Mikel Arteta says he’ll ‘smell’ the mood in the camp before delivering his pre-FA Cup final pep talk at Wembley tomorrow.
Revealing that he has prepared speeches in the past, he says he’s equally happy to go with the flow depending on the vibe he’s getting from his players.
Asked how he approaches the final moments before kick-off, he said: “I always need to have the feeling of how we are and I need to smell it a little bit.
“Sometimes I will act in a natural way and sometimes I will have something prepared. But something that is prepared for Saturday when you don’t believe that it’s the right moment to do it, you don’t have to do it.
“So I will see tomorrow how we are, what is needed and try to top them up.”
While the Spaniard is not blind to the importance of the match – the biggest so far of his fledgeling career – he’s keen to shield his players from the noise surrounding it and instead wants to get them focused on the job at hand.
“We have to play the game and try to win the game and perform at the highest level. We know the opponent that we’re going to have in front of us and the rest is a consequence of our performance and what we do on the day.”
He added: “We are very excited, it is such a special day, in the country and in this competition. We are a club that is very much linked with it with the amount of times that we have won it, so we want to do it again.
“For me, as well, it is so special that it is in my first season in charge in a final with the team and the boys are really excited and looking forward top the game tomorrow.”