Some Arsenal players prepared for the trip to Indonesia in unorthodox fashion ... and didn't seem to be overtly excited about the whole experience.
Arsenal’s players have been preparing for their pre-season tour of Asia in a rather-unusual style.
The quintet of Gervinho, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna and Nacho Monreal all learnt how to play the traditional Indonesian ensemble instrument the Gamelan.
Under the watchful eye of Southbank Gamelan Players John Pawson and Manuel Jimenez the players got stuck into the collection of instruments.
The gamelan is an instrument steeped in culture and heritage in Indonesia and with Arsenal’s massive fan-base in the country the PR move seems pretty solid on paper.
But I have to admit finding a few things quite amusing about the entire thing.
Firstly is that in the official Arsenal.com statement they completely neglect poor old Gervinho from the text.
Maybe he was already a gamelan expert or something but until you see a picture of him at the bottom of the page it is as if he just does not exist.
But the best thing about the entire thing is the video clip itself.
While undoubtedly the players seem to get the grip of it; and it does make a brilliant sound I must admit; they didn’t look particulary enthralled by the experience.
Especially Bacary Sagna.
As while Koscielny got to beat the rhythm of the drums and Mertesacker seemed to have the most difficult instrument of all to play Monreal and Gervinho also seemed to have slightly complex instruments to use.
Sagna was however left on the side just banging the odd solitary note every now and again.
He looked the kid in school who was handed the triangle and told to hit it at the end; and it showed on his face.
Or maybe the players have been giving him stick about a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain again and that had him down in the dumps.
Here is the video in question…
Arsenal are in Indonesia for the first time since 1983 from July; playing their first game against the Indonesian national team on July 14th.
We hope that Sagna has cheered up by then.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald