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Can Barca be beaten in Europe?

After all, that’s the question that is asked over and over again. Not just at Old Trafford, but at the Bernabeu, the Emirates, and a host of other places that aspire for European glory.

New Signings

Patrice Evra believes that our new signings are the key to finding success in Europe next season. As much as I like Evra, I feel like he’s merely spouting blind optimism.

If we look at the players we’re brought in, De Gea is a replacement for Van Der Sar who really can’t be faulted for us losing the final. I don’t imagine Phil Jones would have made a big difference over the defensive duo of Vidic and Rio. Some might argue that Ashley Young would have given us a little something extra going forward, but we already had to relegate Nani to the bench despite the sensational year he had to accommodate the more dependable and tactically sound Park.  I struggle to see how Young would have changed the tide of the game at Wembley.

Is Sneijder the answer?

So what then do we actually need? Is Wesley Sneijder the answer to our Barca woes? Assuming he was already a part of our lineup for the final, what kind of impact would he have had with the limited possession that we enjoyed? It’s bad enough that Barca are so dominant when they have the ball. But to have a player like Sneijder who is generally regarded as a brilliant distributor, but somewhat lacking in effort defensively, we would have been putting our backline under even more pressure to contain a dynamic Barcelona side.

Keep in mind that I’m not arguing against us going all out to sign the Dutchman. I think he’s brilliant and would aid in our quest to retain the league and challenge on the domestic front. He would also help us unlock lesser teams that come to Old Trafford and play with everyone behind the ball in an effort to leave with a point. However, against the might of Barcelona, I think his edge would be nullified.

The Catalan giants have become the standard that all clubs are now aspiring to so much so that potential signings are now being viewed from the perspective of how they would help topple the mighty Barca side.

To not sign Sneijder because of his potential ineffectiveness against Barca would be foolish. But just as flawed is the assumption that the capture of a creative midfielder of some quality would automatically put us on par with Barca.