MIKEL ARTEA ripped into his players as Arsenal’s season unravelled and they allowed Champions League qualification to slip through their fingers.
The furious Gunners boss launched a series of expletive-laden tirades during the painful finale to their 2021-22 campaign when they lost five of their last ten games.
Arteta was furious as Arsenal’s Champions League dreams went up in smokeCredit: Rex
Tottenham beat 10-man Arsenal 3-0 to reignite the top four raceCredit: Getty
Arsenal then lost to Newcastle as their Champions League hopes were shatteredCredit: AFP
Arteta’s excruciating meltdown is brutally exposed in the final episodes of the Prime Video documentary series All Or Nothing; Arsenal, which air this week.
The documentary also shows a training ground bust-up between Alex Lacazette and Cedric Soares, Granit Xhaka screaming at his team-mates in frustration, and Arteta’s bizarre pre-match lightbulb moment.
But it is the manager’s reaction to the back-to-back defeats at Spurs and Newcastle which really capture the mounting tensions within the Emirates.
And as a silent dressing-room reflects on the result, Arteta fumes: “It was a f****** joke what happened out there, but this game is history.
“We don’t talk about it any more. No social media, no s*** in the media, give them absolutely nothing.
“You know how you lost it and now we have to move on. We cannot change the result so now we have to beat Newcastle and it’s still in our hands.”
But Arteta’s players failed to respond to his warning and four days later they were beaten 2-0 at St. James’ Park.
At half-time during that game, the cameras capture Xhaka yelling: “We are dreaming of the f****** Champions League and playing like a second division team.
“Everyone, wake up now for 45 minutes guys. We have to play how they are playing. F*** me…. Wake up, guys. Wake up!”
But once again those words fell on deaf ears and there was no holding back from Arteta at the final whistle as he gave his underachievers the full hairdryer treatment.
Despite almost losing his voice, he screams: “It doesn’t matter what I say now and it doesn’t matter what you say, because it’s too late.
“They were 10,000 times better than us today, in everything.
“We did not earn the right to play, we did not win a f****** duel, we didn’t win a second ball, we were horrible with the f****** ball and we had no organisation, we had nothing. Nothing.
“So now shut your mouth and eat it.
“We could have conceded eight goals. If you see the chances you will cry. You will cry at the way that we have competed. Not the way we have competed, we did not compete at all in the game.
“It is f****** embarrassing to come here the way we have done it. Embarrassing. What happened today is f****** unacceptable and if you accept something like this, you live in a different world.
“Don’t worry, I will face the people. Today it is hard to defend you guys. Hard. But don’t worry. I will take all the s*** again.”
Yet that calamitous Newcastle defeat did not really come as a surprise as Arsenal had been on the slide ever since losing three in a row against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton.
Arteta had tried to motivate his players before the Brighton game by producing a lightbulb and explaining how it only worked when it was properly connected.
But Arsenal still suffered an Emirates power cut, losing 2-1 at home to Graham Potter’s team to leave Arteta fuming: “That’s a f****** disaster, a f****** funeral. What the f*** am I doing?”
And things went from bad to worse when Lacazette and Cedric have to be pulled apart following a horrible training ground challenge by Arsenal’s French skipper.
Lacazette explains to the cameras: “It’s normal in football if you have players who want to win. If you have players who don’t care, it wouldn’t have happened.
“I said sorry when we came back into the dressing room because sometimes you just become crazy with the passion to win.”
A further setback is suffered when head of medical services Gary O’Driscoll rules Kieran Tierney out for the rest of the season.
He tells Arteta: “Unfortunately Kieran had a hyperextension injury against Wolves but he didn’t mention and played the next five games.
“But then he walked out of the showers after training, turned a corner, bent his knee and felt it collapse.”
That meant a return to the starting line-up for rookie left-back Nuno Tavares, who literally gets it in the neck during the half-time interval at West Ham.
For Arteta is only inches away as he yells directly into Nuno’s face to demand: “Do you want to play in the Champions League? Do you want to play in the f****** Champions League?”
Sadly for Tavares, who has since been sent on loan to Marseille, no-one at Arsenal is going to be playing in the f****** Champions League this season.
But after taking maximum points from their first two games of the new campaign against Palace and Leicester, let’s hope that things are now a little calmer at the Emirates.