Ian Wright has come out to name Arsenal Invincibles captain Patrick Vieira down in sixth place on his all-time best Premier League captains, shocking a number of fans in the mean-time.
On the pitch, Vieira was always seen as a big motivater, but behind the scenes, things were supposedly not the same.
Ian Wright has always been an Arsenal favourite at the club, with his amazing performances for us in the 90s, and has remained in high standing due to his charisma and banter as seen on TV regularly.
It turns out he was never Vieira’s biggest fan however, although that wasn’t down to his footballing ability…
Arsene Wenger brought the central midfielder to the club from AC Milan, where he had spent a season mostly in their reserves, but he is said to have refused to integrate with the English contingent, opting to isolate himself with his French counterparts off the pitch.
Wright revealed: ‘He never captained me. I was in and around him and saw how he was emerging as a captain, you could see – it was blatantly obvious.’
He added: ‘Sometimes Patrick would come in and he wouldn’t even talk to you. You can’t do that as a captain – he’d blank you!’
Asked why, Wright continued: ‘Can I be totally honest? With the French guys, I remember Tony [Adams] used to have to sometimes literally [tell them to speak]…
‘You know you say “good morning” to the guys – literally you’d say “morning” and they’d just walk past you. Bam, blank you, all of them, just blank you.
‘They just wouldn’t speak. Nicolas Anelka, Manu Petit, they’re all the same.’
After Gary Lineker probed whether they were very cliquey, Wright explained: ‘Yeah they were just together I think because they were all French.
We hear a lot today about unrest in the dressing room as a reason for struggles on the pitch, but it seems as though any rifts back then were left in the dressing room, as this team was highly successful.
Is too much made of ‘dressing room unrest’ nowadays? Is it possible to have big divides nowadays and still succeed on the pitch?