By Richard Clarke
Arsenal will not "blitz" the Villarreal "quarterback" this evening at Highbury.
Arsène Wenger described Juan Ramon Riquelme in American Football terms ahead of tonight's Champions League Semi-Final first leg. The label is apt.
The Argentinian midfielder is the Spanish side's puppeteer, controlling the play from deep and pinging passes to team-mates at will. But Arsenal will not deploy a player to shadow him this evening.
"He looks offensively to be the leading figure in the team," admitted the Frenchman. "Their distribution comes from Riquelme. That is where they are dangerous - mainly from his delivery.
"He is such a strong personality that you wonder how he left Barcleona because they would have been stronger with him. Villarreal made a good catch and one of the keys of the game will be for us to keep him quiet. But we will not man-mark him."
Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 19 Apr 2006