Roy Keane left red-faced over Arsenal verdict as Mikel Arteta proves former Man United star wrong

Roy Keane waves

Everton legend Tim Cahill has had the last laugh over Roy Keane following their heated debate on Arsenal's progress under Mikel Arteta.

The pair had a memorable exchange after Arsenal's 1-0 win against Manchester United in November 2020, where Cahill defended the Gunners' performance and Keane questioned their development.

Despite a rocky start to the 2020-21 season with three losses in seven games, Cahill saw signs of improvement at the Emirates Stadium, especially after Arsenal managed to secure a victory at Old Trafford with a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty, ending a streak of defeats.

The discussion got tense when Cahill highlighted Arsenal's aggressive play and high press, particularly during the game against United. He said: "When you watch Arsenal against Leicester, and you see the high press and how aggressive they were. Here against United, they had all their players inside 18 yards at a corner. They were trying to suffocate United, win the second and third ball."

Keane, however, was sceptical about Arsenal's form and challenged Cahill's positive take by asking: "You talk about the high press, did they lose to Leicester?" Cahill confidently responded, emphasizing the manager's awareness of the issues: "But Mikel will know the reason why they lost. They missed their chances in the first half."

Roy Keane, known for his blunt assessments, downplayed Arsenal's progress by pointedly asking: "How many league games have Arsenal lost this season?"

READ MORE: 'Tottenham white tonight' - Theo Walcott explains why Arsenal have hope ahead of Man City clash

READ MORE: Arsenal Women to make Emirates Stadium their home from next season

However, Tim Cahill's analysis from four years ago has stood the test of time as he argued: "Arsenal are progressing because there is an identity. There is a formula to the way they play. They will play out from the back and will continue to play out from the back. Mikel deserves credit."

Keane sarcastically remarked that Arsenal were being talked up like a top-tier team, which seemed at odds with their actual performance, challenging Cahill with: "How many games have Arsenal lost this season? They just won against a poor United team. All of a sudden Arsenal are the new Bayern Munich. Do me a favour."

Cahill's insights on Arsenal and Arteta have been vindicated over time. Despite another 1-0 victory over United on Sunday, Arsenal have demonstrated a significant quality gap between themselves and United since the Keane-Cahill debate.

The Gunners have been in contention for the Premier League title twice, and if Manchester City slips before the season's end, Arsenal could very well clinch the trophy. On the other hand, United are enduring a tumultuous campaign, currently placed eighth in the league.