First, apologies for not sharing my thoughts on the home game against Partizan - work got in the way and I didn't really have any spare time.
Suffice to say, it's a little worrying that after winning our first three games we spent a chunk of the second half of Matchday six asking what the score was in the Braga game. To be honest, I'm not too fussed we didn't win the group.
Sure, we could have ended up playing FC Copenhagen but equally we could have ended up playing one of the Milan teams. There are no guarantees in the Champions League draw and AC Milan are looking pretty imperious at present.
More to the point, playing Barcelona is something we should relish - not something we should be upset about. The 2-2 draw last season was one of the best matches I've ever been to. I, for one, am delighted we drew Barcelona. Of course we could have drawn Schalke; but it's doubtful I would have been so excited to go there that I'd have booked flights within an hour of the draw, as I did with Barcelona. Barca are the best team in the world, and playing 180 minutes of football against them could be the making of this Arsenal side.
For all everybody remembers us being annihilated in the Nou Camp last year, we had Silvestre in defence, and no Song, Fabregas or Van Persie. Barca's form is impressive but that doesn't mean we can't beat them. On the contrary, we scored three goals against them last year and they even conceded to Theo. That alone should give us hope.
Do we go into this cup tie as favourites? No, but it's not as if things would necessarily be better if we'd won the group. We lost to West Brom and Spurs at home - nothing is certain with this Arsenal team, and we might well have lost to a smaller team.
The weird thing about this Arsenal side is anything can happen. Barcelona lost to Hercules. Admittedly we lost to Spurs, but still...
Messi running at Eboué is enough to scare anyone, but Samir Nasri is right up there as one of the best players in the world at the moment - lets see him, Cesc and everyone show the world. We are The Arsenal. We can win. Vamos.
Keep the faith.