That’s why Arsenal huddled in the dressing room 24/7

That’s why Arsenal huddled in the dressing room 24/7 – @zinchenko_96/Instagram

Mikel Arteta brought a “countdown clock” to the Arsenal dressing room for his trip to Fulham this weekend as his side have just 11 games left in the race for the Premier League title.

Post-match photos from Craven Cottage after Arsenal’s impressive 3-0 win showed the players and coaches posing with a replica of the clock that stands on the Clock End at the Emirates Stadium.

In the pictures, the clock hands pointed to the numbers 11 and 2, which Telegraph Sport takes as an indication of the number of league games remaining this season.

The Arsenal clock is an important part of the club’s history as it was first installed at Highbury by legendary manager Herbert Chapman. The replica was transported with the team from Arsenal’s training ground to Craven Cottage ahead of Sunday’s win.

Arsenal have routinely put up temporary posters and slogans in visitors’ dressing rooms this season. A poster with a graphic of the word ‘identity’ was used at Craven Cottage, as it was when Arsenal traveled to Tottenham Hotspur in January.

Another graphic, created from the word ‘Unity’, has also been used this season as Arsenal have sought to reinforce key messages to their players and make away games feel more like home games. Arsenal players have also been known to cover the opposing club’s pictures with their own banners in away games this season.

Arteta is often experimental with his team talks and pre-game group activities as he seeks innovative ways to either inspire his team or lighten the mood on game days.

Amazon’s All or Nothing documentary, which offered a behind-the-scenes look at Arsenal’s 2021/22 season, showed how Arteta once used a lightbulb as part of his team chat before a game.

Arteta held the energized lightbulb and told his players: “Today I want to see a team that is connected. Because a light bulb alone is nothing. I want to see a team connected and shining. You want to bring light, energy and passion to your football game.”

Arsenal have by far the best away record in the Premier League this season, having won 11 of their 14 games away from home. Their 3-0 win at Fulham restored their five-point lead over Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace in the Emirates.

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