Having put in one of his worst shifts in an Arsenal shirt since moving from Ajax three years ago, Thomas Vermaelen recognises more than most that last night’s trouncing at the hands of AC Milan was not good enough.
Thanking the 5,000 strong travelling Gooners who supported the squad in the San Siro, the Belgian international made clear that he and his teammates would go out of their way to make everybody proud when the seemingly doomed second-leg kicks off at the Emirates.
“We have another game and the only thing we can do is show our pride and give 100 per cent,” Vermaelen told the Arsenal website. “That is what we have to do.
“We have to give something back to the fans who came all the way here, we disappointed them. The only thing we can do is try to get a good result in the home game.
“The fans supported us all the way to Milan and we disappointed them, which is not good. We will try to give them something back when we next play at home.
“It was not a good evening for us, they scored four times and we did not play well. It’s simple – we conceded too many chances and too many goals and it was just a bad evening.
“They played well, they were aggressive – more than us I think and you can see that from the result. It’s difficult to give an explanation so soon after the game because I am disappointed. The result was really bad.
“What happened, we have to forget now. We have to learn from it and just keep going to the next game.”
Despite needing a miracle to progress to the next round (even Arsene Wenger being forced to admit his side have only a 2% chance of qualifiying), Wojciech Szczesny insists that even with only a tiny sliver of hope he will never give up.
“It’s not impossible to come back but it’s going to be very difficult,” the Pole stressed last night.
“Milan showed how good they are tonight and it’s going to be very difficult. We showed last week against Blackburn how good we can be if we are on the front foot and if we manage to score an early goal then anything can happen.
“We have quality attacking players and we can score goals so why not? But we have to realise that it’s going to be really, really difficult.
“It was a very difficult night and it’s hard to take right now. We have to admit that Milan were the better team and they completely deserved the victory. It’s hard to take but hopefully we can pick ourselves up.
“We’re full of belief that we can still have a successful season. It’s a big blow for us tonight but I’m confident we’ll pick ourselves up and do our best in all the games we have coming up.”