Report- Arsenal players caught with LAUGHING GAS warned by top bosses | Football | Sport

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Updated: December 8, 2018
Arsenal players caught with LAUGHING GAS warned by top bosses | Football | Sport

Alexandre Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sead Kolasinac were all caught out inhaling the chemical known as laughing gas during a team-bonding session in London back in August.

After images appeared on the front page of a national newspaper, the group have each been warned about their future behaviour but escaped any sort of disciplinary fine after speaking with Emery at the club’s London Colney training ground ahead of their home game against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Senior officials at the club, including director of football Raul Sanllehi, supported the measures, but Emery is keen to take direct responsibility for the behaviour of the players.

By reputation, he is a strict disciplinarian who even banned fruit juice at the start of the season because he was worried about his players’ sugar intake.

Other members of the squad were at the private event at the Tape club in the West End of London, which was also attended by up to 70 specially invited women who agreed to give up their mobile phones before being allowed inside.

However, what appears to be CCTV footage caught Ozil, Lacazette, Guendouzi and Aubameyang clearly the worse for wear as they inhale a gas which, though not illegal, starves the brain of oxygen causing dizziness and hallucinations.

The party started around 11pm and broke up at 4am and the view of the club is that the images are an “embarrassment” arising from a team-bonding exercise rather than a serious disciplinary breach.

Football is no stranger to nitrous oxide.

Raheem Sterling was twice photographed using the gas before he joined Manchester City from Liverpool in 2015.

Fellow England star Kyle Walker had been forced to apologise in 2013 after he too was pictured inhaling laughing gas.

More recently, nitrous oxide was at the centre of a party in which Jack Grealish upset hotel guests with his behaviour in 2016.

It would have been a different matter if the events had occurred during the season itself.

But after initial defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, a 20-game unbeaten run in all competitions has revitalised a club that appeared to be sliding in the final years under Arsene Wenger.

Undoubtedly a manager as fixated on marginal gains as Emery will be disappointed that his senior professionals were prepared to impair their performance even days before the start of the season.

And a repeat of such behaviour over a busy festive period, in which the fixtures are set to come thick and fast, would undoubtedly lead to players being docked wages.

That said, with Emery seeing an improvement in physical performance as the key to making Arsenal competitive in the Premier League, the players were left in no doubt on Friday that he wants to see a 100 per cent commitment to that mindset away from the club as well as on the training ground.