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Arsenal legend Keown: I took on Cantona, Gullit, Le Tissier but Corentin Martins was the toughest to mark

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has named former France international Corentin Martins as one of the toughest opponents he faced during his playing days.

Keown, who played against the likes of Eric Cantona, Ruud Gullit and Matt Le Tissier during his illustrious career, has labelled his performance against Auxerre on the talented Martins in 1995 as one of his best displays.

“I marked Eric Cantona, Ruud Gullit and always Matt Le Tissier whenever Arsenal played Southampton but I didn't like it and I didn't want to be known for it," Keown wrote for the Daily Mail.

Graham Taylor, the England manager, would say: 'Why Martin? You are good at it. Why can't you accept that?'

“One experience still stands out. An Auxerre midfielder, Corentin Martins, who pulled me all over the pitch in a Cup Winners' Cup match for Arsenal in France in 1995.

“In the first minute, Martins, a little playmaker, took the ball off the goalkeeper and looked at me as if to say, 'Come on then…' So I went after him and he ran 50 yards from right to left with a glint in his eye.

“The message was clear: 'If you are going to track me, then be ready for one long ride'.

“I ran and ran, covered every blade of grass and tried to stay with him. We kept a clean sheet, Ian Wright scored the only goal, which the French media described as 'sensational' — and I barely got a mention! It was a thankless task."

Vyom Chaudhary
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Vyom Chaudhary

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