To be honest, and this is no disrespect to the Arsenal side that will be facing Barcelona tonight, it should not really matter too much if our manager Luis Enrique gets his tactics wrong in north London tonight. It would probably only be a footnote in the annals of football history if Arsene Wenger and his players cdan spring a big surprise and win the first leg of the double-headed Champions League clash.
As long as Barca do not have a big deficit to overcome you would expect us to be able to do it at the Nou Camp three weeks from now, but with a busy fixture list in La Liga to get through as well it would be a lot better of we can get the job all but done tonight.
That is why I am a little concerned about the way Enrique seems to be expecting the game at the Emirates stadium to pan out. As reported by The Guardian, the Barca boss appears to think that his counterpart will send the Arsenal team out with the intent to control the ball and dominate the game, just as he will want his own players to do.
Enrique said, “Our target is to win the game no matter what. So we need to score goals no matter what. Barcelona always has the possession of the ball and controls the game, so on paper this is one of he most attractive and appealing games. I think we’re going to witness a very good game because both want to dominate.”
Maybe our manager is simply trying to kid Wenger or taunt him into playing like this, or maybe he is so confident of winning that he has not spent too much time studying our opponents, but if he had he might be a bit more concerned because Arsenal in recent years have proved that they can actually sit back and defend for their lives and hit teams on the counter attack.
This was proved again this season when they shocked the Bayern Munich of Pep Guardiola by doing just that and beating them 2-0. So are Enrique and the Barcelona team in for a surprise tonight?