Arsenal manager Unai Emery has banned fruit juice at the club canteen as he makes changes to his players’ diets in a bid to improve their fitness.
Last season the club finished 37 points below champions Manchester City, in sixth, earning a Europa League place. After losing two of their opening three Premier League games, the changes have been made as they try to build on the win over West Ham.
It is not the only change made to the players’ routines, with more competitive training sessions introduced, as well as gym equipment near training pitches in order to mix cardiovascular and strength training.
One-to-one sessions with Emery and assistant coaches Carlos Carcedo and Steve Bould have been introduced, including Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil. Ozil has been told by Emery that more is expected of him, and he may not be recalled after missing the game against West Ham through illness.
The new approach to fitness should facilitate the tactics used by Emery, who wants his team to press opponents high up the pitch.
As Emery monitors the players’ diets, he is also keeping tabs on their weight, body fat percentage, and measuring their fitness on various metrics. Sugar-rich fruit juices have been replaced by water.
Emery’s predecessor, Arsene Wenger, is famous for overhauling Arsenal’s traditionally English diet when he arrived in 1996. He eliminated the club’s drinking culture and turned the players on to baked chicken, fish and steamed vegetables.