Gary Neville has Arsenal doubts and says Gunners should be questioned
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Manchester United icon Gary Neville admits he has doubts over whether Arsenal can sustain their Premier League title challenge this season and says he will continue to question the side because they haven’t been able to claim top-flight silverware recently. Arsenal last won the title in 2004 as they became the only team to ever remain unbeaten throughout an entire Premier League season.
“We have to question them,” the ex-England defender explained on the Gary Neville Podcast on Sky Sports. “Arsenal fans come at me every single week because I will still continue to question them until I don’t see a moment like I did with five, six games to go here [at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium] last season and they get through those moments and they finish fourth, or they finish second, or they finish third or they finish top, which would be out of this world. Because they haven’t proven it yet.
“It’s like a boxer who hasn’t won the world title, or who hasn’t won a national title. It’s like a team that haven’t shown you something that they need to do. You have to question them.”
Arsenal looked set to secure a top-four finish last season, but endured a dreadful run of form in April, before losing 3-0 to Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with three matches of the campaign remaining as they ultimately finished fifth. Mikel Arteta’s side have been in imperious form throughout the early stages of this season, however, and are top of the Premier League table after winning 11 of their 13 matches.
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But Neville thinks the break for the World Cup could derail their season and insists it’s too early to cast judgement over the Gunners’ title credentials. “We’re only 13, 14 games in depending on which part of the table you’re in,” the 47-year-old added. “It’s very, very early.
“We’ve got this unique season, an unusual happening of a World Cup right smack bang in the middle of it and we don’t know how players are going to come out on the back of that. So the reason there has to be a question is because we don’t know what’s going to happen on the other side. And the big part of the season where it really matters is yet to come.
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“But I want to see it over 38 games. And we’ve seen over the last few years that this Arsenal group of players – they’ve added to them this season – have just found it more difficult in the last parts of the season.
“That is not being overly negative. But I really at this moment in time feel Arsenal are bang on to finish in the top four. I feel that they will fall behind [Manchester] City by some distance towards the end because I think City are the top team. But that wouldn’t be any shame. If Arsenal finish second this season, that would be a magnificent achievement for Mikel Arteta.”
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