As Arsenal prepare for the not particularly arduous task of overturning a 1-0 deficit to BATE Borisov tomorrow night, Unai Emery has called for the fans to play their part and to get behind the side in the stadium.
Tensions have been a bit frayed since the defeat last week, something the Spaniard – who has a Twitter account – is no doubt all too aware of, but for the 90 minutes he’s calling for support and unity as we look to secure passage to the next round of the Europa League.
The Gunners are favourites and man for man possess a far superior squad, but the Arsenal boss wants to give his side every advantage.
“For us tomorrow is a very important match,” he said.
“It is also very important to play in our stadium with our supporters, and we need their support for this match and I hope there is a big atmosphere for us. Together, with their support, I know our players can play and give their all.
“The supporters want to watch our team play with the best performance possible. For this reason, I think we need good feedback between the supporters and us.
The 17.55 kick off time has caused some consternation, with many fans unable to get there after work – particularly those who travel from outside London – and it’s unlikely to be a full house.
Asked if this might affect the atmosphere, Emery continued, “I don’t know, but we want and we need the supporters. If we can create a big atmosphere tomorrow, then it is very important.
“We need to listen to them supporting us and the players must give them the best performance in our stadium.”
Let’s hope everyone performs on the night, players first and foremost though, because they’re the ones who can make the real difference.