Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that Monaco would be a tight game and the team are not taking anything for granted.
In the press conference before the Champions League game against Monaco, Arsene said, a The last 16 in recent years has been super tough. This is a 50:50 game. We know that Monaco are very tight defensively – they didna t concede in the group stage against good teams.
a Of course it will be tricky but a possible tie. Ita s really a 50:50 because Monaco are in a similar position to us. They came back into a good position in the league and their confidence level will be high.
a [The emotional ties to the draw] have not been hard. What was important for me was to win [against Crystal Palace] because we fought like mad to come back in a strong position in the league, and not to win would have been disastrous.
a The spirit is there and we want to keep that as a very strong basis. The team has come up a level and wea ll see that with the results.a
Arsene Wenger also talked about his time as manager of Monaco during his early career.
a It was the start of my career and I didna t know how long Ia d be in the job or where I would be,a Wenger said. a It was my first chance to be in a big club, I was very young and youa re always grateful for that.
a Ita s interesting. Ia m happy that Monaco are back at the top level but Ia ve been manager of Arsenal Football Club for 18 years and Ia m focused on just qualifying for the quarter-final against a good side.
a Ita s the first time they have put a lot of investment into the team again because they were in the second division. That means ita s the first time theya ve invested a lot of money again, came up and qualified for the Champions League.
a They are now in the second phase of that process which means they respect the financial fair play more and have a strategy that is more based on youth.
a Monaco made 11 points at the group stage, scored four goals and conceded one, so that means they defend very well. Thata s what they will certainly try to do tomorrow and they are also very good on the break, quick in transition, so thata s what we expect from them.a
Arsenal and Arsene would be hoping that they take a sizeable lead against the French team to give them a good headstart in their quest to go far in the Champions League.