"You were just kicking everybody" - Arsenal legend explains why he 'couldn't stand' former Manchester United defender Gary Neville

Manchester United v Liverpool - Legends of the North
Manchester United v Liverpool - Legends of the North

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira claimed that he 'couldn't stand' former Manchester United fullback Gary Neville during their match-ups back in the day. The Frenchman made the claim in a recent episode of the Stick To Football podcast, hosted by Neville, Jamie Carragher, Roy Keane and Ian Wright.

Vieira and Neville have historically been arch-rivals, with tensions rising to a boiling point during the heated United-Arsenal clashes of the early 2000s. In the 2004-05 season, during a game at the Gunners' historic Highbury stadium, the friction between the pair resulted in a controversial feud.

The game ended 4-2 in United's favour. Vieira (8') and Dennis Bergkamp (36') scored for Arsenal, while Ashley Cole (18'), Cristiano Ronaldo (54', 58') and John O'Shea (88') scored for the visitors.

After full-time, the spat between the Gunners midfielder and the Red Devils' fullback continued down the Highbury tunnel. Keane, who was Neville's teammate at United at the time, got involved, and almost got himself into a fistfight with Vieira in the Englishman's defense. On the other hand, the former Crystal Palace manager claimed he was only coming to his teammate and compatriot Robert Pires' defense.

Reminiscing the incident and expressing his detestation for the former United club captain during his playing career, the 1998 World Cup winner said (via Goal):

"Because of the nine years I spent there, I didn't like you [Neville] at all... I couldn't stand you because you were just kicking everybody and especially Robert (Pires) when he was there... And in that game, I was just like, I have to make you aware that today, you're not going to touch Robert because I knew that was the plan for you because you struggled against Robert. You were over the top against Robert."

"I still don't understand" - Patrick Vieira acknowledges that he was surprised by quality of legendary Arsenal duo

In a recent episode of the Stick To Football podcast, Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira acknowledged that he was surprised by legendary full-back duo Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon.

In conversation with Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Ian Wright and Jamie Carragher, the 47-year-old exclaimed in amazement at the difference in the pairing's training routines and on-field play. He said (via Arsenal Insider):

"To be honest, I still don’t understand how Nigel [Winterburn] and Lee [Dixon] managed to play at that level…what I mean is that, in training they were like 20% of what they were doing at the weekend. When they were training in the week they were having back issues, having knee issues, having ankle issues, so they were always protecting themselves. Coming to the weekend, I was like ‘they can’t play’, but they were amazing.”

Winterburn enjoyed a 13-year-long Arsenal career (1987-2000), with 9 goals and 19 assists in 553 games for the club. Dixon was a more offensive fullbacks, returning 26 goals and 25 assists in 592 games over nearly 15 years (1988-2002) with the Gunners.

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