IF YOUR boss spoke to you like Mikel Arteta speaks to his players, you’d be straight off to complain to HR.
The effing and jeffing Spaniard comes across as a raving lunatic in the Amazon series All or Nothing: Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta is not afraid to use some fruity languageCredit: AFP
But there is clearly method behind the apparent madness because Arsenal’s impressionable youngsters are not only tolerating the dressing-room tirades, they are positively thriving on them.
Arteta, we are told, is one of the finest tacticians in football, having learned his trade under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger as a player and Pep Guardiola as a coach.
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 goes on in the dressing room stays in the dressing room.”
Which makes it all the more confusing as to why Arsenal ever agreed to the cameras invading the sanctity of Arteta’s personal space.
He hasn’t been done any favours by the programme’s selective editing, which understands that tactical tweaks on the training ground don’t make for compelling viewing but giving both barrels to your players most definitely does.
But the reality is that even the most cerebral managers resort to ‘industrial language’ when they want to get their message across in the few minutes available to them before kick-off or at half-time.
And none of this should disguise the fact that Arteta clearly has a plan and knows exactly what he is doing.
More importantly, he has got everyone at the club to buy into his precious ‘process’ to Make Arsenal Great Again.
So when he decided that he wanted rid of dressing-room disruptors Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the club backed him despite the cost involved.
Owner Stan Kroenke has allowed him to bring in around £270million of exciting young signings over the past year as well as awarding Arteta a lucrative new three-year contract.
And even the most sceptical of supporters are now starting to recognise a club moving back in the right direction after years of underachievement.
Of course, they are still a long way from pushing Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Even breaking into the top four will be a challenge given the strength of the teams who finished above them last season.
But they are clearly in a much better place than they were this time last year, when they found themselves goalless, pointless and bottom of the table after three games.
In fact, 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 first eight fixtures.
Arteta, though, will not allow anyone to get ahead of themselves because he knows from bitter experience that nothing is ever straightforward where Arsenal are concerned.
And should he need any reminder of just how quickly things can go wrong, he only needs to switch on his TV.
Arsenal: All or f****** Nothing.
NOTT A JOB LOT
THERE was a remarkable bit of transfer business at Nottingham Forest the other day.
They didn’t sign anyone for 24 hours.
Steve Cooper went a full day without signing anyone – then agreed a club-record deal for Morgan Gibbs-WhiteCredit: Alamy
Manager Steve Cooper has already got the hump with people laughing at the number of players the newly promoted club have bought this summer.
But it’s a good job the transfer window will soon be closing because they’re rapidly running out of space in the City Ground dressing room.
Maybe they could send a few of them down the road to nearby Leicester, who will take absolutely anyone right now.
JIM NOT SO DAFT
MANCHESTER UNITED fans waiting for Sir Jim Ratcliffe to buy their club would be well advised not to hold their breath.
In just the last fortnight 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 of them has been signed.
Even the world’s richest man and all-round weirdo, Elon Musk, has laughed off suggestions he could stump up the Glazers’ £5billion asking price.
So I’d give Sir Jim about 48 hours before he adds his name to that list of Old Trafford avoiders.
DEAN A DIMWIT
CONGRATULATIONS to Mike Dean for taking just three games as a full-time VAR to confirm what we suspected all along.
After 22 years ruining games as a Premier League ref, he is now cocking things up from behind a TV screen at Stockley Park.
Even with the benefit of ultra slow motion, myopic Mike still struggles to spot a foul.
He’s even had to admit he made mistakes after being left off this week’s fixtures because his advice to Anthony Taylor during the Chelsea-Spurs punch-up was so poor.
But it’s only a temporary absence. Like a wonky Terminator, he’ll be back.
NU WAY TO ACT
DARWIN NUNEZ has been told to ‘calm down, calm down’ by Liverpool after putting the nut in on Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen.
The Uruguayan hot-head is already earning comparisons to former Anfield idol Luis Suarez — which is not necessarily a good thing.
Darwin Nunez faces a three-match ban after his horrible headbuttCredit: Reuters
Let’s hope they’re not all wearing Nunez T-shirts to support their now banned team-mate at Old Trafford on Monday.
TODD A HUMBLE UN
TO Stamford Bridge, where the Democratic People’s Republic of Chelsea have unveiled a giant banner of Supreme Leader Todd Jong-Boehly.
Unlike Roman Abramovich, the new owner is clearly not going to be hiding his light under a bushel.
So if he wants a song to go along with his vanity banner, how about ‘Here ego, here ego’?
AJ LAST ORDERS
ANTHONY JOSHUA will be drinking in the last chance saloon tomorrow, which is the only place in Saudi Arabia where he can get a beer.
The former heavyweight champ insists he will not retire from boxing even if he loses his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
But a third defeat in five fights would be a hammer blow to AJ’s credibility and severely weaken his bargaining power in negotiations for future fights.
So he needs to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO belts surrendered to Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September if that £150million showdown with Tyson Fury is ever going to happen.
Not that many people would consider the chance to go 12 rounds with Fury much of an incentive.
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