Arsenal legend Thierry Henry will on Tuesday 23 February be watching two of his former employers, Arsenal and Barcelona face off in the second round of the UEFA Champions League at the Emirates Stadium and he has been reflecting on both teams’ chances in the game.
The odds are heavily stacked against Arsenal heading to the match and Henry believes Arsenal may well pull a shock on the European champions, with whom he won the Champions League and he notes that should the Catalans stop Arsenal’s German midfielder, Mesut Ozil, Arsenal will be finished.
“He’s playing very very well. If you can stop Mesut Özil, Arsenal are practically dead.” Henry, who is the Arsenal record scorer tweeted.
Henry believes Barcelona will dominate the game and has called on Arsenal to plot for that and be sure they are lethal when in the Barca area, which he doesn’t fathom will happen more often in the match.
He says Arsenal players must be very hard working in the match to be able to get anything.
They [Arsenal] have to accept they will probably only have 30 per cent possession and must be so efficient when they do get the ball. They need everyone to put a shift in.
The whole team must defend more as a unit and the wingers must tuck in and play more in their own half,” he said.
Barca is known for the short passing and pressing game and Henry says Arsenal must stay compact, be brave when with the ball and play on the counter.
“You very rarely get the chance to play against Barcelona so you must be prepared to sacrifice parts of your attacking game, home and away.
“Arsenal must be brave on the ball. They need to stay compact, play on the counter and score every time they get in their penalty area.
“They can’t be exposed in the middle and must force Barcelona to run back 60 yards before they get the ball. If you allow them to stay in your half for wave after wave, it becomes almost impossible to defend,” he added.