Emmanuel Petit was talking with Le vestiaire show from SFR Sport about his time at Arsenal and this time had a few words on Dennis Bergkamp and Martin Keown.
Frank Leboeuf claimed “Bergkamp was a little b**** on the pitch, he was kicking players really hard.”
To which Manu replied, “Dennis was giving back as good as he was getting from the opponents, he was not the player initiating the kicking,“ implying the defenders would start kicking the Dutch player.
“What I found impressive with him was he was not speaking a lot, he reminds me in that way of Zizou (Zinedine Zidane), someone who did not speak much, but preferred to express himself on the pitch.“
Manu explained that the Dutchman had also another side, “But he was also the king of banter, he used to be on Martin Keown‘s case very often. [Keown] is a psychopath, I think football saved him. Every time I meet him, we have a laugh about it. I mean he is a lovely person but on the pitch…“
Leboeuf cuts him and says “a butcher” which is a French way of saying a player who is just on the pitch to batter the opponent physically. Manu carries on, “but on the pitch, I don’t what was happening in his brain, someone must have been pushing a switch button, he was just becoming a different person.”
Then we hear that Bergkamp used to “torture” Keown: “He was driving him crazy, he was hiding his shoes, putting stuff like staples in the defender’s shoes, it was driving him mad. And when Keown was getting angry, he was becoming someone else, just like Hulk. Only Bergkamp was capable of calming down Keown.”