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Arsene Wenger's death stare when April Fools prank was pulled on him at Arsenal

FOOTBALL By Mirror | May 23rd 2021
Football - Premier League - Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - November 18, 2017. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. [REUTERS/David Klein]

Arsene Wenger was a renowned seasoned pro but even he enjoyed a laugh now and again during his time at Arsenal.

The legendary French boss secured 17 trophies during his 22-year spell at the club and the hard work and commitment that was required to achieve that level of success shouldn't be underestimated.

Wenger was all business when it came to football and he generally kept the media at arm's length without giving them too much insight into the type of person he is off the pitch.

But who can forget the one moment where he let people see a different side to himself which proved there was more to meet the eye when it came to his rigid exterior.

Wenger was blissfully unaware of an April Fools prank that the Daily Mail had pulled leading up to their Premier League clash with Liverpool in 2015.

The publication ran a story on April Fools' Day stating that prior to the fixture at the Emirates, both pre-match team-talks by captains Per Mertesacker and Jordan Henderson would be streamed live to the world.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (C) vies with Manchester City's Ivorian midfielder and captain Yaya Toure during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 21, 2015. Arsenal won the match 2-1. [AFP PHOTO]

The story read: "Although the team-talks by Mertesacker and Henderson will not be screened on BT Sport - who are covering the match live on TV - fans who own a smartphone will be able to tune in.

"New social media tool Periscope - which was launched last week - will host both team-talks as it bids to break into the sports market."

A journalist raised the hoax to Wenger at his press conference and the Arsenal was bewildered by the suggestion.

The reporter asked: "Per Mertesacker this week is going to give a team talk live around the world,' asked the journalist. 'Is that not the case now before this game?"

The confused Gunners boss then turns to his press officer off-camera with one of his infamous death stares, who tells Wenger: "I think that's an April Fools' joke".

The journalist replied: "Ah, I do apologise," as Wenger and the entire media room burst into a fit of laughter.

Football - Premier League - Arsenal v West Ham United - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - April 22, 2018. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after the match. [REUTERS/Toby Melville]

It was one of those moments that could have gone either way.

When Wenger gave a blank look to the media officer, it appeared he wasn't going to see the funny side of it and it was going to be one of those awkward exchanges between a manager and a reporter.

But just as he was caught off guard by the prank, the assembled press were equally surprised he changed his tune almost instantaneously as he produced a massive grin on his face.

Wenger will be remembered for his no-nonsense and formal approach, but this goes to show he does have a sense of humour, even though we didn't get a glimpse of it all the time.

Arsenal's German captain Per Mertesacker (C) holds the Emirates Cup trophy as the team celebrates at the close of the pre-season friendly football match between Arsenal and Sevilla at The Emirates Stadium in north London on July 30, 2017, the game one of four matches played over two days for the Emirates Cup. [AFP PHOTO/OLLY GREENWOOD]
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