By Chris Wright
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has revealed how, shortly after Arsene Wenger took over in 1996, Arsenal players were regularly driven to a hotel in London and injected with a mysterious yellow serum on the day before big games – and that the squad were also instructed to take super-strength caffeine pills in the dressing room before kick-off.
Speaking to French magazine So Foot (who seem to have a bit of a knack for eeking a decent interview out of the clear blue), Merse said:
“On the eve of big games we would go to a Holiday Inn in Islington where a yellowy product was injected into our arm.
“I never asked myself any questions (because it took the edge of the fluff?). From the moment you trust a manager you take everything he asks you to.
“Just before kick-off for a game against Blackburn, Arsene gave us a dark tablet. It was pure caffeine, the equivalent of 10 cups of Starbucks.
“My heart started racing, 30 minutes later that was still the case.”
Yellowy substance eh? What colour’s tiger blood again?
A spokesman for Arsenal has already nipped any Rocky IV-esque conspiracy theories in the bud, claiming the intravenous liquid that the club administered to the players was ‘a simple multi-vitamin injection’.