I saw a headline from the Mirror which covered the battles between Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane. Whilst not condoning their behaviour, the passion they showed was incredible, either that or they simply just hated each other.
From 1996 through to 2005, the Premier League was about us or them. Keane v Vieira, Arsene Wenger v Fergie, Arsenal v Man Utd and the battles made great viewing. Players from both sides crossed the line but Fergie and his players got away with a lot more than Arsenal’s did. With Mike Riley in Fergie’s pocket and Utd being sponsored by Timex, I think it’s fair to suggest, Arsenal were always up against it even before the whistle blew.
Before Vieira, it was Tony Adams, Martin Keown and on the odd occasion, all the players joining in with a mass brawl. I’ll admit, I loved watching it as it showed how much both teams wanted to win anything which was on offer. Even the fight. So many moments and I’m sure we’ll cover those in the comments.
It’s funny really though how despite one of the hottest rivalries in the game being the NLD, that lot down the road we’re never a threat to either Utd or Arsenal back then, to be fair they’re not now because none of the three clubs are anywhere near winning the league.
Big Sam, Tony Pulis, plus a few others, including the very likeable Roy Hodgson sent their teams out in a way to stop Arsenal. Literally. “They don’t like it up ‘em’ ‘they’ said. As if that meant fouling the opposition was acceptable. Arsenal were pretty soft though during that time because the tough guys had been long gone.
Anyway, I’m not this is the politically correct way to ask this question, but which are your favourite battles of the past?
Here’s a few of the ones involving Utd…
See you in the comments.