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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Gunners release eight and admit: 'We thought they were caterers'

Arsenal have cut ties with eight players in a bid to streamline their squad for the coming season and warn that "there could be loads more deadwood hidden away."

The summer clear-out at the Emirates Stadium has begun with Amaury Bischoff, James Dunne, Rui Fonte, Abu Ogogo, Paul Rodgers, Rene Steer, Vincent van den Berg and Anton Blackwoood all given their marching orders this morning.

And as the players begin the search for new employers their fragile egos will be bruised further by a statement from assistant manager Pat Rice.

"We released eight lads today, but in honesty we had no idea who they were," Rice told the club's website.

"They all had tracksuits with letters on, so we must have signed them at some point, but it only clicked that they were players when they asked me when pre-season training started. I'd seen them around in the corridors every now and again, but I thought they were catering staff or something.

"Our only fear now is that there could be literally hundreds more of these lads around the place picking up a pay packet. We would like to ask the fans to give us a call if they think of anyone who could still be knocking about."

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