Arsenal's win over Spurs last year came via a PHOTOGRAPHER team-talk

REVEALED: Arsenal’s explosive start to last season’s north London derby win over Tottenham came after players were given a pre-match pep talk by a club PHOTOGRAPHER and Gunners fan of over 30 years

  • Arsenal blitzed Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium last September
  • The Gunners were 3-0 before half-time after tearing into their rivals in the derby
  • Spurs were swamped and looked helpless as Mikel Arteta’s side dominated game
  • It’s been revealed a lifelong fan and club photographer gave pre-match team talk

The secret of Arsenal’s explosive start to the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur last season has finally been explained – the team talk was given by the club photographer, who is a passionate, lifelong Gooner.

Mikel Arteta’s side tore into their local rivals from the first whistle at the Emirates on September 26.

To the delight of the home support, the Gunners were two-nil up after half-an-hour and it was 3-0 before half-time as Nuno Espirito Santo’s team failed to cope with intensity of their opponents.

Arsenal’s club photographer Stuart MacFarlane is mobbed after a derby winning team-talk

MacFarlane is a lifelong Arsenal fan and has been at the club as a photographer for 30 years

However, unknown at the time, the team talk was delivered by long-standing club snapper, Stuart MacFarlane, who has 30 years in the job and even more on the terraces.

His speech was captured by the Amazon Prime cameras, as they filmed the docuseries, All or Nothing, which will be streamed from Thursday.

MacFarlane was invited into the dressing room by Arteta to remind the players what it means to beat Spurs.

As the players concluded their pre-match routines and gathered for the final words of encouragement from their manager, they found themselves face to face with MacFarlane.

Arsenal tore into bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in last September’s north London derby

Arsenal supporters show their delight during their side’s 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium

‘This guy, for the last 30 years has captured emotions, emotions and teams,’ said Arteta, holding MacFarlane’s camera aloft.

As the Amazon cameras panned around the dressing room, players were looking quizzical as Arteta launched into another unorthodox pre-match preparation.

‘I want you to hear from him, how he feels about you. And about our club.’

The ‘toggy’ got straight to the point.

‘This is my club,’ said the photographer, his voice wavering with emotion. ‘I f*****g love this football club.

‘And I f******g love all of you.’

If the players had not realised it, they knew now a bonafide fan was in the dressing room and he said the words that the 60,000 supporters filling up the Emirates as he spoke would have said had they been given the same chance.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta (middle) shows his delight during the game from the touchline

‘In 30 years, I have photographed some unbelievable players, some world class players, some great teams. And I look at you lot, this is a great team.’

‘I have been a fan all my life,’ added MacFarlane, his voice almost breaking. ‘This is what we have to do, we have to go out and win.

‘This is me. I am a fan. This lot outside… they would give anything to f*****g win today. Look at them.

‘First f*****g tackle, listen to the crowd, they will f*****g be on you straight away. Win every tackle.’

Ben White set the Arsenal tone early on with a crunching tackle on Spurs’ Son Heung-min

Emile Smith Rowe opened the scoring for the Arsenal with a strike in just the 12th minute

The cameras caught Bukayo Saka, at Arsenal since the age of eight, gripped by MacFarlane’s speech and nodding with the sentiment. Kieran Tierney and Ben White sat motionless, their gazes upon him.

‘When you score,’ continued the photographer, ‘Look in their faces. Look how much they love you. And show them how much you love them.’

The words were drowned by a roar from the players and embraces for MacFarlane as they headed out into the arena.

If MacFarlane was wondering whether his words had an impact, he did not have to wait long for the answer.

Arsenal dominated the game and cruised to an easy victory over their bitter rivals

Within two minutes, Ben White flew into a perfect sliding tackle to win the ball back off Tottenham forward Son Heung-Min on the edge of the penalty area.

White was taking no prisoners and the Emirates responded with a throaty roar, as BBC Radio Five commentator, Ian Dennis told listeners: ‘That is the type of challenge that set can set the tone.’

It did. Within 12 minutes it was ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ as Emile Smith-Rowe opened the scoring and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it two before the half hour.

On 34 minutes, Saka made it three and Arsenal romped home 3-1.

MacFarlane could be happy with a job well done. Arteta was jumping for joy on the touchline and the Arsenal players were eyeballing the crowd. And that loving feeling was mutual.

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article