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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 10:56 GMT
Wenger imposes drink ban
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has banned his players from drinking together.

The Gunners were among the first clubs to stop alcohol in the players' bar after games and Wenger has imposed a ban on homeward team bus journeys.

Wenger said: "We don't drink together as a group, and I don't see how a player who drinks regularly can survive in football.

"To play at the top level you have to have control over your life and part of that is to do with mental strength."

Wenger's move to ban alcohol will be applauded in the wake of the Leicester scandal which has damaged football's image.

I grew up in a pub and it does not take much for to see if someone is drunk
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

The Arsenal boss said: "If a guy drinks two or three beers on the coach and then gets in his car to drive home and has an accident, then we are also guilty."

Wenger is determined to avoid any possible repeat of past Arsenal drink-related problems, with Tony Adams and Paul Merson both admitting to alcoholism while with the Gunners.

"People talk about breathalysing players but I know when somebody has been drinking," added Wenger.

"I grew up in a pub and it does not take much to see if someone is drunk."

"Maradona lost control of his life but he could survive because he was a genius.

"But most players are not like that and they cannot play at the top level if they are not in control."

Despite Arsenal's tightly-knit team spirit, Wenger has warned his players against the dangers of going out in large groups.

Wenger admitted the jailing of Arsenal youth player Marcu Artry for rape last November came as a surprise to him.

He said: "We try to teach our players about the way to behave but you can never be sure.

"We had one young player who was jailed for rape and it was a massive surprise when we found out about it.

"I had never had a problem with him in terms of discipline."






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