Mikel Arteta was filmed launching a remarkable foul-mouthed rant at his Arsenal players in the wake of their Champions League qualification collapse at the end off last season.
The Spaniard was captured by an Amazon TV crew telling his squad to “shut your mouth and eat it” as he lambasted their “f------ unacceptable” performance in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United.
Ultimately, it was that result - plus another loss in their preceding game at Tottenham Hotspur - which allowed Spurs to overtake their north London rivals and secure Champions League qualification.
Fourth place was within Arsenal’s hands before their trip to Newcastle, but Arteta’s side produced a dreadful performance and were comfortably beaten at St James’ Park.
The final episode of Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing: Arsenal’ series, to be published this week, captures the scenes in the away dressing room at Newcastle.
A furious Arteta tells his players: “It does not matter what I say. It does not matter what you say. Now it is 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. I will take all the s---, again. Don’t worry. But be prepared to start training to beat Everton because we have our fans there. You never know what happens in football, they [Spurs] might lose at Norwich, you don’t know.”
'It was a f------ joke what happened out there'
Arteta was far less angry with his players after the defeat at Spurs, in which defender Rob Holding received a first-half red card. The Arsenal manager was more upset by refereeing decisions, which included the call to award a penalty to Spurs for a push by full-back Cedric Soares on Son Heung-min.
“I will complain and do everything I can to defend our club,” Arteta told his players. “Because it was a f------ joke what happened out there.”
The final episodes also show a clash in training between Cedric and former Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette, who has since joined Lyon. Lacazette is seen fouling academy prospect Jack Henry-Francis in training and then grabbing Cedric by the throat, before the two players are pulled apart.
The incident is an indication of the pressures on the club towards the end of last season, when the prize of Champions League football loomed in front of them.
Arsenal seems a more relaxed club at the moment, thanks to two victories in two games at the start of this new campaign. Arteta’s side next travel to newly-promoted Bournemouth on Saturday.