By Tony Attwood
9th August 1997: Overmars, Petit and Grimandi all start their first game for Arsenal. And of all people to play: Leeds United managed by G Graham Esq. At Elland Road.
Did we know these men: Overmars, Petit and Grimandi? No – well at least I didn’t. Did we know that Petit / Vieira would be one of those partnerships that 15 years later we would still drool over? Certainly not.
Our team was
Winterburn Bould Grimandi Garde
Overmars (Hughes) Vieira (Platt) Petit Parlour
Where are they now? Seaman is I think doing a bit of stuff with Wembley FC, and I think Parlour is there too. Bould and Grimandi are still with us, Bould sitting with Mr Wenger, Grimandi endlessly prowling France for the next big find.
Reme Garde manages Lyon, Overmars is in the Netherlands I think helping a team, Vieira at Man C, and Bergkamp with Ajax. Wright of course is a media prat, as for the rest I am not too sure just now. Help me out guys!
With new faces in the team it wasn’t a great start to the season – we took the lead and Leeds equalised before half time.
The commentators were their inevitable English-is-best selves, criticising all these foreign players who “don’t know how the game is played here” – Grimandi coming in for quite a pasting despite providing a beautiful pass to Wright for the goal.
The interesting point of course is where these two clubs are now – and the journey they have taken. At the time of this match Leeds were up there with the big boys, and with Graham in charge there was hope that they could win something. As for Arsenal, well, what does this Frenchman who has been in Japan know about football in England?
The Great History of Arsenal Competition:Complete with lovely prizes