Clocks and dodgeball! Aaron Ramsdale explains Mikel Arteta ‘genius’ that is aiding Arsenal’s Premier League title bid
- Gunners sat eight points clear
- Coach keeping everyone on their toes
- Everyone thinking outside the box
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners caught quite a stir following a 3-0 victory over London neighbours Fulham on March 12 when they were pictured celebrating with a model of the famous timepiece that sits proudly on top of the Clock End at Emirates Stadium. It has been revealed that Arteta took that decision in a bid to bring familiarity to his camp when out on the road, with Ramsdale embracing the many unusual methods that have been adopted by a Spanish coach that is always thinking outside the box and challenging his players.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Gunners goalkeeper Ramsdale has told Standard Sport of Arteta keeping everybody on their toes while also looking to make the pursuit of precious points as simple as possible: “He’s intense, really intense. He just loves football, loves Arsenal, loves developing young players which is amazing. He comes up with these things to try to get us going. We play games in the hotel. Sometimes it can be dodgeball, sometimes it can be spot the difference on the TV to get our brains working, It is just his way of trying to make us to switch on before the game, before the warm-up, making sure we’re living and breathing football when we’re resting. The clock one was another genius idea. Not all things work, but what he’s trying to get out of it, I definitely get to see the benefits of it.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arteta has guided Arsenal eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table, with Ramsdale admitting that painful lessons from missing out on Champions League qualification in 2021-22 have helped to narrow focus in north London. The England international added: “At the end of last season, we panicked in certain games, I think we have learned from [that]. I think we know how to deal with that a lot better now. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to go into a game and panic again. But for the majority, we know what is needed and how to play and how to conduct ourselves. We are a young team we had a really tough one last year missing out on the top four and to Tottenham then it’s even more [tough], so we’re learning game by game. I think huge credit goes to the staff but also for our failure last year.”
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal, who looking to land a first English top-flight crown since the fabled ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-04, will be back in action on April 1 when playing host to Leeds.