After facing Barcelona twice in the Champions League this season, Jack Whilshere knows how Manchester United can beat Barcelona. Wilshere’s solution is simple: United have to get tough and get into Barcelona’s faces and not let them play their quick passing game.
“Three passes – bang, bang, bang – and they are through. You have to get in their faces. I have said it before: you really have to hold your shape,” Wilshere said.
“United will be good because they have the players like Fletcher who will get after Barca. You have to stop players like Xavi, Messi and Iniesta or they will kill you.
“United have a better chance than we have. They have players like Fletcher, Park, Valencia. They are all ‘runners’ and they can stop players. I would play Fletcher, just doing what he normally does – running everywhere – and then Carrick and Giggs.
“We played with just Robin van Persie and I would play with just Rooney, with Valencia and Park helping when they get the chance to get forward. For most of it they will be defending because that is what Barcelona do to you.”
“If you can get in their faces they seem to ease off in the second half,” he added.
“We did that in the second half [of the first leg]. I don’t think they get tired but you really have to go for them. We beat them at home.
“Obviously the away leg was a different game. After we went down to 10 men we had no chance.
“I think it will be Barcelona because of the way they play. It’s the way Arsenal play and the football I like. So if anyone deserves to win, it’s Barcelona.”
There you go Manchester United, take a lesson from young Jack and see how you do.