A lot of people have compared Arsene Wenger to Brian Clough, recently. There are obvious comparisons, in that both manager were miracle workers for quite a while. Both created teams that played attractive football. But while Wenger may be in decline, he’s not at rock bottom yet. Arsenal are not facing relegation. ‘Yet’, some people might say.
Nevertheless, if we’re going to compare the two managers, it’s only fair that we look at Cloughie’s positive results in Europe. We face an uphill struggle against Bayern Munich, trying to turn around a two-goal deficit. It’s slightly harder than what faced Cloughie faced, though.
In March 1980, Forest lost their first leg quarter final against Dynamo Berlin 0-1. Forest were as good as out against the East Germans. Somehow, they went to Berlin and won 3-1. That’s what we need to do to force extra time and penalties.
The season before, Forest won away in Cologne. Both results seemed impossible, at the time. Similarly, we have it all to do.
Interestingly, Forest won the European Cup in both seasons when they completed a German ‘Mission Impossible’ in a previous round. It would be too much to expect Arsenal to do the same, but Bayern had better beware complacency.
As Wenger says: “We have to go there and give ourselves a chance to qualify with everybody believing we can do it. We have to behave on the football pitch like a team who wants to do it. That will be the task in the preparation.
“How will we go into the game tactically? I haven’t decided yet. It will be with an ambitious plan, that is for sure.”
Wenger feels Munich’s superiority complex could prove their undoing.
“We have to try to put Bayern on the back foot, subconsciously anyway, they think they are through and we have to subconsciously think that we can do it.
“The only way to do it is to have a very positive attitude from the start.
Ivory Coast forward Gervinho could come back into contention if Wenger opts for all-out attack formation.
“This is a completely new match. We are only at half-time in this tie, and we must go there with belief,” Gervinho said.
“We have to believe in ourselves and our talents.
“I know it will be difficult, but I still believe in us.
“We are going through a tough period at the moment, but there is still a really good spirit with this group of players.
“Just because we lost the first match at Emirates Stadium, we will not give up.”
Arsenal have a fitness concerns over right-back Bacary Sagna, who has missed the last two matches with a knee problem and Lukas Podolski.
The striker tweeted today: “Not 100 per cent recovered yet, nothing serious but a small injury, very annoying.”