Arsenal’s players warned in wake of ‘hippy crack’ party
Quartet were pictured inhaling from balloons Holding out for season after serious knee injury
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