Arsenal stars' hippy crack shame will ultimately make them stronger…but they will be very sheepish in the dressing room today
The Sun obtained shocking footage of stars including Alexandre Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the heart of the dangerous nitrous oxide binge.
The booze-fuelled party took place in London – just a few days before the start of the season under new boss Unai Emery.
And ex-Stoke City, Reading and Portsmouth striker Kitson admitted footballers can sometimes simply forget themselves amid the desperate need to let off steam.
He told SunSport: “I think you can get so institutionalised to the point where your decision making gets clouded.
“You’re almost so desperate for a release at times (in pre-season) when you are living in each other’s pockets but this sort of thing never seems to end well.
“Whether it’s women, gambling, laughing gas or drinking, it’s all vices and never anything different.
“It’s not illegal (laughing gas) but I’m not saying it’s great, it’s probably something they shouldn’t be doing.
“When you get into these sorts of situations, you kind of forget yourself for a moment.
"This is a self-inflicted wound, I think they will all be very sheepish for a little while and on their very best behaviour.
“You forget who you are and what you represent to a bunch of other people – you just become another person.
“You forget people are desperate to film you or expose you for something and I think that is a reflection of how enclosed you are during a season to allow your decision making to become that impaired."
Kitson recalled an incident while away on a pre-season tour with Portsmouth when the squad ignored orders from the manager to stay in their hotel rooms.
He continued: “We snuck out on a pre-season tour which is not a good thing to do and it completely undermined the manager.
“You do it because you are desperate to get away from that regimented existence as a footballer and you have to blow off some steam.
“But I do remember we gathered in one of the player's rooms and the captain sent all of the youth team players and young pros back to their rooms.
“He didn’t want them involved and once that happens you know you are doing something you are not supposed to be doing anyway.
“It was a bizarre line between not being responsible but being responsible at the same time.
“The manager found out and we had to apologise to him.
“He was really hurt by it and I did feel really bad for him as he was a fair man and we just took a complete liberty with it.
"The chances are he would have given us a night out anyway.
"At the end of the day, you do have a responsibility to present yourself in a certain way.
“This was a private party and it looks like CCTV which makes it even worse and it's poor from whoever runs that establishment.
"But on the other hand, they should not be doing that in or out of season, but it goes to show where the game has changed."
Despite being on a brilliant 20-game unbeaten run, Kitson thinks the incident could help bond the Arsenal squad together to forge a siege mentality coming into the crucial busy Christmas period.
He added: “These stories always seem to crop up when things are going well funnily enough
“Someone sits on it until the moment of maximum impact which I understand.
“When you feel the world is against you, you can bunker down and you think ‘we will show everyone and do our talking on the pitch’.
After Wednesday’s draw at Manchester United, Arsenal now face Huddersfield at home on Saturday.
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