Explained: Why Mikel Arteta has brought a dog called 'Win' to Arsenal's training ground

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has explained the thinking behind his latest signing, a training-ground dog named 'Win'.
  • Arteta brought in chocolate Labrador at Arsenal
  • Dog, named Win, there to boost spirits
  • Latest in line of quirky motivational tools

WHAT HAPPENED? After The Times reported that the chocolate Labrador had been brought in to boost morale at the club's London Colney base, the Arsenal boss was asked about the canine recruit at his Friday press conference.

WHAT THEY SAID: Arteta explained: "I feel like we are a family and we need a dog to represent that family.

"I carefully chose the dog and in my opinion itโ€™s the perfect representative of who we are right now. Her name is Win, we all love winning and Win needs a lot of love. So the love for Win, that was basically the feeling.

"The reaction from the players and the staff has been incredible, she is one of us. She is going to be on this journey with us together. Win needs accountability from us because we have to look after her as well, her emotions and what she needs."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arteta has developed a reputation for being focused on small motivational details that enhance the relationships among his squad. Famously, he once used a lightbulb to stress the importance of connections. It was also revealed this week that the Spaniard has used a miniature olive tree to demonstrate the need to 'nurture and grow together'.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Arteta brought the chocolate Labrador, named Win, into the room as Aaron Ramsdale signed a contract extension with the club this week. The dog will spend most days at the club's training ground and there is a primary carer around looking after her.

The mood at the Arsenal camp has likely deteriorated in recent weeks as their hopes of winning the Premier League title have been dashed. The Gunners have won just two of their last seven league matches, seeing them go from eight points clear at the top of the table to four behind Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Arteta's men will hope to get back to winning ways when they take on Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Sunday.