Date: 19th June 2008 at 1:16am
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If reports in the Independent are true the enmity between former Gunner favourite Patrick Vieira and Ruud van Nistelroy resurfaced in the tunnel after the Dutch beat France 4-1 in Berne last week. It`s claimed that the Dutch striker had a long face as he waited for the former Arsenal captain and the pair traded insults. Video evidence apparently exists of what is described as a ‘spicey` encounter.

The row has its roots in the now notorious match at Old Trafford in September 2003 in which Vieira was sent off and the equine-featured striker missed a penalty. Vieira said of the incident “I was sent off at Old Trafford after a second yellow card as a result of an incident with him. I got shafted. Just thinking about it makes my blood boil. He tried to stamp on me and then he made more of the challenge than he should have done. I am not blaming the referee. He got shafted too.”

It is fair to say that van Nistelroy was not the most popular opponent amongst a number of Arsenal players having also been involved in incidents with Keown, Ashley Cole and Ljungberg.

Vieira described the horizontal forward as “a cheat and a coward”, “deceitful” and “a nasty piece of work” in his autobiography published after he had left Arsenal and away from the jurisdiction of the English FA who had fined Wenger after expressing sentiments that, though more discreet, concurred with Paddy`s. Dobbin threatened to gallop to the High Courts to sue Vieira but the prospect of having his entire back catalogue of career indiscretions played out on video before the courts may have been too much to contemplate.

It appears that this is one rift that time has little prospect of healing