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Wilshere wants Arsenal to draw inspiration from Chelsea

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (right) battles Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Ramires. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (right) battles Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Ramires. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

By Nick Wright
Monday, February 18, 2013
9:10 AM

Jack Wilshere has urged Arsenal to follow in the footsteps of London rivals Chelsea and upset the odds by beating Bayern Munich on their way to Champions League glory.

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The Gunners welcome the German giants to the Emirates in the first leg of their last 16 tie tomorrow, just three days after crashing out of the FA Cup at the hands of Championship side Blackburn.

Colin Kazim-Richards’ second half strike proved decisive on Saturday as angry Arsenal fans made their feelings clear to Arsene Wenger and his players.

But midfielder Wilshere, who came off the bench after 70 minutes against Blackburn, believes Arsenal have the strength of character to bounce back from that blow against Bayern.

Arsenal’s hopes of silverware now rest on the Champions League and the 21-year-old wants to use Chelsea’s unlikely success last season to spur them on.

“I that’s an inspiration for everyone,” he said of the Blues’ triumph last year, when they beat Bayern on penalties in the final despite their sixth-place Premier League finish.

“They weren’t having a good season and ok they got a bit lucky in some games but they showed great character and 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.

“We’ve got a good bunch of lads in the dressing room and they are winners as well.

“We’ve got the likes of [Lukas] Podolski and [Mikel] Arteta, players like that.

“They’re winners they want to win. Everyone today is massively disappointed so we have to get in tomorrow and regroup and really show our character now.”

The England international added that the Gunners will need the home fans behind them on Tuesday.

“We know what Bayern are capable of and they’ve got a great team so we need everyone behind us,” he said.

“The fans are always great, especially in Europe. I think they love the European nights here and we need everyone behind us.

“We beat big European teams here before so we need to do that again. We need a good defensive display and we have to counter them well.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.