sport news Holding hands with team-mates? Mikel Arteta's unique methods exposed in All or ... trends now
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had the Liverpool anthem, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, blasted across the club’s training pitches in north London, in an effort to prepare his players for a visit to Anfield.
The bizarre preparation is just one of the off-the-wall methods Arteta has employed to focus the minds of his young squad before crunch fixtures.
In other unconventional moves, the Gunners’ manager has asked players to hold hands to feel the energy of their team mates and brought in the club photographer to give the team talk.
Mikel Arteta stood out for using a range of unconventional coaching methods in All or Nothing
The novel approaches have been revealed in the Amazon Prime, All of Nothing docu-series, which will start streaming on Thursday.
The Spaniard is not scared to try something new and even admits himself that he has some ‘crazy ideas’. But some of them have delivered results.
Arsenal travelled to Liverpool on November 20, last year, having survived a disastrous start to the season and off the back of an eight-game unbeaten run.
In the documentary, Arteta is filmed telling his players the trip to Anfield will be critical in the outcome of their campaign. The Arsenal squad last term was the youngest in the Premier League and a number of the players had yet to experience the cauldron that is Anfield.
He blasted 'You'll Never Walk Alone' at his players in training ahead of their trip to Liverpool
Arteta has many times, and revealed he has struggled there.
‘The most important thing with Anfield it is that emotionally you are in top condition to compete there,’ he told the team as they gathered at the London Colney training base in the week before the match.
‘You have to know what is Anfield and it is, believe me, very different to any ground I have experienced in the Premier League.’
Arteta clearly has huge respect for the Liverpool fanbase and the impact they have on opponents. A former Gunners’ and Everton player, Arteta knows what he is talking about. He won at Anfield twice with Arsenal, most recently a 2-0 victory in 2012, and he recalls that the following season he fancied more of the same.
The Spaniard was appointed Arsenal manager in 2019 and nearly earned top four last season
However, in a typically candid passage in the intriguing documentary, Arteta admits that his visit to the famous old stadium in February 2014 was a disaster.
The coach tells the Prime Video cameras that as his team capitulated to a 5-1 defeat he suffered ‘pajara’, a Spanish term usually used in cycling to describe a sudden loss of energy suffered by a rider.
‘I had it once at Anfield,’ reveals Arteta, who made 110 Premier League appearances for the north London club.
‘Suddenly I could only see red shirts flying around. The game is passing all over me. I cannot react. People are thinking what is he doing? I cannot do it, emotionally, physically… I cannot cope, everything is going too fast.
‘I only had that feeling in my career once and it was at Anfield.’
So, Arteta was determined to prepare his team for that eventuality. He erected speakers all around the London Colney training pitch in the week before the game in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere.
Arteta admitted that Anfield was one of the hardest stadiums to visit during his playing career
‘Boys, mentally, we start to play the game now,’ he roared. ‘OK, we are at Anfield.’
And with that, Gerry and the Pacemakers boomed out over the speakers, accompanied by