EXCLUSIVE: Reasons behind Arsenal’s dressing room ‘clock’ photo at Fulham are revealed… as part of an innovative plan to transform away dressing rooms
The Gunners resorted their five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Fulham on Sunday afternoon.
After the game, a photo of the Gunners players holding a replica of the iconic clock that is positioned above the Clock End at the Emirates Stadium in the away dressing room at Craven Cottage emerged.
And Sportsmail can reveal the unexpected move is part of an innovative wider plan from within the Gunners squad to make away dressing rooms feel more like the Emirates.
In addition to the replica clock – wall stickers of the Arsenal badge and a poster of the official squad photo was also placed on the walls of the away dressing room at Craven Cottage to give it a more familiar feel.
Arsenal players posted with a replica of the iconic clock that is positioned above the Clock End at the Emirates Stadium in the away dressing room after their 3-0 victory against Fulham
The gesture was part of a plan to make their away trips in the league feel more like the Emirates
The iconic clock was installed at the Emirates Stadium in 2010, after previously being located outside the ground and also at the club’s former Highbury location for more than 70 years
The clock has symbolic significance in Arsenal’s history and graced the club’s former ground Highbury for more than 70 years.
In 2010 a larger replica of the iconic clock was installed at Emirates Stadium, with the original located outside the stadium.
Of Arsenal’s 11 remaining Premier League fixtures – five are away from home.
These include a tricky clash at Anfield on April 9, as well as what could potentially be a title decider at the Etihad against Man City on April 26.
The Gunners though should take some confidence by the fact that they have taken more points away from home than any other side in the league this season.
It is their excellent away form (11 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats) that has catapulted them above Man City – with 34 points compared to Pep Guardiola’s side who have taken just 27 away from the Etihad (both on 14 games).
It marks a huge difference from last year where the Gunners had just the sixth best away record in the league with 28 points – compared to Man City on a staggering 46.
They also had three points less than Tottenham which ultimately cost them a place in this season’s Champions League.
Arteta was asked about their excellent away form following Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Leicester last month.
‘I think performances [are responsible for Arsenal’s away record this season],’ the Spaniard said in his post match press conference.
On that day, Arsenal restricted Leicester to just one shot during the entire game in the 72nd minute.
The Gunners have been boosted by the January signing of Leandro Trossard who got a hat-trick of assists against Fulham, as well as the return of Gabriel Jesus.
Wall stickers of the Arsenal badge and a poster of the official Arsenal squad photo was also placed on the walls of the away dressing room to help give it a more familiar feel
Mikel Arteta will hope the unexpected move will help Arsenal in tricky away games to come – including Man City and Liverpool – as they look to win their first league title in 19 years
Arteta said after Jesus’ return: ‘A big boost. It was the first step today. We didn’t know whether it was the right game but yesterday I looked him in his eyes and he said: “I am ready”.
‘Now he needs to earn his place, like any other player.’
On his team’s routine win, Arteta added: ‘I’m really happy to win and get three points away from home, especially with a clean sheet. We had a goal disallowed and psychologically we overcame that.
‘It’s great to see the goals distributed through the team. Every time we put the ball in the net it’s great. We practice lots of things and today scored beautiful goals.’