Barcelona Or Inter, Who Are You Rooting For?

From a footballing point of view there isn’t much left to look forward to as far as Arsenal fans are concerned . The couple of games left are mostly academic in nature. The season-end autopsy and transfer madness will get into top gear only after these games and that puts us in a state of limbo.

At such a time this Champions League semi-final clash comes as a respite. What can be more exciting than the battle of Good vs Evil on a football pitch when you have the luxury of watching as a neutral!?

With due respect to Bayern, I feel this game is potentially the title decider. The Germans proved me wrong when I thought United will get past them with ease and they might prove me wrong again by winning at the Bernabeu, but somehow, I just can’t see it happening.

The Catalan attack is too strong for their defence and the Italian defence is too strong for their attack. Of course, a moment of magic from the supremely talented wingers in the German side could make a difference but the odds of that are slim.

I’ve made no secret of my dislike, bordering on hatred, for the Dark Lord of Anti-Football and his tactics and this game will be no different. I normally support any team that plays against the manager who must not be named and Barcelona are my second favourite team anyway, as I assume is the case with many Gooners who don’t live in England. Nothing against English Gooners but the assumption is that they might have another local team that they support.

In the group stages the Catalans won 2-0 at the Camp Nou and a similar score line should see them through. Easier said than done, I know. It gets progressively tougher against the master of the dark arts once he gets time to study a team’s style and devise his negative tactics to counter them. Result – a nil all draw at the San Siro in the first meeting but a 3-1 win for the home side in the game that mattered a lot more.

It’s ironical that Barcelona conceded three for the first time this season against a team that is amongst the most defensive in the world. But more than ironical, it’s insightful as it revealed inherent weaknesses in the Catalan midfield and defence. Once their all conquering attack was blunted by intelligent and diligent defending, their vulnerabilities came to the fore.

This is quite simply the biggest challenge that Guardiola has faced in his illustrious but young management career. At the same stage last year, Guus Hiddink asked some serious questions and was helped by the referee but a profligate Drogba and an injury time strike saw his team through.  This year he will need a lot more than that and I’m really looking forward to the Spanish Wizard’s tactics for this game.

Inter will be happy to sit deep with their lines close together. They will allow the hosts to have the all the possession in two-thirds of the pitch, knowing fully well that chances of conceding from such a range are freakish at best. At the same time the Italians will be ready to pounce on any mistake by the Spaniards. As we saw in the first game, the likes of Eto’o, Milito and Sneijder can really hurt a team if they slip up.

In effect, this is the first time Barcelona will be forced to attack while keeping guard on the back door. It’s something we have struggled with this season so there’s an added bit of intrigue involved. Will Guardiola have a trick up his sleeve, will Messi rise to the occasion and slay the demons from Italy, or will the forces of evil thrive on a gloomy night?

21 Responses to Barcelona Or Inter, Who Are You Rooting For?

  1. FinnGun says:

    Barcelona, all the way. They play beautiful football, Mourinho is Mourinho and Barcelona winning the lot would, perhaps, calm the doomers down a smidgeon. After all, losing to the winners is a bit better than losing to runners up.

  2. munala says:

    i will root 4 inter, simply bkoz ma 2nd team is da neo-galacticos.
    Thid game will be a lesson 4 le boss on how 2 balance ua defence from inter n da power of pressing from barca.
    Both teams will have a leaf we can borrow in2 next season.
    Desi, pliz do an artical on our best 25 4 da EPL next season.

  3. John Muhindo says:

    Inter is 90% chance to play Bayern in finals. Bacelona is gonna out,and no monopoly in trophies this season

  4. aniruddh says:

    Inter may do enough to go through and I can assure you that this game won’t be as open as the first leg( I’ve been wrong) as inter will look to drop deep, keep possession, pass sideways a lot, etc. I feel that the ibra transfer has left barca without a great striker as I’ve followed Ibrahimovic a lot in his Inter days as well on international duty and he seems to be a real inconsistent player much like berbatov both of them are good at holding the ball up as well as bringing others into play but sometimes they turn up and sometimes they don’t. It’ll be a slight bore and I’m happy that Bayern are in the final as they would pose a greater threat to inter than Lyon and it means we’ve got a final on our hand to savor and don’t forget it’ll be Robben vs his old boss

    • aniruddh says:

      In juve too, About that 25 player rule many people have been saying trash because they don’t understand it at all. It’s completely like FM 2010 1.1 where you get to choose 25 players eight of which have to be home-grown irrespective of age and players below 21 don’t have to be registered.

  5. amit says:

    c’mon desi…inter and evil do not go together…the last match they were not defensive at all..their was fluid football from both the sides..jose is one of the greatest footballing coaches…i mean many people say he won with chelsea because he had loads of cash..what we forget is that he was the same man who made porto win..a team without any stars…and inter a team which was not well oriented and not many stars in them..inter is the team with whom jose made da fine tuning and balanced the side to perfection…

    atleast jose is winning trophies…so lets give him some credit..we all know what silk football has given to us arsenalites since da past 5-6 years..a big ‘0’..something is always better than nothing

    • desigunner says:

      Well I’m giving him a lot of credit for winning. Mastering the dark arts is not easy and it does require genius, albeit evil genius! 🙂

      The way I see it, ends don’t justify means so winning trophies doesn’t mean he’s right. He won with Porto but the team had a lot of stars and that was a really freak season with two teams getting to the finals that haven’t come anywhere close since then.

      With Chelsea he played really boring football. Even the last game was interesting because of Barca and not Inter. You just have to look at games between Chelsea and Liverpool when the Dark Lord was in EPL to see how bad he is. As long as the other team is playing positive the game seems like it is good, when two dark lords come together it kills football. And if he wins trophies it will encourage more and more to park the bus. Not the direction we want to see football heading, do we!?

  6. brian says:

    i will be with maureen this time round. inter should take it and they have my support. i dont want barca to win coz of the merry go round they take us with Cesc and also they beat us! let them lose and help us warm the benches while watching the final and also shut up and let fabregas alone!

    • desigunner says:

      That’s one of the reasons I find Barca difficult to tolerate, outside of their football they are rotten.

  7. Aussie Jack says:

    At a guess I would say Bayern v Inter but I won`t be getting out of my nice warm bed to watch it. My mind is already into next season.

  8. jamie m says:

    Hmmm let me see,a choice between the club who for god knows how many years now have been consistently tapping up our best players and eventually buying them or inter,thats a hard one

  9. Danish gooner says:

    I am sure Inter will score and if they do, they may score twice.

    Even a heavily wounded Arsenal scored first there. And – take note – Arsenal were incorrectly (for cryin out load) denied a free runner at 1-1. At 1-2 – would Arsenal have done it ? We may have – as Barca clearly looses quality when under that kind of pressure. They are not used to that. Then they rely on Messi to fix it. But, in spite of what people think – he is human.

    The key to Barcas defense is their offense. So when they play teams that control Messi etc. then they suffer defensely. Therfore Barcelona is vulnerable and Inter will no way make the defensive mistakes Arsenal did right after getting in front (and later for that matter).

    As I see it – it’s there for the taking for Inter

  10. gbenga says:

    My head gives it 2 Inter but my heart gives it 2 Barcelona.

  11. Joe says:

    It’s easy to be great when the odds are stacked so highly in your favour!

    I pray that Jose smashes Barca big time. Bunch of diving , whining little hypocrites. Like Jose said, they were all to happy to laugh themselves off the pitch after Ovrebo handed them the semi against Chelsea but cry when a decision goes the wrong way at Inter.

    Barcelona are not the saviours of football, they are a bunch of cheats who are where they are because they can outspend all in Spain apart from Real.

    Financial doping is supposed to be an issue in the premier league but we have nothing on the annual 2 horse race in Spain.

  12. shooy says:

    “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

  13. Maanav says:

    My Loyalty?
    [1] Arsenal
    [2] Barcelona
    Just like DesiGunner.

    Guardiola has a very tough task at hand ’cause we all know that the Dark Lord of Anti-football is the best tactician in the world at the moment.
    I hope the artists of Catalunya come up with some mesmerizing artistry of their’s to negate the blackness of the Nerazzuri.

  14. Zama says:

    Dark Lord of anti-football?? Spot On. I think the force is with the Evil One, not to say his opponents are any less evil off the pitch. Moaninho will probably stifle Barca for the first half and try and hit them on the counter in the 2nd. As it is they don’t require to score and we’ve seen enough 1-0 from his Chelsea days how his 4-3-3 will actually line up.

  15. olamilekan ogunyemi says:

    i just want inter Milan to go through, its enough 4 Barcelona.

  16. sameep says:

    One major thing that I noticed in todays match was how much hold Jose has got over his players…also the players are mature enough to strictly obey his orders and carry out the task…Normally we would see Maicon attacking the right side of Inter..we have seen him scoring/supporting goals more often but today I didn’t see him anywhere near Barca box…he was instructed to guard his own box from Barca’s left side attack..he did really well…their plan was to crowd Barca through middle and let them throw crosses in from wings which were nicely taken care of two Central defenders (should say headers) and equally effective Cambiasso and Chivu..On Barca attack we could see a defence line of almost 7 players in single line…I absolutely agree the anti football but have to accept the superiority of the men at work and how they carried out the task given..this is the area where we lack maturity and application…Because Wenger, too, is, in my eyes, a very good tactician but his teams nowadays are so marred by injuries that he doesn’t need pick his sides, whoever fit, plays the making 11..that is the tragedy.

    • desigunner says:

      That’s a good point. The Dark One is a hard task master. Arsene on the other hand lets people flourish. That’s the reason the Dark Lord’s teams never entertain. Players need to be set free on the pitch to entertain, once you make it purely tactical it’s about results and not about football.

      It’s two different styles and Arsenal defend a little just like Inter attack a little but I can never appreciate a manager like the Sith Lord no matter what he achieves.

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