Unai Emery says Arsenal are looking to ‘create history’ as they prepare to face Valencia in the Europa League semi-finals.
Arsenal host the Spanish side in the first leg on Thursday night, looking to reach the final of a European competition for the first time since 2006.
Emery, who managed Valencia for four years between 2008-2012, was full of praise for his former club hailing them as a ‘big team with a great history’.
“They’re a big team with a great history and also a lot of experience. Tomorrow this semi-final is 50:50. I think we can enjoy this round and I think for the two teams it’s a very important moment. We have respect between us. A big respect,” Emery said in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
Arsenal’s league form has been poor of late, having lost three successive league fixtures, with the club struggling away from home this season.
By contrast, the Gunners have performed well in Europe throughout the campaign, but Emery said that past results matter little as they prepare for the first leg of their last four clash, and saying he hopes to ‘create history’ this season.
“Yes, but for me it’s about the present,” he said.
“Football in the past you can learn from, you can have to take experience but after is to do a new way. A new way with new history and I want to create a new history here with all the competitions.
“Now it’s the Europa League. The Europa League is our way for one title and our way for the possibility to be in the Champions League. We have now two possibilities. One is in the Premier League and we have this possibility not in our hands, but we have a really good possibility if we win and secondly we have the Europa League.
“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 [the] Emirates and we are very excited and with big enthusiasm for the match tomorrow.
“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.”
Watch the full press conference below