Ray Parlour says he played for Arsenal having had four pints

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Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has said he played for the Gunners against Liverpool having had four beers.

Parlour, who spent 12 years with the north London club from 1992 to 2014, said that during his time as a fringe player under George Graham he was drafted into the first-team having been at the bar before the match.

In an interview with talkSPORT, the ex-Arsenal man said he was originally left out of the squad before an injury ten minutes before kick-off meant he was on the bench. But with twenty minutes left, he was brought on and provided an assist at Anfield.


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He said: "Twenty minutes to go [George Graham says] go warm up you're going on. 

"I'm like what? Twenty minutes I don't mind doing two minutes. So as I'm warming up all the Liverpool players are like 'so was you out last night?'.

"I'm like 'no I've just had four pints at the bar upstairs'. So I get on the pitch, I think I had a really good game to be fair, I think I set the goal up."

But it wasn't all good news for Parlour; as after the match, despite being praised by his manager, he was fined two weeks wages.

It is a far cry from today's modern game where professionals are expected to treat their bodies like a temple.

But given the drinking culture at Arsenal, before the introduction of Arsene Wenger, it is really no surprise.

Stories like this show just how much the game has changed since the turn of the century. You would never see a young Arsenal player downing pints before a game.

However, it did not appear to affect Parlour as he went on to enjoy a highly successful career at Highbury, making over 300 appearances.

We want to hear your opinion. Has football changed for the good or bad over the past twenty years? Have your say in the comments section below!

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