Mikel Arteta has acknowledged the benefits of a positive atmosphere inside Emirates Stadium.
Our new head coach took charge of his first home game on Sunday and, although two late Chelsea goals denied us victory, the atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive as the fans responded to a determined, passionate team performance.
According to Arteta, that support makes a massive difference.
"For the players, it takes the handbrake off," he said. "You don’t think about making mistakes, you just think about the next action and it gets better and better. It’s contagious with your teammates, your body language changes and you just generate belief that it can be done.
"I remember some derbies against Spurs when we turned the result back [to win 5-2] a couple of times. That energy and those moments, it's incredible the feeling you get as a player, you get a different type of energy and you become bigger, secure, you feel protected. It's incredible."
Arteta wants our opponents to "fear" visiting the Emirates, and he knows what it takes to create a hostile, intimidating atmosphere.
"We do it by creating unity again and creating a spirit, an environment and an energy that makes the opponent sense that these guys are serious, ruthless, passionate and they’re coming to us straight away.
"Don’t let them think that they can feel comfortable being here. We have to believe that we can win against any team.
"But we cannot demand anything from the fans. We have to put the demands on ourselves and on our players, and convince them and transmit to the fans what we’re trying to do and the way we’re trying to approach the game.
"If the fans react positively with us, obviously it’s going to be a massive help, but we are conscious of where we are at the moment. We have a very clear idea of what we want to do and slowly we will get closer to that idea, to be more consistent throughout 90 minutes and not have these ups and downs.
"The end result will be winning more football matches, I’m sure about that."
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