Do you have to work to keep Auba’s spirits up with everything that has gone on this season?
No. You know Auba’s character he’s someone really lively, always joking, always smiling. He had a difficult season so many of us as a club and a staff try to support him as much as possible the way that the team did as well. When he had some personal issues they were right behind him. As I said before football gives you an opportunity. He’s in a good place right now and he’s very hungry to do something.
Is he the same Auba as ever?
Well everything affects but you have to come through that. It’s about how you react to the difficulties in your career which you’re going to have at some stage. He had some this season and it’s about showing the direction and the capacity to overcome that.
What do you believe the Arsenal DNA to be? There have been some suggestions this week that has gone from the club.
Well, our DNA is related to many factors. First the history that we have, how we represent our values, our togetherness in what it is the team, what is the plan and what we are trying to transmit to the world with that. I believe that what we are trying to do is very much linked to that.
There is still things to do, yes, but there was always this. This game is evolving, this club is evolving. This club is not the same as 20 years ago. It’s all the time something you have to embrace but at the same time evolve
Thierry Henry said those qualities are long gone. Is that true?
I said that there a fundamental things that we have to recover and it’s in our hands to do that. I think that is a responsibility for a lot of people. Not just the team, not just the board not just the owners but everybody that loves, really loves, this football club.
The club has been in Europe in every season since the 95/96 season. How important, in terms of both prestige and finance, is getting back into Europe for you next season?
Well, I think it gives you the platform, visually first, as you mentioned, and then because it’s related to our history and the demands that this club has got. Then because obviously financially the way to attract sponsors, to attract players, to improve your squad and to compete for the big trophies you have to be in Europe. That’s the challenge we’ve got ahead of us.
Throughout your time as a player and a manager how much does Arsenal’s ability to pull out important results give you confidence they could do the same again tomorrow night?
Well, we’ve got experience from the past. We’ve got experience from this season in many ways. The last one in Villarreal when we were in a really difficult position, 2-0 down and with 10 men but we still managed to push something out. We have a big shot tomorrow.
Some players are likely to leave the club at the end of the season. Have those decisions been made already or are there some players with whom it depends on their performances in these final games of the season?
A lot of things can change for many different reasons. Something is a plan and then a plan for someone that you think is going to stay for a reason that happens and it changes. So, it’s very difficult to predict 100% that plan is going to be what you expect it to be what you said.
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What will you do differently in tomorrow’s game compared to last week?
Well, the way we started the game that’s for sure. We did some things that we didn’t talk about. We conceded an early goal that I think was difficult to swallow. It took us a little while to react and I think we had a difficult period. How we handled both boxes. And the discipline. To play with 11 players in this competition is key and we didn’t manage to do that. When we do all the things that we have to do the game will be completely different.