Arsenal Football Club has been one of the biggest teams in English football for decades now, and this means they’ve played in many important matches. Whether it’s crucial Premier League games, domestic or European knockout fixtures, Arsenal players face constant scrutiny from fans. One bad touch or misplaced pass could lead to a goal for the opposition.
You may be wondering how the players are able to calm themselves, and deal with such intense pressure. Some players have rituals or routines before a game, whereas others, like Italy legend Andrea Pirlo, prefer to just relax and play video games. Today, we’re taking a look at what current and former Arsenal players do to relax, and how it helps them deal with their pre-match nerves.
When asked what he likes to do to relax and unwind, the current Arsenal captain replied that he’s a pretty straightforward guy. As well as driving his favourite cars, Aubameyang loves being at home and relaxing in his free time between games. The Gabon international says he enjoys the simple things, like spending time with his wife and children.
2. Thierry Henry
Listening to music
Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry is a huge advocate for listening to music before a game. He says that listening to his favourite artists (including DMX, Tupac and Biggie) helped him to forget about the upcoming game and calm his nerves. As a young player, Henry was not allowed to listen to his tunes as it irritated the more senior squad members, so using headphones quickly became a habit. Since then, his routine never wavered.
3. Alexandre Lacazette
Playing video games
Lacazette is an enthusiastic player of the popular ‘EA Sports FIFA’ video games. He plays online with friends and family, which helps him relax in between matches. He loves the game so much in fact, that he attended the launch event of FIFA 18 in London.
4. Nacho Monreal
Former Arsenal full-back Nacho Monreal (who now plays for Spanish side Real Sociedad) loves to spend his free time in the casino. While there are FA restrictions against certain types of gambling (like betting on your own games, for instance) casino games are allowed. We’re not saying Monreal is at the poker table right before a big game, but the Spanish defender certainly spends a lot of his free time gambling – he even has his own online betting agent! If you feel like trying something similar but don’t want to leave the house, check out these great online casinos.
5. Granit Xhaka
Arsenal’s defensive midfield anchor is a big fan of tennis, especially fellow Swiss Roger Federer. He frequently posts Instagram photos of himself watching matches on the TV, even before and after his own football matches.
To conclude, there are a whole host of things that Arsenal players do in their free time to help them relax and gear up for a big game. The common theme seems to be doing things that they enjoy, which takes their minds off the task at hand.