As he often does before the very biggest European matches, Arsène Wenger took one of his most senior players to his pre-Olympiacos press conference on Tuesday.
The way the manager and his midfielder spoke to the media, you’d be mistaken for thinking they were about to play against Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Arsenal aren’t up against a European giant on Wednesday but are, once again, facing fairly long odds as they look to win convincingly against Greek champions Olympiacos in order to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
“Of course this is an important competition for me personally and for the club,” Flamini said to the press.
Arsenal have gotten out of the first group stage for 15 consecutive seasons, but never faced the task of achieving such a daunting result heading into the final match of the group stage.
Nonetheless, the team has the quality to win by two goals in Greece (or to score three or more times and win) and are up to the test.
“We have a good test to prove we have the quality to go through and continue our adventure,” Flamini said. “Everyone is focused and I will try to help my partners.
“We are experienced for the big games and I believe we can progress.”
The Gunners face big games on an almost weekly basis in the Premier League, and have beaten German giants Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in the Champions League over the last 12 months.
Throughout the squad there is a huge amount of European and international experience, and the players know exactly what is required in such a big game. The stage is set, can Arsenal deliver?