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Arteta In The Sun Today

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TOTTENHAM’S Carling Cup triumph against Chelsea was Juande Ramos’ SECOND success this season.


The first was turning the lardies at the Lane into a lean, mean football machine.


The Spaniard was left in a state of shock to find his struggling stars overweight, unfit and eating junk when he first took charge at the end of October.


Now boss Ramos has fed the North Londoners with their first trophy in nine years — and they are hungry for more.


Ramos could not believe the grub former Spurs manager Martin Jol allowed the players to wolf down — and how unfit they were.


His assistant Marcos Alvarez made the sensational revelations in a conversation with Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta.


Alvarez described how Tottenham’s new technical team had to totally transform the squad’s training and dietary habits.


Arteta said: “Juande had already had success at Tottenham before Sunday’s final. He led Tottenham, a team that was in really bad shape only a couple of months ago, to recovery.


“I remember the day we played against them. I spoke for a while with Marcos Alvarez, their fitness coach, who was telling me how they found the squad when they arrived.


“Poor guy, he was recounting things that had left them stupefied — like how overweight the players were in general, or the dietary habits of some of the players there.


“He said they were stunned when they arrived at the restaurant and saw it full of sweets, cakes, Tabasco, mayonnaise, Coca-Cola . . .


“He told me they could not believe it — they had to do a pre-season in mid-December and change things radically.”


SunSport exclusively revealed how Ramos had signed up Spanish nutritional guru Dr Antonio Escribano — dubbed Dr Baby Food.


Escribano revolutionised Spurs’ diet and that, coupled with Alvarez’s intense fitness regime, resulted in players such as Paul Robinson and Jermaine Jenas looking leaner and fitter than ever.


Ramos’ methods brought instant results. Spurs started climbing up the table and in the Carling Cup semi-final they thrashed Arsenal 5-1 — their first win over their hated rivals since 1999.


And the icing on the cake came when they overcame Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley to win their first trophy since 1999.


It is almost beyond belief to think that after more than a decade of constant talk of diet and proper nutrition for players which followed Arsene Wenger’s arrival at Arsenal there are still clubs that have the same bad old habits.


But Arteta insists eating junk is something which is prevalent at his own club Everton, with players still stuffing themselves with sweets and all kinds of things that “footballers should not eat”.


The Everton ace revealed he takes his own ingredients to the club’s cook and gives specific instructions how to cook the food because he cannot eat the fare served up at the club restaurant.


Speaking to Spanish paper El Mundo, Arteta (right) added: “The truth is they were astounded by something that for me already was something normal.


“In teams managed by foreigners this is something that is less and less frequent.


“But in teams like mine, it’s still an English tradition — this kind of food is our ‘daily bread’.


“When I arrived at Everton, the restaurant that we have in our training ground served fish and chips.


“But there are team-mates who are used to it and it’s difficult to make them change.


“So as a result when I arrived I started asking them to cook my pasta as I like it — and the rice . . . and the chicken breast, too!

“The truth is, I don’t like food with spices and I prefer to keep away from those sweets and cakes they wolf down in this country.


“So I bring my own rice and tomato sauce and tell Sue, our cook, how I want it done — with a little bit of garlic and some onion.”

Both the Everton staff and Tottenham’s players found the changes to their diet a little eccentric.


Yet along with the Carling Cup, Spurs also clinched a place in next season’s UEFA Cup.


Arteta added: “After the investment that they have made, they desperately needed to achieve this European place.”

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