How to turn Arsenal into the English Barca

In Arsenal FC on May 29, 2009 by Highbury N5 Editor

Right, this is going to be one of the only posts of this nature I ever do.

How can Arsenal turn into the English Barca?

One similarity between both teams is the style of football they play, both sides play slick passing games and hate to vary from that. The main difference however is the cutting edge Barca possess, Iniesta and Xavi are two of the worlds best central midfielders and they are positioned either side of the ‘enforcer’ in Yaya Toure or Busquets. Their passing ability is almost superior to any other player in world football, add that to the side having the best forward three seen in footballing history and you have one almighty attacking force.

Messi, Henry, Eto’o.

Defenders will see that line up and the creativity behind it and think one thing. Oh fuck.

If Arsenal played with this formation, and I think they can, they could re-create a similar sort of game to that of Barcelona.

Ponder this midfield and strikeforce.


van Persie—–Bendtner/Eduardo—–Arshavin

In that team there is so much interchangeability that opposition players will not know who to pick up, Fabregas and Nasri can change over, van Persie, Bendtner, Eduardo and Arshavin can all play in each others positions as well. It would be a nightmare for defenders to deal with. Also, every single one of those players is prepared to run their arse off for the team and that is a very, very important part of any teams success. Just look at Barca the other night, Henry, Eto’o and Messi all did their share of the tracking back and Iniesta and Xavi were willing to start attacks from the edge of their own D.

This is one of the reasons I feel that Wenger will concentrate spending his money on the defence this summer because that is where we really fell short this season, we have let in far, far too many sloppy goals at important times. To be honest I would be happy seeing a totally new center back pairing next season, Kolo is a legend but is not a patch on the player he used to be whilst Gallas is class, but rumours don’t go away about him leaving and his silence is deafening in my view.

Right, now its your turn. Could this formation work in England and with the players we have?

Over to you.

Till tomorrow.


15 Responses to “How to turn Arsenal into the English Barca”

  1. i think this could work also maybee bring in lorik cana as the enforcer as he is a beast. also possibly alonso as the xavi type player. then we could also do with another striker such as david villa who is a clinical finisher.

  2. it might… you forget the wingbacks coming high up…esp alves… thats where we will be a little weak… sagna is great coming up and falling back to defend as well…clichy not as good but good enough… but in the english game…we gotta have a tad stronger defence than what barca has.. and yes…kolo doesnt cut it anymore… djourou was good in the beginning of the season when he stood in for kolo… if we get vermulen and another young defender then we have a chance of holding out the drogbas and rooneys… the 4-3-3 that barca plays can work against the smaller teams.. when it comes to the big four and a few others like city, everton and spurs… i think a variation of that attack, poised as a 4-2-3-1 can work…something we’ve already used to good effect this season… i hoping ade leaves and that we get a good young striker who can take a season to develop, since we already got RVP, eduardo, arshavin and bendtner to handle the front…

    song and denilson have both grown as players…but i dunno if they will be able to hold the midfield as well as yaya does…

  3. oh and…almunia has been putting in some great performances and i really liked fabianski up to a point…i think it was when he rushed out needlessly against chelsea and conceded a stupid goal… i still think we need to improve in that department… what i loved about barca…was that, the players that i thought were the weakest links, possibly knew that themselves and hence put their heart in their game… valdes and busquets were all or nothing on that field and i’m sad when i say this but sometimes i dont get that from a few arsenal players… i dont see them track back to try and get the ball… ade’s a far cry from the player he was last season… and even walcott..great pace…decent vision…but his finishing is just bad at times…he pulls the trigger way to fast… he needs to calm down..

    have i said too much?

  4. Yes people were talking about arsenal playing this way 2 years ago.
    Even if we did switch our tactics successfully we would never be as good as barca. I think our midfield could match them adequately with nasri and fabregas, but up front they literally have 3 of the world’s best forwards, and in messi the best player in the world by miles.
    We couldnt claim to have the same pace and interchangeability in the front 3 u put out.
    Vela up front instead of arshavin might be a better option for the type of game u suggest btw, he really could be as good as someone like eto’o imo; and I’ve never seen arshavin play well through the centre – always on the left really

  5. Your line up you gave would mean playing 2defenders!!! so i doubt that would never happen, however i think our best chance of trying to be like Barca is to play with a midfield of >>> Walcott, Fabulous, Arsahvin & the front three of >>> Nasri, Van Persie & Eduardo. Nasri playing behind the front 2, i think everybody saw how devestating he was in that position against Roma. i know ppl will be saying theres no DM but Song cud play in front of the back 3, so the formation would be having said this i Dont think Barca are the team everyone is making them out to be, Man Utd had a very poor game (they were scared to play) & that is why Barca looked so good. this debate that Barca are the best attacking team? they need to play against the only other team in the world who can match them at their pass & move game and thats Arsenal! then we’l see how good they are when the ball is moving around them faster than their used to when playing their usual opponants. Arsenal Passed the ball 7686 times! in the final third of the pitch this season, man utd jus pushed the 6000 mark, liverpool & chelsea both mid 6000’s, this fact can be seen on skysports. Arsenal are the best footballing side in the premier league & i think we’l all agree that the perfect champions league final would have been Arsenal Vs Barca………..GUNN4LIFE!

  6. Trust me, I’ve been having the same thought since I saw the Barca v Manure final! Arsenal is the only club in England who try to play that kind of beautiful football. We often get harangued for not producing results. But look at our team’s avg age! It’s just 22 years! If this team sticks together 2-3 years, I can easily see Fab and Nasri transforming into a Xavi & Iniesta type of pairing, cos they have the potential!

    The biggest challenge for Wenger is to keep the team together and to bolster the defence with a solid DM and a new CM pairing! If that happens, this team will be a strong challenger for every major honours and will do it in style!

  7. For a regular football its still myopic of you to think that a midfield with the likes of Denilson/Song can win something. Lets face the reality: they are not good enough for a champion winning team but they are adequate for mid-table teams. We have two midfielders in Fab and Nas and two strikers in Van and Asha so we need at least one well molded midfielder and striker. Until that is achieved Arsenal will remain an arse. Lets give these guys: Bendtner, Edu, Diaby Deni etc more time. Diaby is a class but tortoise is more hardworking than him. The guy is extremely lazy that I doubt if he will be able to perform his matrimony duties in later part of his life. There was a time he was better than Flamin then because of hard work Flamin overtook him. Not long ago he was better than Song but I strongly think that now Song is better than him.

  8. although song and denilson have progressed immensely this season, if we were to play with this formation i still think we need a better, stronger, faster DM as our attackers aren’t nearly as fast as barcas trio and fabregas and nasri still need to work on their defensive sides if the game even though nasri for me has been our best player this year (not counting the late arrival of arshavin). i think though with rosicky back aswell, if he is the same player, he could possibly play in that midfield trio with nasri but with cesc holding as rosicky had the energy to always track back and the strength to tackle (the run against a certain cristiano ronaldo in january 2007 spings to mind). and he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. if we want to compete next year for anything, rosicky could play a much bigger part in our success tyan everybody seems to think.

  9. Gunna4life – it wouldnt mate ive put the / because more than one player can play that role.

    You need a 4 man defence for that formation

  10. This squad will be english barca.
    Starting Line up
    New right back who can cross not sagna
    Van persie
    Subs; Ramsey, Havarad Nordtveit, Vela, Walcott, New CB, bendtner and Fabianski.

  11. Don’t kid yourself, Gunna4life & Sam: in 2007 we may have had a chance to face up to Barca, but this year we would have be slaughtered without question. I’m happy Manure were the lambs and not we.

  12. I strongly disagree with Gunna4life that “they were scared to play”, I thot before the game that Barca weren’t getting the plaudits they deserve. They can make any team look ordinary. Man Utd couldnt have played any better. Barca always play the possession game with a lot more guile and maturity than you will find in the Arsenal ranks, they also have Iniesta and Xavi with sticky feet that glue to the ball, not mentioning the combined attacking prowess of Henry, Eto’o and the almighty Messi, pls admit that we don’t have these players. I’m really happy for Titi and the fact that Patrice Evra was like a rookie in front of Eto’o after dubbing our players “babies” in his interview with a soccernet correspondent after the game @ the Grove. @Goonblogger, read the last blog about the way forward and thot it’s very good

  13. The best assessment of the team was made by the pint sized man himself, Arshavin. Arsenal is 3 good players away from being a team to beat. At the moment we are not good enough to win anything worth men probably we can win almost all ladies trophies. Its only “cowards who dies several times before their actual death”. For how long will Arsenal look for excuses and scapegoats? Eeeeh! this team is growing everyday, is improving everyday then they get the beating of their lives under the hands of chelskie. Lets sign the players we need and leave these excuses for the likes of hull. I was happy when Wenger stood up to the board because they were putting him in the firing line by implying that he is afraid to spend the money, probably so that he should not run out of excuses. Lets face it, we need trophies to show to our girlfriends back at school, as simple as that.

  14. why don’t u guys coach arsenal, since u have all the bright ideas.. Arsen is the best coach in the world, he picks the team not you guys, so stop wingeing. We only need a new center back and a killer defensive midfielder who can command the team from the back.

  15. @james arent you contradicting yourself?

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