The Gunners suffered a 3-0 defeat at home against Brighton, which means that City only needs one win from their remaining three matches to secure the title.
Neville speculates that City’s win just before Arsenal’s match had an impact on the players’ energy levels
Gary Neville believes that Arsenal’s players were deflated by Manchester City’s victory over Everton, and he criticised the experienced players for not stepping up when needed. The Gunners suffered a 3-0 defeat at home against Brighton, which means that City only needs one win from their remaining three matches to secure the title. Neville speculates that City’s win just before Arsenal’s match had an impact on the players’ energy levels. He suggests that Arsenal might have been buoyed by Everton’s performance against Brighton, as City had left some key players out in that match. Perhaps the Arsenal players thought they could revive their title hopes. However, City’s convincing 3-0 victory would have deflated the Arsenal team and taken a toll on their legs.
Arsenal’s inability to cope and their loss of energy and mentality were crucial factors in their downfall
Neville dismisses the notion that the loss of William Saliba to injury was a significant reason for Arsenal’s decline. He argues that every team in a title race faces injuries, and it’s not an excuse. He points out that City and Liverpool have dealt with absences in the past. While Gabriel Martinelli’s injury and Leandro Trossard’s substitution may have affected the game, Neville believes it was not a massive drop in quality. According to Neville, Arsenal’s inability to cope and their loss of energy and mentality were crucial factors in their downfall. He suggests that the experience and mental strength required to win a title were lacking in the Arsenal squad. He had doubts about their ability to handle pressure and questioned whether the experienced players could guide and support the younger players during challenging moments.
Mikel Arteta can contribute to their progress
Neville draws on his own experience with the Class of ’92 at Manchester United, emphasizing the importance of a solid spine consisting of experienced players. He credits players like Roy Keane, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Eric Cantona, and Peter Schmeichel for their leadership and ability to withstand pressure. Gary contrasts this with Arsenal’s situation, suggesting that their spine wavered at the most critical time. He acknowledges that Arsenal can still develop the necessary experience in the future and that reinforcements and the leadership of manager Mikel Arteta can contribute to their progress. However, he believes that the impact of City’s victory, combined with Brighton’s outstanding away performance, delivered a heavy blow to Arsenal’s title aspirations.
In conclusion, Neville highlights the deflating effect of Manchester City’s win on Arsenal’s players and criticizes the experienced players for not providing the necessary leadership and stability during challenging moments. He emphasizes the importance of experience and mental strength in a title race, drawing on his own experience with Manchester United’s Class of ’92. However, he also recognizes the potential for Arsenal’s growth and improvement in the future.