Former Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger’s Discusses Barça After 0-0 Draw in Champions League.
MIAMI, Fla. (November 7, 2019) —
Arsène Wenger analysed Barcelona for BeIN Sports for the midweek UEFA Champions League match versus Slavia Prague. He maintains that Barça play like a “team in crisis.”
The reigning La Liga champions were stunned on Tuesday night after they were unable to break the deadlock against Slavia Prague and were held to a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou.
“They’re top of the league, they’re top of their group and they play like a team in crisis,” the legendary former Arsenal boss said on beIN Sports.
“Their game is too slow. There is no dynamic in the last 30 meters, it’s too individual.
“And every time they lose the ball, it looks like they will concede a goal on [the] counterattack because they cannot deal with pace against the opponent… the team lacks dynamic, lacks energy, lacks confidence.”
It was the first time since 2012 that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi failed to score in a home Champions League group game. He came close, striking the bar in a superb solo effort.
Wenger agrees with my own opinion that Barcelona are far too reliant on the Argentine superstar. He echoed that in discussing the Culés’ failure to make the breakthrough against Slavia Prague.
“Barcelona is an interesting case because they have a history of fantastic collective play, and on top of that, came Messi to make differences,” the 70-year-old explained.
“Today, it looks like they play and they wait for Messi to do something, but the basic strengths of the team play is a bit gone. And you think, when will Messi get the ball to do something?”
“And before, the music, the basic music, was the fantastic team play, making it difficult to catch the ball, and then on top of that came Messi.
“Today, it looks to me that they lost charisma.”
Wenger continued his brutal assessment of Barca’s performance with a stat comparison for ‘distance covered’ in the match.
Barcelona managed to cover 97 km in comparison to Slavia Prague’s 109 km, with the Frenchman saying it was the equivalent of 84 box-to-box runs.
He added: “Barcelona was beaten tonight really, physically, and then, not enough pace.”
While critical of Barça manager Ernesto Valverde, he was careful not to blame him entirely. “At the end, it’s always the coach who is guilty, he’s not always responsible,” he said. “There’s a difference between being guilty and responsible, you know?”
“As we said, Valverde does not make the decision on who comes in. He has to do the best with what he has.”
“So, what we speak about raises many questions: who has the final word when you buy a player? Secondly, is this really the player that the team needs?”
Source Credit: Sport Bible