April 18 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Former Arsenal striker Tony Woodcock believes last season’s sensational victory in Munich will have no bearing on the Gunners’ clash with the German giants on Wednesday.
Arsenal shocked the Bundesliga side with a 2-0 win in Bavaria last season – but they went out on away goals following Bayern’s 3-1 win at the Emirates in the first leg.
Bayern then went on to win their fifth Champions League by beating Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium.
“The last result that Arsenal achieved at Munich will mean absolutely nothing,” said Woodcock.
“Bayern had pretty much qualified with that win at the Emirates, although Arsenal did run them very close. But, as I said, this is a new season, 12 months have passed, and so the last game is irrelevant.”
Woodcock, a popular striker for both Arsenal and England – he was leading scorer at Highbury for four successive seasons between 1982 and 1986 – is a well known figure in Germany, having spent two spells at Cologne, and lived there for several years after retiring from playing in 1990.
He understands the size of Bayern Munich – and the size of the challenge facing Arsenal.
“It will be a very tough test for Arsenal,” Woodcock added.
“But we have to look at it that if Arsenal progress – and they can – it will be a massive boost for the club.
“Bayern have no fear. They are European champions, they have Pep Guardiola, who is doing a terrific job, they have the best facilities in football, they are in a fantastic location and they have a massive support.
“Not too long ago the best players would only have gone to Italy or Spain, but the best now know that Bayern is the place to be.
“It goes without saying that Guardiola is a truly magnificent trainer and Bayern are continuing to dominate. I honestly see them as the best-run club in Europe, both on and off the pitch.”
Former Bayern striker Lukas Podolski has netted four times in eight appearances for the Gunners since returning from injury on Boxing Day and is in line for a starting role against his former club.
“You never know, he could be the difference – he could score the goal that puts Arsenal through,” said Woodcock.
“He has come back from injury and is getting fitter and better all the time.
“This is 11 versus 11. Anything can happen – any one player could make the difference. Bayern will not fear Arsenal, as I said they do not fear anyone. But, believe me, they will respect Arsenal.
“They are the European champions and domestic success is not enough for them. Bayern will not want to give up their trophy crown lightly. Arsenal will have to be at their very, very best…”