Nasri Time

– There are too many things about the Barcelona match that one can write about. I’ll limit what I write here, so I can leave some material for the match preview on Tuesday. I will address a couple of things that are relevant to tomorrow though.

– Not enough credit is being given to Arsenal for their fight back. I’ve heard the word “lucky” thrown around frequently. There have been suggestions that Barcelona eased off the pedal and allowed us back into the game. What really happened is that we woke up. The first twenty minutes of the match was a Barcelona masterclass, but our players were simply hypnotized and did not play up to their capabilities at all. Once Theo blazed past Maxwell (an astonishing 23 mph run), the point got across that Barcelona were mortals. It’s like the scene in Rocky IV where Rocky finally cuts Ivan Drago. From that point on, the match was nearly even.

– The fight back essentially reversed the Birmingham vibes. We did to Barcelona what Birmingham and West Ham did to us earlier in the year. Approaching Wolves, we have to understand as a team that being ruthless is the final step to becoming world beaters. As much as I hate United, they understand that all too well. Ideally, we’d want to put Wolves away within the first thirty minutes. That probably won’t happen, as Wolves have hit some form and to their credit, they battle.

– No Cesc. No Arshavin. No van Persie. No Gallas. To that, I say two words. No fear. I wrote a text message to a friend about how pumped I am for the Barcelona return leg. He wrote back that he’s scared. What kind of attitude is that? What is there to be scared about? We may or may not win a trophy. The last twenty five minutes of the Barcelona match may have been our high point of the year. But we don’t know that to be true. If sports were entirely predictable, it’s impact would be largely diminished. I have no fear. This team has no fear.

– Samir Nasri now will get to operate in the role where all Arsenal midfielders want to operate. Nasri was once regarded as one of the finest young talents in the world. So was Abou Diaby. So was Tomas Rosicky. Yes, I’m concerned about our injuries, because we don’t have very many players left. But the players we have left should still be enough to handle Wolves comfortably at home. Nasri was an inspiration for Marseille, when the team was carried by him. He was impressive against Porto. He has a spark that is bigger than his frame. He’s coming into his own, and what we need to see now is consistency.

– Manchester United play Chelsea today in the early kickoff. Wenger stated that mathematically speaking, he wanted a draw. Simple math there, a draw would mean four points dropped opposed to three. I also would not mind seeing Chelsea win, as they still have to go to Shite Hart Lane and Anfield. In contrast, United have to play Manchester City in a derby and Sp*rs at home, but they’ve also lost Rooney for a few matches.

– We must win all six matches to keep the pressure up. Ancelotti himself targeted 86 points as the number a club needs to win the league. Six wins would give us 86 points.

– With the injury estimates, most of the injured players have been ruled out for the year. Were we to reach the Champions League final though, we’d conceivably have Cesc, Arshavin, van Persie, and Gallas back fit. I’m just saying…..


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