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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

A Week On The Arsenal Training Ground

One of the things that our great manager has been lauded for since his arrival into England would be his revolutionary training methods. But beyond vague outlines around dietary requirements and the fact that Le Boss is a bit besotted with his stopwatch in training, have you ever wondered what it is we actually do in training? Why is it that we get all these injuries? Well I got hold of Arsene`s fitness diary off of some bloke from a Lancashire hotel chain and can publish it exclusively (or else I just made it all up, you decide).

Monday
Had a tough, tough game on Saturday, so the plan is for the squad to go through some light stretches. I invite world famous contortionist Mei Ling in to take the group through some simple exercises and the squad copy. She starts with a simple stretch designed to tone muscles whereby she curls her feet up around her back, up over the top of her shoulder blades and sticks her toes in her mouth and invites the team to mimic. Unfortunately, Tomas Rosicky`s new hamstrings- which our medical team put together using sticky back plastic and prit stick- spontaneously combust. It looks like a small injury, a matter of days not weeks I think.

Tuesday
We have a Champions League match tomorrow night, so I step up the physicality of the training today in order to prepare the team mentally and physically. So I take them base jumping. Base jumping is a very physically demanding pass time and ideal to prepare for a Champions League home game against Athletico Making-Up-The-Numbers on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Alex Song`s afro is not very aero dynamic and he falls from the fifteenth floor of the Barclay`s building in Canary Wharf. But luckily, his afro cushioned his fall which minimised the shattering to his vertebrae. Our medical staff estimates he will be o.k. for the weekend. Andrey Arshavin threatens to leap to his death from the Millennium Bridge as rumours emerge in the squad that I might make them do some running tomorrow. Luckily, Phil Brown walks past at the opportune moment and Andrey decides life is worth living. "No matter how much running you make me do", he explains to me, "At least I am not lying orange twat with headset and shit beard."

Wednesday
Big game tonight, so we need big preparation. So I put the squad through some tough physical preparation. We hold an Ultimate Fighting tournament. Only rules, no shirt, no shoes, no problem. It`s all going quite well and the squad are enjoying it, but then disaster strikes. Theo Walcott gets in touch with the beast within and charges at his team mates with a chainsaw. Samir Nasri has a severed arm, but it`s not as bad as we first feared, the medical staff have used three rolls of sellotape to stick it back on. He`ll be short for tonight, but has an outside chance of being fit for France`s friendly against Guantanamo Bay next week. Cesc Fabregas also loses his right foot, but I think I will play him anyway. Just as Theo was about to swing his chainsaw at Emmanuel Eboue`s face, he collapses in pain. His shoulder is dislocated again, but it`s o.k., the Club Doctor is on hand to whack it back in using a two by a four with a rusty nail sticking out of it. Fabio Capello calls to ask if he will be available to play for England U-21s in their friendly against Barnet in Qatar next week. I tell him he can.

Thursday
Tough game last night, we lost Bacary Sagna after one of his braids fell out, it turns out his braids were connected to the frontal lobe in his brain and he now has forgotten who he is, where he is and how to walk. Coincidentally, Tottenham are said to be ready with a bid. But the medical staff are working with him, I saw Tony Colbert reapplying the braid with a chisel so Baca should be o.k. for Saturday. Unfortunately, William Gallas pulled an eye muscle whilst reading a road sign on his way into training. I didn`t even know that was possible, but the medical staff say they`ve seen this kind of injury before. They are treating his retinas using the lactic acid from Arshavin`s thigh muscles. I was happy with the performance last night, but feel we need to improve our tackling in midfield. I instruct all of our players to go through a tackling session with Abou Diaby. Thomas Vermaelen, Eduardo, Robin van Persie, Denilson and Bendtner all have snapped legs. Colin Lewin offers to do the run to the London Zoo to stock up on monkey placenta and horses vaginas to treat the injuries. But Colin meets disaster too when he is mauled by a Kangaroo. Despite having no skin and losing all feeling in the left side of his body, Colin diagnoses that he should be able to walk again by tomorrow. Which is good news, because if Colin isn`t fit, then I might have to think about putting Silvestre at left back on Saturday! It`s not been a good day; we are so unlucky with injuries.

Friday
Big North London derby against Tottenham tomorrow. We know it will be a physical game at White Hart Lane, so I prepare what is left of my squad with an appropriate training session. Last night I watched an old Japanese movie called 'Battle Royale` and it gave me a great idea for today`s training session. So one by one, the entire squad are able to choose a weapon and are then given sixty seconds to run off into the grounds of London Colney. Once everyone has a weapon, they are given three hours to fight to the death. Abou Diaby pulls a thigh muscle as he runs off into the wilderness with his bazooka. Robin van Persie breaks an ankle after a vicious swipe from Eboue`s numbchuck. The medical staff are working with Robin using a technique they saw in the movie 'Misery.` They strap his ankles to a wooden slab and give them a good going over with a mallet for a couple of minutes. That should see him right for tomorrow. But there is more bad news when Manuel Almunia`s hair dye forms a toxic alliance with Philippe Senderos` napalm gun. There is a mushroom cloud and a three mile island in Hertfordshire as a result. Our entire first team squad, our Reserves and Ladies teams are all struck down with various degrees of radiation poisoning, third degree burns and temporary blindness. The medical staff get to work on treating the players using toxic waste to treat their wounds. Mikael Silvestre is strangely fine and fit to play.

Saturday
We beat Spurs 3-0 with a "celebs and ex professionals" XI. Rory McGrath gives us the lead, whilst a stunning dipping thirty yarder by Tony Hadley puts us 2-0 in front. In the last minute, Tom Huddlestone is distracted by the sound of an ice cream van and the corpse of Denis Compton loses his portly marker, before outpacing Jermaine Jenas to score. I show that gobby twat Robbie Keane who has the stronger bench as Mikael Silvestre is an unused sub. Spurs blame the result on the fact that Glenn Hoddle circa 1985 and Jimmy Greaves circa 1960 were unavailable. I`m so delighted with the performance, I take the squad out to celebrate at the Museum of Knives and Fire.

Sunday
All of first team players are called up for their countries…..except Mikael Silvestre.LD.





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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 18 2009

Time: 1:29PM

Your Comments

are u on crack?
pachna_spurs
After the Spurs game Eboue is injured in the players bar. Tom Huddlestone Glasses him after finding out Emmanuel will not be using him to play any of the Klumps in his upcoming remake of the nutty professor.
iceman10
as much as hudd does look like a klump.lmfao. i cant believe you and your dust gathering trophy cabinet are still trying to tease the spurs. yes u won us 3-0, yes we played badly for the last 5 mins of the 1st half. yes you are a better team than us yes you will win the league and the champions league. lol
pachna_spurs
Brilliant!!!
Rocky7
I think they are all great reasons to tease you PS!!
Rocky7
The image of playing a game v. Gitmo! And then this: "Andrey Arshavin threatens to leap to his death from the Millennium Bridge as rumours emerge in the squad that I might make them do some running tomorrow" -- sheer brilliance, LD!!
jaelle
as a spurs fan i think u are all tits however thats some funny stuff cheered me up. and come on pachna spurs nothing wrong with teasing and banter its part of the game imagine how much grief these guys will get when we finally beat them in the league it will be non stop for months. again good stuff cheered me right up thanks
jljyid
that's some great stuff from LD!!
TPowell
'yes u won us 3-0', tell your mother that if she's going to smoke crack while shes pregnant to at the very least by some product without mercury and detergent in it you mong
Ozi Gooner
Calling all Irish Gooners... Got to love Terry Henry don't ya.
TeddyLyon
to be fair LD, a significant proportion of the injuries to our players were sustained whilst on international duty, or as a result of overplaying for their countries in tournaments (cesc, walcott). but an entertaining read nevertheless.
supersof
to be fair LD, a significant proportion of the injuries to our players were sustained whilst on international duty, or as a result of overplaying for their countries in tournaments (cesc, walcott). but an entertaining read nevertheless.
supersof
you forgot "I couldnt sleep last nite von puss has broken down I think we maybe royally screwed" Tottenham breathing down our necks wheres my book of excuses for winning nothing this year handbook translated into english?
Uskok
can someone translate what Uskok just said into english?
TPowell
He's talking about Wengers books of excuses for winning nothing for how many years? Modric and Lennon coming back into the Spurs team, bringing them back to close to full strength and some gobbledygook about how crap Arsenal are.
TeddyLyon
I think what Uskok was trying to say was that he's thrilled they are so close to us so late in the season and if their mediocre stars like Modric and Lennon are fit again soon they may be able to put off St Totteringham's day until as late as March.
elbondo
Modric and Lennon mediocre yeah right!!
Uskok
Well done uscock, so you agree then - a small window in your house of delusion.
Amos.
I've seen this house of delusion and it has no windows. It does however, have 36,000 seats............
Little Dutch
Plus, when Aaron Lennon runs, is it me, or does he absolutely remind you of a woman in high heels running for the bus?
Little Dutch
LOL, thats a funny image LD. The article is a nice way to laugh off our injuries - god knows we need to.
prits
I know better than to listen to anything that Myles Palmer has to say, but his rant against Henry shows what an idiot he is. "Thierry, you are a sickening cheat and a shameless liar. You're a disgrace to the sport that's made you a multi-millionaire. You're a bottler who has never scored in a final in your entire life and you make me sick".
paul_ownz
Palmer's a francophobic bigot and a hypocrite. He never liked Henry. If that had been a British player, he wouldn't have sounded so hysterical. He would've said "what a shame" and "how unfortunate." The guy's a f-----g racist.
jaelle
Because of Henry's Gooner roots, I went over to vitalspuds to see how they're milking the handball episode, the jokers actually have a poll going where 75% of them are lying that they would feel bad if they qualify for the CL vide an Henriesque goal. Priceless!
deledudu
Typical spuds, they spend more time obsessing over anything Arsenal-related than their own team. Arseblogger (who's Irish) has a great commentary on last night's game and the resulting controversey.
jaelle
I dont know why people always take the moral high ground when it suits them. Liverpool didnt seem to be so upset when they beat Chelsea with a goal that never was. Gerrard didnt come out and say lets replay the game because we have unfairly gone through'. I dont remember West Ham fans angered with their club for allowing Tevez to single handedly keep them in the premiership. Were Man United distraught at ending our unbeaten run with a dive by Rooney? No. It is harsh luck on the Irish, but its funny how when your own team gets a rub of the green we are happy to accept it as it is.
paul_ownz
even if its by cheating, deceiving etc i forgot to add.
paul_ownz
henrys are cheating *****er just like u lot
glendalough yid
How many times was Robbie Keane penalised for deliberate handball last night? Was it twice? Yes, it was. It was twice. Well, I guess that makes him a cheat too?
Little Dutch
Given brought down Anelka in the box, I suppose he should have placed the ball on the spot for France, that would have been the sportsmanlike thing to do...
TPowell
deledudu you came to our site so who is obsessed with who? robbie cheated he got caught and rightly so. it doesnt matter to me that he played for you to be honest i was a little dissapointed when he left you as the PL lost a quality player and i am a true football fan that is why i see it this way, henry is a cheat but i could swap his name with nearly every player playing at the moment the real issue is the authorities they are *****s who dont give a **** aslong as they get what they want normally money but this time its money and getting platinis beloved france through.
jljyid
jljyid, your comment is at least reasonable, but you are simply WRONG about this being some kind of FIFA French conspiracy. If FIFA were so hellbent on France going to S. Africa, why were France denied a legit penalty in the first leg? Why did the referee deny Anelka a penalty last night? (Everyone argues it was a dive but Irish journalist Barry Glendenning argues--after replaying it--that Given, with his back to the ref, deliberately caught Anelka's ankle and brought him down). Whether or not it was a legit penalty, if the refs were told by FIFA to allow France to go thru, they would've given a penalty for Anelka's dive. At that point, France were well on their way to losing the game. Keane did EXACTLY the same thing Henry did but he got caught -- as you say, it's the OFFICIALS who are to blame. But more than that, it's FIFA's fault for refusing to enter the 21st century and adopt video technology. Retroactive punishments could also be introduced. For me, as a France supporter, I was honestly hoping that Ireland would win, France would be eliminated and Domenech would be fired. Many in France felt the same way. France's performance was shocking last night--not just poor, but shocking. Yet Ireland couldn't take their chances and it was going to penalties, who knows what would've happened then. Anyway, France won't get out of the group stage and Ireland wouldn't have either.
jaelle
jaelle good points and i take them on board however the amount of evidence that is building that suggests that FIFA is bias aginst our home nations is growing rapidly e.g blatters and platinis anti PL comments, the way the chelsea barca match was refereed last season and the way the playoff system was changed when france portugal were struggling to qualify plus last nights debacle. all these point to there being some real attitude problems with the home nations and the PL. now if im wrong you will need some evidence to back that up and if you use the anelka penalty i will disagree because the refs along with myself though the french team would shift up atleast 2 gears and take ireland apart thats why they didnt give what was i'll agree a penalty but it would of been a harsh given anelka was already going down when he was caught by given, it wasnt given because they didnt want to look like they were favouring the french but when it got to squeeky bum time thats when all the stops were pulled out. i totally agree with you about both retroactive punishments and the video tech.
jljyid
just another example that all that read this page will understand why the hell were they so stupid about eduardo's ''dive'' why did they make such a big fuss about it? i dont want to argue about if it was or wasnt my point here is that the spanish teams would end up with most of there players banned if FIFA really wanted to punish divers yet it was an english club that got it. total bollox
jljyid
That Uefa and Fifa are envious and frightened of the financial power of the English PL is clear. But there is no mileage in favouring France over Ireland except that France are the better side to watch. France were poor as jaelle said but they were still clearly the better side over the two legs. It would have been a travesty to have had Ireland get there on the basis of a penalty shootout. It all comes down to the qulaity of officiation. Until or unless the game does something practical about improve the way the game is goverened, whether it be goal line officials, video technology or retrospective punishments we'll be discussing the same issue in some form or another for many seasons to come.
Amos.
amos ireland has a population of 4 million approx france ten times that who is gunna bring in more revenue? and ireland were easily the better side last nite
jljyid
The French population is about 15 or 16 times larger - but then there must be much the same number claiming Irish ancestry all over the world - including my sons. Ireland were spirited but against a very poor France they were still 2nd best last night. Over the 2 legs the better team - but not much better - won. Get rid of Domenech and maybe there'll be a French team worth watching but they were still more worthy of a place than the Irish.
Amos.
Amos, I'd have to disagree with you on one point -- France were better only in the 2nd half of the first leg. Last night France one or two decent spells but overall Ireland were the better team in the 2nd leg. So overall, for me, Ireland were better than France for the 2 legs.
jaelle
I think it's only the underdog mentality that favours Irelands performance in the 2nd leg. Fact is that, poor as they were, France had by far the greater possession, created twice as many goal attempts had better passing stats et c. They couldn't complain too much if they failed to qualify but it's really only a sentimental attachment to the little guy defying the odds that could see Ireland as anything other than a bunch of ordinary journeymen footballers set up to make a nuisance of themselves by a tactically astute coach whereas France were a collection of (for the most part) talented players labouring under the handicap of an excoriatingly inept one.
Amos.
player for player france are easily better but ireland created the better chances and were the better team that night. Little Dutch thanks for the debate last it was good to have a reasonable debate without a spurs fan and arsenal fan slagging each other off so again cheers
jljyid
80million irish arud the world and they always have a huge fan base no matter where they play
glendalough yid
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. What an article!!!
JT_daniel
 

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