Gary Neville doesn’t trust Nketiah and Jesus to fire Arsenal to the Premier League title

Football pundit believes two ‘erratic’ Arsenal players will cost them the title

Gary Neville has claimed that he does not believe that either Gabriel Jesus or Eddie Nketiah are clinical enough in front of the goal to lead Arsenal to the title.

The former Manchester United defender further stated the need to add one more player up front in the winter transfer window, if the North London side want to go all the way.

Speaking on The Overlap’s Stick to Football podcast, the Sky Sports pundit said, “There’s no doubt Nketiah and Jesus they work their absolute socks off, but in quality terms I just found in those two matches, is that going to be enough to win Arsenal the league?”

“That’s my only doubt: a center-forward, because if they’d had a center-forward – like if they had a Haaland, if they had a Kane – I’d be saying, “It’s Arsenal I think if they can keep Saliba and Gabriel and Rice fit.”

“But honestly, I worry about Nketiah and Jesus. They’re erratic.”

The 48-year-old added, “They’re not wired, are they, to score goals naturally. Instinctively they don’t make the runs that you see goalscorers make.”

“They hold back, they’re always looking for the pull-back, they’re never getting across players. I just look at Jesus, he is quite erratic in front of goal. The work ethic of both of them is brilliant, I just question, at that level, can they win the league without another striker?”

The Gunners see themselves in second place, behind rivals Spurs just on goal difference. And even though they are indeed at the top end of the league table, they have indeed struggled in front of the goal.

Last season the Gunners scored 88 goals, only coming second to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in terms of finding the net. That comes out to be 2.3 goals per match. This season they have scored 16 in eight games, which comes out to be 2 goals per match. They see themselves in a lowly seventh position in the goals scored table.

There is certainly a drop in the Gunners’ productivity in front of the goal. And Neville might be right with adding another player. Ivan Toney looks to be in the market, and it would be a coup if Arsenal can beat off competition for his signature.

In the end, he will give Arteta a different edge in the team and new problem to the opponents.

Or do you believe we can win the title anyway with Nketiah and Jesus up front?

Writer – Yash Bisht


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Tags Gary Neville Jesus Nketiah


  1. In my humble opinion
    Timber completed the backline, he can invert but a level above Zinchenko defensively.

    Rice completed the midfield with Odegaard and Partey.

    We just need a clinical striker to complete the attack with Saka and Martinelli.

    I just am not convinced we are at the elite level with Jesus and Nketiah as strikers. Our 2 CB’s are good as any pairing in the world, our midfield of Rice, Partey, and Odegaard good as any in the world.

    Saka and Martinelli are top wingers, but we don’t have a top striker playing with them. If we add that final piece (Victor) then look out.

    1. Central forward is a position in which only playing good is not enough and need to deliver. But an elite level forward may not necessarily deliver as we have seen many times like Lacazette, Lukaku chelsea/manu, Morata chelsea, vlahovic juventus, Jovic RM, ibra manu, torres chelsea, mane bayern, and lot others. So this is the position where big money doesn’t guarantee big no of goals. Even Jesus was supposed to be elite forward for us. So rather than buying CF because we are weak in this area, it would be better to do extensive scouting and pick up player who is going to be next generational talent and suits our play.

      1. I agree Vz, but we have probably allowed Balogan a next generation player to leave and finding another one ain’t going to be easy.

  2. The stats back up Neville’s argument so unless Odergaard and Saka produce last season’s count of goals he may be proven right and Martinelli, with his skills, should be contributing more goals. Like last season there is an opportunity rising with Man City currently below their best so we need to take advantage of it. With de Bruynne and Rodri back they will be a different proposition and Haaland will definitely start scoring again. So far so good though!!

  3. Neville publicly backeD us to win the title this year.
    No ifs or buts but his straightforwardly stated opinion that we will win the title.

    NOW, however he is staring to insert “ifs” into his previous direct prediction that we will win the Prem. So what has changed since he knew we had Jesus and Nketiah as our strikers when he, nevertheless, backed us? Nothiing has changed!

    And yet, Neville is now injecting “if onlys” which still then existed, but were unmentioned by him just weeks ago.
    And he may wonder why Gooners call him anything that is not complimentary.. I DO NOT wonder why!

  4. I trust Gabriel Jesus to enable us wrestling away that big jug from the champion.

    Arsenal is not a one man team, a dozen and half of goals from the Brazilian is good enough for me, what we needs is to pick up from where we left off in the last campaign with our midfielders chipping in with goals of their own.

    What is paramount is another powerful midfielder that can comes in for Partey and Rice without the team missing a beat, it was the defense that cost us mug in the last campaign and not a striker

  5. To a large extent I agree with G Neville. From what I have seen of Nketiah and Jesus non has i5 goals par season in them. Nketia and Jesus always put in a lot of work for the team but the end product doesn’t justify there role as no 9. There come a point the coach and the team wants more from there CF to have a good position on the table and also win trophies.
    The primary job of a CF is to score goals every other quality they possess is secondary. PepG became aware of this and he had to replace Jesus with Haaland who was the difference for MCity last season. If we had a CF in the mould of Tony who scored 20 goals for Bretford last season may be the story would have been different for Arsenal last season. Hope Arteta and Edu do the needful in January and go for what we NEED than what we WANT.

  6. I have confidence in Jesus ability. I’m just worried about him being injury prone. If he can stay healthy all season then he may be good enough to win the title. That’s a BIG BUT. Bigger but than Kim Kardashian 😅.

    Nkteiah is a good striker but not good enough for us in my opinion. He’s not the answer to winning the PL

    I think it would help if we got a striker like Toney or similar in January

    Regardless, if Jesus is healthy we have a decent shot at the title

  7. If we get Toney and Neto, we will have a good team with depth to win the premier league and challenge for the champions league.

  8. Even as we criticize our forwards,and rightly so,we should ask ourselves a very important question- are they getting sufficient high quality chances/service? One thing I have observed this season is that the team is not generating as many clear cut chances as last season. It could be that our current system, which is defensively more solid than last season has made us less effective offensively as a consequence. Our creativity relies heavily on Saka and Odegaard; and Zinchenko to an extent.The statistics show Odegaard is not creating as many chances as he did last season and I don’t think it has to do with his game individually but rather the role he plays in this new system. I don’t think he’s getting into areas of the pitch where he can do play making. Odegaard’s recent contributions to the team have come through pressing from the front and taking shots (scoring goals). In my opinion,he would create more chances if he was released from some of those responsibilities such that he can focus more on play making.

    Strikers thrive on service. There is a myth that good goal scorers need ‘just one chance’ or very few chances to score. The numbers, however, suggest that the most prolific strikers miss just as many chances if not more.Haaland, for instance,topped the league for most big chances missed even as he topped the goals scored charts.The problem therefore is not just about our strikers missing chances. It’s also about getting them tactically into positions where they can be dangerous while also making sure they get quality chances. We all saw how pretty much useless Haaland was without proper service. To that extent,there’s no guarantee that a new striker would score significantly more than what we have now. Arteta and the team have to find a way of creating more chances without compromising our defensive solidity.Maybe having Partey back will help with this because he has the unique ability to progress the ball vertically in the middle of the field. Without him(or Jorginho),we tend to recycle the ball into wide areas which are easier to defend,particularly when defenders double up on our wingers. We simply need to find a way to move the ball centrally sometimes, and get Odegaard on the ball where he can make those killer passes that we know he is capable of.

    Alternatively, Rice ,whenever he plays as the sole pivot,should learn how to receive the ball from the defense and progress it through the middle. I believe he has the ability to do that given time. As I recall,Rodri was not that good for City in his first season. I believe Declan will develop this aspect of his play with time.

    1. Id put it like this: I think MA has deliberately and with good reason definitely sacrificed a more open, chancy(at both ends) type of football for greater stability. And IMO the results prove it is working too.
      I thought the Cit result and our sensible play was something of a triumph for MA and his philosophy. We have still averaged two goals per game which is healthy and we have noteven played a newly promoted club yet, unlike Spuds, who haveplayed all three.

      1. I agree jon fox. The play is more controlled, mature and deliberate.It has meant that even Zinchenko,who is usually defensively suspect, has not really been exposed so far this season.I’m all for it if it can enable us win one of the big trophies , or both-but that is unlikely. It is less entertaining but sensible and sustainable. They are also playing at a lower tempo and that should lower the risks for burnout and injuries.

  9. Doesn’t Neville have a point. The word ” fire” doesn’t sit at all well with Mr huff and puff Nketian. If anyone believes he is the one, why then are do many calling out GetToney, Toney, Toney.

  10. We scores 88 goals last season, more than any other season in fifty years.

    Goal scoring is not just about one player

  11. Last season, our highest goal scorer was a midfielder (Odegaard) with 15 goals yet we were second in the scoring chart. The strength of the Arsenal team is that there is no over reliance on a particular player for the goals and I suspect Arteta will want to keep it that way. That was City’s way until Harland came in last season. City won the league with Harland but it was not their highest scoring season.
    I am confident in the attacking line we have. What we need is defensive reinforcements in midfield who can help us see out games and avoid the scenarios at Liverpool and West Ham away, and Southampton at home. Those three results effectively cost us the title last season.

  12. Playing CF for Arteta’s Arsenal is no easy task. As skipper Odegaard triggers the high press, everyone must be in sync. It will take almost a season for a new CF to adjust to that. Physically, tactically and mentally. Jesus and Nketiah are not only great at pressing but also great teammates who support each other. So, it’s not just about scoring. Gary Neville don’t understand the bigger picture, lacks tactical intelligence and humility to learn. He himself was a hardworking defender rather than brilliant one. He failed at Valencia as a manager and never took responsibility for outrageously ridiculous transfer structure at Man Utd. And I can’t find kinder words.

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