Roy Keane has talked about the rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United, revealing there was a “general hatred” between the clubs’ players and staff.

The two sides were pretty much unchallenged in fighting for the Premier League for a period of time, only really battling with each other to be the top team in England.

Keane told Sky Sports via the Independent that there was more between the two clubs than just friendly rivalry, saying: “I think there was a general hatred between the managers and the players. The managers have a bit more respect for each other now, but at the time, there was a rivalry we don’t see in the Premier League now. It was hatred.”

There were certainly a lot of heated battles between players during that period, and when the subject of Arsenal’s clash with Van Nistelrooy at Old Trafford came up, Keane was quick to shift the blame away from the United player: “Patrick (Vieira) got himself sent off in that game. Arsenal players that day crossed that line.

“Why does Martin Keown regret his actions on that day? Martin has done some daft things on the pitch so he must have done something wrong to regret that.”

Roy also talked about the Arsenal Invincible season, claiming that for him it would’ve been no better than any other title win. “It wouldn’t have worried me too much. My priority at the start of every season was to win the Premier League,” he added. “I don’t care if I win it with three games to go, if it’s the last kick of the game, I don’t care. Give me that medal.”

The Irish midfielder is clearly still not quite at the point where he can fully respect the Gunners’ achievements during his spell with United. If we’re approaching 15 years on from that Van Nistelrooy incident and he still can’t concede any fault on the part of his former teammate that day, it could be a while yet.

During the stadium move, when a number of key players left Arsenal, the gap between the two clubs grew, which took the rivalry down a couple of notches. But now the Gunners are back winning trophies again while United are assembling one of the most expensive sides ever, it may not be long before it starts to heat up again.