Create a winning dressing room

We sit down with Arsenal’s big guns for the inside track on the Emirates’ inner sanctum

GET IN THE GROOVE

“I have a playlist I put on before a game,” says Olivier Giroud after Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker tells us the French striker is in charge of the dressing-room music. “There’s a bit of everything on there: electro, hip-hop, rock, pop. I like to keep it varied. Some players get up and dance – but not the Europeans. We’ve got some good movers. The music helps to lift everyone’s spirits before the game.”

More after the break

 

FILL YOUR TEAM WITH CHARACTERS

“We have different characters in the dressing room,” explains German playmaker Mesut Özil. “We have calm players and lively players, serious ones and funny ones. The Spanish speakers are more relaxed, always having a laugh and a chat. We’ve a good mixture of characters; experienced and young. We feel comfortable with each other. We have a solid structure that creates good energy and success.”

 

SIT WITH YOUR UNIT, REVIEW THE GAME PLAN

“In the dressing room we sit in our departments, so defenders sit together, midfielders sit together and so on,” explains Laurent Koscielny. “I sit next to Per [Mertesacker] and Nacho Monreal. Sitting next to each other helps us to improve our understanding because we can go over tactics and remind ourselves of the game plan. The atmosphere 5-10 minutes before kick-off is really focused and calm.”

 

LET YOUR TEAM-MATES FIND THEIR ZONE

“Everyone is different in the dressing room,” reveals Per Mertesacker. “Some guys are calm; some are lively; some need to push themselves. I don’t need to go around and gee up every player – everyone is professional and motivated for each game. You have to let each player go through their own routine. We keep it simple. The aim is to be focused.”

 

LET OUT A WAR CRY

“Sometimes players will let out a little aggressive shout before we head out – it helps,” says Mertesacker. “We have a little huddle in the dressing room before we go out onto the pitch, and then we high-five and shake hands before the kick-off to give each other confidence. Then we just concentrate and focus on our job. Everything we do before the game helps us stick together on the pitch.”

 

Citroën UK, official automotive partner of Arsenal, took the #AirbumpFootpool table to the Arsenal training ground. For more information visit www.citroen.co.uk

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