Arsenal legend Bob Wilson believes if Arsenal are able to turnaround their Champions League deficit against AS Monaco, it will rank amongst the club’s greatest ever achievements.
The Gunners will look to rescue an almost unassailable looking 3-1 deficit against the Ligue 1 side when they visit the Stade Louis later tonight.
Whilst Arsene Wenger has sought to rally the team ahead of the tie, the north Londoners would need to score at least three goals all without reply against the French club to progress.
But to achieve such an unprecedented feat – no side has ever overturned a two-goal deficit in a Champions League second leg – Wilson believes his former side will need to show some of the same character of past Arsenal sides.
Wilson particularly sites the Gunners match against Anderlecht in 1970 where there too they needed to turnaround a 3-1 scoreline – admittedly with home advantage in the second leg.
“Since watching the game two weeks ago and being so disappointed, I had not really drawn the parallel with now and 1970 – but you are right, there are lots of similarities,” he said, reports Daily Express.
“The great story of that game is that we really had an extraordinary leader. People talk about Dave McKay and Billy Bremner. Well, we had Frank McLintock.
“At the end of the first leg, we all shuffled into the dressing room and when we hit the dressing room benches Frank was more affected than anybody I remember – uncharacteristically silent going into the showers.
“Coming out, though, he was like Braveheart, screaming and shouting. ‘We can do this!’ he roared. ‘Come on!’
“We were all lifted. Although we were still in the dressing room towelling ourselves down and getting changed. He planted that seed in our minds more than our manager Bertie Mee could or even the coach Don Howe, who is himself about the most passionate individual in football.
“He came out of those showers like he was a driven man. Six days later, when we went out at Highbury, we still felt we would win it because of Frank’s passion. Sure enough, we scored the three goals we needed.”
And if the current crop of Gunners can turnaround the scoreline, Wilson says the rest of Europe is bound to take notice.
“1989… The Invincibles winning the league at Tottenham… Even that night against Anderlecht… If Arsenal can do it, it will be right up there as one of the club”s great achievements.”