‘I knew Marc would rip defenders to pieces’

Lee Dixon will never forget the first time he witnessed Marc Overmars’ devastating pace.

England were lining up against the Netherlands in a 1994 World Cup qualifier at Wembley and our right back faced the unenviable task of trying to keep the rapid winger, then of Ajax, quiet.


Overmars would go on to join forces with Dixon at Arsenal four years later, terrorising opposition defences on our way to the double in his debut season, but Dixon will always remember the struggles he had trying to cope with the wide man on that evening back in April 1993.


“Before he came to Arsenal, I played against him for Holland at Wembley,” he told Arsenal Player. “I was right back and he was left wing.


“His movement… I knew as soon as we signed him, I knew his movement would rip defenders to pieces because he was so sharp at being able to know when the player was coming in to hit behind, and when the player drops off to come short.


“He would get it short, turn and then run at you. I knew that combination because in the end I had to kick him so hard that he went over to the right wing to get rid of me.


“I did my job but the trouble was that when he went over to the right wing, Martin Keown was playing left back. He soon came back over after Martin had given him a double whammy!”

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