Jack Wilshere: Arsenal inspired by Chelsea’s Champions League triumph
Jack Wilshere believes Arsenal can draw inspiration from Chelsea's Champions League triumph last season
Jack Wilshere believes Arsenal can draw inspiration from Chelsea’s Champions League triumph last season as the Gunners gear up for their last-16 clash with Bayern Munich.
The Gunners’ preparation for Tuesday’s showdown at Emirates Stadium has been far from ideal, with the north Londoners suffering a shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
But Wilshere believes Arsenal can follow Chelsea’s lead and claim an unlikely European win after the Blues lifted the trophy for the first time last season despite struggling for form in the Premier League.
“I think that was an inspiration for everyone,” Wilshere told Arsenal’s website. “They weren’t having a good season and they got a bit lucky in some games but showed great character.
“We need to do that now. We need to come together as a team. We’ve got good leaders here. We’ve got a good team atmosphere here and I think that’s going to help us now.”
The 21-year-old England international also backed the Gunners to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing cup loss against last year’s runners-up.
“It’s not ideal to go into a game like that after the loss [against Blackburn] but we have to show our character now,” he said. “We’ve done it before so we know what we can do. We’ve beaten big European teams here before so we need to do that again.
“We need a good defensive display and then we need to counter them well. They’ve got a good defensive unit as well so it’s going to be an interesting game and we look forward to it.
“We’ve got a good bunch of lads in the dressing room. They’re winners as well. We’ve got the likes of [Lukas] Podolski and [Mikel] Arteta. Players like that are winners – they want to win.
“The fans are always great, especially in Europe. I think they love the European nights here and we need everybody behind us.”
Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Pre-match facts
• The teams met at this stage in 2004-05, Bayern establishing a 3-1 lead in the home leg with Claudio Pizarro scoring their first two goals. It was enough to take them through despite Arsenal’s 1-0 win in the return.
• Four years previously the teams met in the second group stage when Bayern again had the upper hand, winning their home game 1-0 after a 2-2 draw in London.
• Arjen Robben scored in Chelsea’s 2-0 away win at Arsenal on 18 December 2005. In his three years at Stamford Bridge he faced the Gunners four times and was never on the losing side.
• Franck Ribery plays for France alongside Bacary Sagna, Abou Diaby, Olivier Giroud, Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny.