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‘Gaffer, this is out of order’ – Arsenal legend lifts lid on Old Trafford dressing room row

Back in 2013, Arsenal were defeated 1-0 at Old Trafford, with former Gunner, Robin van Persie, scoring the winner, but the game was also notable for a row which took place in the dressing room after the match.

Arsenal legend, and former kit man, Vic Akers, has finally lifted the lid on what sparked it, and who was responsible.

Metro detail that the Gunners had long held a tradition that their players would wear the same sleeve length of shirt as the captain, something that has apparently been relaxed in recent times.

On that day, skipper Thomas Vermaelen wore long sleeves, so the rest of the squad followed suit. Except one. Mathieu Flamini.

After the players had gone out onto the pitch, Akers had spotted a sleeve in a bin and realised that someone had broken with the tradition, and he wasn’t happy.

“I went mad. I went mad, I didn’t realise that he had done it until they went out,” he said in an Instagram Live chat with US women’s team, Murrieta Surf Soccer Club, and reported in Metro.

“Manchester United had a sort of bin, a rubbish bin, just by the back of the door and as the team were leaving and going out I would go out at the end. As I went to go past this bin I saw the sleeve in it. ‘I’m saying to my boy, I went “Paul, get out there and see who’s got a sleeveless shirt on now” and it was him [Flamini]. And of course I went mad.

“I said to the gaffer, ‘”Gaffer, this is out of order!” I said. “Everybody is in shirts with long sleeves, which is the system that we work by, and he’s gone and cut sleeves off. I’m not having it! It’s crazy!” Anyway, it all went off in the dressing room afterwards and has probably been related as well in some of the articles you may have read.

“As I say, it was a little bit of a shouting and screaming job after the game.”

Though Akers’ instant reaction could be said to be a little over the top, he clearly took pride in his work and so his ire was perhaps more understandable on that occasion.

 

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