I was very surprised to hear Guillem Balague say on Talksport earlier that he thinks Arsenal are now favourites against Barcelona to qualify for the next round of the Champions League.
He also said that he had done a lot of Spanish Radio today and that Barcelona had been coming in for plenty of criticism over their performance.
A 2-1 defeat away to a top premier league side is no disgrace, but I can see why the Catalan public might be a bit annoyed that Barcelona didn’t come away from Emirates with a lead, it was a bit Deja Vu.
Having had a day to reflect on the game, I think it’s fair to say that Barcelona’s level of performance did drop off in the 2nd half. But why was that?
I think most Spanish observers might think the defeat was down to complacency or negative tactics by Guardiola in taking off David Villa for a holding midfielder.
But another theory I have, is that it just could be that they can’t keep up their pressing game and their high level of intensity against a premier league side for 90 minutes.
In Spain they aren’t pushed that hard, they rarely come up against a team that is still in the match after 75 minutes. The game is usually won and Barca just play testimonial football for the last 30 minutes or so of most La Liga games.
So on the rare occasion when they do have to keep going for the full 90 minutes, they perhaps can be found wanting?
Going back to Balague on Spanish radio, he also mentioned the fact that the Spanish liked the look of Wilshere, that they were surprised at how good he was.
Yes it’s not very often that in England, or the UK, that we can produce a player who wouldn’t look out of place in the Barcelona side. I thought Wilshere was brilliant, he showed great temperament and didn’t look out of his depth at all. In fact he looked just as comfortable as anybody out there in an Arsenal shirt.
What price a summer move for Wilshere rather than Cesc by Barca?