Unai Emery says he wants to reconnect with the Arsenal fans, but has called on supporters to do their bit to make the Emirates a more difficult place for opposition teams to come.
It might be argued that our game plans, tactics, formations, systems and confused performances are a bigger issue in that regard, and there was an air of desperation in the head coach’s words as he met the press today.
The Gunners take on Eintracht Frankfurt in a game which could seal qualification for the knock-out stages, but without a win in over 50 days in all competitions, frustrations in the stands are understandably high.
That was not helped by another abject performance at the weekend where Alex Lacazette’s last gasp equaliser against Southampton did little but paper over the cracks.
Speaking ahead of the game, and acknowledging his needs to elicit better performances from his players, Emery called for the fans to help the team through this difficult period.
“I believe in us, the players, the group,” he said. “Each match is a good opportunity to do that. Most importantly it’s to connect with the supporters.
“They need to back and help the players tomorrow in each moment. Our confidence depends on how we can feel in our stadium with our supporters.
“The teams are coming here and playing fearless against us. This is the first thing we need to change. We need to change it and we need to be strong and we need to be together.
“I know we need to show our supporters our capacity and our skills. I know we’re not really showing that skill and performance 100 per cent with the players, but tomorrow we have a very good opportunity and we are going to try to change that.
“We were speaking about how we can improve and how we can change that and the first way of changing that is by being more compact. Then being confident we can show our skills, our quality.
“In the last matches, we’ve had tactical issues and we need to do better.
“Really, my wish is tomorrow that the supporters and every supporter helps the team because we need them.”
The emphasis on connecting with the supporters was also noticeable in Emery’s post-match reaction to the 2-2 draw against Southampton.
Whether it’s cynical, desperate, or something else, it all feels too little, too late for a head coach under immense pressure.