Mikel Arteta opens up on rare heart disease in All or Nothing teaser

2 weeks ago

Mikel Arteta revealed to his Arsenal players that he was born with a 'big heart disease' in a snippet of the club's upcoming Amazon Prime All or Nothing documentary.

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The eight-episode series will follow the north London side through their turbulent 2021/22 season where they missed out on Champions League football on the final day of the campaign.

Arsenal's season started horrendously with successive defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City heading into the September international break.

Their fourth Premier League match of the campaign came at home to Norwich City, and prior to what was an eventual 1-0 win, Arteta had a stirring team talk for his players in which he referred to his heart condition.

"In many industries there are high performance teams," Arteta began. "And these high performance teams are called like this because they all have something in common - because they get results.

"When I was born, I was born with a big heart disease. And for two years they had to try to save my life until I had the opportunity to have the first open surgery in Spain.

"So a high performance team, not a football team or basketball team for example, it can be an emergency team, the ones that work for example in hospitals.

"These teams have to be surrounded by people, they are very special. They are willing to work 24/7. They do it only for one reason - because they love what they do.

"That's their drive, that's their purpose."

Arteta then used a whiteboard to illustrate his feelings since the start of the season, displaying a graph with an x axis of time up to 14 days and a y axis from one to ten to show how good or bad his mood was.

"I'm going to share something with you. This is my emotional status. In the last 14 days, one to ten. Post Man City, I was here, dead [beneath the graph].

"I had fear. I had insecurity. I had the media that is killing me. Suddenly, I had all the positives. I have an incredible family. A wife, three kids. Another one, the club - always supporting me from the top.

"The moment that I go from here to there [one to ten], like this, is you guys. This week I have found the purpose. Why I want to be a coach. Why I'm in the industry, why I have to be with these people.

"So for these guys what I have to say, only from my side is thank you so much.

"Because you made, in a difficult moment, the best week of my football career. Believe in yourselves, I do. You are really good. The last thing I want to do as a coach is blame any of you in difficult moments.

"My responsibility, I take the s***. Let's go."

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