Following the news that Unai Emery had made the executive decision to ban juice from Arsenal’s training grounds, The Short Fuse has obtained an exclusive report on what really transpired as Arsenal players found out about their new manager’s dietary decision.
Warning: The mature nature of this content may not be suitable for all audiences.
Unai Emery enters the crowded locker room after an intense training session. He is noticeably upset. His deep red tie hangs loose around his neck. His brow is beaded with sweat. He paces in front of a white board while the players, unaware of their manager’s frustration, mill about aimlessly. Finally, he yells above the din.
Emery: Let me have your attention for a moment! So you’re talking about what? You’re talking about - bitchin’ about that shot you just missed, some son of a bitch don’t want to let you score, somebody don’t like how you’re playin’, some sponsor you’re trying to impress. Let’s talk about something important. Are they all here?
Emery looks to his right hand man Juan Carlos Carcedo. He scans the room for a headcount. Emery is impatient.
Emery: Well, I’m going anyway. Let’s talk about something important!
In the back of the room, Mesut Ozil is filling a cup with orange juice.
Emery: Put that juice down!
The room falls silent. Özil stops, glass half full, and stares at Emery with a look equal parts confusion, equal parts sleepiness.
Emery: Juice is for closers only. Do you think I’m jokin’ with you? I am not jokin’ with you. I’m here from Spain. I’m here from PSG. And I’m here on a mission of mercy. Your name’s Özil?
Emery: You call yourself a midfielder, you son of a bitch?
Özil, beginning to show signs of emotion: I’m sick! I don’t gotta listen to this...
Emery, cutting Özil off: You certainly don’t, pal. ‘Cause the good news is - you’re benched. The bad news is - you’ve got, all of you got, just one week to regain your starting jobs, starting with this Sunday. Starting with Sunday’s match.
The entire room’s attention is now firmly fixed on Emery. The players begin to talk in hushed tones. Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin momentarily stop talking about the latest street fashion trends.
Emery: Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. ‘Cause we’re adding a little something to this month’s fixture list. As you all know, first prize in the Europa League is a Champions League berth. Anybody want to know the second prize? Second prize is a stupid medal. Third prize is you’re benched. You get the picture? You laughing now? You got fixtures. The owners paid good money for some of you.
Eyes dart knowingly at the big-name signings. Mohamed Elneny, just happy to be there, sits and smiles.
Emery, pointing at the white board: A - B - P! A - always B - be P - pressing! Always be pressing!
Matteo Guendouzi furiously takes notes, hair bouncing as he nods eagerly. Lucas Torreira, standing on a chair behind Petr Cech, is on his tip toes, still unable to see the coach.
Emery: Get mad, you son of a bitches! Get mad! You know what it takes to win the Europa League? It takes brass balls to win the Europa League. Go and do likewise, gents. The matches are out there, you win it, it’s yours. You don’t -- I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on that pitch and win. Win! It’s yours. If not, you’re gonna be shinin’ my shoes. And you know what you’ll be sayin’, a bunch of losers sitting around in a bar: “Oh yeah, I used to be an Arsenal player. It’s a tough racket.”
Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg do their best to stifle their laughter at the back of the room.
Emery, holding up a sheet of paper: These are the new fixtures. These are the Europa League fixtures. And to you, they’re gold, and you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. (He hands the paper to Carcedo) They’re for closers. I’d wish you good luck, but you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it.
Emery storms out of the room. As a group of staffers remove the juice machine, Mustafi attempts to intervene, but he trips over his own feet and lands prostrate on the ground.