Arsenal players roar their approval at private All or Nothing screening as they celebrate Emile Smith Rowe’s goal against Tottenham and cheer at his incredible ball skills… while Mikel Arteta insists the series captures ‘who we are’
- Five first-team stars including Emile Smith Rowe attended the private screening
- The players celebrated Smith Rowe’s opening goal in the north London derby
- Club photographer Stuart MacFarlane was celebrated for a rousing speech
- The first three episodes of All or Nothing go up on Amazon on Thursday
- Mikel Arteta sees the benefits of the series despite feeling awkward at first
Arsenal players roared their approval at a private screening of the All or Nothing docuseries as they watched Emile Smith Rowe slam home the opening goal in last season’s derby against Tottenham Hotspur
Five first-team stars, including Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe, along with manager Mikel Arteta and his family, had gathered at a cinema in Islington, North London, just over a mile from the Emirates Stadium, to watch the Amazon Prime Video production alongside 150 invited guests
Sitting in the balcony seats, Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding, Takehiro Tomiyasu and staff laughed and cheered as the story of their season unfolded on the big screen.
Arsenal players Rob Holding, Emile Smith Rowe, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney roared their approval during a private screening of Amazon’s All or Nothing series
The five players celebrated on the balcony of the cinema in Islington when watching Emile Smith Rowe (centre) score Arsenal’s first goal in a victory over Tottenham last September
Smith Rowe drew ‘ooohs’ for a clip in which he showed off his incredible ball skills, when he was aged 15, and an audacious finish from his youth days, when he bent a ball into the far corner from the opposite edge of the penalty area.
Club photographer, Stuart MacFarlane was celebrated for a rousing speech the manager asked him to deliver in the dressing room, before the match with Spurs at the Emirates in September, last year.
‘I f*****g love this football club,’ the photographer, who has been at Arsenal for 30 years, told the players. ‘And I f******g love all of you,’ he declared to laughter and applause from fans, bloggers and players.
Arsenal demolished Spurs after that, racing into a three-goal lead and eventually winning 3-1.
Smith Rowe admitted before the screening he was excited to see it, but also a little trepidatious, since the players had been filmed relentlessly for the whole season.
‘It was a long season, a lot has gone on,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘We are all really interested excited to watch it.
‘At the start it was quite annoying, cameras everywhere, listening to everything, but I think we got used to it and after a while you completely forgot the cameras were there.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was also in attendance to watch the private screening
‘I am not sure what it is going to show…’ admitted Smith Rowe, who claimed White was one player who tried to get on camera and into the series. It was a light-hearted allegation White denied – he accused Cedric Soares.
The first three episodes of the eight-part series will be streamed on Prime Video on Thursday.
The early parts revolve around Arteta, who is seen struggling to turn a poor start to the season, which included three straight defeats, and to give his young players the confidence to perform.
There are many moments in the initial episodes in which Arteta opens up to his players about his own vulnerabilities.
‘You have to understand what is happening in their hearts,’ Arteta explained after the screening. ‘You have to open yourself and create an environment in which they can trust you and they can… tell you the truth, whether you like it or not.
‘[They must know] that you want the best for them. That you are willing to do anything to get them performing at the highest level. That human relation is very, very important.’
After a 4-0 drubbing at Manchester City in their third game last term, Arsenal were rock bottom of the Premier League and faced Norwich at home in a match some saw as the manager’s last chance.
It was a pivotal moment and Arteta responded with an emotional team talk, in which he ‘thanked’ his players for their efforts, despite the disappointing results, repeated his belief in their abilities and admitted he too had felt the fear of failure.
‘I felt they were going to be feeling vulnerable,’ Arteta reflected at a Q&A organised by Prime Video. ‘They were so down after we lost at City. I could see the tension I could see some frustration, fear, people doubting.
Arteta said it was awkward to be under the microscope initially but felt the series will show him and his team as they really are
‘I was feeling exactly the same way. I am the manager, I need to lead them, but I have those feelings, you question yourself but at the same time you have to trust people.
‘I was so lucky that I experienced in that week the support from the ownership, the board, the staff and the players.
‘On top of that I have top a wife and three beautiful kids. For the first time they are seeing how their father is living. You have to lead by example to those kids as well.
‘It is their education as well that… you are going to fail, you are going to be criticised, you are going to be on the ground and it is about how strong you are to live yourself.’
Arteta admitted that it was awkward to be under the microscope at first, with cameras concealed in walls and ceilings of the dressing room and training ground, but he is confident it will show him and his team as they really are.
Arsenal will be hoping to build on from their fifth placed finish in the Premier League
‘The first few days or weeks was very challenging. It is difficult. You see the microphone, the cameras moving,’ said the manager.
‘You are mic’ed up in training and team meetings, you feel absurd, but to be fair like with any Big Brother you get used to it.
‘You are familiar with everybody. They have a team partly living with us, they are trying to contribute and tell the story in the right way, so we have to work together. I think we did it the best as possible.
‘And in the end, it is who we are, nothing else, who we are and what we are trying to do.’
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