Mikel Arteta explains how 'impactors' have replaced substitutes in Arsenal's Premier League title charge

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Mikel Arteta Eddie Nketiah Arsenal 2022-23
You won’t find substitutes at Arsenal nowadays. When Mikel Arteta turns to his bench during games, he is instead looking for 'impactors'.
  • Arsenal five points clear in Premier League
  • Reiss Nelson scored winner against Bournemouth
  • Gabriel Jesus second-half substitute at Fulham

WHAT HAPPENED? That’s the word the Spaniard has now introduced to the vocabulary around the league leaders’ camp as he looks to end the club’s 19-year wait for a Premier League title.

So why has he done it?

WHAT THEY SAID: “It’s something that we wanted to change,” the Arsenal manager explained ahead of Thursday night's Europa League clash against Sporting CP. “I discussed it with a few people. People around other sports and football and then we discussed it with the team.

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“We wanted to find something that is particular to us. I think it was the best way to express how we feel about them [the substitutes] and how they have to feel towards the team, especially on matchday. I think the way we now describe it is more like we want. If you repeat it more and more and more and you discuss it more and more and more, it will be closer to that than just being a sub.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The newest addition to the vocabulary at Arsenal is another example of Arteta attempting to make everyone around the squad feel comfortable and part of what is going on.

But does he think these things - like bringing a replica of Arsenal’s famous clock into the changing room at Fulham on Sunday - really make a difference within an elite sporting environment?

“I cannot measure that,” he said. “I have to get into their brains [to find out] and so far we don't have anything like it. It’s very difficult. It is [about] replacing somebody and making the team better, or doing things differently that are related to winning football matches.  At the end your mentality should be only that, to impact the game to win it. That’s it, nothing else.”


Mikel Arteta 2022-23

Fabio Vieira Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23


WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Mikel Arteta's side host Sporting on Thursday night in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 clash.