• FA Cup

Wilshere tells Arsenal to pull together

ESPN staff
February 18, 2013

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has claimed that Chelsea's improbable Champions League triumph last May can act as an inspiration to the Gunners' own European ambitions this season.

Wilshere's comments may be hard to digest for Arsenal fans after Saturday's FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Blackburn, but the England midfielder is doing his best to add a gloss to his side's latest heartache ahead of Tuesday's clash with Bayern Munich.

"Chelsea's Champions League win was an inspiration for everyone," Wilshere told Arsenal's official website. "They weren't having a good season and they got a bit lucky in some games, but showed great character.

"We need to do that now. We need to come together as a team. We've got good leaders here. We've got a good team atmosphere and I think that's going to help us now.

"It's not ideal to go into a game like that after the loss (against Blackburn), but we have to show our character now. 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've got a good bunch of lads in the dressing room. They're winners as well. We've got the likes of (Lukas) Podolski and (Mikel) Arteta. Players like that are winners - they want to win."

Wilshere has urged the frustrated Arsenal supporters to stand firmly behind the team in the Champions League fixture at the Emirates, claiming a vocal home support could be crucial to his side's hopes of victory.

"The fans are always great, especially in Europe," he said. "They love the European nights here and we need everybody behind us.

"We must have a good defensive display and then we need to counter them well. Bayern have got a good defensive unit as well so it's going to be an interesting game and we look forward to it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.