Unai Emery gave his Europa League pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon which on this particular occasion was not predominantly dominated by the upcoming game as is normally the case.
This time around, the boss had a lot to say about Aaron Ramsey and as expected he praised the Welsh Wizard and spoke highly of the 28-year-old.
But of course, he spoke in depth about the game, team confidence, away form, the opponents and so forth but when you narrow it down to the important stuff it became clear to me what Emery feels he needs to get the win over his former club and it can be summed up with these comments.
“We want to win and we want to enjoy, to create this semi-final like something important. We need our supporters and we need to create a big atmosphere tomorrow in Emirates and we are very excited and with big enthusiasm for the match tomorrow” Emery said
“We are looking forward to playing, to being with our supporters, to doing the first leg’s 90 minutes with a big performance and with a good result. But we know it’s going to be very difficult also. I think we need all. We need the players, we need spirit, we need energy, we need our supporters”
And there we have it, players, spirit, energy and the supporters, they are the four ingredients that Emery believes will see us emerge victorious.
And I agree with the boss and this is why.
We have the talent, we have shown that repeatedly this season but our confidence is low right now after a string of shocking defeats, that is what Emery means by players, he needs the players to show up, be confident and perform to their true abilities, who can argue with that?
He needs spirit and by that he means team spirit, he is demanding the players play as a unit, no blame game, no questioning team selection. As the four musketeers say, all for one and one for all. That is team spirit.
We are at the end of a very long season and the players must show energy from the kick-off and maintain that energy right up to the final whistle. This is a battle of attrition and we must show more energy than Valencia because tired players make mistakes.
And finally the supporters and the lads do need us, they have let us down and we have hammered them for it, we have criticised the players like mad and they have deserved it but it is time to put our anger, disappointment and frustration to one side and get behind the team 100%. The atmosphere in the stadium has to be electric and passionate because if it is, the players will feel it, they will soak it up and it will give them a much-needed boost.