Unai Emery says he will tell the players his team before letting slip any of his selection decisions to the media, after he was pressed about who would start in goal tomorrow night.
This is a game Petr Cech views as a kind of destiny, his current club against his former club in the last match of his professional career, while there’s also a good case to be made for starting your number 1 – Bernd Leno – in a game of his importance.
The German insisted he’d be up for it if selected, but although the Arsenal boss was keeping his cards close to his chest, it sounds as if he has full faith the keeper who has played throughout the Europa League knockout rounds and helped us reach the final.
“The first eleven for tomorrow, I want to tell the players first,” he said.
“I can speak about Cech a lot, but above all he’s a great man, his behaviour is amazing in his year here with me.
“I want to do something important with him. This is my conversation with him. I want to do something important with him in the last moment of his career, playing or not playing.
“I think he deserves trust in him, not because I’m speaking to you here, but because his career says to us he’s a gentleman.
“Tomorrow he can start or not start, I am going to decide. But both for him is with respect.
“And really, how can we not believe in him?”
Cech himself spoke earlier, saying he believes the team can rise to the big occasion.
“I feel that when Arsenal need to win, we win,” he said. “You go to Athens in the last Champions League group game [of 2015] needing to win 2-0 and you win 3-0.
“No matter where, we win, because that fire was right behind us as we had to really win.
“The pressure was what was pushing us. We went to Napoliand everybody says, ‘Oh, you are rubbish away, they are brilliant at home’. We win 2-0, and then you go, ‘How do you explain that?’
“If you are under pressure and you can’t perform, you lose that game. But we didn’t because the pressure was so high.
“You know you lose, you are out. You lose 3-1 at Rennes, you have to win at home: you win. The semi-final? We win.
“So, the examples are there.”
Let’s hope there’s another one tomorrow then!