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Arsenal Documentary Exposes Mikel Arteta's Unusual Anfield Tactic That Did Not Work

Mikel Arteta installed speakers around Arsenal's training pitch and blasted out a recording of Anfield crowd noise in the build-up to last season's trip to Liverpool.

The Arsenal manager's attempt to prepare his team for Anfield's famous atmosphere was in part motivated by his own negative experience there as a player.

Footage from Amazon's new All or Nothing documentary shows Arteta explaining how he once suffered "pajara" during a 5-1 defeat at Anfield in 2014.

Pajara is a Spanish term often used in cycling to describe when an athlete suffers a general malaise and sudden loss of strength.

"I had it once at Anfield," explained Arteta. "Suddenly I could only see red shirts flying around.

"The game is passing all over me. I cannot react. People are thinking: 'What is he doing?' I cannot do it, emotionally, physically… I cannot cope, everything is going too fast.

"I only had that feeling in my career once and it was at Anfield."

Mesut Ozil (left) and Mikel Arteta (right) pictured looking dejected during Arsenal's 5-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in 2014

Mesut Ozil (left) and Mikel Arteta (right) pictured looking dejected during Arsenal's 5-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in 2014

Arteta had hoped that playing a loud soundtrack of Liverpool fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" in training would help his players fare better than he had.

It did not work. Arsenal were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool in November last year - a result that ended a 10-game unbeaten run Arteta's men had been on.

Before that match, Arteta had given his team a passionate team-talk, in which he again referenced his bad Anfield experience as a player.

He told his team: "When I had that shirt and I was there [sitting in the dressing room]. I came here, for a long time we did not win here, but we won two years in a row here.

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"The next year, I was prepared to come here and I was believing we could win. You know what happened? We start to lose the game. And they were all over us.

"And you know what I did myself? I hid and I gave up on the pitch. We lost 5-1. I never forget for the rest of my career what I did here.

"Don't leave anything on that f****** pitch because I regret it. I let the team down and I let myself down. And I don't want you to go through that. So go out and play with f****** courage and be ourselves today on that pitch. Do me that favor."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on the touchline during his side's 4-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in 2021

Arsenal manager Arteta pictured on the touchline during his side's 4-0 loss at Anfield in 2021

Arteta had used another unusual motivational method earlier in the season.

Before Arsenal's 2-0 win at Leicester in October, Arteta ordered his players to join hands, close their eyes and visualize how the game was going to play out.

"We are going to do something, guys," Arteta told his players in their dressing room, while rubbing his hands together quickly.

"We are going to get all the energy in this room together. When I tell you I want you to start to do this.

"I want you to close your eyes and I am going to tell you what is going to happen in the game.

"And after that you are going to grab each other's hands and we are going to create energy in a bubble and we are going to play f****** there [pointing towards the pitch]. Close your eyes."

Once the players were all rubbing their hands vigorously, Arteta shouted out brief tactical instructions before roaring: "Feel it in your body, who we are. WHO WE ARE!"

All of the Arsenal players seemed to buy into Arteta's methods as they took part without dissent or mockery.