A sports photographer was given the unusual task of giving the pre-game talk instead of the coach, which he delivered in an emphatic fashion. The team went on to win the game.
All or Nothing, an Amazon docuseries, follows the ups and downs of a sports team for an entire season. It followed the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019.
The latest installment sees the documentary crew following English Premier League soccer side Arsenal. In episode two, before a huge game, the team’s Chief Photographer Stuart MacFarlane is tasked with giving a motivational speech moments before the players take the field.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta enters the dressing room holding MacFarlane’s DSLR camera and says how the photographer had been capturing the players for the last 30 years.
“I want you to hear from him, how he feels about you. And about our club,” Arteta says.
A visibly emotional MacFarlane then addresses the squad in a London accent.
“This is my club. I f*****g love this football club. And I f******g love all of you,” he says.
“Win every tackle. When you score, look in their faces. Look at their emotion, look how much they love you. Show them how much you love them, ok?”
The poignant message appears to have an affect on the players who stand in unison and give a rapturous applause.
The speech was given just before a match with Tottenham Hotspur, the club’s North London rivals. Arsenal won the game 3-1.
MacFarlane, who has been photographing Arsenal football club since 1991, received much praise for the speech with one commentor saying: “After a speech like this I will run through a brickwall for this man.”
“If I’m a footballer and I hear this kind of speech, I will die on that field,” adds Vanessa Nwaodua.
After the team’s successful outing MacFarlane was tasked with capturing a jubilant group photo in the changing rooms.
The English Premier League is filled with international superstars being paid hundreds of thousdands of dollars each week. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, is paid an eyewatering £515,385 ($600,714) per week by Manchester United.
The fact that Macfarlane, a humble servant to Arsenal, was able to rouse such a reaction from the overindulged millionare soccer players is truly remarkable.