Kevin McCarra of the Guardian calls it the final of finals, a shoutout to the elite status of the European Cup but also to the hype being built around the match between Arsenal and Barcelona.
As a recent comment (deleted for strong language but not for intent) claimed, I have a strong Arsenal bias. Let’s get that out of the way.
But once you remove that, please tell me that you don’t seriously think that the Arsenal-Barca clash is bigger than Chelsea-Barca or Barca-Milan…in fact, to be honest Barcelona have already played two smashing finals (2-legged ones, so make that four) and if anyone is questioning their defensive strength or will to win, they should look at their form this season in the Champions League
Still, in all fairness, if anyone really ‘deserves’ to win the CL final it is Thierry Henry. No, not Wenger, not Arsenal, but the one man that has brought them this far (unless you believe that his goal against Madrid did not seal the game?) and has given them more hope then any other. Remove Henry, and suddenly, while Arsenal still have a realistic chance, they are a bit too ordinary.
Some say that only a victory at the CL will ensure that Henry leads out Arsenal at Ashburton Grove. I’d say maybe pride will do more, but his desire to be the best and a nagging reminder that no player is bigger than the club (courtesy of Vieira’s departure) will remind him of why Arsenal, while being his home, may not be the best place for him after all.
Neither is Barca – and maybe that is why he is so troubled.