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27th Aug 2022

“United players talk a lot” – Patrick Vieira sheds new light on infamous tunnel row with Roy Keane

Lee Costello

“Gary Neville had this habit of kicking players around.”

Patrick Vieira is remembered for many things during his time at Arsenal. The captains armband, the trophies, The Invincibles, goals, tackles, and the occasional red card.

One name that has become synonymous with the Gooners legend though, is Manchester United’s Roy Keane.

The no nonsense midfielder was also a tackle-loving captain who collected many trophies and red cards during his time at Old Trafford.

Inevitably when these two would meet, chaos ensued, and when two warriors go head to head, with everything on the line, then acts of violence are only to be expected.

In 2005, Vieira was said to have said something threatening to United’s Gary Neville in the tunnel before the game, and this enraged Keane, who chased after the Arsenal captain down the tunnel, stating that he would “see you out there!”

In an interview with Sky Sports, the Frenchman finally reveals what happened on that faithful day.

“No, no,” Vieira says, when asked if he gave Neville a “jab in the rib”, as recently claimed by another former Red Devils player, Rio Ferdinand.

“United players talk a lot… they are really busy! Gary Neville had this habit of kicking players around. He’d find it really difficult so the option was to kick people around.

“And of course, as a captain, and Roy as the captain of the other team, defending our players and that was a moment where both clubs’ players wanted to dominate.

“When I look at these images again, they make me smile because that was the good times of football.”

“It’s two personalities, two football clubs who wanted to dominate, to win and the game has just changed. With VAR, with all the cameras, now it’s really difficult to get away with it.”

When asked who would be dropped between himself, Keane and Paul Scholes, Vieira couldn’t help but throw one last dig at his foe.

“I think Roy would be on the bench. He’d be dropped,” he adds with a laugh.

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