Arsenal are allowed to attack.
All the talk this week has been of Barca’s menace but little credence has been given to our own forward line. Our friends over at @totalbarca ran a poll to see who their fans think our biggest threat is going into tonight’s game.
Perhaps tellingly, Walcott and Welbeck weren’t even included in the options, with Barca fans being invited to choose between Alexis, Ozil, Giroud and Cech. Underestimating the two Englishmen could come at a cost!
Which Arsenal player do you fear the most?
— totalBarça (@totalBarca) February 22, 2016
Petr Cech picked up a creditable 25% of the vote – possibly Messi’s record against our shot stopper played a part, but of course it also highlights Barcelona’s confidence that the tie will be decided on their ability to score rather than their ability to defend. We’ll need to play a canny game rather than trying to simply outscore our opponents over the two legs.
Ozil and Alexis came out a dead heat, with 34% of the vote each. The Barcelona fans are of course intimately acquainted with Alexis’ talents given his spell there, while Ozil was also a key figure in thwarting Barcelona back in his Real Madrid days.
Meanwhile, genuine centre forward Giroud collected a miserly 5%, which makes it all the more interesting that the twin pace merchants of Walcott and Welbeck were overlooked altogether.
Arsene has an interesting selection choice today, with his decision to rest Giroud at the weekend suggesting that the big man may well get the nod tonight. Each will present the Catalans with very different threats, so making the right choice could be the difference between going to Barcelona with a lead or a mountain to climb.
Personally I’m okay with them underestimating the rest of our front three. Admittedly their finishing is somewhat lacking at present, but if they click tonight they’re more than capable of scoring a couple, and showing those Barca fans what they’ve been overlooking.
Come on you Gooners.