Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has revealed that the scariest and most intimidating match he was ever involved in was one of the North London grudge matches against rivals Tottenham.
The Gunners have a long-standing rivalry with Spurs, and Parlour admits he relished those games because of what it meant for the fans, even if he personally found the rivalry with Manchester United was more significant at the time.
Parlour admits, however, that the hostile reception of the Tottenham fans when Sol Campbell came back to White Hart Lane for the first time since his controversial move to Arsenal was the scariest game he’d been involved in.
The talkSPORT pundit certainly paints quite a picture of what went down, as he admits it didn’t feel particularly safe as the team bus had things thrown at it, and he thought a window had smashed at one point, though it was just some plates.
“The fiercest game I’ve ever been in was Sol Campbell’s first game back a White Hart Lane – WOAH!” he said on talkSPORT.
“I’ll always remember coming out [of the stadium], we got pelters, we got all sorts of things thrown at our coach.
“When you come out of Tottenham you’ve got to do a hard left at a T-junction, and the police were on our coach telling us not to stop, just keep going as quick as you can, and it was dangerous.
“We went round this corner so quickly all the plates came out the cupboards – SMASH!
“We thought the window had gone in!
“That was probably the scariest and most intimidating game I’ve been involved in.”
Parlour added that, for him, the games against Man Utd meant more due to what was at stake in terms of the title race.
“You do it for the fans in derbies, really,” Parlour said.
“You want to win the game, but you still only get three points if you beat your local rivals, it’s more for the fans and the bragging rights on the Monday morning when people go back to work.
“It was always a big game, playing against Spurs, it was a north London derby.
“But for me Manchester United was a bigger game in the era I played in, because you knew if you could get four points out of six from the two games you had a chance of winning the league.”