Arsenal hero Nigel Winterburn: I used to support and admire Leeds United

Leeds United Crest

Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn explains why he admired Leeds United during the period they were apparently playing ‘dirty football'.

Arsenal great Nigel Winterburn has revealed that he used to support and admire Leeds United when he was young.

The former England international played for the Gunners from 1987 until 2000, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the country during that period.

The 50-year-old started his professional career at Wimbledon and moved onto Arsenal. During his time at Highbury, the retired left-back won the league title thrice, the FA Cup twice, the League Cup once and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup on one occasion.

Writing in the Arsenal Magazine about the ‘art of tackling’, Winterburn revealed that he liked Leeds for the way they robustly defended.

‘I used to support Leeds’, he wrote. ‘They were renowned for being a really dirty team. Leeds could pass and move the ball around but they could certainly mix it against teams too.

‘They had players in their team that could do both. I used to look at that and admire it in a way. Maybe that tells you what my philosophy on football was like a bit’.

Leeds did indeed have a reputation of ‘playing dirty’, but things have changed now. The West Yorkshire outfit are currently in the Championship and do play good football.

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