Sports News of Tuesday, 3 April 2018
Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has blasted Samir Nasri as “an idiot” and told the Telegraph that Arsene Wenger is the best manager a young player can have.
Frimpong, 26, also praised former teammate Cesc Fabregas as “a lovely guy,” revealed that Alex Song always ate KFC the day before a game and that Andrey Arshavin didn’t care much for training.
He became a cult figure at Arsenal despite a short-lived career that only included six league appearances in the 2011-12 season.
The tough-tackling defensive midfielder recalled how Wenger stayed calm after he was sent off for a needless second booking against Liverpool in a 2-0 loss, but said that incident led to him falling out with Nasri for good.
“When the game ended, we were in the dressing room and I expected Wenger to be really angry,” Frimpong said. “He was actually very calm, but for some reason, Nasri came in and he was like: ‘We lost the game because of you.’ I was a young guy, didn’t really know what I was doing, and was devastated. I felt like I’d let everybody down and he was really blaming me, so I really didn’t like him.
“He always had a go at me if I gave the ball away in training and even said to me once: ‘I could buy you if I want.’ To be honest, he probably could have done at the time, but still.”
That animosity showed when Nasri returned to the Emirates as a Manchester City player and the two clashed on the pitch with some heated exchanges.
“People never really understand why that [fight] happened but I don’t like the guy,” Frimpong said. “The reason I don’t like him is that he’s an idiot. Plain and simple. I would never, ever have respect for him.”
Although Frimpong never established himself in Wenger’s squad but he praised the manager for being so patient with young players.
“As a young guy, he’s the best manager you could ever have,” Frimpong said. “I’ve never come across another manager who’s so calm and understanding. He only shouted at me once, when I did something wrong in training after turning up late.”
Frimpong, who is currently without a club after stints in the Swedish and Cypriot leagues, had better things to say about other teammates.
“Fabregas was such a lovely guy,” he said. “When I got moved to the first team, he said, ‘Frimpong, you’ve been promoted, well done!’ It was such a nice touch. He was a very, very lovely guy.
“Then there was Song, who used to go to KFC before every home game. On the bus to the team hotel the night before the game, he would be eating chicken nuggets.
“Andrey Arshavin was the worst trainer, always laboured, very relaxed. He was terrible in training but very good on the day of the game.”