By 90Min
October 15, 2017

Former Arsenal full-back Armand Traore has revealed that he once took a knuckle-duster to a north London derby.

The then 17-year-old, who had only just signed for the club, spent ten hours in a police station as a result.

And he has now spoken of the reason behind his decision to enter White Hart Lane with the knuckle-duster.


“Coming from France, I used to go to PSG versus Marseille – and the fans there would batter each other," he said, quoted by the Mirror.

“I was only 17 and I had just started playing for Arsenal’s first-team. I had these images in my mind. I went to the north ­London derby but I was convinced ­someone might recognise me.

“I thought if a Spurs fan did, then I needed to be ready if ­something happened. So I had a knuckle-duster in my pocket — which was just stupid. As I walked into the stadium, the police found it on me and I ended up in custody for more than 10 hours. I didn’t see a ball kicked. Eventually they released me.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

“Then Arsene Wenger found out about it. I was just stupid. Young and naive. Can you imagine if ­something actually had ­happened? It would have been ­life-changing. I was young and I have learned my lesson. It was a stupid ­mistake.”

Now 28 and considerably more experienced, Traore is plying his trade in the Championship for Nottingham Forest, and featured in Sunday's 2-0 East Midlands derby defeat against Derby on Sunday.

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