The next Premier League team to grace Amazon’s sports docuseries, All or nothing, is the North London club, Arsenal. After Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, the Gunners have given full access and allowed cameras in the dressing rooms, practice sessions, and match days, giving a brief insight into the 2021/22 campaign.
The docuseries is set for release on August 4 but few promotional clips have done the rounds on the internet. One such exclusive clip posted on the official Twitter handle of Amazon Prime Video Sport has revealed a unique approach of gaffer Mikel Arteta on handling a hostile fan base away from home.
The Arsenal players seem to be going about their practice drills preparing for their battle against Liverpool.
But Arteta had a different drill in his mind. He called for big speakers and blasted Liverpool’s eternal anthem, You’ll never walk alone (YNWA) as the players went on about their job.
The Spanish manager discussed his approach with his colleagues, who seemed excited, but the players on the pitch didn’t feel moved by this tactic. Arteta explained in the video that all he wanted was to create the overwhelming atmosphere of Anfield so that his team can play without the burden of thousands of Liverpool fans singing their hearts out.
The aim was to up the tempo on the training ground and allow the players to focus only on the ball and not feel pressured by the domineering chant of the away team. Despite his out-of-the-box thinking and good-hearted approach to give his team the edge over their opponents, Arsenal miserably failed when they visited Anfield.
The Reds walked over the Gunners with a 4-0 thrashing and all the training that Arteta believed would have worked in his favour went for a toss. This was the result but the reactions to the clip are more disheartening if you put yourself in the gaffer’s shoes.
It embarrassed a few of them to see Arteta deploy absurd tactics to prepare his team for Liverpool. But one pointed out the biggest mistake that Arteta made. This user clarified that the YNWA chant is played or sung to boost the morale of the home players and not to intimidate the opposition. By playing the chant, Arteta automatically intimidated his players when the sole purpose of the song was nowhere related to the away team. He got the gist wrong.
The biggest point as per the fans that Arteta missed was that it’s nearly impossible to create the atmosphere of 60,000 fans singing at the top of their lungs with a few speakers. The intent might have been pure, but the plan backfired.
It wasn’t all bad for Arteta. There were a few subdued voices of support, but they were buried under an avalanche of criticisms.
Love it! Progressive manager, thinking outside the box. Doesn’t matter that we got beat 4-0 that game, this training method didn’t cause the result.— GoonerSpark (@GoonerSpark2012) August 2, 2022
Whether his ploy was genius or maddening, the debate will rage on but in a result-oriented world, it is clear that if the Arsenal manager wants to implement his out-of-the-box ideas; he needs to sit down and brainstorm different approaches with his peers. And if he cannot finish in the top four in the upcoming season, no one will remember the players he signed or the unorthodox training ground drills.