• Champions League

We need to wise up, claims Wilshere

ESPN staff
February 18, 2014
Lahm praises Arsenal's attack

Jack Wilshere says Arsenal have to employ more cunning and defend against a sucker punch to eliminate Bayern Munich from the Champions League.

Arsene Wenger's side were hurt by the manner of their exit last season when the German club went through on away goals thanks to a 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.

The manager and his players claim they are mentally stronger this time but midfielder Wilshere insists they also have show they are wiser.

"The away goal is massive in this competition when it comes to these big games and we saw that last year, when we went out on away goals," Wilshere said.

"This year we have to be a bit more intelligent and stay in the game. We have spoken about it and if it's 0-0 at home, we will still have a big chance to qualify."

Arsenal have appeared more competitive than for some time in the Premier League this season and are genuine title contenders.

Wilshere claims the confidence that has bred could make a big difference on Wednesday when they face Bayern at home in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

"We were a bit nervous going into the game last year," Wilshere said. "We lost to Blackburn [in the FA Cup] the weekend before and there was a lot of tension in the stadium.

"Once we calmed down a bit, we took the game to them and created chances and I remember their third goal was a lucky goal and that killed us a little bit. This year, we need to be intelligent going into the game and we will work on our defensive duties.

"We have a great defence here. We have competition at the back. [Mathieu] Flamini adds a bit of steel in midfield, so defensively we are confident and we have players who can create chances as well.

"The main thing in this group is the team spirit. We are all friends on and off the pitch and we show that on the pitch, we all want to fight for each other.

"We realise it has been a long time since we won a trophy, but we have won games this season when we have not played well and shows the team spirit. We have to give our all in every competition."

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