Arsenal FC news: Story about Gunners Christmas party during early Wenger years

Arsenal FC Christmas party

Established Arsenal players were not impressed when a young Patrick Vieira told them he was driving to and from their Christmas party

Sunday, December 24, 2017

As footballers put away their Batman costumes for another year following their collective Christmas fancy dress parties, Retro Football Blog has a tale about an Arsenal knees up in 1996.

Shortly after Arsene Wenger took over at Highbury, he brought his young compatriot, Patrick Vieira, with him and, as Lee Dixon recalled in an interview with Four Four Two, the Frenchman was very reluctant to allow the players out to celebrate the most wonderful time of year.

However, after some convincing from club captain Tony Adams, they were given the green light.

“The tradition was we would go out and get absolutely leathered and then recover on our day off,” Dixon explained.

Arsenal’s drinking culture at the time meant that when Vieira turned up to the bash in London’s Covent Garden with his car keys, the players were horrified.

And when he explained he had driven there to enjoy a meal and a glass of wine before shooting off to prepare for the next training session, it was like he was speaking a foreign language.

“The boys weren’t having that, so we took his keys from him, and soon Patrick was loving it and dancing on the tables,” Dixon added.

This story first appeared on retrofootballblog.com

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