The Bayern Munich and England midfielder continues his regular TheFA.com column.
Hello, it’s great to be able to continue my column in what could be a really massive week for us here at Bayern.
As you’ll probably be aware, we’ve got a rather big match in London tonight against Arsenal at Highbury. The first leg was a great result for us and I can't wait for the second-leg leg tonight.
Maybe people in England have concentrated on Arsenal and criticised their performance but I wouldn’t necessarily say that Arsenal played badly. I think that we made Arsenal play a bad game. That is what a good team does and that is what we can do.
What is true is that they had a couple of key defenders out. I know from England how big Sol and Ashley are for any team. They weren’t available for the first leg and they are not easy players to replace at all.
Ash has come on a lot both for Arsenal and for England and Sol is one of the best in the business in that position in my opinion. They were obviously sorely missed, particularly in the goals they conceded.
Not that the tie is over, because it’s definitely not. Any time you play against Arsenal, the game is never over.
Maybe if we had been going into this second leg with a 3-0 advantage then you could have said that the game was pretty much dead but now we know that if they get a couple of goals they are through.
Defending is one of our strong points though and we’ll need to show that again. But we won’t just be concentrating on defending, we’ll also be looking to score going forward too. If we get one or two goals, the tie should be ours.
Games like these, against big teams and in big competitions, bring the best out of Bayern Munich. We know in our own minds that we can beat any team. Not just Arsenal but, whether it be Real Madrid or Manchester United, we’ve always fared very well against the big teams. That attitude comes from experience. We’ll be ready for the game.
As for me, I’ll be happy as long as I’m on the pitch. In terms of positions, we are extremely fluid at Bayern. We have a lot of flexible players who can interchange positions.
I don’t think any of our players have played the same position, week in and week out. I have played in every midfield position this season. In club like Bayern you can’t always chose where you want to play and everyone knows that.
I’ve never played at Highbury. It should be brilliant game. It will be a special day for me. I’m sure my family will be there watching.
Catch up with you soon,