BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Jimmy Abdou was the quiet man of the Millwall dressing room – but Paul Robinson can remember a time when he did raise the volume.
Lions legend Robinson clocked up over a decade of service and is delighted to see Abdou, 33, also landing a testimonial for 10 years of graft.
Abdou’s match is against VfL Bochum tomorrow (1pm).
“The only time I ever heard Jimmy get a little bit vocal was after we won the play-off final [in 2010],” said Robinson. “Trotts [Liam Trotter] sprayed champagne around and it went near Jimmy, who doesn’t drink.
“Jimmy was just like he is on the pitch, every day he had a smile on his face. He was Mr Consistent. He wouldn’t say a lot but got the job done.
“I remember him for his non-stop running and energy. As a centre-half, having Jimmy in front of me was reassuring because of the work he did to break up the opposition’s play. He protected the back four.
“Jimmy did the work of two or three players in the way he got around the pitch.
“When the club needed his experience to get up [in 2017] he helped get the boys through. Jimmy had hardly played but turned up in important matches and saw them across the line.”
So did Abdou get the recognition he deserved?
“He did from his team-mates,” said Robinson. “Because we saw how hard he worked.
“I guess the position he played meant he went under the radar at times. Jimmy wasn’t always in the thick of the match-winning moments because he was more on the destructive side. But as soon as Jimmy wasn’t there, the team would notice.
“He had played for Ollie [Ian Holloway] at Plymouth. I imagine he recommended him to Kenny. I remember his first running session – we were going from box to box. Jimmy must never have done the drill before and didn’t turn, he kept going towards the goal. But by the halfway line he had motored past everyone.
“I remember his welcome song. We were on a pre-season trip in Ireland and having a bite to eat in the restaurant. He stood up and sung La Marseillaise. It tipped things over the edge and we ended up leaving abruptly.”
PICTURES BY BRIAN TONKS
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