Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says it is ‘against his nature’ to park the bus and play defensively, indicating he plans to take the fight to Barcelona in this evening’s Champions League game.
The Gunners host Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium this evening and Wenger has hinted that he’s aiming to win the game by attacking the Catalans.
Barca’s front line of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have combined for more goals (58) in the league this season than Arsenal as a whole (41). Due to this level of firepower, many had expected the Gunners to sit back in an attempt to absorb attacking pressure from their opponents.
However, Wenger has stated pre-match that it isn’t in his nature to set up his team to sit back and defend.
“It’s against my nature,” Wenger said to journalists, reports Goal. “I cannot go into a game and think I will just play for a zero-zero. I don’t believe you can say you are a big club and just want to defend.
“On the other hand, Barcelona are a very offensive team so to give ourselves no chance at all of scoring against them would make us guilty as well.
“We have to try to score against them because if they have a vulnerability, like us, it is defensively, as it is with any offensive team.”
The problem Wenger faces if finding the right balance between attacking to win the game and defending to keep Barcelona at bay. By attacking too much, the Gunners threaten to leave too much space for Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez to exploit.
And if their threat wasn’t enough, Barcelona’s full-backs, Alves and Alba, will constantly overlap down the wings to cause yet more trouble.
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