Currently a contestant on BBC One’s Celebrity Masterchef, ex-Liverpool star, John Barnes, has opened up on why he can never forgive Arsene Wenger.
When the former Arsenal manager took charge of the Gunners back in 1996, ‘Arsene who?’ was a popular refrain.
The urbane Frenchman came to the Premier League from Nagoya Grampus Eight and quickly made his mark. It wasn’t just on the pitch where one could sense a sea change, however.
Wenger quickly revolutionised the diets of his professional players, and it evidently gave the north Londoners an edge over their opponents.
With other clubs keen to follow the path that Wenger had trodden, Barnes clearly didn’t like certain changes.
“When I played it was just: ‘Eat whatever you want’” Barnes told TV chefs, John Torode and Greg Wallace, cited by the Daily Star.
“Takeaway foods and McDonald’s. Honestly, seriously, that’s what it was… until Arsene Wenger came in ’98.”
It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that sports science will have got a real boost from Wenger’s take up at that time, in terms of healthy eating and a different way of working and living.
Now, in 2020, football takes the keenest of interest in that side of the sport, so whilst Barnes may not have been too happy about it, the majority of football clubs will surely thank Arsene Wenger for his foresight.