So Arsenal made the front pages today with news that Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi and others were filmed inhaling nitrous oxide in a club back in August.
I really do not care.
Anyone that has ever taken nitrous oxide (which the press sensationally label “hippy crack” and the rest of us “balloons”) will know that it is pretty much harmless.
Some state that it “could lead to death” due to lack of oxygen, but there has never been a single reported case of someone dying after inhaling a balloon. Crossing the could lead to death. Getting on the Central Line at 6pm could lead to death.
Out of all of the “highs” that are out there – from drink to drugs – balloons are the least damaging on your body. In fact, beyond the couple of minute head rush you get due to lack of oxygen, there is no evidence that they do any damage to you.
Balloons have become some players “drug” of choice due to how little impact it has on the body.
I would much rather my players do a couple of balloons on a night rather than drink alcohol until they pass out, take drugs, or smoke. Even Red Bull is more dangerous then balloons.
Recently players (most notable of Leicester) have been caught chewing snus (a tobacco product illegal to buy in the UK). This gives a small high and an energy boost, and can cause serious gum and mouth damage and potential mouth cancer. Snus is a bigger issue amongst footballers than balloons.
The incident happened in August. The bar owner has sat on footage since then, before selling it to the papers. I wonder how selling this sort of thing to the papers infringes GDRP these days? Especially as the consumption of nitrous oxide is not a criminal act.
What the bar owner has done is shot himself in the foot.
No footballer or other celebrity will ever hire or visit his establishment again knowing that what they do inside is not private. That the owner or member of staff is willing to sell CCTV images to the papers for a few thousand.
If it is the owner who sold the CCTV, the hope is Tape London loses enough business from this privacy infringement that it soon has to shut down. It it was a member of staff, they should be prosecuted by Tape London to the full extent of the law.
I think what is for certain is that stories like these will not get the national condemnation and criticism that the papers expected. Most fans will side with my opinion. That the players did little wrong and the bar should be ashamed of themselves.
Even Absolute radio are laughing this morning about the “danger binge on nitrous oxide”.
A final thought on this.
In Paul Merson’s fabulous book How Not to Be a Professional Footballer, he talks a lot about the boozy days of the late 80s & early 90s, and how he is glad smart phones were not about then. He talks about doing cocaine in a black cab, and being carried out of bars, pubs and clubs battered. People were decent back then and would not sell a story to a paper. These days, scumbags like the owners of Tape London are willing to sell anyone out for a bit of money.
In other news, I have seen some say that Lucas Torreira needs a rest.
He has only started 10 league games. Played 1200 minutes in all competitions. He has not been over played. Also he is on 4 yellow cards; so he will get a natural break sooner rather than later.
I am sure the clubs fitness staff will have the data and be able to spot when his performances dip physically. When his muscles are on the verge of breaking down.
With the busy Christmas period coming up, every player will be rotated in and out. Torreira’s will come naturally when he picks up the 5th yellow card of the season.
There is no point resting him for a game, for him to then get booked on his returne causing him to miss another game.
Enjoy the wet Friday. We return tomorrow against Huddersfield.