Ian Wright says Martin Keown was his most ‘intense’ team-mate at Arsenal

Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Martin Keown and Ian Wright pose in the dressing room
Martin Keown and Thierry Henry were team-mates for six years at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has revealed that Martin Keown was the most ‘intense’ footballer he ever played with in his career.

Wright and Keown shared a dressing room for six seasons in north London and were also team-mates at international level with England from 1992 to 1998.

Under the tutelage of legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, they won the Premier League title and the FA Cup together in the 1997/98 season before Wright left the Gunners to join West Ham that following summer.

Martin Keown and Ian Wright pose with England team-mates ahead of clash with Czech Republic
Keown and Wright shared a dressing room at club and international level (Picture: Getty)

The iconic striker would also go on to play for Nottingham Forest, Celtic and Burnley before hanging up his boots in 2000 but no player he played with came close to matching Keown on the field when it came to ‘intensity’.

‘We’re talking about no day off for him,’ Wright told Stadium Astro when asked to name his most ‘intense’ team-mate.

‘In training he was exactly the same as how he played which is something I tried to take from his game because you can’t switch it on and off like a tap, the intensity that you have to play at Premier League level and international level.

‘So if you can maintain a certain intensity, all the way through, whether it’s training or whatever you’re doing, even in friendlies.

‘Martin said to me you should continuously train like you play and he was majorly intense to the point where it was over-the-top intense.’

Wright believes Keown is often ‘misunderstood’ as a result of the image he created for himself during his playing days.

‘Martin was one of the friendliest men you could ever meet,’ Wright continued.

‘And I think that when you here him doing his analysis, you can hear he’s very concise, a very intelligent bloke and maybe a bit misunderstood.’

Roy Keane during Royal Antwerp's clash with Manchester United
Keane was the most ‘intense’ player Wright ever faced (Picture: Getty)

Wright says legendary former Manchester United captain Roy Keane was the most intense opposition player he ever came up against on a football field.

The most intense I’ve played against would probably have to be Roy Keane,’ he added.

‘Roy Keane was really intense. There was no let-up in his manner on the pitch when he was on there with Manchester United and this is why they won so much. This is why they were so revered. This is why they were so great.

‘Because he was a captain that didn’t let anybody rest on their laurels and he drove that team for many years.

‘He was majorly intense on the pitch.’

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