Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Arsene Wenger says Gunners lacked 'belief' when they were knocked out of Champions League last season
The Arsenal manager is confident his side can avoid being knocked out of Europe's elite competition by Bayern this time around
Arsene Wenger and Jack Wilshere believe that Arsenal's improved form this season will enable them to improve on last year's defeat by Bayern Munich at the same stage of the Champions League.
After winning 3-1 at the Emirates, Bayern held on to go through on away goals despite losing their home leg 2-0 and eventually won the trophy in the Wembley final against fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund. Before that home leg, however, Arsenal were only fifth in the League and had just lost at the Emirates to Blackburn in the FA Cup.
"We're in a much better mental shape than a year ago," Wenger said at the training ground today.
"We had just lost to Blackburn but this time we won [against Liverpool on Sunday]. We were too nervous and maybe wanted to equalise too much and conceded on the counter-attack. With a 2-1 [defeat] we might have made it."
Wilshere, who will come back into the team for the suspended Mikel Arteta, agreed that nerves had played a part last time. "There was a lot of tension in the stadium," he said. "Their third goal was a lucky one which killed us a little bit."
Wenger accepted that "we have not always had the belief in the past which is built by results."
Read more: Arsenal v Bayern Munich match preview
Ozil can punish Bayern - Lahm
10 most dangerous Bayern Munich players
Clean sheet top priority for Wenger
Arsenal have learned from last season's exit - Wilshere
Podolski is lazy and Ozil needs to bulk up
Arsenal lacked belief last season - Wenger
Lehmann offers £2,000 reward for missing bag
Ramsey given green light to step up recovery
Mertesacker labels Bayern 'untouchable'
Wenger faces selection dilemma
Bayern a bigger deal than Mourinho
Having recovered from the 5-1 mauling at Anfield to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup he is counting on renewed confidence to help in tomorrow night's home leg. And the manager also believes that having tough games every week, as opposed to the frequently one-sided encounters Bayern enjoyed in Germany this season can be an advantage.
"Every single game we've had to be 100 per cent," he added.
Bayern are on a remarkable run of only one defeat in their past 34 games, by Manchester City after leading 2-0 in 12 minutes, when they had already won their Champions League group. They will be without Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri, while Arsenal have no new injury concenrs.
Latest in Sport
MK Dons 4 Manchester United 0: Emmanuel Frimpong and Edin Dzeko lead the jokes as the internet reacts to humiliating defeat
Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
Manchester United transfer news: Daley Blind will only move for 'top price'
Arsenal vs Besiktas match report: Alexis Sanchez scores only goal as Gunners survive night of nerves to qualify for Champions League
Champions League draw: When is it and who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City face in the group stage?
- 1 Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi
- 2 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 3 Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
- 4 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 5 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi