Marc Overmars says that he was allowed to take more risks as an Arsenal player thanks to Ray Parlour’s “power and work rate”.

The former Netherlands winger played a vital part in the Gunners' double-winning season of 1997/98, forming a devastating front line with Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and Nicolas Anelka - who scored a combined 58 goals in all competitions.

However, despite the team's creativity in attack, Overmars says that he would not have been as effective without his team-mates’ hard work.

He delivered so much power and work rate so that I could be more risky up front because Ray was doing a lot of defensive work

Marc Overmars

“In that period we were playing and feeling like we were unbeatable,” he told Arsenal Player. “It was the best period of my life as a footballer.

“We had Ray Parlour who did extremely well. He delivered so much power and work rate so that I could be more risky up front because Ray was doing a lot of defensive work, and that’s the same for Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira.

“They let me play a bit higher up which is why I could score more goals.

"In an English team, it doesn’t matter if it’s Arsenal, Chelsea or United, you have to get a base of the English players, like Ray. That’s my opinion, because then it’s good to have that connection with your supporters and the area around you.”

Marc Overmars with Ray Parlour
Marc Overmars with Ray Parlour

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Max Jones 22 Mar 2016