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Mikel Arteta’s attempt to recreate the Anfield atmosphere in training have been slammed by Gabriel Agbonlahor, who described the ploy as “pathetic”.
“One of my crazy ideas, today they are going to train, in the background, You’ll Never Walk Alone,” said Arsenal boss Arteta in a promo for the new Amazon Prime documentary ‘All or Nothing: Arsenal’.
The Gunners coach said that in his playing career, Anfield was the only stadium where he felt overawed and failed to cope with the mentality of the situation.
And he explained that he wanted to recreate some of the famous Anfield atmosphere by playing the iconic song on the training ground, much to Agbonlahor’s dismay, who believes the series will be funnier than Kevin Hart. There’s no accounting for taste, I suppose…
Agbonlahor told talkSPORT: “First of all, this Arsenal documentary will be funnier than Kevin Hart’s stand up for me. I feel like that’s the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen! If I was training on that pitch, I’d find it funny.”
“I mean when they’re playing in the Europa League, and they’re playing Fenerbahce away, are they going to get flares to the training ground and someone coming in playing the drums? It’s ridiculous, the players aren’t going to be on board with that.
“These players are international players who have played in big atmospheres… I’m baffled.”
We assume Agbonlahor spends most of his life in a state of bafflement, but to be fair, Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale admitted he didn’t expect Arteta to roll out the speakers again.
The manager-cum-supply-teacher’s method didn’t work quite as well as he had pictured as they fell to a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino did for Arsenal that day.
On the failed experiment, Ramsdale said: “I’ve never experienced the speakers before. I don’t think they will be coming back!
“But we could all see what the method was – it’s one of those stadiums where, if it gets on top of you, it can be too much.”
Further clips of the documentary have shown heartfelt Arteta team talks in which he draws on his own experiences.
Ramsdale described the meetings as “different”, but admits the Arsenal manager’s personal touch works to keep him and the rest of his teammates “engaged”.
Before he added: “His (Arteta’s) team talks are definitely different. I think he keeps it fresh because sometimes he is writing, sometimes he talks, sometimes he lets some of the lads talk.
“It keeps you engaged and lets you into his life as well. There are new things we have found out about him over the past year that you would never find out unless he wrote a book or something.”
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