Thierry Henry tells Barcelona - Stop Mesut Ozil and Arsenal will die
Former Arsenal Legend Thierry Henry has given his former team Barcelona the key to stopping Arsenal. The footballer turned pundit has said that if Barcelona can stop the Gunners' creator-in-chief Ozil then the game is theirs.
The German playmaker leads the way in assists in the Premier League and has been key to Arsenal's title hopes this season.
Henry who is currently earning his coaching badges with the club where he spent eight successful years understands how good the 27-year-old can be, who is only a few assists away from Henry’s all-time record of 20 in the league.
Speaking to Barcelona’s official website he said, “Ozil is incredible, he has a ton of assists. He is playing very, very, very well, as he used to at Madrid. After two very difficult seasons he's doing very well.”
The Frenchman believes if Ozil is not given the freedom to work his magic then Arsenal as a footballing organism will stop to function “If you can stop Ozil, Arsenal are practically dead.”
Arsene Wenger’s men have been winning matches without dominating possession at times this season and Henry has been a keen observer of this development saying “I think Arsenal will play as they did against Bayern Munich at home. They will defend and try to score goals on the counter-attack. It's not easy to play with the ball against Barca.”
Arsenal’s record goalscorer also noticed a new found resilience in the team saying, "They fight a lot. In the past, Arsenal couldn't win a game if they didn't play well. But this year, they are winning games without playing well and sometimes without the ball, it happened against Bayern, against Manchester City, against Manchester United.”
Henry makes his prediction
Henry knows how crucial home fixtures are and Arsenal will have to get something from this game if they have to try and defend at the Camp Nou."They have to do something at home before coming to Camp Nou. When the crowd is good, on a Champions League night, it's not easy to just defend for 90 minutes.”, he said.
But the 38-year-old predicted it will be a case of deja vu for the Gunners saying, "It's not easy for my team, Arsenal, but on the other hand I love Barca a lot. It's very difficult. It won't be easy, but I'm going with Barca”
This will be Arsenal’s fourth meeting with Barcelona since 2006, having never beaten the Catalonia side in the Champions League. Will they be 4th time lucky?