Tim Cahill enjoys Arsenal test, playing against “best mate” Mikel Arteta

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Over the course of his Everton career, Tim Cahill was sure to have been frustrated by Arsenal many times. In front of a sell-out crowd of 25,219, he could certainly take joy from the Red Bulls 1-0 victory over the Gunners to lift the NY Cup.

“I said to the guys inside ‘Be ready for a contest.’ They’re world-class players and they’re not going to take it lightly. They have pride in their badge and who they play for and it was really nice to get that competitive edge and come out on top as well,” said Cahill after the match.

“I think for us it was a good test because we tested their defense, also the shape and the way we played, we kept the ball really well and it was good to play against some old friends and have some good battles like I did in the old days.”

In particular, Cahill got to face one of his closest friends, Mikel Arteta, as they battled in midfield. At Everton, they used to run the center of the park together. Cahill brought his usual grit and Arteta orchestrated the Evertonian attacks.

“I love it. He’s one of my best mates. He’s like a brother and I’ve missed him for a while now,” said the Red Bulls’ midfielder.  “It’s nice to put a little pressure on him on the pitch and have a laugh at the same time.”

After 90 minutes were done with and the Red Bulls were awarded their trophy, Cahill went to visit a few of the Arsenal players in their locker room. It was there that he received some praise from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

“I went into the changing room with all the boys and straightaway the manager Arsene Wenger said, ‘You never change. That’s what I like about you.’ He’s one of the best managers in the world. For me just shaking his hand was great, but sharing a few words was special,” Cahill said.

The Red Bulls wanted to put out a good showing, particularly for the fans. It was one of the club’s better performances in 2014 as they outplayed Arsenal for most of the 90 minutes.

“I’m really happy for the fans because it means a lot to the New York Red Bulls fans regardless of it being a friendly. There is no friendlies, there never will be. You can see that in the way I play, but it’s more for the fans because they deserve a little bit of praise for sticking by us all season and now it’s for us to kick start the season,” said Cahill

  • Sean David Johnson

    Class act, Cahill. Class act.

  • Garry Redman

    Would it be nice if Roxy can somehow get his “best mate” in NYRB colors?