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Mikel Arteta’s reality TV days are over – and Arsenal are thriving in their absence

Yet after Manchester City and Tottenham signed up to take part in the All Or Nothing series, Arsenal’s Amercian hierarchy decided they should be part of a show that they hoped would produce a positive publicity hit.

Mikel Arteta arrives for the All or Nothing Arsenal Premiere at Islington Assembley Hall in London. Picture date: Tuesday August 2, 2022.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Mikel Arteta didn’t join Arsenal to become the star of a reality TV show, but he was thrust into that role last season.

In an era when Premier League clubs do everything in their power to shut out any outside media that dares to try and contact players or any member of staff, the prospect of allowing cameras from Amazon to film behind-the-scenes footage for an entire season seems curiously brazen.

Yet after Manchester City and Tottenham signed up to take part in the All Or Nothing series, Arsenal’s Amercian hierarchy decided they should be part of a show that they hoped would produce a positive publicity hit.

The ten-part series has been running on Amazon for the last few weeks, with Arteta’s insecurities on display at times, his dressing room rants and the moment he told his players of his decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang of the captaincy all caught on camera.

What was designed to be a brand-boosting exercise collapsed for Arsenal as they blew the chance to clinch a top four finish in the Premier League with a collapse in the final weeks of last season.

The film has also cast a somewhat critical light on Arteta’s tactics, with his plan to bring in booming speakers to play ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to his Arsenal players ahead of the match against Liverpool at Anfield last season an obvious point for ridicule.

Indeed, those who have always questioned Arteta’s credibility to be Arsenal manager and who reject the notion that he is a football visionary were given plenty of fresh ammunition in the Amazon documentary.

Yet Arteta clung on to his job throughout a turbulent campaign, even though he admits the constant presence of the film crew was an unwanted distraction.

“Honestly, it was challenging,” stated the Spaniard, when quizzed on the Amazon experience. “Also it was an incredible experience personally, for the club and everybody can see the reality without any boundaries about how it works on a daily basis at the club,” said the Spaniard.

“On a personal level obviously it was really demanding because you are on camera for 24/7. Then you tend to forget about it. So when they talk about Big Brother houses and people can do certain things, it is true because I have experience that you forget about the cameras.

“In the end, did I want it? Now probably if we are going to have a camera there, I would not do it. But it is done now.”

“The distraction, or attraction, was last year having them here every single day. We tried to work together to make sure that whatever is produced is the reality of how this football club is run.”

With the Amazon camera crew erased from Arsenal’s London Colney training base this season, Arteta can execute his unconventional man management style in private once more and so far, it is working this season.

With five straight wins to start the season, Arsenal head into today’s game against Manchester United at Old Trafford on a real high.

Arteta’s ‘trust the process’ mantra have often been used as a stick to beat him with, as he appreciates the significance of a fixture that was once between the Premier League’s two top sides.

“When I was younger I watched it on TV, watching the rivalry and the special games between the two teams,” he stated.

“Obviously as a player, winning is a beautiful feeling and it’s a magnificent stadium, to go to Old Trafford, and enjoy the game as a team.

“You may say this is our biggest test of the season, but the test in the Premier League is every single week, every opponent that you play.

“You see it in every game that will be played this weekend and I don’t expect anything different.

“We go there in a good place. The feeling and energy that is around the club, and the way the team is playing and performing, and at the end of the day, the icing on the cake is winning football matches.

“That is the only reason why we are here, and we have to continue to do that. If we keep doing the simple things right and maintain the energy levels, belief and enthusiasm that we have, we’ll keep playing well.”

Arsenal’s Amazon documentary gives the kind of detailed insight into Arteta’s methods that he might not have wanted to be made so public.

Maybe now that his reality TV days are over, Arteta can finally focus on what really matters.


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