Arsenal legend Bob Wilson says we will need a performance that ranks amongst out greatest ever to turn around our Champions League tie with AS Monaco.
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We head to the principality tonight needing to overcome a 3-1 first leg scoreline – a particularly tall order given no side has ever comeback from a two goal deficit in the second leg in Champions League history.
What still galls about that game is just how we threw it away. When stopping the opposition from scoring an away goal is so vital, we reverted to the naive play that has seen us come undone against so many of the bigger teams in the past. When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled a goal back late on to make it 2-1, we still poured men forward seeking an equaliser – and were inevitably caught on the break.
That said, it is a two legged tie, and despite Monaco’s hugely impressive defence, a positive mindset will be required this evening.
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Several of the squad, as well as Arsene Wenger, have issued rallying cries ahead of the match and suggested we will be able to make history in Monaco.
And Bob Wilson says the players need to inspire each other to achieve the impossible.
He should know – Wilson was the goalkeeper when Arsenal overcame a 3-1 deficit against Anderlecht in a 1970 European tie though the second leg was at Highbury.
“Since watching the game two weeks ago and being so disappointed, I had not really drawn the parallel with now and 1970 – but you are right, there are lots of similarities,” he said, reports Daily Express.
“The great story of that game is that we really had an extraordinary leader. People talk about Dave McKay and Billy Bremner. Well, we had Frank McLintock.
“At the end of the first leg, we all shuffled into the dressing room and when we hit the dressing room benches Frank was more affected than anybody I remember – uncharacteristically silent going into the showers.
“Coming out, though, he was like Braveheart, screaming and shouting. ‘We can do this!’ he roared. ‘Come on!’
“We were all lifted. Although we were still in the dressing room towelling ourselves down and getting changed. He planted that seed in our minds more than our manager Bertie Mee could or even the coach Don Howe, who is himself about the most passionate individual in football.”
And if Arsenal can achieve this unprecedented feat, Wilson says it will make the rest of Europe sit up and take notice of the club and rank amongst their greatest ever achievements.
“1989… The Invincibles winning the league at Tottenham… Even that night against Anderlecht… If Arsenal can do it, it will be right up there as one of the club’s great achievements,” he said.