MARTIN KEOWN has revealed he would man-mark Sir Alex Ferguson to stop him getting to the referee.
The former Arsenal star met the Scotland manager several times in his career when playing against Manchester United.
Keown, 57, claimed he would come “between” Ferguson and the referee so he could stop the Man United legend from speaking to the referee.
He told it All Kicking Off Podcast: “Alex Ferguson always tried to get to the referee at half-time. So I thought, right, this won’t happen again. So I would wait and prevent something like that from happening.”
“Nothing physical. I just wanted to stop it from happening by putting myself between Ferguson and the referee. I was looking for it.”
Keown said the little moments, like blocking Ferguson and keeping United waiting, were the key to success.
He added: “These are good distances. When we played Man United, we didn’t go into the tunnel ahead of them before kick-off.”
“No, they had to wait for us. They used to do the same thing to other teams, but we were the only team that did that to them.”
“So there was this stalemate. I remember one particular game when the referee stood at the door and said, “Well, are you coming out?”
“No, not until they do. I love it, I love it. And those are the details.”
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Keown spoke about playing for Arsenal against United as it was the 20th anniversary of the ‘Battle of Old Trafford’.
During the heated clash, Keown came up against former United star Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Keown was fined £20,000 for his reaction to Patrick Vieira’s red card, believing the Dutch striker had cheated the referee in the 0-0 draw.
The game entered Premier League folklore and Keown claimed he still has United fans cheering him on.
He said, “Not a day goes by without someone yelling at me or saying something.”
“On the train the other day, a crowded train and I’m going to the Wolverhampton game against Liverpool, Man United fans are going to Old Trafford, still giving me the stick, the jokes are still there.”
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