The guys over at the DailyMail had a rare opportunity to peek inside Arsene Wenger’s football factory, here’s a glimpse of the article:
There are fleeting glimpses of senior players. Mikael Silvestre tiptoes barefoot into the academy side, picks up two jars of vitamins and retreats without a word. Eduardo breezes in, flashing a smile.
Amid the glossy photographs on the walls are reminders of no chewing gum in the dressing rooms, no mobile phones and no shaking hands. The handshake ban is a swine flu precaution and hand gel is available for those who cannot stop themselves pressing flesh. Visitors are expected to wear plastic shoe-covers, all part of Wenger’s quest for cleanliness. No one doubts the inspiration behind this academy but Wenger monitors the development of his next generation from a respectful distance.
He will address the new scholars at the start of the season, telling them what it means to play for Arsenal, and might appear unannounced during training. He will watch as many reserve team and Youth Cup games as possible and demands regular updates from Bould and Banfield.
‘You can sense a change in the lads when he turns up in training,’ admits Bould. ‘But he doesn’t stay long. He’s double busy isn’t he? If the manager needs a player — a midfielder or a centre half to fill in a session — he’ll ask me or Neil and we’ll say, “Have a look at him, he’s doing well”.