Ahead of the big showdown at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has requested that pizza be added to the post-match menu, just in case a war breaks out between the sides after the final whistle.
The unusual demand late on Thursday night coincided with news that former Arsenal midfielder and close friend of Arteta, Cesc Fabregas, had also been invited to the match as an Arsenal delegate.
“We all know that pizza is a weapon of choice for Arsenal when it comes to tunnel bust-ups.
Cesc is a bit of a legend around these parts for his role in Battle of the Buffet,” confirmed head of match-day security.
“Manchester United chiefs have already been in touch asking that we ensure Fabregas keeps his distance from Sir Alex Ferguson who will be in the stands, as well as to decline any deliveries from Domino’s, Pizza Hut or Papa John’s, but they haven’t said a thing about Ten Hag or the players.
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“As long as we are top of the league, Arteta can have whatever he wants. If I see a slice of stuffed-crust Margherita fly past my head and splat all over someone from United, myself and the rest of the team will most definitely turn a blind eye.”
Though nerves are frayed around the Emriates ahead of the clash, with fears the post-match treat could be swiped away at the last minute.
“Our staff have been briefed to watch out for a 49-year-old American billionaire answering to the name of Todd who may attempt to nick the Hawaiian if someone tells him Arsenal are interested in it,” the match-day stadium manager revealed.
Meanwhile, United boss Erik ten Hag has been open about the tactical set-up he will adopt should things turn nasty.
“In training it’s been all about defence. He’s been throwing all sorts of items at Rashford and the boys, such as steaks, eggs, energy drinks, asparagus, guacamole, and smarties,” we were told.
“The idea is if they can dodge those items or bat them away, then they will surely be able to bat away a flying pizza,” confirmed a source close to ten-Hag.
“He’s had the lads watching the movie Dodgeball and repeating the phrase dodge-dip-duck-dive-dodge throughout the day, in a bid to mentally prepare them for what lies ahead.”
Though he has admitted privately to doubts about his current squad’s desire to get stuck into the post-match feeding frenzy.
“These are the times you really miss Anderson,” a senior club source said.
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