Patrick Vieira left John Hartson disgusted with first meal after joining Arsenal

Agent Jonathan Barnett has explained that John Hartson was left “disgusted” by Patrick Vieira at Arsenal – because of a salad.

Vieira joined the Gunners from AC Milan in 1996 and helped Arsenal return to the top of English football.

A healthy diet was key under Arsene Wenger, though Vieira seemingly started that as he joined before his compatriot took over.

And Barnett, who now has Tottenham loanee Gareth Bale on his books, has explained Hartson’s thoughts on the plan.

“Brexit is the biggest threat to English football,” said Barnett. “Look at Wolves, they’ve been so successful and yet would they get in now?

“There’s players who could have saved West Brom but they can’t get work permits. I truly believe European players have helped British players so much.

“I remember when Patrick Vieira came into Arsenal, I was sitting with John Hartson who was my client while Vieira was sitting with some people and he ordered a salad and water.

“I’m not going to say what John had… I said: 'Look at him…’ John said: ‘I know it’s disgusting – I’ll have a word!’

“I’m telling you – the young British players are the best of my lifetime and that’s because they’ve been brought up and learned from the best. If you reduce the standard, you damage other players.”

Hartson may have thought like that during his playing days, but things changed after retiring.

The Welshman previously said: "Arsene Wenger concentrated a lot on diet and fitness, whereas at West Ham I was allowed to get away with anything I wanted as I was playing well and scoring goals.

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  • "I didn't go in for broccoli – I wish I had now. If I wanted steak and chips, that was fine.

    "I had a great career. I played for Arsenal, Celtic, West Ham and I won 50 caps for Wales. But I should have done things differently and got myself fitter."

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