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Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira were never going to put together a Manchester United vs. Arsenal combined XI without butting heads.

When the decision was made to put Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira in a room to discuss their rivalry, respective careers and former teammates; the result was always going to make for compelling viewing.

In 2013, a film crew captured conversations between Keane and Vieira for Best of Enemiesa fascinating documentary that concluded with the former foes picking a combined XI from the Gunners and the Red Devils.

For the most part, the two ex-midfielders were in agreement or were, at the very least, willing to give some leeway to the other in terms of selections.

Agreeing swiftly on goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, right-back Lauren and centre-halves Jaap Stam and Tony Adams, the major bone of contention came when the left-back position had to be filled.

Vieira: Left-back? That’s going to be a quick one.
Keane: Yeah, Denis. Here we go. You’d have Ashley Cole over Denis Irwin?
Vieira: Every day, I think. You’re looking at what the left-back can bring to the team.
Keane: Exactly!
Vieira: Defensively and offensively…
Keane: Exactly!

The pair decided to leave left-back blank and continue to fill out the rest of the team, coming to terms on wingers Robert Pires and Cristiano Ronaldo before selecting one another in the centre-of the park.

Roy Keane

A strike partnership consisting of French compatriots Thierry Henry and Eric Cantona was named before the argument returned to Cole vs. Irwin.

“You’d have Denis Irwin in every day of the week,” Keane insisted. “Every day!

“He was never injured, you never heard any off-the-field stuff, never on about contracts. All that comes into it!”

Ultimately and rather unsurprisingly, neither Keane nor Vieira would give in and, as such, their Arsenal vs. Man United combined XI ended up looking like this.

Roy Keane

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