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18th Sep 2016

Leicester stars reveal how Arsenal selfies and a Whatsapp group inspired them to title glory

Arsenal's antics played right into their hands

Mikey Stafford

Jamie Carragher had it right about these Arsenal selfies two seasons ago.

The Sky Sports pundit told Arsenal to stop taking celebratory selfies after every game. Many though the former Liverpool defender was being an old fuddy-duddy luddite (especially when he failed to practice what he preached) but his words now seem very wise.

“I’m all for players enjoying a win but shouldn’t the picture taking be saved for the games that matter, such as cup finals, when you can come away with proper memories?

“Selfies shouldn’t be taken after you get three points: that, remember, is the job footballers are paid to do.”

Arsenal did that job at the Emirates last February, when a late Danny Welbeck header earned them a 1-0 win against Premier League leaders Leicester City.

Cue a Valentine’s Day love in from the Arsenal players on Twitter and Instagram.

Only problem was, Leicester were still top of the table and would go on to win an historic league title when they went 12 games without defeat following that Arsenal defeat.

Not only were Arsenal’s celebratory selfies premature, they may have been counter-productive – inspiring the Foxes to push on and shove those photos down the Gunners’ throats.

The Sunday Times carries exclusive extracts from Jonathan Northcroft’s ‘Fearless: The Amazing Underdog Story of Leicester City’, in which a number of City players reveal that Arsenal’s celebrations “got their blood boiling” and gave them “a boost”.

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League

Centre-half Robert Huth told how the Leicester squad, still in their dressing room, began sharing the offensive images in messaging groups.

“For me the key point in the season was when we lost to Arsenal and it was last-minute. Everyone was celebrating. We were sitting in the changing room. They were doing selfies. even though we were still top. We have a group on the phones. A few of the lads stuck a few pictures up and it got the blood boiling. Certainly it gave us an extra yard in the next few games,” said the German.

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was evidently in that Whatsapp group.

“Losing the game in the way we did? Seeing Arsenal celebrate as if they had basically won the league against us: that victory against us could mean so much to them? It really showed us how far we’d come. Watching them, for me, was actually a boost,” he said.

Leicester’s longest-serving player Andy King added that the on-field celebrations by Arsenal’s players was not much better.

“There were people after that game who thought they won the World Cup! They were on their knees, pointing to the skies, doing victory laps of honour… We were like, ‘hold on'”.

In future Arsenal, wait till you have mathematically won the bloody thing before you celebrate.

No Fuchs given? Not quite, it seems.

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