Theo Walcott has urged Arsenal to heed the lessons from the lack of respect they showed Monaco last season following their great escape to reach the Champions League knockout stages.
Arsene Wenger’s side travelled to Olympiacos needing to win by a two-goal margin to join Bayern Munich in qualifying for the last 16 and an Olivier Giroud hat-trick inspired Arsenal to a 3-0 win.
It marks a fine turnaround for the Premier League side, who lost their opening two Group F matches, and England forward Walcott believes the nature of their victory in Greece means that none of the group winners will want to face them in the knockout stages.
However, the England international says Arsenal were guilty of complacency against Monaco at the same stage last term when they surprisingly exited the competition on the away goals rule after a 3-3 aggregate draw.
“Whoever we end up playing, we must respect them,” Walcott said. “Monaco, obviously, we didn’t respect them at all.
“If we get the likes of Wolfsburg – we played them in the Emirates Cup – it will be a completely different ball game because they had a great result against Manchester United. But who knows until the draw is done.”
“I’m sure none of them [teams who topped their group] would like to play us after that result.
“It’s the Champions League. Whoever you get in the draw is going to be difficult. You’ve seen teams struggle when they should go through and should be winning.
“It’s the way the set-up is now, even in the Premier League you see every team get much better.”
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