Mikel Arteta has employed some quirky ideas to make Arsenal feel more at home during away games, but Graeme Souness is not impressed with the innovations, describing the ‘nonsense’ as ‘extremely strange’.
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The Gunners went to Fulham last week and came away with a 3-0 win, celebrating in the dressing room afterwards with a big clock.
It was a replica of the iconic clock from Arsenal’s Clock End at the Emirates, while the visiting team also brought stickers of the club’s crest to put on the walls.
It is all part of a plan to give the team home comforts on away days, but Souness is not having it at all, not in the slightest bit impressed by the out-of-the-box thinking.
‘I read the story about Arsenal taking their home comforts into opposition dressing rooms and had to read it again to make sure it wasn’t a joke,’ Souness wrote in the Daily Mail.
‘Really? Is this what the modern game has become? So Arsenal players arrive at Fulham to find their own clock is on the wall along with their own pictures and stickers?
It’s extremely strange and only a winning manager can get away with that.
‘The Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is doing a fine job but he has form for such nonsense.
‘Last season he had You’ll Never Walk Alone played over the loudspeakers at training to prepare his players for a game at Anfield. They lost 4-0, so that went well for them.’
Arteta explained the move after the match, and although Souness will not be alone in criticising the unusual decision, with Arsenal five points clear at the top of the Premier League, the Spaniard is clearly doing a lot right.
‘It was something I related to a few days before on where we were as a team and club and what we have to stand for,’ Arteta told ESPN.
‘It was something private in the dressing room just before the game and something that’s in the history of our club.
‘We have to be really conscious of that and when we have that history and we use it in the right way, that’s a really powerful thing to have.
‘The reality is that every game is so important, the margins are so small and we are now going to have to do something incredible until the end of the season to earn the right to be there.’
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