Date: 17th December 2010 at 2:39pm
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Wenger’s men will be playing Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League after the two sides were drawn together in Nyon, Switzerland earlier today. However, will this force Wenger to buy in the winter window in order to match Barcelona’s excellence? Or will this in fact prove to be a blessing in disguise in terms of focusing more on the domestic trophies available to the Gunners?

Arsenal had a one in four chance of playing the Spanish giants after finishing second in their group behind Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk, and unfortunately the worst has ensued.

The two sides met in last seasons Champions League quarter-final which saw Arsenal conjure up a 2-2 at the Emirates and later suffer a heavy 4-1 defeat at the Nou Camp, which evidently knocked the Gunners out of the competition.

The North London outfit have never beaten Barcelona in Europe and many fans (Arsenal and neutrals) will believe that their side will suffer the same consequence if Wenger does not strengthen his team in the winter window.

The Arsenal boss has already stated that he will not dip into the market this January, as he feels his side is capable of overcoming any challenges that lay ahead. However, surely the Frenchman must reconsider his options if they wish to have a better chance of qualifying to the next stage of the competition?

The Arsenal defence has come under a lot of scrutiny already this season and have conceded far too many goals for the fans liking. Wenger may believe that he has the defensive solidarity required to win the title, but European football is another story altogether. Arsenal were completely outclassed by the Spanish giants in both legs last season, and it looks likely that history could repeat itself in February if Wenger does not acquire a quality centre-back and goalkeeper.

Arsenal will no doubt go into the tie as major underdogs, but absolutely anything can ensue from now until February. Injuries are likely to be picked up along the way, as well as the possibility of both teams obtaining new personnel this winter is still very much on the cards.

Some Arsenal fans may see the draw as a blessing in disguise. They may believe that an early exit in the Champions League could place more focus on domestic trophies on offer; personally, I don’t see it this way. I want my team to go as far as they can in any competition they play in. The prospect of getting knocked out at an early stage of the Champions League may do us some good in terms of playing fewer games, but our morale would be horribly poor if this were to happen, so I’d rather it not.

Arsenal have a shot of qualifying, however, as stated earlier, Wenger will need to obtain a centre-back and goalkeeper to enhance our chances of progression.

The first-leg of the tie is approximately 10 weeks away, so for people to write us off from the moment the draw was made is just ridiculous. Barcelona are a great team, but like any other team can be beaten.

What do you guys think? Can Arsenal defy the odds and beat Barcelona to qualify to the next round? Does Wenger now need to spend in January to match the former European Champions? Would the possibility of us being knocked out enhance our chances of winning the Premier League title?

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