Theo Walcott is of the view that Arsenal will have to show respect to their opponents in knockouts in Europe, something which they had failed to do the previous season and had paid the price for.
Arsenal had a slightly easier run in the group stage in the Champions League in 2014-15. They won 4 out of their games to get to Round of 16 where they bumped into Monaco whom they did not take seriously at all and the result was an embarrassing defeat of 1-3 in the home leg.
Later, the Gunners bounced back in the return leg, winning it by 2-0 and getting the aggregate score to 3-3, but, because of the fact that they conceded one more goal than the opposition at home, they proved to be the losers of the tie as per the rules of UEFA and suffered elimination.
According to Theo Walcott, one of the leading strikers of the Gunners, everyone has learnt from what happened back then and the mistake is not going to be repeated.
In the words of Walcott, “We should be quite respectful to whichever team we are up against. Previously in the case of Monaco, I believe we lacked a bit of respect for them.”
Walcott also revealed that Arsenal’s plan in the Greece capital the other night was to try and somehow get on to the score sheet early so that they could make the supporters of the home team go silent.
The 26-year old said, “The opening strike was so very important. It created sort of silence in the arena over there and that’s what we wanted.”
“To get to knockouts from that position and to prove so many people wrong, it has taken our confidence to the highest level.”