Barcelona- Still the Best, Arsenal – Take a Rest.
Barcelona, Munchen, Europe – The past couple days confirmed what we already know. Arsenal, with its recent austerity measures will not move on in the UCL and will likely finish 5th in a maelstrom league season. By contrast Barca, still the best team ever assembled, dismantled Milan with the usual skill and precision. El boring apinging aponging is BACK and WELL! It’s called El Magnifico in Catalonia.
Messi was definitely ill during the last Milan encounter 3 weeks ago. His game uncharacteristically lacked pace and determination, but he proved his critics wrong within 8 minutes at Camp Nou. There was no doubt that the 2nd and 3rd Barca goals will come with time. What was more surprising was Jodi Alba’s incredible run from the backfield to tap in a beautiful pass from Sanchez for the final strike (reminiscent of his goal in Euro Final ’12). Watching the way Bayern played Arsenal, I don’t see any team other than Real being the slightest threat to Barca’s domination. One word of caution though, Barca’s possession game has become predictable of late, a Real – Barca final would thus truly be contentious, a dream Final!
Wenger’s tactics have ossified. Even though the aforementioned austerity measures have hit Arsenal, it had more effect on departing players than attracting new players. $ was the factor for not keeping van Persie, Nasri, Fabregas, etc… but the Gunners did manage to bring in a few notable players over the past two seasons. Lack of leadership on the pitch and the tired, old, now grumpy Wenger can not delegate nor motivate his troops. Arsenal showed well on paper against Bayern with a 2-0 win, but the game was painful to watch. If a real “Batman” had been Robben, the score would have been 5-2. Robben seems to have all the skills in the world until he is in the box (note his failed breakaway attempts at the WC Final of 2010 and last year’s UCL Final). The season is all but over for Arsenal, Podolski will not stay, a resurrection of any sort will involve, as they say in the South a “REAL Big Leaguer”… For now, Vamos Barca!