5 Unorthodox Tactics Arsenal Are Rumored To Employ vs. Barcelona

William Gish@wgishAnalyst IFebruary 16, 2011

5 Unorthodox Tactics Arsenal Are Rumored To Employ vs. Barcelona

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    IPSWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal gives instructions during the Carling Cup Semi Final First Leg match between Ipswich Town and Arsenal at Portman Road on January 12, 2011 in Ipswich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Gett
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Even fans of Arsenal know that the London side faces an uphill slog tomorrow.

    No matter how good the Gunners are, they aren’t Barcelona.  As Fabregas, Van Persie, Walcott and the rest of the red gang prepare to do battle against Messi, Villa, Xavi and the ghost of Puyol’s hair, the rumor mill is a buzz with tricks Arséne Wenger may have up his sleeve.

    While only time will tell the victors of this fateful football blood bath, Wenger will surely gain the element of surprise if he employs any of these extremely unorthodox tactics he is rumored to be considering.

    Give us your two cents below.  How will Arsenal set up to take Barca?

The Force

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    ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15:  Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri of Arsenal warm-up during training at London Colney on February 15, 2011 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Speculation abounds that Wenger is in league with a mysterious sect of psychic space samurai known as The Jedi.

    Rumored to be traveling to the Emirates from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away, these light saber wielding mind ninjas are reported to be schooling the likes of Fabregas and Walcott in their particular brand of mental trickery.

    If there is truth to this rumor, Barca is in for a difficult 90 minutes.  In addition to ruthlessly dismembering their own children, Jedi have the unique ability to manipulate the thoughts of other people and the actions of all manner of animate and inanimate object, including balls.  

    The Arsenal back line was overheard in a recent training session to be reciting the line “This is not the goal you’re looking for.”

The Maradona

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    SEVILLE, SPAIN - MARCH 29: Samuel Eto'o (C) of Barcelona celebrates with Carles Puyol (L) and Andres Iniesta after he scored their second goal during the La Liga match between Real Betis and Barcelona at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium on March 29, 2008
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    The Maradona is so named for the madcap Argentine who introduced the maneuver to the world of football. Known in military parlance as a pre-emptive strike, this tactic hits the opposition before it even knows it’s been hit.

    In lay terms, the Maradona is the act of drugging the opposition’s water bottles, as dirty Diego infamously did to Brazil in the Holy Water scandal of the 1990 World Cup.

    The nature of the Arsa-Barca clash hinges on the type of drug Wenger uses, if this rumor proves true.  If it’s acid, we can expect to see Xavi falling to the pitch and petting the dolphins while Villa attempts to fend off murderous clowns with his spiked locks.

    If it’s Ecstasy, the world will witness Messi’s greatest dance moves and watch as Inieseta manically braids Puyol’s flowing locks.

Guerilla Tactics

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12:  Nenad Milijas of Wolves (R) holds off Jack Wilshere of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers on February 12, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Imag
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Rumor has it that Wenger has been studying the tenets of guerrilla warfare in an effort to prepare his squad for its run in with Barcelona.

    Rather than simply fielding 11 grimacing men in red and white short and tops, Wenger may well field two or three players while keeping others hidden in hollows beneath the pitch or behind advertisements on the sidelines.

    Just as Barcelona settles into a potentially lethal attack, Wilshere will emerge from the pitch, steal the ball and bury Mascherano in the dirt before inciting the counter attack.

    The downside of this tactic is that Barcelona have more than one Argentine player.  As beholden as that nation is to its hero Ché Guevara, Argentine school children study the art of guerrilla warfare from a young age.

    Wenger is a sly fox of an old man and may well know this; can Messi undo guerilla tactics with his sprightly ways?  Only time will tell…

The Human Propensity For Doubt

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    ALICANTE, SPAIN - JANUARY 29:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona controls the ball before the la Liga match between Hercules and Barcelona at Estadio Jose Rico Perez on January 29, 2011 in Alicante, Spain. Barcelona won 0-3. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Ge
    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Much can be made in the minds of man.

    Sneaky fellow that he is, Wenger surely understands the power of psychological manipulation.  Rumors abound the Wenger will exploit the human propensity for doubt in his side’s upcoming Champion’s League showdown with Barcelona.

    What exactly do we mean by this?  Imagine it:  Barcelona plows through Arsenal’s defense and scores a goal. The Gunners make no attempt to strike back.  This situation repeats itself one, two, three times.  Barcelona is four goals up in 10 minutes.  Arsenal players stand about on the pitch as though they’d rather be at home managing their stock portfolios.

    Then, like a splinter, doubt appears in the minds of the Barca men.  Why are they doing this?  What’s really happening?  Is this not really happening?  Are we dreaming?  Is this really a ball I am kicking?  How and why is it defined as such?  How do I know that there is air in the ball, that it is actually spherical?

    Suddenly, like a wormhole renting space and time, doubt tares their minds asunder and Barcelona can no longer function in as members of society.

    Arsenal wins the game.


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    DOHA, QATAR - JANUARY 07:  FIFA president Joseph Blatter looks on prior to the AFC Asian Cup Group A match between Qatar and Uzbekistan at Khalifa Stadium on January 7, 2011 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
    Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

    If all else fails, Wenger can always fall back on making a deal with the devil.

    Of course, this presents one major problem—we don’t known who Satan supports.  There are those who believe that he is an avid Manchester United and Real Madrid fan.  In such a case, he would surely want Barcelona to lose.  However, Real Madrid fans assert that Satan is a Barca fan, in which case, a deal will be hard to strike.

    If Satan is indeed a Barca fan, Wenger is crap out of luck, as all the lesser demons of the football world, from Sepp Blatter to Alex Ferguson, are surely for Barca and against the Gunners in this situation.   

An Unrelated Slide Of Fernando Torres

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    MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 09:  Fernando Torres (L)  of Spain is fouled by Armero of Colombia during the International friendly match between Spain and Colombia at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 9, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    This is an unrelated slide featuring a photo of Fernando Torres.

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