Arsenal fans were left scratching their heads after the team posed for a dressing room selfie with a replica of the Clock End clock, with many speculating it represented a countdown to the title.
The Gunners restored their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table after a 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday, with in the first half.
Arsenal kept the full-time, on-pitch celebrations relatively low-key compared to recent, drama-filled matches, but they were certainly in high spirits in the dressing room afterwards.
Left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko uploaded a group selfie to Instagram from the away changing room shortly after the match, with the entire squad and backroom staff posing for the photo.
Curiously, front and centre of the shot, several players and staff are holding up a smaller replica of Arsenal’s famous Clock End clock, which had graced Highbury for over 70 years before moving to the Emirates.
Manager Mikel Arteta is well known for his creative and inventive ways of motivating his players – using everything from pictures to a lightbulb in Amazon’s All or Nothing documentary – and fans believe this is his latest idea.
A number of supporters are convinced the clock was introduced prior to the trip to Craven Cottage, which was the first of 12 games left until the end of the season.
And, after winning 3-0, the minute hand was moved to the ‘11’ position to signify that there are now just 11 games to go until the end of the season.
The expectation is therefore that the minute hand will be moved after each game, with next Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace seeing it moved into the ’10’ position and so on.
Quite what the ‘2’ represents is a bit more a mystery, with some suggesting it simply means ‘11 games 2 go’ or could reference the fact there is just over two months left of the season.
There were even some particularly cryptic supporters who suggested the countdown was ticking down to 14:00 and therefore represented Arsenal’s quest to win their 14th top-flight title.
Zinchenko’s caption – which referenced the three points they had picked up, their clean sheet and Gabriel Jesus’ return – did not offer any further clues, while a number of other players including skipper Martin Odegaard followed suit and also uploaded the picture.
Arteta was delighted with the win afterwards, saying: ‘Really happy. Really tough place to come and a really well organised team.
‘I think we dominated the game, we created so many chances, we kept a clean sheet – which was really important – and we won the game in a convincing way, so really happy.’
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