Mikel Arteta takes an OLIVE TREE into Arsenal’s team meetings ‘to show that growth only comes when roots are nurtured’ after previously bringing in a chocolate labrador to improve stress levels
- Arsenal have all-but surrendered the title to Manchester City after poor run
- Four draws followed by two defeats in their last four has seen them slip off top
- Mikel Arteta revealed that he brings an olive tree into team meetings
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed he has brought an olive tree into team meetings this season so as to show that growth only comes when roots are nurtured.
Arteta has overseen a remarkable transformation in his Arsenal side this season, taking them from fifth last year to a serious title challenge this – though they look set to miss out to Manchester City after a poor final month of the season.
Having revealed earlier this week that he has had a chocolate labrador named Win brought in in an attempt to improve the team’s togetherness, he outlined another of his now-customary leadership quirks introduced to try and aid his side.
‘It is very strong but needs a lot of care,’ Arteta said. ‘We have to look after the roots every single day, make sure they don’t get poisoned, don’t get damaged and remain in the right condition.’
Mikel Arteta has revealed he brought an olive tree into Arsenal team meetings this season
Arteta has watched his side lose their grip on the title race after a poor run of form in the final month
Arteta said that the 150-year-old olive tree (not pictured) requires a lot of care
The Spanish manager also planted a 150-year-old tree outside his office at the club’s London Colney training base. Arteta has consistently outlined the importance of growth and the journey of constant improvement his team must embark on.
Much of last season’s Amazon Prime documentary, All or Nothing, following Arsenal’s progress last season focused on Arteta’s various leadership methods, many of which are considered rather outside the box.
The documentary showed him drawing characters on a white board that sought to describe the players emotions, while ahead of a trip to Anfield in the League Cup he had speakers brought out onto the London Colney training pitches so as to try and replicate Liverpool’s famous atmosphere.
‘The reaction of the players has been incredible,’ Arteta said of the attention given to Win, the dog. ‘She is one of us and will be on our journey.
‘She changes your mood. You come in the building and she gives all her love. Suddenly you just feel the energy and the players start hugging her, it is beautiful to watch. Those things are very important.
‘There are things at the club that can be done to connect with people, to show love, and I found this dog was the perfect representative of who we are now,’ Arteta said.
‘We all love winning and Win needs a lot of love.’
The chocolate Labrador (not pictured) has been named ‘Win’ and can regularly be seen at the club’s training ground at London Colney
Mikel Arteta has recruited a dog to the Arsenal training ground to help player’s stress levels
The Gunners title hopes ended following last weekend’s 3-0 home to defeat to Brighton
It is expected Arsenal will be active in the transfer market this summer as they look to contend with greater expectation and Champions League football next season.
Returning to the elite of European club football for the first time since the 2016-17 season, Arteta knows that his squad will need additions – on top of tying down the club’s existing talent to new long-term deals – to continue on their upwards trajectory.
The club are interested in midfielders Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo, of West Ham and Brighton respectively, while reports have linked them to a new defender and attacker.
‘In order to go to the next level, the summer is going to be a crucial for us,’ Arteta said. ‘When you get closer to the top, then the margins are smaller.’
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