Patrice Evra didn’t have a particularly high opinion of Arsenal during his eight-year spell with Manchester United.
Evra was at Old Trafford between 2006-2014, during which Arsenal became less of a force under Arsene Wenger.
Prior to Evra’s arrival at Man Utd, Arsenal were widely regarded as one of Europe’s best teams.
Just two years earlier, the Gunners’ legendary Invincibles side went the entire 2003-04 season without suffering a single league defeat.
But Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium coincided with a long decline in terms of the club’s success on the pitch.
Eighteen years have now passed since Arsenal last lifted the Premier League trophy.
Patrice Evra on playing against Arsenal
Speaking on a TV show in Ghana this week, Evra described Arsenal as his “babies” and revealed how one of their players asked to swap shirts with him before half-time.
The former left-back also revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson’s team talks against the Gunners lasted no more than two minutes on occasions.
“When you play against Arsenal, it means you’re playing against your babies,” the Frenchman said. “When you play against Manchester City, you win against your noisy neighbours. When you play against Liverpool, you win against your enemy. When you play against Chelsea, it means you’re going to win the league because Chelsea were the most similar team at the time to United.”
The interviewer said: “Arsenal your babies?”
Evra replied: “Thierry Henry is my brother but I always felt it was really easy when I was playing against Arsenal.
“I won’t mention names but after 35 minutes my opponent he was like: ‘Mr Evra, can we swap shirts?’ – because I was going too hard on him.
“And Ferguson before the game when we played against Arsenal, I promise you, his team talk was less than two minutes.
“He said: ‘Guys, it’s Sunday, it’s beautiful weather. This is not Arsenal team like the Thierry Henry, the [Patrick] Vieira… the legends. So I don’t want anyone to f*** up my Sunday. Good luck.’
“So you know that if you upset the old man, you’re dead!”
Video: Patrice Evra’s stories about Arsenal
Watch the clip here:
Fergie’s team talk to his Utd side was always less than 2 minutes.— n.a (@thenanaaba) September 16, 2022
Evra talks about playing against City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. pic.twitter.com/2JCbGafbaB
Pretty damning for Arsenal fans to hear.
They’ll be relieved that the team have come a long way in recent months under Mikel Arteta, who is slowly but surely transforming the players’ mentality and convincing supporters that the club is on the right path again.
QUIZ: Can you name these 90s Premier League players?
‘World class Haaland’ (Football Terrace)