Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal fans were understandably delighted by the Gunners win over Hull City at the KC stadium last night. Not only did it herald an early St. Totteringham´s day celebration for us Gooners, it confirmed another season in the Champions League and almost certainly without the early season nuisance of two play off games.
But perhaps it was the manner of the win, away against a team playing well and fighting hard to avoid the drop, that was the most impressive. It certainly seems to have struck a chord with the former Man United and England defender Gary Neville.
Just a few days ago the Sky Sports pundit issued a damning appraisal of the chasing pack, including Arsenal and his former club, once Chelsea had confirmed the title for this season. But after seeing the Gunners blow Hull away with some stunning football, Neville has changed his tune and given Arsenal a really good chance of becoming champions of England next time, as a BBC report reveals.
The man who won an amazing eight eight titles and two Champions League trophies has proved since retiring that he is a great reader of the game so for him to see the progression and the right balance in this Arsenal team, while still keeping the wonderful fluid style that Wenger is famous for, is very encouraging. He did have one piece of advice for the Prof though, and that was to find a truly world class number one.
He said, “”I look at David de Gea and he has won five or six games for Manchester United with important saves.
“If Arsenal get a keeper in, they can be a championship-winning team.
“That was the best 45 minutes I’ve seen Arsenal play since the days of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit (1997-2000).
“It was a ‘wow’ performance. They popped the ball about, they had runners in behind, the work-rate, the togetherness, the vision… I just thought it was magnificent. I think this is a different Arsenal team. We’ve seen them play beautiful football before, but that was a winning-big-trophies type of football.
“I hear Arsenal fans all the time saying they want to change the manager and bring in somebody like (outgoing Borussia Dortmund boss) Jurgen Klopp but you just have to marvel at the way Arsenal play.
“I’ve watched Arsenal for a number of years and have been frustrated at times but what I saw in the first half at Hull was a team that actually played winning football. They defended deep and with discipline and attacked with such speed and quality.
“I think it’s vital Arsenal finish second. Even though it probably means nothing and it’s not a position you should be proud of, for the first time they are showing signs of progression.
“Of all the sides in the top four, apart from Chelsea, I think they are the best equipped to challenge next year.”
Do you agree that we need a new number one? And do you think Arsenal will prove Neville right by winning the Premier League next year?