We owe Wenger! Vermaelen urges Arsenal to produce big performance
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen says the Gunners owe Arsene Wenger a big performance against Bayern Munich on Wednesday
Thomas Vermaelen says the Arsenal squad “owe” it to Arsene Wenger to give everything in a bid to beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
The Gunners must overturn a 3-1 deficit after suffering a humiliating first-leg loss to the Bundesliga leaders at The Emirates three weeks ago.
Arsenal are on the verge of enduring another season without lifting any silverware after premature exits in the FA Cup and League Cup.
And Vermaelen urged his team-mates to step up and produce a big performance against the four-time European champions.
“Of course we owe the manager,” said Vermaelen.
“We want to give him something back as well because he gives us confidence and belief.”
Vermaelen remains adamant that Arsenal still have a chance of reaching the last eight despite the mammoth task facing the north London side.
And the Belgian defender says the Gunners are drawing inspiration from their near-comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League last season, when they suffered a 4-3 aggregate defeat.
“Of course you go into this game to win and get through,” he added.
“Last year against Milan we almost did it and most people thought it was impossible. The players know that and we all believe we can do it now.
“In football anything can happen. It’s difficult but we believe – football is a strange sport.”
Bayern Munich v Arsenal: Pre-match facts
• Arsenal are unbeaten on their last three visits to Germany, drawing twice and winning 2-1 at Hamburg in the 2006-07 Champions League group stage.
• Bayern are ten home games unbeaten in the Champions League, discounting last season’s final, since a 3-2 loss to Internazionalein the 2010-11 first knockout round.
• Bayern have won eight in a row in the Bundesliga in 2013, surpassing Dortmund’s league record for the start to a calendar year set last term. Their haul of 66 points from 25 games is a German top-flight record.
• Theo Walcott has struck 11 league goals this term, reaching double figures for the first time in his career. The forward, who was due to be out of contract this summer, signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal in January.