Ahead of tomorrow’s game, perhaps the most surprising love-in between two opposing managers appears have to taken place. Given Roy Keane’s history with Arsenal, you would not have been surprised if old ground had been trodden with a touch of bitterness tinged in the memories. Instead, Arsene praised the new found mellowness shown as a manager by Keane,
For me he looks surprisingly calm. At first he was a more impulsive guy. I think what helped him a lot was he tried to deal with that in the final part of his playing career. You could see he was becoming a different player, dominating the impulsive side of his character – and that has helped him start well as a manager.
Keane meanwhile found it in him to admire Cesc Fabregas and his contribution, displaying a previously well hidden sense of humour,
He is probably a different type of player to me – not as cultured as me – but he’s a good player and hopefully our lads will enjoy testing themselves against very good players. He is still young and he is still maturing. He made one or two mistakes last year, but he seems to have settled down a bit this season and he is adding goals to his locker.
He was also in the mood to praise Wenger’s handling of the departure of Thierry Henry,
It’s a hell of a crisis – I would swap our crisis for theirs any day of the week. But that’s the nature of big managers, they will always make the decisions and they will always look at the bigger picture and the benefit to the club
Having been used to a man who would spit nails every time he played Arsenal, even in his Forest days, this new, mellower version takes some getting used to. There is no denying though that he has done a good job at the club, particularly when you consider the position they were in when he took over. As Arsene commented,
If he manages to keep them up he will have had a great season. I think he has the mental strength to achieve it.
Tomorrow’s match will also see the first protest against Usmanov. Over the past few weeks there has been much talk of this and it is, as Goodplaya put it, it is a very Arsenal style of protest with consensus and organisation, although I still recall the calls for the head of Terry Neill vividly, a different situation but nonetheless, noting that we are not above ‘mob mentality’. It is an indication of the stability and success that we have had that there has been little to protest about since.
Finally, I forgot to add the list of the players in yesterday’s Simpsonize Me pic; it was as follows:
Adebayor / Wenger / Traore / Almunia / Diarra / Eboue / Flamini
Denilson / Bendtner / Fabregas / Clichy / Djourou / Eduardo / Gilberto
Diaby / Fabianksi / Gallas / Hleb / Hoyte / Lehmann / Rosicky
van Persie / Sagna / Senderos/ Song / Walcott
The photos used were all from the club site bar a couple that would not load properly. My personal favourite? Lehmann. A genuinely unaltered rendition of the image generated by the site, it conjured up an image of him going home to his wife and him rolling the biggest spliff ever seen when he realised that Arsene was not just going to put straight back into the side.