Mikel Arteta renames Arsenal substitutes in bid to boost morale of squad players
Mikel Arteta has spoken out about his reason for renaming the Arsenal substitutes.
The Gunners top the Premier League by five points with 11 games to play and are looking to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Sporting Lisbon arrive at the Emirates with the scores level at 2-2, and Arteta may again be required to use the depth of his squad to get past the Portuguese side.
The likes of Fabio Vieira and Reiss Nelson have played a major role in recent weeks for Arsenal despite spending the majority of the season out of the starting XI.
And in a bid to maintain the morale of his substitutes, Arteta has instead been referring to them as ‘impactors’, after a chat with former England rugby head coach Eddie Jones, who famously called his replacements ‘finishers’.
Speaking ahead of the Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon, Arteta said: “It’s something that we wanted to change.
“I discussed it with a few people. People around other sports and football and then we discussed it with the team.
“We wanted to find something that is particular to us. I think it was the best way to express how we feel about them [the substitutes] and how they have to feel towards the team, especially on matchday. I think the way we now describe it is more like we want.
“If you repeat it more and more and more and you discuss it more and more and more, it will be closer to that than just being a sub.”
Asked if it will make a difference, Arteta said: “I cannot measure that.
“I have to get into their brains [to find out] and so far we don’t have anything like it. It’s very difficult.
“It is [about] replacing somebody and making the team better, or doing things differently that are related to winning football matches.
“At the end your mentality should be only that, to impact the game to win it. That’s it, nothing else.”
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