Wenger on Arsenal and his reunion with Monaco ahead of Champions League clash
Champions League Round of 16 preview: Arsenal – AS Monaco
Arsene Wenger started his coaching career with AS Monaco and visited Highbury the first time (former Arsenal stadium) in January 2, 1989; seven years before his actual signing with the Gunners in 1996. Long before the emergence of online sports betting sites the odds were not in his favor and he was coming back from Turkey where he had supervise the next opponent in European cup. He had to fly back on January 1st, so then decided to stop by London to watch a game – Arsenal-Tottenham- and in his own words: “I immediately thought that football in England was great. There was a fantastic atmosphere at Highbury” .
On Monaco, his first club: “It was the start of my career and I didn’t know how long I’d be in the job or where I would be. It was my first chance to be in a big club, I was very young and you’re always grateful for that”, the manager said before reuniting with French side AS Monaco.
“I don’t know if we are favourites or not, for me it is a 50:50 game,” the Arsenal manager said. “Every time we have been in there it was hard-earned wins. It is always a one-goal difference – you go out for one goal, you stay in for one goal and that means you have to work very hard.
“What has happened in the last four years is that we have gone out twice against the winners of the competition. What we have learnt is that it was on [away goals] or because of one goal, which shows you that every single minute of these games will be absolutely massively important. We have gone out, yes, but only just. We want to stay in, even if it is [only] just.
“In the last four years we always came out frustrated because three times we conceded a goal at home in the first 30 minutes. That goal knocked us out. It was really tight.”
“Monaco made 11 points at the group stage, scored four goals and conceded one, so that means they defend very well. That’s what they will certainly try to do tomorrow and they are also very good on the break, quick in transition, so that’s what we expect from them.”
Quotes courtesy of www.arsenal.com