Former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell has reacted to his former side drawing Barcelona in the Champions League, in an exclusive interview with 888sport.com.
After fighting back from a seemingly doomed scenario to qualify from the group stages, Campbell is disappointed the Gunners landed such a tough draw.
He does feel that beating the reigning champions is possible, and referred back to their win away to Manchester City in January as the blueprint to do so.
He said: "It’s not nice getting them again and Arsenal fans are probably asking what is going on. It’s not right. We’re playing very well but we’ll be playing them at the wrong time when all their players are coming back and getting in the groove.
"Whereas with all our players – those who start or have an impact coming off the bench – we’re limited with injury. It’s such a shame.”
“We have to organise as a team and almost play as a block. Really work out when to attack and when to defend. You cannot play expansive football and give Barcelona space. It’s almost like a chess game and sometimes you have to go against how you usually play.”
“It will almost be like last season against Manchester City where it was a dogged performance and hitting them on the break and not having much of the ball but when you did it’s used wisely. We have to respect Barcelona enough not to give them space but Barcelona will give you chances and it’s all about making those chances count.”
Arsenal have Manchester City to face this coming week, and Sergio Aguero is expected to be fit to feature after returning to training this week. He is the closest the Premier League has to Lionel Messi, and keeping him quiet will be a good test for Arsenal.
Campbell's frustrations echo the sentiments felt by Arsenal supporters, used to seeing their team land tough draws.
Yet this time last year it is worth remembering there was plenty of celebrating as Arsenal drew Monaco, perceived to be the weakest team in the last 16, only to get knocked out, so getting Barcelona may just see them raise their game as they seek to pull off an improbable victory.
- Read the full and frank interview – including Campbell’s thoughts on Calum Chambers and Barcelona – here.
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