Gary Neville went into full rant mode after Arsenal got beaten by Manchester City on Sunday, but the fact is that the Gunners were playing one of the best (and most expensive) Premier League teams seen in this generation. But Neville didn’t take that into account. He said at one point: “In the minute before that goal, I mentioned the walking of the Arsenal players, and then the retreating runs of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka, ambling, jogging back – an absolute disgrace they are, an absolute disgrace.
“Walking on a football pitch at Wembley, giving up, spineless.”
We surely all know that Pep Guardiola’s side would have made any other team look just as ordinary on their day, and Ray Wilkins, though agreeing Arsenal are not a great team, he thought that Neville’s comments were a bit over the top. Wilkins said: “This isn’t the best Arsenal side I’ve ever seen – in fact it’s one of the worst Arsenal sides I’ve ever seen.
“There’s no leaders and you need leaders in dressing rooms. If you don’t have them you’re going to struggle to win anything.
“They face City again on Thursday and whatever team Guardiola puts out I’m sure they’ll beat an Arsenal side that’s looking rather fragile.”
“They weren’t very good but they were playing against a very good side. It’s tough because you never play to your maximum in finals. A lot of nerves creep in and a global audience are watching.
“City were very good and were never going to lose the game. Some of the words used against the Arsenal players were, in my opinion, a tad harsh.
“When you’ve been chasing the ball around for long periods you will have to walk, but I see where Gary was coming from. You should be trying to close the opposition down and win the ball back.”
So can we be fair and say that Man City would have beaten any team, and if Arsenal were playing anyone else at all on sunday, they would have looked a lot better?