Who Do We Want Next In The Champions League?

A few weeks ago, when we were some way off the pace in the League, many people considered Champions League to be our best shot at a title this year. Poor results for the title rivals in the Premiership have brought us back in the race and some feel the League is now our best hope.

To be frank, I’m not sure which title, if any, is easier. What I do know is that nothing has changed for worse as far as the Champions League is concerned. If we had a good shot at the European crown a few weeks ago, the elimination of Madrid and Chelsea can only have made our chances better.

As long as we keep our players fit, I don’t see why we cannot target a double this season. That is perhaps what Arsene will try with a focus on one game at a time. The draw for Champions League can still have a big effect on the way the challenge shapes up.

To understand this better, just consider the quarter-finalists to be drawn in two halves as follows,

Top Half – Inter, United, Barcelona, Bayern

Bottom Half – Arsenal, Bordeaux, Lyon, CSKA

Of course I’m dreaming! Still, cliché’s apart, this does show how big an impact the draw can have on a team’s title hopes. If the draw turns out to be this way, just see how Arsenal’s odds for reaching the final and for winning it are slashed.

On the flip side, the worst draw would be if we swap places with Bayern. In which case reaching the final would be far tougher than actually winning at the Bernabeu!

Leaving the dreams aside, I do believe we can win against any of these teams, although United and Barcelona will be real challenges. I feel our problems against United are more psychological than anything. Is this the right time to sort it out and would such a draw impact our chances in the League? These are tough questions to answer.

The game against Inter would be a tactical battle and Arsene has struggled against Mourinho in the past. Having said that, I don’t see Inter getting the better of us without significant help from the referee. They just don’t have a good enough squad. But if you really ask me, I’d love to see a United-Inter quarter final. United are a one man show right now and Inter have enough tactical and defensive nous to see him off.

Bayern, the French clubs, and CSKA are capable of an upset but I’d be really disappointed if we went out to any of them.

Barcelona are easily the toughest team in the draw. But instead of hoping that they get knocked out by someone else, I’d prefer an Arsenal – Barcelona final. Madrid’s biggest rivals facing a team with a diametrically opposite philosophy, managed by their most desired manager, for their most coveted trophy, at their home ground would make quite a story! Even from a footballing point of view this would be the most desirable final.

Irrespective of the draw, I do feel we have a good shot at European glory (as long as we don’t suffer further injuries). The draw can make our life easier or it can throw up some challenges. Tomorrow will come and it will be a telling time!


11 Responses to Who Do We Want Next In The Champions League?

  1. nicky says:

    When you reach the last 8 of a ko competition you simply MUST feel confident of going all the way. With Arsenal, nothing is ever impossible PROVIDED they are not tipped as certain winners. THEN the gremlins activate and the ghosts of bygone disasters appear.

  2. T2T says:

    As an Arsenal fan, I’d really like us to win the CL this year. However, I’d prefer to lose the final to going out in the QF/SF.
    Therefore, looking at the remaining team, I’d like us to play the teams that are listed in the bottom half. For Arsenal, the two most difficult teams have to be ManU and Barca. Inter, although comprehensively beating Chelsea, is not in the same class and I believe our team with it’s movement and technical abilities will see them off.

  3. Aniruddh says:

    Barcalona might be easier over two legs than one but whoever we play we need to improve our game at home, our supporters need to be loud and vocally aid to the teams cause. winning the European cup may act as a real stepping stone to world domination (seriously) and the profile of our club in Asia may take a turn for the better translating into merchandise sales and sponsorships making our team a more desirable brand and maybe the viewpoint of the media may also change
    I know I make it out to be very rosy and what I said is a bit exaggerated but worth a thought, what say?

    • messi says:

      WELL FIRST OF ALL to think barca might be easier over two legs shows you know nothing about barca, having watched them yesterday and many times too, they ae 1) the best team in the world today and for the last 5 years too, 2) much better players than us overall from goal keeper to striker although we have exceptional players barca’s players are just too much and 3)their movements at the nou camp would probably tear us apart.

      But anything can happen and when we play to our best capabilities, like i said i cannot wait till tomorrow when we see our opponents, whatever happens i got a feeling were in for a shock!

  4. messi says:

    and you know what to be honest i can not wait, i think that this quarter finals is incredible the teams with the best tactics and football are both in; inter milan and united who are the tactical side, whilst the beatyness of football sides are arsenal and barcelona. Having said that I think this just might be a few of the best quarter final games to be drawn now for a few years now. I would really hope we didn’t get united or barca at the moment as I agree it would disrupt our league process a little, but then again if we want to be champions then we have to through this barrier, regardless of what anyone thinks. Us against united we will still have a pyschological problem but with more of our first 11 players hopefully coming back we should really give it a shot.

    Playing barcelona would be incredible but honestly have to admit unless our 11 are not on the pitch I cannot see us going through especially at the camp nou so Im hoping for CSKA or Bordeaux, although CSKA are doing really well especially after the game they had against united at old trafford, very good counter attacking team with good players, bordeaux will be more of an english style play with their tactics and their aerial height, but again none of the teams up there are average apart from bordeaux so if your asking me why hope for the easiest team, simple to get through and also not disrupt our momentum in the league.

    Although I have a feeling were in for a right SHOCKER?
    And I can not wait honestly come tomorrow 11am on sky sports 1, I will be buzzing……

    COME ON ARSENAL!!!!!!

  5. fred says:

    Bring on Barca! Who says man for man they are better?!

    Defensively: they are not better than our best line up Sagna/Eboue Vermaelen Gallas Clichy

    Midfield: Song is as good as Toure, for me Fabregas is a better all round player than Xavi, Arshavin/Rosicky/Nasri/ even Diaby recently for me are better than the likes of Busquets, Iniesta…

    Offensively: Yes Messi, Ibrahimovic and Pedro/Bojan can cause lots of problems but if we shut out Messi then we can beat them!

    If they get to the final and we see them there, then hopefully we will have Van Persie… then we are talking a great match to remember!!!

    Heads up guys, if we can beat Barca we can beat anybody!

  6. Jibzi says:

    I believe 2 or 3 of Inters players (including Lucio) were booked against Chelski and will miss the next match, so not too bad if we came up against them, but Eto’o is top class, and he can finish us off if we defend badly. We were knocked out by Bayern in 05 so a chance of avenging that result would be welcome, but Robben, Ribery and Klose have to be kept quiet, as we know how good they are.

    I cant really expand on Lyon or Bordeaux as I only see glimpses of them but they do look dangerous but surely unless we underperform, we should prevail (I think we normally do well against French sides). CSKA would also be tricky but again we should get through if we perform well.

    Definitely would prefer to avoid Barca or Utd, but I would assume that to win this competition, we have to beat the best at some stage.

    Look, whoever we get, its important I think to perform as well as we can, not make the same defensive mistakes as before and believe in ourselves. We went to the Bernabeu before in 06 against Real Madrid and we got our passing game right and should have scored more than 1 goal. Towards the end of the game, Fabregas made a complete fool out of 1 or 2 of their players with a piece of skill and the commentator was like (with a laugh) ‘How Dare He’, so confidence in our ability is extremely important as well.

    Nevertheless, I would prefer to play the bigger sides later on as we will need RVP back ASAP despite Bendtners good form. He has the ability to create something out of nothing but just so worried that he wont make it back in time.

    Anyway, West Ham are next on Saturday so COYG!!!

  7. lee says:

    @messi
    barca do not hav better players overall
    almunia vs valdes = valdes
    eboue vs alves = alves(just)
    gallas vs puyol = puyol
    vermaelen vs pique = vermaelen
    clichy vs abidal = clichy
    song vs toure = song
    diaby vs iniesta = iniesta
    fabregas vs xavi = fabregas
    arshavin vs henry = arshavin
    ibra vs RVP = ibra(just)
    messi vs walcott = messi

    that is only 6-5 to barca

  8. messi says:

    come on guys please i know you really believe in your team so do i but i just think IMO that they do have better players:

    almunia vs valdes = valdes

    sagna vs alves = alves
    gallas vs puyol = puyol
    vermaelen vs pique = (im gonna rate this 50/50) as they are both incredibly world class and its too hard to decide although i love vermaelen
    clichy vs maxwell = clichy

    song vs toure = toure
    diaby vs iniesta = iniesta
    cesc vs xavi = xavi by far

    messi vs nasri = messi of course
    bendtner vs ibrahimovich = ibra regardless of what
    henry vs arshavin = arshavin

    Now when i say this i dont mean to be critical or criticizing our boys but im just being honest for people to be saying our midfield is better than barca’s midfield is just crazy. barca have the best midfield in the world, lee how can you say diaby an cesc are better than iniesta and xavi, im a die hard gooner but even i am being honest with you cesc is world class diaby too on his day but against barcas engine no way and that is a fact – 2 out of 11 are better. if you think im being critical im not im just telling the truth, how can cesc be better than xavi but then gets left on the bench cesc cant take xavi or iniestas place if they are both fit unless you put iniesta on the wing. But of course i have faith if we have a fit team then maybe we could put up a challenge with some luck.

  9. munala says:

    wow, tha draw will be tough but i think we can beat anyone on anyday solong as da treatment desk is empty.

  10. MrSamsa says:

    I don’t know why everyone is so confident of beating CSK, its most often a nightmare. I think i’d rather play bayern

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