Emmanuel Frimpong might well have been the first 'meme' football player in the Premier League. The tough tackling midfielder has been credited with helping bring 'Dench' into the mainstream, has appeared on London grime artist Lethal Bizzle's music and even brought out his own clothing line.
The midfielder is currently at Cypriot club Ermis Arradipou having left Arsenal in 2014 after a string of loans, and the 26-year-old recently sat down with The Telegraph where he talked about his time at the club, revealing the origins of his long standing feud with former team mate Samir Nasri.
Frimpong spoke about one match against Liverpool in 2011 where the Ghanaian first clashed with Nasri. Frimpong had been sent off in the 70th minute for a reckless challenge on Lucas Leiva and after the game Frimpong revealed that Nasri was none too pleased with his performance:
...for some reason Nasri came in and he was like: ‘We lost the game because of you’. I was a young guy, didn’t really know what I was doing, and was devastated. I felt like I’d let everybody down and he was really blaming me, so I really didn’t like him.
The defensive midfielder went on to say that Nasri always 'had a go' at him if he lost the ball in training and told the Telegraph that the French midfielder even said to him 'I could buy you if I want'.
Nasri would go on to sign for Manchester City later and Frimpong explains why, when Nasri returned to his former club with City, that things boiled over between the pair:
People never really understand why that [fight] happened but I don’t like the guy. The reason I don’t like him is because he’s an idiot. Plain and simple. I would never, ever have respect for him.
Frimpong was more warm in his appraisal of his other team mates calling Cesc Fabregas a 'lovely guy', revealing Jack Wilshire as his best friend at the club as well as outing Alex Song for getting KFC before matches. He also called Arsene Wenger 'the best manager you could possibly ever have' as a young player.
When asked about the current plight of his former club, Frimpong said that Arsenal need more players with 'an aggressive mentality' but stopped short of putting his name into the hat for a return:
They don’t need me, though. Trust me, Arsenal would be worse off with Frimpong.