All or Nothing: Arsenal review – a solid 3 points

August 4, 2022
Andy Punter 0
Amazon Prime, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
3.5

Summary

All Or Nothing: Arsenal is satisfying and engaging, with plenty of interesting sub-plots to keep you watching, but it doesn’t do much that you haven’t seen before in other All Or Nothing productions. 

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3.5

Summary

All Or Nothing: Arsenal is satisfying and engaging, with plenty of interesting sub-plots to keep you watching, but it doesn’t do much that you haven’t seen before in other All Or Nothing productions. 

Amazon originals series All or Nothing: Arsenal was released on the Prime streaming service on August 4th, 2022.

The very first season of All Or Nothing in 2016 followed the Arizona Cardinals and provided a groundbreaking insight into life behind the scenes at an elite sports team. Since then, Amazon Studios have taken this format and repeated it with elite Rugby (the All Blacks), College Football (Michigan Wolverines), Ice Hockey (Toronto Maple Leafs), a handful of other NFL franchises, and of course football teams (Brazil, Juventus, Manchester City, Tottenham). The most recent instalment in the series goes behind the scenes at Arsenal Football Club and follows their progress through the 2021/22 season. 

Since debuting in 2016, All Or Nothing has done very little to evolve in terms of format or formula, so if you are looking for the thrill watching of groundbreaking documentary filmmaking then you might be disappointed. What All Or Nothing does do very well, is apply its tried and tested formula in a variety of environments. If you’ve liked the previous entries, you’ll almost certainly like this. 

As usual, the thrill comes from getting an up-close look at the sporting icons that we usually only get a fleeting glimpse of in their heavily sanitised media appearances. We get to learn about the personalities of the players, coaching staff and a handful of other peripheral figures at the club. 

This season, the show takes a good look at the story behind a football club with a long history of success that has underperformed ever since they waved goodbye to their long-serving, visionary manager Arsene Wenger. Under the management of the youngest manager in the league, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal is a work in progress, a team in transition with a core of young, hungry players that need to be moulded with the support of the coaching team around them. 

There is the usual matchday footage, and as a football fan, it’s always fascinating to see how the top managers conduct their team talks, one particularly memorable scene has Arteta bring a matchday photographer and lifetime supporter in to give a pre-match speech to underline to the players how much the club means to the fans. However, most interesting to watch, are the mundane conversations between players. For example, the little observations from newly signed players from abroad about how obsessed their Mum’s are with Ikea. It is these small moments of humanity that make these usually remote millionaires feel more relatable. 

If there is a complaint to be made about All Or Nothing: Arsenal it is the usual complaint that can be made about any of the previous All Or Nothing series, that it is perhaps just a little too polished, a little bit too media friendly. One gets the impression that agreeing to take part comes with a hefty number of conditions on the side of the club. Show enough to be interesting, but not so much that it paints the club in a bad light. Then again, what do you expect from such a large production in the Premier League era? 

If you are a sports fan, you will like All Or Nothing: Arsenal, if you are a Premier League fan, you’ll love it, and if you are an Arsenal fan, it’s must-watch TV. 

What do you think of the Amazon original series All or Nothing: Arsenal? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Amazon Prime.

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