Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side face an almost impossible task when they travel to face a red-hot Barcelona on Wednesday looking to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in six years.
As so often in the second half of Wenger’s 20-year reign, Arsenal will travel to the Camp Nou with a sense of what might have been.
They had their chances to lead at the Emirates three weeks ago before Barca’s brilliant forward triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez cut through them with an unerring ease they have made routine.
Messi, Neymar and Suarez have scored a combined 103 goals this season while Arsenal’s entire squad a mere 71.
Top of the list of Wenger’s detractors has been his inability or unwillingness to splash out on the top-class striker needed to turn Arsenal from perennial pretenders into winners.
Yet, he tried to land Suarez whilst the Uruguayan was still at Liverpool in 2013.
In a tale of Arsenal’s penny-pinch culture under Wenger, they infuriated Liverpool by launching a bid one pound over Suarez’s reported £40 million buyout clause.
Even more damming for Arsenal was that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard managed to talk Suarez into staying for an extra season at Anfield by telling him he was “too good for Arsenal” and that his move to Barcelona would come, Naijabet.com