Mark Irwin: If your boss spoke to you like Mikel Arteta did, you’d be straight to HR… but Arsenal stars are responsive

IF YOUR boss spoke to you the way Mikel Arteta speaks to his players, you would immediately complain to HR.

In the Amazon series All or Nothing: Arsenal, the effing and jeffing Spaniard appears as a frenzied madman.

Mikel Arteta isn't afraid to use fruity language


Mikel Arteta isn’t afraid to use fruity languagePhoto credit: AFP

There is clearly method behind the apparent madness, however, as Arsenal’s impressionable youngsters not only tolerate the tirade in the dressing room, they thrive on it.

Arteta, we are told, is one of football’s finest tacticians, having learned his craft under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger as a player and Pep Guardiola as a coach.

Yet all we see in the behind-the-scenes footage is a coach yelling in the faces of his amused players, “Let’s go the fuck out and win the damn game.”

It’s a complete contrast to the calm and measured Arteta we see in his weekly press conference.

And now we know why he always insists “what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room.”

That makes it all the more puzzling as to why Arsenal ever agreed to the cameras invading the sanctity of Arteta’s personal space.

He’s been done no favors by the selective editing of the program, which understands that tactical tweaks on the training ground don’t make for compelling viewing, but certainly giving your players both runs.

But the reality is that even the savviest managers turn to “industry language” if they want to get their message across in the few minutes they have before kick-off or at half-time.

And none of that should hide the fact that Arteta clearly has a plan and knows exactly what he’s doing.

More importantly, he has got everyone at the club involved in his precious ‘process’ to make Arsenal great again.

When he decided to get rid of dressing room clutter by Mesut Özil, Matteo Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the club backed him despite the costs involved.

Owner Stan Kroenke has allowed him to bring in around £270million in exciting young signings over the past year and has handed Arteta a lucrative new three-year deal.

And even the most skeptical fans are now beginning to see a club moving in the right direction after years of underperformance.

Of course, they are still a long way from pushing Manchester City for the Premier League title.


Even jumping into the top 4 will be a challenge given the strength of the teams that topped them last season.

But they are clearly in a much better place than this time last year when they were goalless, pointless and bottom of the table after three games.

With Bournemouth, Fulham, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Everton and Brentford next on their schedule, it’s not inconceivable that they could take maximum points from their opening eight games.

However, Arteta will not let anyone take advantage, knowing from bitter experience that nothing is always easy at Arsenal.

And should he ever be reminded how quickly things can go wrong, all he has to do is turn on his television.

Arsenal: All or nothing.


There was a notable transfer deal at Nottingham Forest recently.

They haven’t signed anyone for 24 hours.

Steve Cooper went a whole day without signing anyone - then agreed a club record deal for Morgan Gibbs-White


Steve Cooper went a whole day without signing anyone – then agreed a club record deal for Morgan Gibbs-WhiteCredit: Alamy

Manager Steve Cooper has already gotten the hump as people laugh at the number of players the newly promoted club bought this summer.

But it’s a good thing that the transfer window is about to close because they’re quickly running out of space in the City Ground dressing room.

Maybe they could send a couple of them to nearby Leicester, which will take absolutely anyone at the moment.


MANCHESTER UNITED fans waiting for Sir Jim Ratcliffe to buy their club are well advised not to hold their breath.

In the past two weeks, United have been linked with Frenkie de Jong, Adrien Rabiot, Alvaro Morata, Casemiro, Joao Felix, Christian Pulisic, Antony, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Meunier and Marko Bloody Arnautovic – and not one signed by them.

Even the world’s richest man and all-around lunatic, Elon Musk, has laughed at suggestions he could top the Glazers’ £5billion asking price.

So I would give Sir Jim about 48 hours before adding his name to this list of Old Trafford avoiders.


CONGRATULATIONS to Mike Dean on completing just three games as a full-time VAR to confirm what we’ve suspected all along.

After 22 years ruining games as a Premier League referee, he’s now spinning things up behind a TV screen at Stockley Park.

Even with the ultra slow-mo advantage, myopic Mike still has trouble spotting a foul.

He even had to admit he made mistakes after being banned from games this week because his advice to Anthony Taylor was so bad during the Chelsea-Spurs slugfest.

But it’s only a temporary absence. Like a shaky terminator, he’ll be back.


DARWIN NUNEZ has been told by Liverpool to “calm down, calm down” after poking Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen in the nut.

The Uruguayan hothead is already being compared to former Anfield idol Luis Suarez – which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Darwin Nunez faces a three-game ban after his horrific headbutt


Darwin Nunez faces a three-game ban after his horrific headbuttPhoto credit: Reuters

Let’s hope they don’t all wear Nunez t-shirts to support their now-suspended team-mate at Old Trafford on Monday.


TO Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea People’s Democratic Republic unveiled a giant banner of Supreme Leader Todd Jong-Boehly.

Unlike Roman Abramovich, the new owner will of course not hide his light under a bushel.

So if he wants a song to go with his vanity banner, how about “Here Ego, Here Ego”?


ANTHONY JOSHUA will be drinking at Last Chance Saloon tomorrow, the only place in Saudi Arabia where he can get a beer.

The former heavyweight champion insists he will not retire from boxing even if he loses his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

But a third loss in five fights would be a hammer blow to AJ’s credibility and would seriously weaken his bargaining power in negotiations for future fights.

So he must regain the WBA, IBF and WBO belts handed to Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September if that £150m showdown with Tyson Fury is ever going to happen.

Not many people would see the chance to play 12 rounds with Fury as a huge incentive. Mark Irwin: If your boss spoke to you like Mikel Arteta did, you’d be straight to HR… but Arsenal stars are responsive


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