The 57 year old and former Arsenal star Ian Wright was talking on his podcast and tells how everything changed the week before Patrick Vieira had to take on Roy Keane in the centre of midfield in those classic Arsenal vs Manchester, Ferguson v Wenger games.
“I remember the weeks leading into playing United and Patrick’s whole demeanour changed,”
“From the Monday to the Saturday, everything in training changed with Patrick – how sharp he was, how intense he was, how gnarly he was.
“When you listen to both of them speak about it, they’ve both said, ‘I didn’t want to give him an inch.’ Patrick and Roy Keane have both said the same thing – ‘If I play anywhere below where I’m capable of playing, we’ll probably lose the game.’
“It was so balanced that whoever got the better of that particular confrontation probably wins the game.
I remember Patrick in training, his demeanour changed because he was now in ‘I’m up against Roy Keane on Saturday and we’re not fucking losing’ mode.
“The tackles were fiercer, really properly winning it. His intensity in respect of keeping the ball and if you miscontrolled it, he was on you. Bam! Remember, Tony Adams was still captain at the time.
“But he was getting himself into ‘I’m playing against Roy Keane’ mode and he was playing in training like he knew he had to play on the Saturday and it was something to behold.”