How’s your luck? Tottenham believed they had been about to tug off an excellent signing in 1997 within the type of Emmanuel Petit, however Arsenal had different plans.
This was a interval of nice success for the Gunners – Dennis Bergkamp and David Platt had been introduced in that summer time and Arsene Wenger was appointed supervisor in 1996.
So when it was put to France midfielder Petit: Do you need to struggle relegation or problem for titles, it was a no brainer.
Petit was in London, speaking to Spurs chairman Alan Sugar about shifting to the capital from Monaco. Arsenal heard concerning the assembly and bought phrase to him to not signal something till the midfielder had at the very least heard Wenger’s pitch concerning the new daybreak at Highbury.
That appeared honest sufficient contemplating Wenger was the person who introduced him by means of on the French membership, so Petit requested Sugar for time to consider the supply at his resort.
Spurs even paid for the taxi to drive him there, however the participant as an alternative diverted the cab to Wenger’s home the place he was joined by vice-chairman David Dein, who sealed the £3.5m deal.
“It was the primary time I met David Dein and Tottenham paid for the cab to assist me signal for Arsenal,” he mentioned in 2018. “It’s a part of the legend now.
“I knew the rivalry however not how large it was. David Dein nonetheless loves that story – and [more than] 20 years later he’s nonetheless telling it!”
His switch started Wenger’s revolution, with Gilles Grimandi and Nicolas Anelka additionally arriving at Highbury.
And Petit was a really busy man.
By the top of the pony-tailed one’s first season, he was a Premier League and FA Cup winner, his partnership with Patrick Vieira in midfield lauded, he received the World Cup and he even discovered time to assist Solar Hill’s best with an look on The Invoice.
However these lengthy blond locks he grew to become recognized for could by no means have been seen by British followers, as his teammates threatened to chop them off owing to his perspective.
“When the French lads came visiting, the ambiance was somewhat totally different,” his teammate, Ray Parlour recalled to talkSPORT.
“Us British guys had somewhat bit extra enjoyable.
“Dennis Bergkamp was one other one, they had been somewhat extra bit critical and we tried to get a little bit of enjoyable out of them.
“They did change shortly they usually did actually benefit from the banter, however each now once more, for instance, Manu Petit generally would stroll straight previous you.
“You’d say, ‘morning, Manu’, and he’d stroll straight previous you.
“He did it to all of the gamers. He did it to Tony Adams, he did it to David Seaman and that’s not acceptable.
“No matter issues you’ve got, you say good morning to someone, don’t you? It’s very impolite when you simply stroll previous somebody. It’s simply having that respect for different folks.
“So, one morning we nailed him towards the wall and instructed him: ‘Be sure you say good morning to everyone as a result of, when you don’t, we’ll minimize your ponytail off!’
“We even had scissors.
“After that, he was good as gold!”
And Gooners in all places have Tottenham to thank for it.