Return Of The Flea
So, how do you cope with a team that last weekend passed the ball an astonishing 900 times during its match against Real Sociedad and still won 5-0. Particularly when they've already played you off the pitch twice this calendar year and you are a team that is just as easy on the eye but lack the cutting edge and, with the exception of Arshavin, lack a player who has that little piece of magic?
Well Arsenal will be able to show how far down the road they are in their five year plan, I make it they are in year five now, when they face the Spanish champions in the Round of 16 in this years Champions League.
The debate was raging on the radio on the way home tonight as to whether any of the Arsenal players would get in the current Barcelona side and the resounding answer was no. There's no point asking the reverse question because from back to front (especially at the back and the front) the Catalan club are simply too strong man for man. Yes Barcelona covert Cesc but he is a replacement for Xavi, not somebody they are interested in to take the place of anybody - remember he was behind all of the Barcelona midfield during the summer in South Africa.
I want Arsenal to win something, not the League Cup obviously, and not the Champions League, but they must toughen up against the bigger clubs and be prepared to mix it up a bit more, they certainly have the players who aren't afraid of a physical challenge. The latest rumour doing the rounds is that Owen Coyle is the board's favoured replacement for Arsene Wenger who would be moved 'upstairs'. Wenger has changed British football beyond recognition during his time in England and he has a superb record but the club, despite currently standing in the Top Four, just don't seem capable of making that next big leap.
Anyway, what do I know, West Ham are anchored to the bottom of the league like one of the Mob's concrete encased victims.