Martin Keown has kindly informed Cesc Fabregas that he had left Arsenal before the infamous ‘Pizzagate’ incident.
Fabregas finally admitted earlier this week that he was the culprit who threw a slice of pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson after a game between Arsenal and Manchester United.
The Spaniard also accused Keown of “just, like, punching people” during the fracas, but Keown had already left the Gunners for Leicester the previous summer.
‘Sorry Cesc, I wasn’t at Old Trafford when you flung the pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson… but I wish I had been!’ he told the Daily Mail.
‘Often memories of these titanic clashes merge into one. Maybe he assumed that because there was a melee I must have been there, but I had already left Arsenal for Leicester.
‘There was always an added emphasis when we played Manchester United. We knew if we took three points off them, we would have an excellent season.
‘These were two teams at the peak of their powers. United won the Treble in 1999 but that year, head-to-head, I felt we were as good if not better than them.
‘Where they had the edge was their ability to beat everyone else. Such was their psychological hold over the rest of the Premier League that to beat them you had to play them at their own game.
‘I remember seeing Sir Alex give the referee the hairdryer treatment during United’s victory over us in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final. From then on, it was always in the back of my mind that I needed to intervene if I saw him go near the officials.
‘United’s players also had a habit of crowding the referee and I wanted to make sure we matched their numbers.
‘In these games, you could not afford to get embroiled in personal vendettas. But with such strong-willed individuals on both sides it was inevitable that tempers would flare. In the 801 games I played for club and country I only saw punches thrown in the tunnel on two or three occasions — and one of them was during a game between Arsenal and United.
‘But when I look back, there was always a level of respect between us. United beat us in the FA Cup semi-final in 2004, six months after I had clashed with Ruud van Nistelrooy at Old Trafford. I saw him in the tunnel before the game and told him that the incident had not been personal. I’d simply been caught up in the heat of a battle between two great adversaries.’