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Arsenal have often been compared to Barcelona, although many of
the Gunners’ fans are not too keen on the comparison. There are some
similarities, that is for sure, but there are plenty of differences as
well. But the Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere would like us
to take at least one more leaf out of their book.
If he had seen their woeful capitulation away to Real Sociedad on
Saturday night, however, he may have thought twice about what he said.
As reported by Arsenal.com,
the thing Jack was talking about was the high pressing game that
Barcelona and Bayern Munich have made so successful. When you are a
team, like the Gunners, that bases a lot of their play on possession and
passing, this high pressing makes it a real nightmare for the
opposition. It stops them being able to hit you on the counter-attack
and this is something that Arsenal have had problems with.
Wilshere said, “Even against Bayern, we were on top for the first 20
minutes and had a great chance to score but didn’t. So we wanted to
continue that [against Sunderland], stay high and win the ball back.
Once we won the ball back in their half, we always looked dangerous.
“We have some big games coming up, we [need to] continue with the
same work ethic off the ball, try to win it back straight away and press
“You see the best teams in the world like Barcelona and Bayern Munich
do that and we have to try to do that as well, because when we get in
their half we have the players to hurt them.”
This tactic was, in my opinion, what turned Guardiola’s Barca from a
really good team into arguably the best ever. They smashed Real Madrid
to pieces in La Liga and won a treble among many other trophies. Could
it be the way for Arsenal to put this tag of struggling in the big games
behind us and win some silverware?