The final episodes of All or Nothing: Arsenal take us inside the dressing room as the Gunners concede fourth place to their fiercest rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Episodes seven and eight, which will be released on Amazon Prime on Thursday 18 August, document the end of Arsenal’s 2021-22 season.
We know how that campaign ended – two defeats in Arsenal’s last three games allowed Spurs to steal fourth place and confined the Gunners to a sixth successive season without Champions League football. It’s fascinating to go behind the scenes as all this drama unfolds.
Here are just a few takeaways from recent episodes.
Arteta is furious after blowing off fourth place
There are some good rants from Mikel Arteta in the last two episodes.
After back-to-back defeats, against Crystal Palace and Brighton, the 40-year-old Spaniard tells his players, “it has to be a funeral”.
At half-time against West Ham, tied 1-1, Arteta screams “do you want to play in the Champions League?” in the face of Nuno Tavares.
It’s after Newcastle losshowever, a result that leaves Arsenal two points behind rivals Tottenham, who Arteta is really blowing.
“Shut up and eat it,” he tells his players.
“Today is unacceptable. Don’t worry, I will face the people. Today is difficult to defend you. Difficult.”
There are some great team calls as well
As in previous episodes, we also get a good look at some of the more creative ways Arteta tries to inspire his team.
Before a match against Brighton, he takes a prop into the dressing room.
“[Thomas] Edison invented the light bulb,” Arteta explains, holding one aloft.
“I want to see a team that is connected, because without connection, a bulb is nothing. I want to see a team that is connected and shining. When we are connected, we connect 60,000 fans and create more energy. Heat creates light and life.”
Unfortunately, his methods are not enough on this occasion to prevent Arsenal from coming beaten 2-1.
Lacazette loses his head
An explosive scene involves a fight on the training ground between striker Alexandre Lacazette and defender Cedric Soares in episode eight.
Soares appears to have said something to upset the Frenchman, after 31-year-old Lacazette made a poor challenge on 18-year-old Jack Henry-Francis.
We don’t get to hear what Soares says, but it’s enough to provoke Lacazette to punch the 30-year-old Portuguese player in the face. The couple must separate.
Afterwards, Lacazette played it down by saying “this is normal in football, if you have players who want to win,” explaining that he apologized to Soares afterwards.
“It’s just passion to win,” Lacazette says.
Eddie Nketiah is desperate to prove himself
Center forward Eddie Nketiah struggled to get minutes on the pitch during the first half of last season.
In episode seven, the 23-year-old laments his lack of opportunities.
“I can’t remember a time when I’ve actually had three games in a row to play. How can you judge someone? If I start a game and go off after 57 minutes, what are you going to do? As a player, you want an opportunity to five, six games in a row.”
When he scored two against Chelsea in April, Nketiah began to cement his place in the squad.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright talks about the weight of expectation on the young man, especially following the departure of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“Eddie is 23 now and it’s on his shoulders to fire Arsenal back into the Champions League. There’s a lot of pressure. He’s going to need help.”
Nketiah finished the campaign with 10 goals and one assist in 28 appearances in all competitions.
Rob Holding is Mr Positive
Rob Holding is another winger who had limited chances last season. It was unfortunate for him that during one of his great starting opportunities – the season-defining North London derby – He was sent off for a tackle on Son Heung-min.
However, we get the impression that it was quite out of character for the 26-year-old defender.
The film crew asks at one point in episode eight why he is so happy.
In response, he says: “I get it all the time. If you get paid to play football all day, why aren’t you happy?”
He also seems content to wait his turn for opportunities.
“A lot of the time it seems to be a protocol, as soon as we’re 2-0 or 2-1, approaching the 80th minute or whatever, send me in to help see it,” explained Holding .
“If that’s my role for this year, to help the team in that way, then so be it,” he says, smiling.