Arsenal rose to become United&aposs major domestic rival after the appointment of Arsene Wenger as manager in 1996. The Frenchman revolutionised modern football in England, with much of his focus on improving the fitness of his players via a strict dietary regime.
Wenger famously implemented a clean and balanced diet within the squad – a given now, but far from normal back in the late 1990s – replacing red meat with boiled chicken and pies with pasta. He also banned casual group drinking among the squad and removed alcohol from the players&apos lounge.
During the early 2000s, Arsenal and England shared the same nutritionist, Dr John Crane, who ensured Wenger&aposs players were sticking to their programme while away on international duty. And it was there that Neville started to ask questions.
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“We went to England and we were on our special diet,” Seaman told Wenger on his podcast. “We were eating it and, I&aposll always remember this boss, Gary Neville looked over to our table and was like &aposWhat are they eating over there? Why aren&apost they eating the same as us? We&aposre a team! We should be eating the same!&apos
“So that&aposs how he found out about what we were eating and then he took it back to Man United.”
Wenger then exclaimed: “They copied us! The English national team killed us!”
United evidently took those lessons on board, with Sir Alex Ferguson&aposs side going onto to take a clear lead in the rivalry. Arsenal won three Premier League titles during Wenger&aposs first eight years in charge but failed to win the top flight after 2004.
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