‘The evidence is there’ – Neville shares doubts over Arteta’s credentials

Gary Neville has admitted worries over Mikel Arteta’s experience, claiming that weakness let his Arsenal side down in the race for the top four last term.

We can’t deny that we were in the driving seat to finish fourth last term, with some even believing we were on course to leapfrog Chelsea into third, before eventually having to settle for fifth spot come the end of the term.

Gary Neville claims our downfall was down to Arteta’s lack of experience allowed them to be naive in letting their grip on fourth spot go, but he hopes that the fans will stay on board with his project.

Neville told the Overlap (via the DailyStar): “I actually hope so [get the people and fans on board with Arteta], I genuinely do. I just worry about the experience in terms of a young manager.

“To be fair, it’s not unfounded, the evidence is there! Last season, Arsenal should have finished in the top four. But, in the end the experience of Antonio Conte, the experience of the Tottenham Hotspur players [meant they didn’t]. In that game, Spurs’ experience on that night it was alarming how naïve Arsenal were and how short they were.

“My concern is just purely around [that]. I know Chelsea and Manchester United are struggling a bit in terms of where they are and they might both blow up, but I think will both have to happen in order for Arsenal to land in the top four.”

It’s no wonder Gary Neville doesn’t like Arteta’s success, considering he is a United fan, and failed spectacularly when he tried to manage Valencia and only lated 16 games….

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34 Comments

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    1. He is, of course, allowed to have an opinion. However, what he is describing is correlation and does not prove that Arteta inexperience is the reason for Arsenal’s inability to hold on to 4th spot.
      His narrative is inherently problematic as it implies that an (or even any) experienced manager would have secured that 4th spot under the same set of circumstances. This is a non-falsifiable position also supported by some fans and, in my view, highly prejudicial. Unsurprisingly, it appears that most of those who share GN’s perspective have long been in support of any narrative that paints a negative picture of Arteta.

      1. I’m an Arsenal supporter and have supporting Arsenal since 1971. Arteta has been our manager since November 2019.

        I’m behind our players and manager until he steps down or get replaced.. Last season we became fifth in the PL with a paper thin top six squad. Our position in the league reflected our qualities compared to our opponents. Most of the season we were punching above our weight and we managed to stay competitive until fatigue and injuries on key players reduced our strength..

        I couldn’t care less what former Man.United or Tottenham players are thinking about Arsenal, our players and managers. Their opinion are worthless to me just like negative comments from our so-called fanbase.

        I’m looking forward to the next season and a successful future for Arsenal FC 🔴⚪️

  1. Well I kind of agree and kind if don’t. I think we missed out due to a lack of rotation/backup and when vital players went missing we couldn’t cover the gaps. I do t k ow if this is down to lack of experience or just the process arsenal is going through atm.

    There were several moments where we were ahead at the end of the season and could have tried to just go for draws etc but you never know what the other team will do.

    This season we have players who want to play for arsenal and backup in most positions. I think if we end up 5th with no silverware than let’s stick it to arteta.

    I have not been artetas biggest fan and do think that some things have been done in a less than efficient way. For me this season is the decider and we should give arteta the full course of the season

  2. Anyone with abit of common sense knew this to be the problem ,even a few fans on here suggested that spuds would pip us to top 4 when conte came in half way through the season which turned out to be the case .
    All these excuses regarding injuries and a small squad (Arteta s doing )was nonsense ,we were 18th in the league for injuries over the season .
    This season we should be and expected to be fighting it out at the top , but that remains to be seen going back to Gary’s talk about inexperience regarding the manager .
    Can only hope that after 350m spent on players that will be enough this season to finally get back to where we belong .

    1. Get back to where we belong? 6th? 5th? with players pocketing 350K/week, 250K/Week, 180K/week? The best the look alike of Faulty Towers could achieve that.
      A so called “pundit” whose coaching career lasted for 28 games with wonderful 1.32 points per match is talking now!
      In a much improved league, we came from rock bottom to 5th! Appreciate that. From there we take off and who knows, we could be the surprising league leaders by December if all aur players stay fit. This season there will be no distractions as all the primma donnas are gone for good.

      1. Get back to where we belong !
        Fighting for the league and qualifying for the CL ,playing attractive football ,not finishing 8th and no European football at all ,playing mind numbing boring mechanical football that belongs in the 1980s .
        “This season no more distractions as all the prima donnas have gone “
        But we have one left ,ARTETA.

    2. Balderdash, did you expect replacing Wenger would be easy after 22 years? And with him more or less all our key people left. I understand that you know little to nothing about building a performance culture. We have had lots of internal and external obstacles, but we are moving in the right direction, and Arteta is our manager until he quit or gets replaced, like it or not 🔴⚪️

  3. As far as am concerned, Garry Naville’s opinion about Arsenal is as useless as the “P” in the word “Psychology” and i don’t care a bit what he thinks or says about Arsenal. How can a man who derives joy from the failures of Arsenal and cries for their successes makes a useless opinion about Arsenal and you carry that as a news. This same man tried his hands on coaching when he taught it was an easy job, he failed woefully and had to run away after lasting only 15 or 16 games as a Valencia coach. Now, all he does it to wear his god damn suits and seat in front on the TV just to say trash and rubbish about Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. Please ask him who cares about his opinion? Since the job of a coach is as easy as he thinks, why did he have to run away from coaching. Anyway, I believe he’s still bitter with how Thiery Henry used to mess him up and whip his ass. Next news abeg

  4. Overall predicted ranking, using all 22 BBC predictions from pundits:

    (using system of 4 pts for a 1st place, 3 pts for 2nd, 2 pts for 3rd and 1 pt for 4th)

    1. Man City – 79
    2. Liverpool – 74
    3. Tottenham – 38
    4. Chelsea – 16
    5. Arsenal – 8
    6. Man Utd – 5

    Doesn’t mean much but that’s what the guys are thinking.

  5. OT. Does anyone know how much we got for Omari from Chelsea. I really want to know because Aston Villa just got 15m plus 5m in add on for Carney Chukwuemeka from them and they just bid 60m for Leicester City Fofana. Two talented players but not as good as Omari and Saliba.

      1. Thanks Adpat, it breaks my heart to know that. We need to be more proactive and smarter with our players contracts as we need more money from players sale to fund our incoming transfer.

  6. It is a fact, we finished 5’th, when we had a very good chance for 4’th.
    Apart from that there is absolutely nothing factual. It is only a matter of opinion:
    Was it because of Artetas inexperience?
    Or was it in fact because of his vision and ideas, we managed fifth with the youngest squad in the league?
    Was it because of players inexperience we got so many red cards, whic cost us dearly through the season?
    Was it our captain’s (Auba’s) lack of goals and indicipline, we lost crucial points?
    The list can go on and on. Nothing factual, just a pundit’s opinion.

  7. The gaffer bottle the top four chance as a result of lock of experience maybe, but in my opinion it was a gamble that almost paid off.

    Had us made the top four after using one stone to kill two birds, meaning slashing the wage bill and dislodging the dead woods in the process would have put the gaffer firmly in the conversation of being manager of the season.

    All CEO I have worked under would have been impressed with the gaffer’s handling of affairs, that’s why am not surprised of the backing he has gotten from the Kroenke’s..

    It shows the gaffer is brave and some will argue he’s clever, some fans will struggle to come to terms, but in today world share holders love these managers

  8. Actually, what GN said is true. How ever much you might not want to hear the truth. We did implode last season but that wasn’t all MA’s fault. What was his fault was having a smaller squad at that time but, we all knew some of the squad needed to be released so we could have a successful window this summer (Which we have to an extent).

    I actually appreciate what GN says 90% of the time. He is very critical about Manure and doesn’t pull any punches. He is honest and I prefer that.

    With all that said, I believe MA/Arsenal need to have a fantastic season which will hopefully lessen the chances of any of us having to read comments made from punters. Let’s just shut them down and NOT give them the ammo to critique our beloved Arsenal! COYG!!

  9. Gary Neville, is a pundit, he has an opinion, he was a utd player, you may not like what he says but he is one of the most fair minded pundits going. He has slagged Arsenal off, he slags utd off but he also praises what he sees is good in many teams. He doesn’t in his heart want any team other than utd to win the league but he is big enough to sit and praise success of his rivals and has done so. He isnt wrong at all in what he says. We all have to wait to see if our team has grown up, or is capable of better. Everyone can spout what is or isn’t going to happen next season but we will only find out when it starts and that is tomorrow.

  10. Gary is right, in every aspect. But typically, people who are in denial will attack the messenger because they can’t credibly attack the message…IJS

  11. Arteta’s lack of experience was clearly a factor in not finishing 4th, but not the only one, as alluded to by AndersS above

    He is now his own man after 2 full seasons plus Jan to May. Time enough ow to have put his players and his vision in the spotlight

    I feel that this season will show how much or how little Arteta has grown as a manager. Lack of experience should not be a reason for not improving the points tally nor the eye test either.

  12. “I say, I say, I say! What do you get if you cross DAN SMITH, DAN KIT AND REGGIE?”

    ” I don’t know. What DO you get?”

    ” Well, GARY NEVILLE, obviously!”

  13. Gary Neville’s views are his opinion. I actually agree with him in that we bottled it. But despite being a sceptic, somehow this year I am a little bit more optimistic, thinking, glass half full than half empty. Only thing that bothers me in the optimism is the injury situation to key players which has long plagued our club.

  14. Neville has spoken sense, and let’s face it – he is only voicing the doubts that we all have eg has Arteta learned from his early mistakes or is he still not ready? Do we have enough depth? Why is it ok for us to worry about this but wrong for a pundit to say it? It is HIS OPINION, and although he is often outspoken he can also talk a lot of sense. BTW you don’t have to be a great manager to be a successful pundit. In fact as an outsider he is in some ways better placed in many ways than us to be objective.
    I happen to think that Arteta has learned a lot, that this young team is evolving quickly physically, mentally and tactically, and has much more depth than last season. IMO we are in the battle for third with Spurs, are capable of reaching the Europa final, and will play much more entertaining and consistent football this season. But I am much more biased than Neville!

    1. GUY, but ARE you REALLY more biased than Neville, I WONDER!

      His pro MU bias is most obvious when he constsntly disses Arsenal. We remember of course , that when Neville played, WE were by far his most “hated” rival and that left its mark on him til this very day.

      I find him, in the main, a well meaning but misguided ego on legs, esp when spouting his life values nonsense.

      Clearly left wing, which as a liberal I am anything but, I admit to finding him tedious and far too prominent on Sky!
      He says a great many things, much of it contradictory, if you observe closely.

      So, unsurprisingly, he is at times correct. But his correct outcomes are still rather low for a man who is paid such vast sums, in typical champagne Socialist style, to spout his supposed “wisdom” almost every day, in the season.

  15. My memory of the decision point last season seems to be different from almost everyone else’s.

    In the January window, the talk was of finishing in the EL places and they believed that was achievable by keeping the squad as it was, no desperate January signings, since all that was left of the whole season at that point in time was 17 PL games.

    Then the teams in contention for 4th place started a run of poor form. Wolves were in a position to qualify for Europe all the way throughh at the back end of the season they continually failed. Our back-to-back home and away wins against them started a push up the table.

    Man Utd and Spurs went through a period of very patchy results and WHU started to falter.

    Arsenal mostly beat the teams we should beat and suddenly a top 4 slot looked possible when it really shouldn’t have been if otehr clubs were showing the form that’s normal for top 4 finishers.

    Then Chelsea saw the back of their oligarch and they started wobbling as well, now 3rd was even possible.

    The loss to Palace was a terrible result, followed by losses to Soton and Brighton. That was where the season really went south. People were now wondering if the EL would be achieved with the next 3 games coming up…

    By the time we beat WHU, MU and Chelsea, we put ourselves in a position that was *not foreseeable* in January – or even after the 3 losses above.

    We dispatched Leeds and then the two games that people always talk about – Spurs & Newcastle – ended it.

    But when I look ovber teh season and I see patches of poor form as described above, I don’t see that it’s necessarily “bottling it” as people are saying. Those poor runs of 2-3 games happened all the way through.

    If we’d played Newcastle around the start of teh 2nd half of the fixtures we’d have a much easier time than the resurgent version under Howe and new ownership, with nothing on the line for them.

    If you really want to look at a bad result, how about the home 0-0 Burnley game (with Aubameyang doing nothing)?

    I don’t necessarily buy the theory that it was inexperience or bottling it – if anything it was a lack of consistency over a whole season. I console myself with the thought that the losses to “inferior” teams wasn’t as bad last season as it has been for years.

    And, as I say, a conscious decision not to recruit in January in the belief that EL was the target and that it was possible without doing that. In a sense, the club is now being slated for *over* achieving relative to its aim of EL football this coming season by almost getting 4th by accident, as it were.

  16. He’s setting it up so it’s Chelsea/United failing not Arsenal achieving if we do get top 4 over them. At that point it will be Chelsea were in transition and United were always going to need time so Arsenal shouldn’t be too excited about top 4 basically. Also trying to fuel the fire for our fans who still have doubts should we struggle against Palace. Narrative framing for his beloved United. Take it as a compliment, he views us as a threat long-term to United’s position whilst he correctly less worried with Spurs long-term which makes sense right now regardless of rules North London this year.

  17. The only team Neville can see is MU. Most Sky commentators are bias except towards there own teams.I’ve never seen that on any other sports except International games. I think with the squad we will have this term Arsenal will do very well.

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