Well, obviously the biggest news of the day is the Champions League draw which was made just moments ago. They could not have planned it much better (all pun intended). Arsenal have drawn Barcelona in the next stage of the competition. Which means Thierry Henry gets to return to Arsenal as a player for another club in a competitive match. I’m hoping it’s the same end result as his last visit to the Grove which saw us thrashing Blackburn 6-2.
We’ve arguably the tougher draw compared to United who only have Bayern, Lyon and Bordeaux in their half. Should we get past Barcelona, there’s surely Mourinho waiting for us in the semifinal as I do not expect CSKA Moscow to pose any sort of problems for the Italian champions. Tough, but not impossible. Remember, we outplayed a very good Barca side in 2006 with only 10 men for very long periods in the game. In Lionel Messi, Barca have one of the most exciting and the terrifying player on the planet. His one man demolition of Valencia and Stuttgart in the space of just 4 days will surely send shivers down any Gooners.
There’s also the sentimental side of the game. Thierry Henry is a legend at Arsenal and will probably remain the record goalscorer for our club forever. He has always been a class act when he was with us and even more when he left. Even after his departure, he still cherishes Arsenal and we do have a special place in his heart. Looking at the draw, he will not be too please with it. As a professional he will have to ensure he gives his all for Barcelona but yet, a little part of him still wants Arsenal to win. Here’s to hoping for that little part to grow and help us out. An own goal or two is the least I’m hoping for. Though, I suspect that Guardiola will think the same and put Ibrahimovic instead. Which would be a shame because if anyone deserves a run-out at the Grove, it’s Henry.
We lost the last one at Paris and now we’ve given the chance to put that right. If anything, this Barca is even better than the one we lost to in 2006. The Catalans have already lost one of the titles that they won last season and Arsenal could very well deny them the chance to retain another one. Everything aside, this will be a wonderful match to watch as both sides are well known for their Joga Bonito.
Oh…..and be prepared for the endless Fabregas rumour that will ensue. I’m already looking forward to it. The match not the rumours.
West Ham preview tomorrow. Have a nice day.