Mikel Arteta confirms why Arsenal no longer say the word ‘substitute’ and reveals new name
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has changed the name of substitutes to “impacters” in the hope it improves players’ mentality when coming off the bench.
The move has come out of Arteta being in a WhatsApp group with former England rugby boss Eddie Jones and coaches from the NFL and NBA.
The group regularly exchange ideas and Jones was especially an advocate for renaming replacements during his time with England.
Jones elected to call them “finishers”, even changing the name on the official team sheet, and now Arteta has taken to describing Arsenal’s substitutes as “impacters”.
“It’s something that we wanted to change and I discussed it with a few people and we wanted to find something that is particular for us,” said Arteta.
“I think it was the best way to express how we feel about them and how they have to feel towards the team, especially on match day.
“I think it’s very difficult [to measure the difference it makes]. I think it is replacing somebody and making the team better, or doing things differently that are related to winning football matches and at the end your mentality should be only that, to impact the game to win it. That’s it, nothing else.
“I cannot measure that [difference]. I have to get into their brains, so far we don’t have anything like it.
“I think the way we describe it is more like we want it. If you repeat it more and more and more and you discuss it more and more and more, it will be closer to that and just being a sub.”