It was Sir Issac Newton who famously uttered the phrase of “Standing on the shoulders of giants”. It means, to use the understanding gained by others to improve yourself. Arsenal can do just that as they have a gigantic, massive quarter-final tie with the European holders, Barcelona. Arsenal can learn from them, in their own quest to win the cup. Barca kept going until the end against Chelsea, didn’t compromise their style of play, ever, and weathered the storm for twenty minutes from Manchester United in the final, and ended up winning it. The tie is mouth-watering, with both teams a joy to watch just in training.
It’s two major city’s going head to head, both in isolation of their country with Catalans and Londoners, seemingly different from the rest of their nation. London Town is a wonderful capital, with a seeping history. Barcelona, with Gaudi’s buildings situated around the city is as beautiful as the football FC Barcelona play. What a wonderful occasion this promises to be.
Theirry Henry, who is a legend at the club and is Arsenal’s leading top goal scorer of all time, will be returning home. I’ll be honest, he made me fall in love with football. The things he did were magic and I will always think of him as a hero. Cesc Fabregas will be going back to where his career started (barely of course). He is linked almost every day with a move back but refutes them every time. I’m sure that apart from Denilson, Diaby, Song and Almunia, the rest of the team have at one point been linked with Barcelona. The same can be said vice versa. Overmars, Van Bronckhorst, Sylvinho, Hleb, Emmanuel Petit and of course Henry have all joined Barca from Arsenal, showing much history between the clubs.
The beast from the east, Andrey Arshavin will play against the team he supported as a boy on Wednesday. If fit, both Gallas and Fabregas will also line up. Diaby and Nasri have both recovered from knocks picked up and I would expect a line up of:
Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
Nasri Fabregas Arshavin
With a bench of: Fabianski, Rosicky, Walcott, Eboue, Campbell, Silvestre and Denilson. That’s near strength, minus Van Persie.
It’s a massive game for Arsenal, one which will capture the imagination. It is time to show that this is the time for this Arsenal team. It is there, if they want it bad enough. They must show courage, flair and be fearless in their game plan. Barcelona have the best player in the world, among others but Arsenal have deeply gifted players of their own. Arsenal have met the Champions for the third year running and have won one (AC Milan, with Kaka) and lost one tie (Man Utd, Ronaldo). Now is the chance to go on and win it, taking a huge team down in the process. These are the games that make history and I hope beautiful football wins the game.