Good morning, everybody. Here are some Arsenal links for the start of this week:
Arsène Wenger says Arsenal won't sit back against Barcelona in the Champions League match on Wednesday:
"I believe, if we manage to get them under pressure, we will create chances," says the manager. "Ideally that is something we can work on before the game. Sometimes you have that extra special focus in these kind of games which makes you more efficient, so hopefully we have that. "The question at the Nou Camp you can wonder is will we change the way we play? But here [at Emirates Stadium], we will try to play to our strengths. We will try to attack the other team."
And that despite the fact that he says Barcelona's first half at the Emirates last year was the best football he's ever gone up against in his life.
Left Back in the Changing Room offers his thoughts on Jack Wilshere (the "English Pirlo"?) for England:
Rooney is - on his day - a wonderful player but he is a genius of the instant. He is not a genius, or indeed a player, of the gradual. Rooney, Gerrard and Lampard are all very fine players but they are players of the moment rather than players of patience. These players are knives, rapiers or shotguns. Wilshere is death by a thousand cuts. Rooney and co are wonderful but they are not imaginative like Wilshere is imaginative.
A Cultured Left Foot sees Arsenal's recent Premier League form as evidence of a new-found confidence (the Newcastle match, presumably, notwithstanding).
Arseblog agrees with the FA that players should watch what they say on the twitterz:
So nothing has changed, no new rules have been introduced, and while it’s frequently frustrating that the feedback procedure regarding referees is so weighted in their favour, players and managers know the rules already. There’s still scope for fans, pundits, media etc to make an issue of poor officiating. Players have a different relationship to them than we do and like it or not that should be respected.
Arsenal Column argues, along with BeltransMole, that Walcott could be the key to Arsenal's matches against Barcelona:
Already, it is said that Arsenal’s key weapon in the Champions League clash is to be Theo Walcott. Against Wolves, Wenger gave both of his wingers the freedom to stretch play and get behind the two full-backs. But as the game wore on and Arsenal defending deeper, Wenger gave his Englishman the licence to stay forward and wait for the counter attack. He had a couple of chances towards the end and seeing as he will be crucial at the Emirates on Wednesday, Wenger tried to create a structure at the back so that Walcott could catch out his opponents with his speed.
While 7AM Kickoff holds that Barcelona base their strategy, and success, on piggy in the middle.
There's a new, well-designed Arsenal tactics site to look at: The Arsenal Report.
And finally: an awesome highlight package from a 1972-73 match against Manchester City. Charlie George's opener...mmmm.