Arsenal and Chelsea face-off on Wednesday in Baku in an all-English Europa League final, and the game will be goalkeeper Petr Cech’s last as a professional.
The Blues legend has spent the last four seasons at the Emirates Stadium after 11 years at the Stamford Bridge, and he will be looking forward to tomorrow’s game if manager Unai Emery decides to start him ahead of Bernd Leno.
Winning the Europa League is Arsenal’s only chance of playing Champions League football next season after they missed out on a top-four finish for the third season in a row in the League.
The failure could be down to a mentality shortcoming as Cech believes there isn’t enough pressure at the North London club compared to his time at Chelsea, and the difference in silverware wins between both sides in the last 15 years says it all.
“It will sound strange but I think generally at Arsenal there is not enough pressure,” the 36-year-old told Standard Sport.
“Arsene is a real gentleman. As much as he hates losing, he stays a gentleman. If you lose, you win, you lose, you win, he kind of carries on. That’s something I’ve never experienced before.
“At Chelsea, at the times when we drew, it felt like a funeral in the dressing room. It was so bad. If we drew against a big team at home, it was like, ‘Oh no, it is impossible we didn’t win at home’. It came from everywhere: the players, the coach. Since the start when I was there, the pressure was there every game.”
Cech won the Champions League, the Europa League, four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and three League Cups during his time at Chelsea, but has won just the FA Cup since moving to Arsenal.
The Gunners have won just four FA Cups within the same timeframe, and it says a lot about the mentality at the Emirates.
Manager Unai Emery will be looking to right that wrong, and he has promised to be competitive after the club told him last summer that Wenger had lost his competitive gene.