Graeme Souness blasts what Mikel Arteta keeps doing in Arsenal's away games
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Graeme Souness blasts what Mikel Arteta keeps doing in Arsenal's away games

Graeme Souness has had a go at Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for some of the things he has been doing in the dressing room in away games.

The Spaniard has arguably been the best manager in the Premier League this season. His Gunners side are on top of the table, five points clear of Manchester City.

Arsenal’s away form is one of the biggest reasons why they are where they are. Arteta deserves immense credit for that, but the way he has done it hasn’t impressed Souness one bit.

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Graeme Souness blasts what Mikel Arteta keeps doing in Arsenal’s away games

Arsenal have been absolutely sensational this season – both at the Emirates and away from home, but it’s the latter that has impressed everyone.

The Gunners have played 14 away games this season, and have won 11 and lost just two. They’ve picked up 34 points from these games, more than any other club in the Premier League.

Arteta has his ways to motivate his side and one of the things we’ve spotted this season is how he makes his players feel at home even in away grounds. Arsenal stick posters with messages in away dressing rooms, and in the game at Fulham last weekend, the Gunners boss even brought in a replica of the famous clock that’s in the Emirates.

Souness thinks this is nonsense.

He wrote in The Daily Mail: “I read the story about Arsenal taking their home comforts into opposition dressing rooms and had to read it again to make sure it wasn’t a joke. Really? Is this what the modern game has become?

“So Arsenal players arrive at Fulham to find their own clock is on the wall along with their own pictures and stickers? It’s extremely strange and only a winning manager can get away with that. The Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is doing a fine job but he has form for such nonsense.

“Last season he had You’ll Never Walk Alone played over the loudspeakers at training to prepare his players for a game at Anfield. They lost 4-0, so that went well for them.

“When I walked into an opposing dressing room I didn’t want to feel comfortable. I didn’t want to feel like I was in my living room at home. I was at work. I was on enemy territory and I wanted to feel fired up. If I had arrived at an away ground to find a clock from Anfield waiting for me on the wall, I would have burst out laughing. And I would not have been alone.”

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Souness has totally missed the point here, and his comments are just silly considering that whatever Arteta has been doing is bringing in results for Arsenal.

Yes, from the outside, some of Arteta’s ideas may look ridiculous, but the Arsenal boss is not there to impress Souness and the others, his job is to motivate his side and help them win games. An outstanding record of 34 points from 14 away games shows that the posters, clocks and whatever else behind the scenes are making a big difference.

Souness is entitled to his opinion, but Arteta, Arsenal’s players and their fans will not care about him or his comments. They’ll continue doing what they are doing, and that could help them become champions in May.

We’re intrigued to see if Souness will still think this is nonsense if the Gunners win the Premier League this season.

Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

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