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How Arsenal legend Robert Pires kept his team-mates ‘waiting’ on a daily basis

first_img Comment How Arsenal legend Robert Pires kept his team-mates ‘waiting’ on a daily basis Advertisement Advertisement Pires used to keep his Villa team-mates waiting (Picture: Getty)Robert Pires’ Aston Villa team-mates were forced to wait for up to an hour-and-a-half at a time while the Arsenal legend finished his lunch, according to Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton.Pires, who joined Villa from Villarreal in the backend of his career, was playing under compatriot Gerard Houllier during the French manager’s only season in charge. Houllier, the former Liverpool boss, had brought in a rule for the squad that they were unable to leave mealtimes until every player had finished their food – and Pires’ slow eating habits left the players sat twiddling their thumbs, waiting for him to finish.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘On the pitch even though by the time he came to us he was quite slow and wasn’t really the most mobile, some of the stuff he did in training was incredible,’ Albrighton, who was at Villa at the time, told Birmingham Live.ADVERTISEMENT‘He just had the respect of the whole dressing room straight away and absolutely deserved it as well. Not only to be such a good player but after everything he had achieved in his career – World Cup winner, Invincibles team – to still be such a nice person everybody just respected that.‘He was a brilliant guy, such a cool, calm character. I remember one of the rules Gerard Houllier brought in was that we all had to sit at the dinner table until everybody’s finished. Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 2 Jun 2020 9:28 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares Pires was a slow eater (Picture: Getty)‘No phones, nothing. You had to sit there until the last person’s finished. You can’t get up off your chair or go to your room or go wherever.‘I remember Robert Pires came in and obviously the English lads have got their plates of food in front of them and straight away it’s gone, within seconds.‘That’s just what we were used to. A lot of the lads had a hairdresser or whatever at the hotel.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘So the hairdresser’s upstairs knowing he’ll have a queue because he’s got six or seven haircuts to rattle off.‘I remember Robert Pires came and he was just so elegant in everything he did.‘He just took his time eating and he knew no different to that. That was just the way he was. We could be sat down there for an hour and a half just waiting. That was just him, he made no apology that was how he knew it, he didn’t see anything wrong with that.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.last_img read more

Badgers sniff out win in ‘rat game’

first_imgUniversity of Wisconsin men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan likes to use the term “rat game” to describe contests that get sloppy and out of hand. Wisconsin’s 71-58 victory over Michigan Wednesday night was just that.After a first half that saw Wisconsin and Michigan turn the ball over 12 and seven times, respectively, the second half didn’t prove to be much better.The Badgers jumped out to a 47-31 lead with 13 minutes left in the game, but then the game turned into a “rat game.”After Wolverines forward Brent Petway fouled out at the 12:43 mark and received a subsequent technical foul, the game’s pace turned into molasses.Petway’s foul was Michigan’s seventh team foul, but confusion over who was shooting free throws caused a long stoppage in play as Ryan, Michigan head coach Tommy Amaker and the referees attempted to figure things out.”The seventh foul was Petway’s, then the technical was the eighth,” Ryan said. “The technical foul can not cause a one-and-one [free throw], so then it was going to be the technical, then the one-and-one.”We solved it on our own; it was like being at the playground.”Amaker, however, wouldn’t agree so much.”I’m still not sure [what happened],” Amaker said.Yet Petway’s technical foul difficulty wasn’t the only stoppage of play in the second half.About two minutes on the clock later, Wolverines guard Jerret Smith went down hard after running blindside into a legal Marcus Landry screen.”He just didn’t see me,” Landry said. “It’s just a part of basketball, and hopefully he’s alright.”Smith lay on the floor for an extended period of a time, causing some Badger players to stiffen and cramp up due to the stoppage time. As a result, Ryan made his players run up and down the court to stay loose.”That’s actually what we do in practice,” UW junior forward Brian Butch said. “We have stoppages in practice like that, and he just has us jog down and back like that.”The downtime made for a groggy game, but Wisconsin was still able to pull out the win and improve to 20-1 on the season.”The main thing that we really care about is just getting a win,” Butch said. “We don’t care how we get it as long as we get a ‘W.'”Devin Harris sightingBadger-great and current Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris was in attendance Wednesday, sitting right behind Wisconsin’s bench.After the last media timeout of the first half, Harris was introduced at mid-court to a loud ovation, as everyone was happy to see him back.”It’s nice to see Devin there at the game,” Ryan said.Harris was sporting a No. 42 Tucker jersey, which made his good friend glad.”Me and Devin go way back; we’re good friends,” Tucker said. “Before the game, he told me he was going to go get the jersey. I told him he needs to get me a Dallas jersey now to be even.”Three years after forgoing his senior year to jump to the NBA, Harris still looks the same to his old coach Ryan.”Devin looks the same,” Ryan said. “He still looks like he’s in high school.”Badgers are streakingWith the win Wednesday, Wisconsin has now won its 16th straight game — the longest active streak in the nation.However, it means little to nothing for the Badger players at this point in time.”In the grand scheme of things, it really means nothing this year,” Butch said. “Right now, we’re taking it one game at a time.”Those are all great things to achieve, don’t get me wrong,” Butch continued. “I’m not trying to downplay them by any means, but right now we’re on a mission and just taking it game by game.”At 20-1, the Badgers equaled the best start in school history as the Wisconsin team of 1915-16 also went 20-1. In spite of that, Ryan doesn’t think a comparison is fair.”If our record can compare to a doctor’s…” Ryan joked, referring to then-head coach Dr. Walter Meanwell.”Well our players are excited, I know,” he continued. “It’s nice to get the next one.”last_img read more