Arse­nal’s play­ers warned in wake of ‘hippy crack’ party

Quar­tet were pic­tured in­hal­ing from bal­loons Hold­ing out for sea­son af­ter se­ri­ous knee in­jury

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League - By Sam Dean

Arse­nal’s play­ers will be “re­minded of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties” af­ter a string of first-team­ers were al­leged to have in­haled ni­trous ox­ide at a pre-sea­son party.

Alexan­dre La­cazette, Me­sut Ozil, Mat­teo Guen­douzi and Pier­reEm­er­ick Aubameyang were all pic­tured in­hal­ing from bal­loons al­leged to have con­tained the gas, which is also known as “hippy crack” or “laugh­ing gas”.

The Sun re­ported that boxes of ni­trous-ox­ide can­is­ters were brought to the play­ers in a pri­vate area of a West End night­club in Au­gust. Ni­trous ox­ide is le­gal to pos­sess, but it is il­le­gal to sell it or give away.

A club spokesper­son said: “The play­ers will be spo­ken to about this and re­minded of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as representatives of the club.”

The news pro­vided an un­wel­come dis­trac­tion for Arse­nal as they look to ex­tend their un­beaten run to 21 games against Hud­der­s­field to­day. It was con­firmed yesterday that de­fender Rob Hold­ing is out for the sea­son af­ter rup­tur­ing the an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in his left knee dur­ing the mid­week 2-2 draw with Manch­ester United.

The club said that Hold­ing, who is due to have an op­er­a­tion next week, is set to be side­lined for up to nine months. It is a ma­jor and un­timely blow for the 23-year-old, who had started 15 of the last 17 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions and was play­ing the best foot­ball of his Arse­nal ca­reer.

Mean­while, Sead Ko­lasinac has spo­ken of the “tight-knit” na­ture of the dress­ing room un­der head coach Unai Emery.

Ko­lasinac made the er­ror that al­lowed United to equalise for the sec­ond time at Old Traf­ford, but said he in­stantly re­ceived the sup­port of his team-mates and head coach. “It’s a good feel­ing com­ing into the dress­ing room like that,” Ko­lasinac told Sky Sports. “Es­pe­cially af­ter know­ing you have made a mis­take and that mis­take has po­ten­tially cost us two points. It made me feel bet­ter.

“The man­ager told me not to get too down about it, and that did help me. Ev­ery­one in the team too, it wasn’t just the coach­ing staff. All the play­ers came over and they con­soled me and told me not to get too down about it, and it gives you be­lief and con­fi­dence. You no­tice then we’re a tight-knit team and I think it’s a pos­i­tive.”

Emery has said he wants to cre­ate the same “en­ergy” at the Emi­rates to­day as he ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing last Sun­day’s thrilling 4-2 vic­tory over Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

“We work for them [the fans], so they can be happy with us and proud of our work, our vic­to­ries, our draws,” Emery said.

“And also when we lose, we want the fans to feel proud of our work. Ev­ery day we need to cre­ate this spirit and an idea, a new feel­ing. On Satur­day I want to give them the same en­ergy and be con­nected with them. If we do that, they will give back spirit and en­ergy for us.”

Con­tro­versy: Pierre-em­er­ick Aubameyang and Me­sut Ozil both in­haled laugh­ing gas

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