The Top 10 Patrick Vieira bust-ups
It felt just like old times watching Patrick Vieira getting stuck in to Stoke on Tuesday night. His tackle on Glenn Whelan's, er, tackle earned him a violent conduct charge from the FA and left the Stoke star thanking his stars that nature didn't bless him more fully down below.
Of course, Patrick has been here before. Many times, in fact, as this Top 10 bust-ups proves...
1) Vieira v Ian Pearce (July 1998)
Vieira was fined £3,000 and warned over his future conduct after kicking defender Ian Pearce during West Ham's FA Cup tie against Arsenal. He was also involved in a brawl at full time involving several Hammers players. Of course!
2) Vieira v Sheffield Wednesday's fans (September 1998)
Vieira was hit with a £20,000 fan after making flicking the 'V's at Wednesday's fans following Arsenal's 1-0 defeat to the Owls. For once, Vieira wasn't the wost behaved player on the pitch, though: Paolo Di Canio infamously pushed over referee Paul Alcock during the game. Not to be outdone, Vieira was also accused of pushing a police officer in the tunnel - but was never charged.
3) Vieira v Olivier Dacourt and Eirik Bakke (November 2000)
Vieira was handed a one match ban and a £10,000 fine by the FA after their video advisory panel found footage of the midfielder headbutting Leeds players Eirik Bakke and kicking Dacourt in the throat. As a result of the post-match issuing of the ban, Vieira later said: “This is typical English-style stupidity.” Mais, oui, Monsieur.
4) Vieira v Hill-Wood (June 2001)
Not a clash in the physical sense, but then neither Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood or his star man held back when it came to a bout of verbal jousting. In response to an article in which Vieira questioned the team's inability to win a trophy, Hill-Wood said: “If Patrick wants to win trophies then he only has to look at himself to find out why.” Two years later, when negotiations over a new contract stalled, Vieira showed that he bears grudges as well, saying: "Hill-Wood continues to make comments which I am not happy about at all. It is a total lack of respect and I really do not appreciate it."
5) Vieira v Ruud Van Nistelrooy (September 2003)
It’s fair to say that these two won’t be sharing a drink anytime soon. Vieira famously wrote in his autobiography that Van Nistelrooy was: “a cheat and a coward”, and added, “at Arsenal we hated him and had real reason to do so.” Which goes some way to explaining the Gooner's angry reaction to his sending off for a challenge on the Manchester United striker. Or, indeed, the pair's heated altercation after France’s Euro 2008 exit. Evidently old wounds do run deep.
6) Vieira v Neil Ruddock (October 2003)
Ruddock was himself no stranger to the odd scuffle, of course, but in this instance he was very much sinned against. Vieira had been involved in a running skirmish with the West Ham defender throughout Arsenal's Premeir League clash at Upton Park, but after being sent off for a challenge on Paolo Di Canio, the Arsenal star spat at the gloating Ruddock. A six match ban swiftly followed...
7) Vieira v Lauren (October 2004)
Even team-mates were fair game as far as Vieira was concerned. Lauren was widely held to have been at fault for Rosenberg's equaliser in a 1-1 Champions League draw, and Vieira allegedly exchanged words with the defender during the game. The row carried on after the final whistle and eventually escalated into a physical altercation that needed Norwegian police to calm down. Arsene Wenger later described the incident as “a storm in a teacup.” We're just amazed he saw it...
8) Vieira v Roy Keane (February 2005)
Arguably nothing encapsulated the sheer animosity between Manchester United and Arsenal more than the rivalry between Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane. Both were kings of their respective central midfields and despite a healthy mutual respect for each other, neither wanted to back down - ever. The result was one of the biggest personal rivalries of the Premier League era, one of the undoubted highlights being this confrontation in the Highbury tunnel. Thankfully the cameras were there to capture it for posterity...
9) Vieira v Zlatan Ibrahimovic (xxx 2006) While at Juventus, this infamously hot-headed pair were involved in a training ground fracas after the Swedish striker allegedly took umbrage at Vieira's refusal to pass the ball to him. Manager Fabio Capello eventually had to step in personally to separate the scrapping pair.
10) Vieira v Eric Abidal (June 2008)
Tempers ran high after France’s premature exit at Euro 2008. So much so that captain Vieira reportedly got involved in a contre temps with team-mate Eric Abidal. Infamous French manager Raymond Domenech. responded with a typically bizarre excuse for events, stating that the clash was to do with a generational difference between the pair. Uh-huh. Because, as this list proves, Patrick is such a docile fella normally!