William Saliba has spoken about Arsenal’s new lunchtime rule, which Mikel Arteta instituted to bring the team “closer” together, and how it has worked marvelously.
The Arsenal manager has been known to experiment with unusual motivational techniques, but his most recent one is surprisingly mild by the Spaniard’s standards.
Saliba revealed that while the Gunners were on their pre-season tour in the connected States, Arteta wanted to make sure the entire traveling group felt connected as one, so he made sure someone sat next to a new person every time there was a lunch break.
Despite the fact that, as Saliba recalls, it began in pre-season, the Frenchman’s statements make it appear as if this is a rule that has continued over into the season. “We do a lot of things to get closer and learn about each other,” the 22-year-old club member told club media.
“The coaches will talk to us about how important it is to be a team and to be together, not just with the fans.” For example, while we were on tour in America, we constantly mixed the tables at every lunch. We don’t get to choose where we sit for lunch or dinner.
“We get to talk to the coaching staff and other players, which I really enjoy.” There may be a player there with whom you talk less, and it’s an opportunity to get to know them better, to be together, and all of this helps as a team when you’re on the field. It comes in handy while you’re on the pitch.”
It appears to have translated onto the football, as the Gunners are yet to lose a league game this season, having won four and drawn one of their first five games.
Off the field, Arsenal is looking the happiest and most harmonic it has in a long time. The days of gossip and stories of in-fighting are long gone, and there is no evidence that any members of the team are unhappy with the management.
Saliba has been the target of similar rumors, with two of his three loan spells away from Arsenal troubled by claims that his relationship with Arteta had completely broken down. The truth, as revealed by the guy himself, is quite different.
“We have a very good atmosphere here,” the defender continued. We have a laugh, a joke, and we like being around each other every day, but when we’re on the pitch, we go hard and serious. It’s critical to have both since you can’t do one without the other.”