

  164. rico says:

    My view is that is the worst we have played as a team in Europe for a while at home…

    Big Al was awesome first half but in the second he came out a bit to quick to get lobbed, but had TV not have been as far up the park, maybe he wouldn’t

    Second goal, TV was up again, same old, Song was left on his own, just like the first goal, and Big Al went back to his own daft basics going down to early..

    Saying that, if not for him, by the time the first goal went in, we could have easily been 7 or more goals down…

  165. rico says:

    The biggest dissapointment for me was Diaby, he was not in the game, he was nowhere near as good as he has been…

    The best bit for me was the introduction of Theo ( should have been done earlier imho) he did put Barca on the back foot because of his pace, but tonight his pace and finishing paid off, and started our comeback, good on you Theo…

    Finally –

    Dear Arsene Wenger

    Theo Walcott, the man you paid lots of money for has in the last few weeks shown character and attitude, please don’t stick the player back on the bench against Wolves, play him for goodness sake….

    Thank you 🙂

  166. rico says:

    Im off folks, sleep needed,

    stay safe and sleep well…

  167. night rico i can see a post coming on lol

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