Let’s be honest all Arsenal fans are used to the pundits having a go at Arsene Wenger, especially during the transfer window when he sits around sunbathing instead of strengthening the team. To be fair, the fans also give Le Prof a hard time, but not as much as Gary Neville does!
When asked about the current Arsenal squad being capable of winning the League, Neville was scathing. “I can’t think of a word to describe that bunch,” Neville said. “I could but it wouldn’t be usable on television. They’re certainly not what I would call what you want to win you a league, the powerful characters, the strength you need running through your team. The profile of players completely changed and the style has changed and that to me is where I’ve got no sympathy.
“I just cannot get my head around why he (Wenger) would not sign players of power to assist these talented players you’ve got to enable them to win the league. It is the one big, if you like, black mark against Arsène Wenger in these last 10 years: why he hasn’t identified an issue with these types of players [points to Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla] because they cannot win the league with those types of players. It can’t happen. To me it’s arrogance: to think that you are not going to adapt your team to impact on the other teams you’re playing against. It is either naivety or arrogance because they keep losing this way.”
That sounds a bit harsh, even by TV Standards (perhaps he’s had a couple of sneaky drinks in the Green Room?) but it seems Arsenal’s England players don’t hold it against him when he is working with the national side. Well, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doesn’t anyway. “He’s a very honest person, telling us what we need to improve on, and he has earned that respect through his own playing career,” The Ox said. “Everyone really does listen to what he has to say and respects his opinions. You can take criticism off him and you know he means well by it and he’s being constructive. So I think that’s great and why he’s such a great coach.
“He’s my favourite pundit. I always do want to listen to what he has to say on the television and, nine times out of 10, I agree with everything he says.
“He’s brilliant the way he explains things and I think he is very respectful when he says what teams need to do better and what players need to do better in a game.
“It could be a tricky situation when he’s talking about our games on TV and then he comes to work with England, but he seems to manage to do it without any of us holding a grudge against him.”
I don’t think Arsene Wenger would agree with him, and I bet Le Prof is desperate to prove him wrong by winning the title without buying anyone at all!
I wonder if Neville will share his views with the Ox while he is on England duty….