Jack Wilshere accepts that Arsenal’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers is far from ideal preparation for the Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich but insists the squad must soldier on and prove their winning mentality all the same.
With a 15 point lead at the top of the Bundesliga the Germans arrive in London full of confidence and, looking to put right the wrongs of last season when they lost in the final of Europe’s premiere competition on home soil, are heavily backed as favourites.
Nevertheless, despite the odds against an Arsenal win, Wilshere says the squad must stay positive citing Chelsea’s recent success as proof that anything can happen.
“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 told Arsenal.com.
“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 Podolski and 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.”
While the Gunners can indeed take inspiration from Chelsea’s win last year, Lukas Podolski has been quick to make clear that luck played it’s part and that Arsenal need to approach the game in their own way.
“Obviously to win is a great achievement,” the German told The Sun. “But the way Chelsea won largely depended on good luck.
“That is not the way to approach a football match. We will not play like that. We will play our normal game.”
Set to face one of his old club’s Podolski also made clear that for all his good memories in Bavaria he’s excited at the prospect of Wembley final, a stadium at which he’s never played.
“It would be something amazing to play for a London team in the final of the Champions League at Wembley. Something very special.
“That is a dream, but there is a long way to go. First, we must play a a great team — one of the favourites for the final.
“I had a great time at Bayern for three years. I have lots of memories of playing for the club and I am proud.
“I wish I had achieved more there. I won the Cup and the League. Playing for Bayern was still a help, in my life generally. But it went so quickly.
“Bayern is in the past. Now I am at Arsenal and looking forward to achieving things here. I feel it is not productive when you talk about what did or didn’t work.
“If I am being honest, it would be more difficult if Arsenal were playing Cologne. They are my team. My club. Emotionally, it would have been far more intense.”6,093 views