Arsenal, as usual, got about as much luck as a man who just invested all his money into Comet and Clinton cards when the draw for the Champions league was made. Not only were Bayern Munich finalists in last year’s competition, but they are storming the German Bundesliga this season, currently sitting nine points clear at the top of the table.
All is not lost, Gooners, because the nature of a cup competition means that anyone can beat anyone over two legs, provided that they adopt the right tactics and play their hearts out. There is no way that Chelsea are, or were, a better team than Barcelona but they rode their luck and put the favourites out last season.
Arsenal, and Arsene Wenger, need to do the same against Bayern Munich. Looking at the positives, they are not Barcelona and they do not have Messi and Iniesta in the side. Arsenal fans are the team’s worst critics, but nobody really relishes a game against us. When we are good, we can be very, very good. We must be on top form in the first leg to hold a lead going into the second leg.
If Arsenal can start the second leg in Munich with a lead, then Theo Walcott can get us through to the next round. Bayern will go for all out attack, their fans will demand it. That will leave space for a well executed pass and Walcott’s pace to tear them apart. The problem is, how to get that lead in the first leg.
Arsenal cannot be too adventurous. We must try to do a Barcelona and keep the ball. We have the players to control the game from midfield, and if we are patient we can frustrate the Germans and restrict their attacking play. For me, the key to the game could be Jack Wilshere. I still remember how he made Barcelona look like Accrington Stanley (who are they?) and he has the potential to be one of the best players ever.
With Jack fired up, Theo in the mood and the defence on their game, there is no reason why we cannot surprise the bookmakers and progress to the next round.