Former Arsenal ace Jeremie Aliadiere reveals he was ‘scared’ of getting ‘smashed up’ by his teammates

first_imgFormer Arsenal ace Jeremie Aliadiere reveals he was ‘scared’ of getting ‘smashed up’ by his teammates Advertisement Advertisement Aliadiere had limited opportunities during his time at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)Former Arsenal ace Jeremie Aliadiere admits he was fearful of getting ‘smashed up’ by his teammates in training, but that competitiveness is what made Arsene Wenger’s team so dominant.The striker was one of the most highly-rated youngsters in France when he made the move to Highbury in 1999 at the age of just 16, opting to join the Gunners over Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter.After spending his first few seasons in the academy, Aliadiere’s most successful campaign for Arsenal came during their Invincible season, in which he made 15 appearances across all competitions.Due to injuries and a lack of opportunities, the forward struggled to nail down a starting spot and was shipped out on loan to various teams before eventually joining Middlesbrough on a permanent deal in 2007.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAliadiere was unfortunate enough to have superstars like Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Sylvain Wiltord and Kanu ahead of him in the pecking order, and believes his lack of self-esteem hindered his progress at the club.‘That’s is the biggest regret I’ve got. It’s that I was too shy, I wasn’t confident enough in my ability,’ he told Goal.‘I feel like I could have had a much better career, at Arsenal in particular, if I had believed in myself more. I think when I was there, I always felt like it was too high a level for me.‘It’s just my character. I’ve always been very reserved, I keep it all in and I try to please people all the time. I would pass the ball so I didn’t get told off, rather than try and beat two or three players and risk having Thierry or Dennis shouting at me.‘I always felt that pressure of having to play for them, rather than for myself and I do think that massively held me back. I feel like I definitely had the talent and capacity to do it, but mentally I was just not ready or prepared.’ Aliadiere says he was scared of Henry’s reaction if he didn’t pass him the ball (Picture: Getty Images)Arsene Wenger’s sides in the early 2000s were famed for their aggressive and dogged displays, which helped them win two Premier League titles and multiple FA Cups.Clashes of big characters like Patrick Vieira and Martin Keown often saw members of the squad have big bust-ups in training, and Aliadiere says he wasn’t mentally prepared for that level of competitiveness.‘Those guys were so intense and so demanding. They would fight in training and mentally, I think I was frightened by it,’ he added.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘I saw how determined they were, how they had the capacity to be friends, but then two minutes later they would be out on that training pitch and would be animals.‘I was still learning really and would think, “My God, they are going to smash me up”. I think it made me a little bit more apprehensive about it all.‘There were so many incidents, tackles, fights. It would happen once a week. But that’s what made that squad as strong as it was.’AdvertisementAdvertisementMORE: Arsenal must give Mikel Arteta time, warns Ian WrightMORE: Gael Clichy blasts ‘typical Arsenal’ for ‘crumbling’ under Arsene WengerFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterThursday 21 May 2020 8:54 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Commentlast_img

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