When he was just 19, Lee Sharpe witnessed first-hand the fierce rivalry that exists between Arsenal and Manchester United.
The former United winger was among a mass brawl which broke out at Old Trafford in 1990 that involved 21 players of both teams, apart from Gunners goalkeeper David Seaman.
Since then, there has been a flurry of notorious flashpoints - from Martin Keown taunting Ruud van Nistelrooy over a missed penalty in 2003 to the Battle of the Buffet a year later, to a stormy tunnel confrontation between Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane at Highbury in 2005.
But as the Gunners and Red Devils square off tonight at the Emirates Stadium, Sharpe believes the fury and venom of the fixture has faded.
He told The Sunday Times in an e-mail interview courtesy of property developer Castlewood Group: "The intensity has gone because the playing staff has changed and there are not as many British players who have the passion for the history of the game and the personal duels have gone."
Catch former Reds and Devils
The Castlewood Group Battle of the Reds between the Liverpool Masters and Manchester United Masters will be held at the National Stadium, which will be specially configured to seat 11,000 fans, on Nov 14 at 6pm.
The game will feature popular former players from both English clubs like Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Louis Saha and Andy Cole.
Tickets are available from www.mastersfootball.com and goo.gl/ba5kCn
To Sharpe, what made this such a grudge match in the past were the clubs' emblematic former captains and midfield hard men - Vieira and Keane.
"You'll never replace them," the 44-year-old insisted. "They were great players and fierce competitors. That side of the game is disappearing."
But while things are unlikely to turn nasty in North London this afternoon, there is still much at stake as English Premier League high-fliers United try to fend off the Gunners, who are three points behind them.
However, Sharpe, who won the Premier League thrice and the FA Cup twice with the Red Devils, is still unsure if his former club's ascent to the top was the handiwork of a tactical guru.
He said of Louis van Gaal, who has polarised opinions with his management style: "There's a fine line between genius and madness and I'm not sure which side of the line he's on at the moment.
"I like the players he has but I still think they need to buy a central defender. Also, their build-up play is too slow and gives teams time to regroup and organise."
But the Dutchman impressed Sharpe with a signing that now looks like an inspired piece of transfer business.
Anthony Martial signed from Monaco for an initial £36 million (S$78.5 million) that could potentially rise to £58 million, but the French teenager has since netted thrice in just as many Premier League games.
Sharpe said: "Martial looks the real deal. He's big (1.81m tall), strong, quick and is very composed in front of goal.
"He is only 19 so will go through some sticky spells, but if he and the manager can manage these situations well then I see no reason why he can't be a superstar."
MANCHESTER UNITED V ARSENAL
Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, 11pm