Oh, what a time to be an Arsenal fan! Eight points clear of reigning champions, Manchester City, and a genuine contender for the Premier League title this season. Rewind your clocks to the end of the 2021/22 campaign when the Gunners lost a Champions League place and you’ll see that their handwork has paid off.
It wasn’t an easy road but its blocks were laid back in 2019 when Pep Guardiola’s assistant coach, Mikel Arteta, was appointed as Arsenal’s manager.
The ascent to a better form was tough, but Arteta had a system to which he wanted his players to adhere. The initial season was rough, but the team became a more cohesive unit and made progress.
Now, in the 2022/23 season, the results are for everyone to see. The Gunners have lost just one game in the Premier League and are cruising through to make history again. This was Arteta’s vision, but it was prophesied by his former Everton teammate, Tim Cahill.
Recently, a video has surfaced on social media that dates back to November 2020. It includes Roy Keane arguing with the guest pundit, Cahill about Arsenal on the Sky Sports panel.
Arsenal had just defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford and Cahill was praising Arteta’s role as the Gunners’ boss, despite Arsenal losing three of their opening seven league matches, which included a 1-0 loss to Leicester City.
Cahill mentioned, “When you watch Arsenal against Leicester and you see the high press, how aggressive they were. In this half here [vs United], Arsenal were just outside the 18-yard box on a corner — all four. They were trying to suffocate them, press them in, win the second ball, win the third ball.”
This didn’t sit well with Keane, who quickly reminded Cahill that Arsenal lost to Leicester. The former Manchester United player went on with his rant, trying to break Cahill’s argument that sided with Arsenal’s upcoming brilliance.
Cahill stated that Arsenal are progressing because Arteta has given them a bulletproof formula to embody. This includes playing from the back and maintaining the high press constantly.
Despite Cahill’s laudatory comments on Arsenal at that time, Keane was hellbent on downplaying any positive feedback for Arteta’s side.
“How many games has Arsenal lost this season? They won today against a poor United team and all of a sudden, what, they’re the new Bayern Munich? Do me a favour.”
This angered many fans on the internet who called out Keane’s unjustified anger and called him an average football pundit who has nothing new to say while Cahill was praised for his long-term vision and ability to understand the game.
Unfortunately, as it stands, Keane has lost all his credibility as a pundit. On the contrary, Cahill will see Arsenal play in the Champions League next season much to the dismay of Keane.