Wenger hoping for dream draw with former French club
Arsene Wenger is dreaming Arsenal will be paired with his former side Monaco in the last 16 Champions League draw later today.
Monaco is one of six teams the Gunners can be paired with in Monday’s draw with Wenger having yet to return and compete against his former side since leaving almost 20 years ago.
Arsenal qualified second in their Champions League group meaning they face the prospect of a very difficult tie against some of Europe’s biggest clubs if they want to make the quarterfinals.
The Gunners could potentially face: European Champions Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Monaco or Porto.
“I’ve got great memories of Monaco because they gave me a chance when I was a very young manager,” said Wenger reports the Daily Mail.
“When I arrived they had never been past the first round in the European Cup so we have good memories. It is a fantastic place.”
Wenger might be willing to compromise and face Porto in the last 16, however. Arsenal’s last foray into the quarter finals of the competition came in 2009/10 when they beat Portuguese giants over two legs, culminating in a 5-0 thrashing at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal have struggled to progress in Europe since then; they’ve faced Bayern Munich twice in the last two years at this stage of the competition; being knocked out in both instances. Playing AC Milan and Barcelona in the seasons before that and also coming up short.
“We’ve never had an easy ride,” said Wenger. “I don’t think many teams want Madrid. We don’t want Bayern Munich and I’m sure they don’t want us. I’m not against Monaco because it would be a visit to my first home. I would love to go there.”