Per Mertesacker does not mind who they draw in the Knockout Stages of the Champions League, and feels his side can cope with whatever comes their way.
Arsenal finished second in their group as a result of their 2-0 loss to Napoli and Dortmund’s late winner against Marseille, meaning they now face either Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain or Atletico Madrid in the last 16.
Referencing last year’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich that almost had them progress to the Quarters, the German international believes they can take something away from the fixture even if they suffer an early exit, but has expressed his sides desire to win the competition.
He told Arsenal’s official website:
It is the same as last year. We got Bayern Munich last year and nearly went through.
If you want to achieve something in the Champions League, you have to take every opponent seriously and I think it is better for us when we have a good lot, when there is a draw that we can concentrate on.
When you look at the teams that finished top, if you pick one out, for me, I don’t mind. We want to go for it this season… we got a good result at Munich last season and after that we played a fantastic season.
You never know what can happen with a good draw and a serious opponent – you can get so much out of a defeat or a disappointment. I hope that we learn a lot from [the Napoli game] and we are aware of the next opponent.
Of the possible candidates for the next round, PSG and Atletico remain the ‘easier’ of the two, but would be very difficult tasks regardless.
Knowing our luck we will draw either Bayern or Barca once more, however if we want to progress through the competition we will have to beat the best at some stage.
The draw will be announced on Monday and decide our fate for the next round, until then we must have confidence in the current Gunners squad as they have proven they can beat anyone on their day.
In 2013 we’ve beaten last year’s UCL finalists Bayern and Dortmund on their home grounds, have faith Gooners!