Arsenal to become ‘Barcenal’ next season? + Last chance to complete the Arsenal Survey

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Today’s post is unique for a couple of reasons. One, it’s on a Saturday. Two, it’s very, very early here in Australia. 8.24am in fact. You might ask what I’m doing up at that time on a Saturday morning and the answer to that question is that I don’t know. I just woke up and couldn’t get any sleep, put on some Fleet Foxes and now I’m blogging. Life’s like that sometimes.

So what have I got for you today? Well, not a huge amount but most of it is pretty interesting if I do say so myself.

There was a terrific article released in the Guardian yesterday about Barcelona’s Champions League win and how it holds hope for the vision that Arsene Wenger is trying to realise at Arsenal. While we’re still some way off achieving the sort of success that Barcelona have, I do believe that with a tweak here and there and a couple of big, strong new players to provide a base for the more creative ones, we can achieve something similar.

On this week’s Arsecast, the man from Arseblog spoke about the possibility of adopting Barcelona’s 4-3-3 in the hope of getting the best out of our players. It’s an interesting idea, bringing in a player to hold the centre of midfield and letting Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas run around like Xavi and Andres Iniesta, while letting a combination of three of Robin van Persie, Eduardo, Andrey Arsavhin, Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner to provide the attacking power. Arshavin would be our Messi, of course, van Persie could provide the pivot and I think Walcott in particular would do well with a slightly less restrained role where he could gravitate to more dangerous central areas.

‘Barcenal’*, not a bad idea or name really.

Final chance to complete the 08/09 Arsenal Survey

Moving on and I mentioned that I would be closing the Arsenal FC Blog 08/09 Survey at midnight on Friday. However, my laziness meant I didn’t have a post reminding you of that yesterday, so I will be extending the deadline to midnight on Saturday, UK time. You can complete the very short survey answering things like your Goal of the Season, Disappointment of the Season and what positions you might like to see a signing in by clicking here. It’ll only take 5 minutes so give it a go.

Anyway, that’s really it for today in a very short Saturday blog. I’ll be back on Monday with the final Arsenal FC Weekly podcast of the year where I’ll be running through your results from the 2008/09 survey and announcing things like the Player of the Season as well as your hopes for next year. 

Cheers and enjoy your weekend.

* Props to Twitter buddy White_Ox for coming up with the name.

Have your say on the Barca-Arsenal links or the Arsenal 08/09 Survey by leaving a comment.


36 thoughts on “Arsenal to become ‘Barcenal’ next season? + Last chance to complete the Arsenal Survey

  1. When will Wenger stop talking??He has been spouting his usual drivel with the favourite being “we will challenge next season“………aaahhh that is nice knowing that a team off Arsenals calibre are going to challenge but wait a moment, challenge very often means not winning but being in the mix…so he has already his excuses ready for another failed season,nice to know.And the best must be “we need a good start to the season“ no it is not Homer Simpson speaking but Arsene Wenger but it is still inane drivel if his players cant understand that running around like headless chickens like they did last season wont do then god help us all.I think it is fair to say that if you are gonna reach 90 points or more which is what previous champions over the last five seasons have won it with you need a good start to the season.

  2. You can even see this slight change in the youth team, were wilshire is been groomed into an inestia type player and not in the bergkamp role.

  3. Good morning, Spanish. Let’s not forget that we are not Barcelona mark 2 but Arsenal mark 1 – and we don’t want it any other way. I’m really pleased about Barca’s win for Henry’s sake because he’s an Arsenal legend, a gem of a bloke, and he gave so much to the club. Other than that I don’t really care who’s winning it if Arsenal aren’t.
    Nobody has a right to win just because they play ‘nicer’ football. And the Gunners are in the English Premier League, not the Spanish, Spanish.
    I say, as other have, let’s get some grit in the squad and other than that keep on going with the Arsene and Arsenal way.

  4. @ Old Timer, of course we are Arsenal mark 1 but critics say that you cannot play beautiful football and win trophies but Barca got the treble this season whilst playing magical football, they play 4-3-3 so maybe the key to being successful and playing beautiful football lies with the 4-3-3 formation. Walcott with the pace on the right, Arshavin the magician on the left and RVP in the middle, getting the crosses and scroing the goals. Nasri and Fabregas behind in AM positions with Song in the holding role, I feel if we are to play that we will need to buy a strong holding midfielder for that to work. We have Bendter and Eduardo for back up upfront and Vela, Deni, Rosicky and Diaby for back up AM and Diaby back up DM.

  5. I see more Walcott as Henry, Van Persie as Etoo and Arshavin as Messi.

    The only thing we need is our Yaya Toure.

  6. All good points gentleman.My 5 year old niece has trouble saying Arsenal and thinks the team is called Arselona,I like her version better but we need to remember that there is only one ARSENAL.Go Gunners!!!!

  7. Arsenal is Arsenal. We don’t even play football simmilar to Barcelona. Yes we pass it on the ground but its nowhere even near the way Barcelona do it, where the passes are always fast triangle formations. The 2004 team had more simmilarities to Barca not the current one.

    We could try the 4-3-3 but Cesc is not a box to box player like xavi/iniesta, Cesc best games are when he lies deep which is more akin to the way of Alonso/Barry/Carrick type of CM. Xavi/Iniesta plays everywhere and its mesmerizing to see them be the fulcrum of Barca’s touch and go football.

    I second Old Timer’s notion, I don’t really care about the champions league unless Arsenal wins it and Arsenal do need a lot of grit, then we could take the next step of polishing our brand of touch and go football.

  8. Thanks for the kudos, now I don’t have to get my lawyers involved for plaigarism!

    In all seriousness the “Barcenal” term was more a reference to how many players we’ve sold to them and how Titi and another man I wish we’d never sold, little Sylvinho started and won the final. The idea of playing in a Barca type formation is tasty tho…

  9. We need to spend before thinking of Barcelona’s acheivement. They bought Dani Alves for around £25m bcos they need him. In the premier league, Man. U is also spending. Honestly AW is a very good coach but he needs to spend to show this

  10. The term “Barsenal” (with an S) has been knocking around for a few years now I think …

  11. Saturday post, what a treat SF, lol.
    4-3-3 is worth a go i reckon. As long as we have the right players in their normal positions.

    Go Timmy, go Everton!!

  12. The 433 system is not bad at all. A midfield trio of Cesc, Rosicky and Nasri with a new gigantic sweeper/CD like Zapata behind them. RVP, Edu and Arshavin upfront. We could be deadly.

  13. I feel wenger should stop talking & instead work and think with sense in mind…he cant win trophies with young players..Arsenal may play beautiful football like barca..but they cant become barca with this team..he shud pull in some experiencced players to squad..offfload players like adebayor…he will lose respect if he do things what he has been doing from last 4 yrs..he shud leave bargaining and save money..dont know for who..he does all these things…

  14. Amazing what a difference 12 months makes innit

    A year ago Barcelona had slumped to a second disappointing season behind a very average Madrid side, had been shuffled out at the SF stage in the CL by ManYoo, had sacked their manager Rijkaard etc.

    They flooged Goofy, bought Alves for an eye watering 25 million and – wait for it – brought in the incomparable Alex Hleb!!

    And now according to the experts on the Guardian everyone wants to be Barcelona

    I think all this ” we all want to be like Barca ” is this week’s hysteria and next weeks chip paper

  15. Yay got my pc fixed and catching up on all the blogs I’ve missed sf. Did the questionare but biggest dissapointment of the season I think was gallas getting injured but it wouldn’t let me do it? I think barca are a good team but they didn’t run away with the league like manure have in the past so the better team did win on the day but we still need to do some work before we can count ourselves against the like of those 2. We really need a free kick taker as since henry left rvp has done ok but you look at the other big teams they have ronaldo, gerrard and terry all have scored a few free kicks this season.

  16. @ Butterfingers – I think Rvp is amazing at fre kicks, Ronaldo is one of the best in the world at them, Gerrard just smashes them and Terry taking free kicks??? Rvp goes for accuracy rather than power and his left foot is dangerous I love it when we get a free kick when Rvp is playing.

  17. I fink if we signed Barry, we would then then need to sign a really good CB and a ST and I would be very happy, 4-3-3!

  18. 4 -3-3 is the way forward with

    Defence Eboue Gallas Toure Clichy

    Mid Rosicky Fabregas Nasri

    FwD Arshavin RvanP Eduardo


  19. I believe more important than signing a new CB and DM is working on the defensive part of the current players game.too common nasri,rvp,ade,fabregas,and diaby will loose the ball and stay upfield. meaning the first interception is from the last man,a half decent striker will cause us problems.i think a 4 3 3 would suit us and probably accomodate most of our current squad only if the 6 upfront will backtrack and cover for the back four if not we would be exposed and pay for it.we are 18 points behind the champs yet we have scored more(correct me). reason? lack of cover for our defense making song sometimes do the work of three men!

  20. Maybe Yaya is now ready to move to be with his borther? They’ve won everything… Though Im not 100% sure of Kolos future here as I think a new CB will come in and Wenger prefers Gallas…

  21. @ Olie Marles – no sagna in that defense? the dude was a little shaky at the end, but overall solid, one of the best i think.

    i think 4-3-3 sounds interesting but is not something wenger will do. he seems way too stuck in his own way.

    he also will not buy 2 players in the break. MAYBE one very good player, but no stars. if so i hope it’s in defense, i think i can live with song in the middle if he continues to improve.

    i want to think positive. i want wenger to surprise me. here’s to a new season full of hope…

  22. arsenal should consider selling the ageing gallas:(why?)
    1. hes 31 and ageing you dont want our defence to end up like the overageing chelsea team
    2. toure and gallas just wont work out to win a pl title
    3. toure is best with someone like campbell, i reckon hangeland or bassong(although i think this guy is an egomaniac)

    As for dm, i think barry is a cheaper, more tangible option for arsenal based on our tight budget. Besides, there are reports that barry prefers asrenal to liverpool.
    Alonso’s price tag will definitely skyrocket in the summer due to interest from real and juventus

    Reports also say the GB team in the olympics will comprise mainly arsenal yougsters now. Thats good news to hear and it proves arsenal ARE a future treble-winning BARCELONA!

  23. Hey SF, I’ve been away for a week, back today (Sunday UK). just completed your survey, hope it’s not too late to include it (I know you set a deadline of last nite).

  24. Id be willing to pay a pretty penny to see our youth team play Barcelona’s… The superstars of the future are on those two squads no doubt…

    That final has to be a reminder to all of us on what Wenger’s goal is. Going a few seasons without silverware is a small price to pay. Plus we will get some next year I am confident.

  25. I like the 4-3-3 idea with our personnel. However, I think the real thing to emulate is the way Barca press on defense like a pack of dogs. Eto’o, Messi, Iniesta, and Xavi are all really quick and all work very hard to get the ball back when it is lost. That takes a lot of work and a lot of discipline, but it seems to be the main difference between Barca this year and the Barca of one year ago.

  26. California Gooner..You are spot on.

    Teams that have the ability to press high up the pitch do very very well.

    It would be my fav. style of play if i was a manager.

  27. Absolutely agree with the two above me but this takes tons of energy and a deep squad is needed. Im not sure we have the depth other than in midfield (and obviously not DMF). That should be the goal though- and its why a contagious worker like Flamini was is essential to the team

  28. A question …..If Matthew Flamini is such an outstanding defensive midfield player how come he is playing at right back in Milan, and could bnot even get a start in midfield when Gattuso was out for three months ?

    Seems to me Matty may be just a fairly average midfield player, albeit he had one good season which allowed him his move to Milan, for whom distance lends enchantment perhaps ?

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