Mikel Arteta gives insight into how Arsenal have prepared for psychological battle of the run-in

Mikel Arteta gives insight into how Arsenal have prepared for psychological battle of the run-in

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has provided an insight into the long-term work that has gone into preparing his players psychologically for the title run-in.

The Gunners are currently top of the Premier League with five games to go and host Chelsea on Tuesday night.

A win would take them three points clear of Liverpool and four ahead of Manchester City, although the latter would have two games in hand.

The pressure is cranking up in the title race, but Arteta believes his players will be ready as the club have been working towards this moment.

The Spaniard has a history of utilising motivational tools and psychological tricks, such as using a lightbulb during a team talk and having Liverpool’s famous ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ anthem played during training.

“What I am going to do is not defined yet,” said Arteta, when asked about his plans for the final few weeks.

“There will be a few things. We have excellent professionals as well at the club who are constantly on top of that, much more than me.

“It is not something you can do on the day, to change the outcome of the next three weeks. It is something that you do daily.

“I call it a drizzle. If you go out there you don’t wear an umbrella, but you are constantly getting wet every single day and then, before you know it, you are soaking wet and you are ready, because it is every single day as a habit.”

Arsenal’s game with Chelsea on Tuesday will be their sixth game in April in the space of 21 days.

The Gunners had looked to be running on fumes when they lost to Aston Villa and Bayern Munich, but Arteta believes tiredness is principally in the mind.

“There are a lot of studies that prove that,” he said. “If you can change the context and manipulate certain things, you can get something out of people that probably you don’t expect.

“There is a lot around it. I don’t think we are in the stage where we need that, you can see that the team really wants it.

“There is so much stake. We will try to be as fresh as possible but certainly I think we can cope with that.”