Joe Willock has defended Arsenal players after Roy Keane slammed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for calling Mikel Arteta by his first name.
Aubameyang had called Arteta “Mikel” in his post-match interview after Arsenal beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Keane said it was disrespectful of him to do that because he and Arteta weren’t mates and he needed to respect his gaffer.
However, Willock has claimed that calling the Spaniard by his first name wasn’t a sign of disrespect, rather, it showed the close nature of their relationship with their manager.
He claimed that it was obvious that all the players at the club had so much respect for their manager considering the amazing work that he has done at the club for the short period that he has been their manager.
‘As you know we all really, really respect the manager,’ Willock said when Keane’s comments were put to him as quoted by Metro.
‘What he’s done over the 10 months he’s been here is mind-blowing and we can only hold our hats off to him and that’s something that we talk about.
‘We talk about the big respect we have for him in the changing room so I don’t think that’s a lack of respect; it’s just the relationship we each have with him.’
Keane is stuck back in the noughties and ’90s, it is different today and managers and players relationships are different, the days of dictatorial managers are over with. These days it is all about collaboration.