All or Nothing: Arsenal Season 1 is a sports documentary series on Prime Video. The executive producers are Mark Raphael, Clare Cameron and John Douglas. The series is an eight-episode season, following North London football giants Arsenal in a season of the Premier League. Narrated by Daniel Kaluuya.
Progressing chronologically from the start of the season to the final day, the matches are interspersed with exclusive footage inside the club. The cameras go into the treatment rooms, the executive offers the dressing rooms, the training ground, and elsewhere. In this aspect, the All or Nothing brand is unmatched. The format is practically the same as the Tottenham or Manchester City documentaries, but this is a perfect group to be put under the microscope. Arsenal is a club on a precipice, struggling to find success of even relevance, with their pride in tatters. The team is in need of rejuvenation and the fans are turning on the board. The filmmakers are very honest, showing the lowest points the club face in this series. Whether it means fallouts between players, club captains being stripped of their title, or awkward press conferences, all of it is brought forward.
Previous iterations of All or Nothing have been close to propaganda, hiding from the dark moments. But perhaps Arsenal’s situation and the passionate fanbase mean that the same tactic would be difficult to maintain. The pacing of every episode is slow but full of content, incorporating many matches and plot points within the chapters. The weekly release of episodes helped to digest each block, as that slower pace may be cumbersome all at once.
Inside All or Nothing: Arsenal is a great selection of characters and personnel. The focal figure is the young manager, Mikel Arteta. He is notably different from Pep Guardiola or José Mourinho, who are legends of the game with countless trophies and years of experience. Arteta is still learning, and it is fascinating to see his evolution through the series. He is learning how to connect with the players whilst also getting across discipline.
His outbursts are lively and passionate, the pressure getting to him as the season progresses. The honesty you get from him in interviews is really refreshing, where he reveals mistakes he made in his playing career. These monologues are open and emotional. I found myself liking him quickly, But the other members of the team are also endearing. This is largely due to the fact that this Arsenal team is full of young talent. They are teenagers and young men with a hell of a lot of weight on their shoulders. The glimpses inside the dressing room also show those with the loudest voices and biggest presences among the team. Figures such as Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsdale are loud and demanding, something that might not be known by football fans.
The editing and the camera work are brilliant. There is a lot of footage collected but the producers focus more on extended clips to fully capture the moments. Switching the locations gives the documentary an extensive feel. The different changing rooms often lead to different angles that can pick up body language others may not. The build-up to games is magnificent as the large scale of the matches is magnified. Then comes the football itself, with brilliant captures the skill, the size and the spectacle of the world’s most popular game. The cameras are closer than the broadcast ones and the speed is slower, so tackles and goals look much more extreme.
All or Nothing: Arsenal is another excellent Prime Video documentary. One of the most personality-driven and historical clubs is explored with no punches pulled. The quest for absolute glory isn’t on the cards in this series, with Arsenal nowhere near a title win. But striving for a top-four finish because the future of the team may hinge on it still carries weight. The players and the staff are likeable and relatable. Seeing a team struggle is much more investing than one constantly winning or challenging for the championship, even if the stakes are different. The pacing may be too slow for some and it’s not quite gripping enough to binge-watch, but there is something inside this documentary for every football fan.
All or Nothing: Arsenal
All or Nothing: Arsenal is another excellent Amazon documentary. One of the most personality-driven and historical clubs is explored with no punches pulled. The quest for absolute glory isn’t on the cards in this series, with Arsenal nowhere near a title win.