From their star player losing the captaincy to the shock team talks that saved their season, the new All or Nothing: Arsenal series from Prime Video delivers a blockbuster insight into one of the most guarded clubs in the country.
We might be on the cusp of a new campaign, but with many Arsenal fans still dizzy from the rollercoaster season last term, talkSPORT has been given exclusive access to moments from the show, and they are certainly whetting our appetite ahead of the first release of episodes on August 4.
For the first couple of clips, we sat down with diehard Arsenal fan and former Love Island star Josh Denzel, plus ex-Gunners striker Jeremie Aliadiere to get their insight.
The first teaser features dramatic moments inside the changing room, where manager Mikel Arteta is seen explaining his philosophy, before then swearing and banging a kit bag after a series of missed tackles saw the team lose to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.
“I’ve got goosebumps,” said Aliadiere.
The clip proceeds to show two shocking moments in quick succession. First a training ground fight has to be broken up by the squad, and then we witness the stunned silence of the team as they’re told Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is being stripped of the captaincy.
The moments drew bold reactions from our Arsenal duo, who felt an instant emotional connection to the series.
“That’s one thing that I’m seeing straight away in the first two minutes. That passion,” said Denzel.
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“When you’re seeing fights in training, it shows you how much they care. In the life and death moments for our season, I want to see that people care.”
The passion and raw emotion on display in this series couldn’t be better summed up than in a clip taken just before the pivotal north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur in September.
Moments before the Arsenal players emerge onto the pitch to secure a win that injected huge belief and momentum into their season, we see the club’s chief photographer, Stuart MacFarlane, giving a rousing and expletive-ridden team talk to the players.
“This is my club. I f***ing love this club,” begins MacFarlane, speaking without a script.
“The fans love you. When you score, look at them. See how much they love you.”
The talk is a further example of some of Arteta’s innovative coaching methods, which are shown throughout the series, giving amazing insight into one of the most exciting young managers in world football.
In a gear change from the high voltage moments, we’re also shown a heart-warming clip of star player Bukayo Saka eating in the club canteen and chatting to fellow youth team graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Folarin Balogun.
We see a new side to wonderkid Saka, who confesses he struggles to cook an egg at home before later discussing the difficulties of dealing with fame and being spotted out and about.
It’s a touching moment that shows the thoughtfulness and innocence of a player who carries so much responsibility for Arsenal’s success at such a tender age.
A deeper look
The series seeks not only to document the season-defining moments, but as with the Saka clip, bring viewers closer to some of the personalities at the club who fans aren’t always used to hearing from.
In further extracts provided by Prime Video, we hear from the largely unknown son of the club’s owner. Josh Kroenke has made big steps forward in communicating with supporters but few will have seen him talking about his aspirations for the club.
For these clips, we were joined by another duo with close ties to the club: Gooner and influencer Sharky, and former striker Lianne Sanderson, who played for Arsenal WFC back when they were known as Arsenal Ladies.
“Some owners don’t always have to be visible, they could be doing things behind the scenes. But I think it’s really important for the fans to see this – even what he looks like, because I wasn’t quite sure,” said Sanderson.
Kroenke reveals that he’s been aware of recent fan backlash against him and the ownership, and says he does consume as much fan opinion as possible, while trying not to let it shape his strategy for the future.
It’s clear from the video that he enjoys a very close and open relationship with manager Arteta, something rarely seen at Europe’s elite football clubs.
We finish the exclusive clip bundle with another one of Arteta’s brilliant pre-game techniques. In the dressing room before a crucial game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, he makes the squad join together and rub their hands in unison, to build energy.
The team win 2-0 but the real joy of the clip comes after the full-time whistle. Aubameyang is giving a post-match speech, and in a funny twist asks Arteta to rub his hands together while the squad chant for two days off.
Arteta eventually gives in to the request, creating huge cheers from the rest of the squad. It’s the kind of moment that’s rarely seen by the rest of us, and fans will relate to seeing to the players reacting in the same way they do to winning games.
“That’s why I played football and you do miss moments like that,” said Sanderson. “People ask me if I miss playing and I always say no, except when I see dressing-room stuff like this.
“Thankfully my best moments came in an Arsenal shirt.”
With its mix of high-octane drama, incredible behind the scenes insight, in-depth interviews and humour, this All or Nothing season with Arsenal looks set to be one of the most gripping yet.
All or Nothing: Arsenal. Watch now, only on Prime Video
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