What Neville (and Henry) REALLY said about Arsene Wenger… Facts

The curious case of Gary Neville’s assessment on Arsene Wenger by Lethal Prince 9

Since last Monday, we are all hearing about the news that Gary Neville has called Wenger “arrogant” and “naive”. While some people have gone on to support Neville suggesting he was right in doing so, I decided to have a look on original video for the exact words that Gary said about Wenger.

Below is what Gary actually said:

“When Cesc Fabregas went to Chelsea last season, Jose Mourinho put Matic beside him. He put Ramires alongside him sometimes in certain games. Then you say OK, he influences the decision of Arsene Wenger. But don’t put Flamini alongside him. Now taking that forward, you could do one mistake with putting Flamini alongside and not being powerful enough. But he signs Arteta, turns him into midfield player, signs Rosicky, a wide player turns him into a midfield player. Ramsey plays midfield, even knowing that he is a wide midfielder. Cazorla now… so for ten years, it’s not just Fabregas, it’s a continual string of errors, for a sustained period of time. You could add more too, I am sure there are players playing in that central midfield who are small, dimunutive, good football players…. Coquelin, Oxlade Chamberlain too.

“I’ve got great respect for Arsenal as a football club. I think it’s a fantastic football club. Arsene Wenger’s job is absolutely amazing. (He also said that if it weren’t for Man United, he would like Arsenal to win the league.) But I just cannot get my head around why he would not sign players of power to assist these talented players that you’ve got to enable them to win the league.

“It is the one big, if you like black mark, against Arsene Wenger in these last 10 years in terms of why he hasn’t identified an issue with these types of players {points to Coquelin and Cazorla} – because they cannot win the league with them. It can’t happen.

“I also think that’s the strongest partnership (Cazorla and Coquelin), that they could have. But I think McCarthy and Barry are also a good pair, but they cannot win you a league. And measuring Arsenal as a title winning team, I think the pair are not good enough. They are not.

“I think that’s arrogance to not adapt to your midfield to change the impact on other teams who have strength. It’s either naive or arrogant, because they keep losing this way. It’s more as a misheld belief.”


But when Gary Neville slammed the policy of Arsene Wenger as “naive and arrogant” (all the words from media), Gunners legend Thierry Henry rejected the claim. Henry believes Wenger was trying to build a team around the now Chelsea midfielder, and that it triggered a change in approach from Wenger.

Henry said: “I don’t think it’s arrogance, I think it’s belief. Arsene and the players believe they can play like that and outplay teams at times. Whether people like it or not, it’s belief.

“If I would have been asked that will I bring Schneiderlin or someone else, I think I would. Since he didn’t bring any body in, I think that’s the strongest partnership that he can have there. And they showed against City that they can do it. I think sometimes against teams, especially away from home in this league, away form Man City, Man United, Chelsea, I think they need a different approach.”

Now, I would like to clear some things which was not reported by the media which further made it disputive. First of all, Neville praised that Arsenal is a fantastic football club also declaring that Wenger’s job has been absolutely amazing, which is something rarely you will hear from most of the pundits. Also Neville agreed that Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin were Wenger’s strongest partnership, but he just doubted whether they are good enough to win the league title. He just called Wenger arrogant or naive because he believes that Wenger can’t win the league with that pair.

Now it was only his opinion and on basis of that he called Wenger arrogant and naive. He hasn’t evaluated the pair’s performance during big games against big teams. Now if we actually go back to last season, Arsenal played that pair in midfield against Man City and won 2-0, against Man United won 2-1 and tied 1-1, against Liverpool won 4-1, against Chelsea tied 0-0 and won 1-0. Also when we played against mid-table teams, we won most of the games producing a brilliant performance along and as a result we won 8 consecutive league games. That alone is an achievement in itself. We also played that partnership in the FA Cup Final. And it turned out quite good against Villa beating them 4-0. By the way, the most important factor was that we paid more attention to our defensive tactics, but I can hardly agree that the duo weren’t an important part of him. So, when Arsenal weren’t able to beat the big teams in the past years, but started to grind out such results, Wenger thought that this can be his solution.

I can only say that maybe maybe Neville can be right about enforcing strength in your midfield at some point. It can and sometimes it works out for some of the teams. But how can he call Wenger arrogant or naive for trying to play a different approach by playing Cazorla-Coquelin duo which contributed most to the team without backing up his statement. He didn’t provided any example to support his argument.

Oh, and by that logic, there are issues in his own Man United team. What will be his reply when you ask him that whether Smalling and Blind are good enough to win the league. Also, Van Gaal also said that Man United doesn’t need to buy a center forward, and insisted that Fellaini, a central midfielder, can be his solution to provide support for Rooney. And I especially can’t forget the case of David De Gea. Van Gaal hasn’t used De Gea even as a squad member, who was being touted as one of the best goalkeepers in the world last season. Will he call Van Gaal naive or arrogant that he isn’t even trying to bring a better center forward and playing Fellaini up front, or bring a better center back to shore up the defence, or not playing or not even including one of the best goalkeepers in his squad?
Lastly if you heard Wenger after the game, he said that maybe Neville can be right and he can be wrong, but he insisted that everyone has got a different opinion.

Wenger said: “I don’t know what that has to do with arrogance. I just try to do my job and I leave it to other people to assess my work.

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I could prove to you it’s not necessarily right – but let’s not go into that debate.

“You know, in football you have to accept that anybody can be right. [But] since January, we have conceded fewer goals than anybody else.

“The only thing I want is that when people have opinions, that it is documented and worked out before. Especially when it is football specialists. I accept you can be right and I can be wrong. But what you do not want is just an opinion that comes out, just because you feel like that.

“Look, I am not against opinion, people can say they don’t think Arsenal is good enough, I accept that. [But] it is dangerous to say that, ‘He will never be a player,’ especially when the comment has come from people in football.
“What is a concern is that it puts pressure on players. I believe that we, who are in a football job, people who have been in the game, I love that they go on television, but I would like them to help people to love football even more.”

In the end Wenger stated that sometimes others (professionals) can be right and he can be wrong. But he insisted no body should judge others only on the basis of one opinion without any proof.

Lethal Prince 9

Tags Henry Neville Wenger


  1. Oh how i miss the days when we had the david dein/ arsene wenger combination, on getting top class players! We didn’t have any problems back then.

    1. david dein wanted usmanov to join board & takeover but lady nina bracewell & others objected to it result david dein left & now we have silent stan

      1. Why do people have problems with pundits/analysts pointing out what they personally perceive to be errors with Arsenal? There was nothing abusive about Gary’s comments, just raw and direct. Didn’t Henry himself come out to say we could never win the league with a striker like Giroud??? Some Giroud fans did not like the comment but the kept quiet because it was said by Henry.

        Conquelin and Santi is one fantastic paring INJURIES helped us discover, it was not Wenger’s actual intention. The only problem there is that we don’t have anyone who can take Coquelin’s place if anything happens to him (the stats speak for themselves).

        I swear, it is my greatest wish to watch Wenger succeed, because the success of Wenger is Arsenal’s success. But just how badly does Arsene Wenger desire success???

    2. What proof do we need to show that Wenger has not won the EPL in ages?

      What proof do we need to show we are Lacking in the ST and DM dept?

      What proof do we need to show wenger’s hatred for the Transfer window?

      What proof do we need to show wenger’s present day incompetence?

      What proof do we need to show that this team lacks the grit, fight and killer instincts?

      What proof do we need to show that wenger has his favourites?

      What proof do we need to show that wenger NEVER Listens to reason?

      What proof?

      These are things we see/have been seeing with our naked eyes…… THEY NEED NO PROOF!

      1. i understand when fans want to win and all dat bt at time some critisisms ar misplaced and ppl dnt get to think and research why arsenal sold our best players and bought young and inexperienced players for 9 yrs. us arsenal fans put presure on our own team coz we boo the coach who is doing a good job wth the club and critisise instead of encouraging our player. player mek a mistake the who emarites goes aaaaaaaaah.

  2. $30bn – Sheikh Mansour (2 teams owned)
    $14.6Bn – Usmanov (0 teams owned)
    $8bn – Abramovich (1 team owned)
    $6bn – Kroenke (4 teams owned)

    kroenke out usmanov in

  3. Thinking about a classic moment in arsenal history the actual day when dennis bergkamp arrived at arsenal from inter milan, david dein i miss you sir!

  4. Wenger has to go…..

    Tactical wise hes finished….

    he doesnt know where to play his players….

    Ramsay on the wing etc…….

    hes finished

    1. I still have faith in wenger all he has to do is spend bring in a striker + cdm the transfer window is not closed yet lot can happen

      1. @leo…….u can have all the faith u want in wenger……. No matter who he brings in before deadline day, i will not be like “WOW”

        1. @SoOpa AeoN but if he doesn’t win I agree we need a change klopp/pep could take us forward imagine klopp at arsenal with a budget of around 80-90m to spend every year

      2. I hope too that a lot can happen, but we can’t get a top striker nowadays who is playing in a comparatively small team, and can move to a big club. All the world class strikers will be found at top teams. And which team will sell its top striker just to get the money. We all knew Benzema wouldn’t be coming. It was obvious that Benitez can’t find a better striker to replace Benzema.
        Also we talk about possibility of signing Reus, Griezmann, etc. who might be another solution to our attacking problems. But we heard it days ago about Reus, that “he was flattered” about teams bidding for him, but he wanted to stay at his club, no matter what happens. If that wasn’t the case, we could have been seeing him possibly at Real Madrid, Barcelona, even Bayern. About Griezmann, well I highly doubt that Simeone would let him go after his impressive performances. And if that wasn’t the case, we would have been seeing him at Chelsea who wanted up to improved their right flank. But it didn’t happen. Rather we saw Pedro going at Chelsea who was actually made available.
        Also, we were looking for a striker as an improvement on Giroud thinking that a partnership of new striker with Sanchez and Walcott/Ox will definitely improve our attack. But there aren’t “top class” strikers who we would want to have at our disposal. Maybe Cavani can be made available in the last days, and if Wenger doesn’t tries to buy(and I said doesn’t even tries) him, then you can criticize him that despite Cavani being available, Wenger never went for him.

        1. jackson martinez wouldve been great to get. very mobile & fast. also: competition for CDM is slightly easier: why we didnt get schneiderlin or schweinsteiger?? it’ll be harder to get cavani than it was to get martinez. AW just slower than atletico madrid.

      3. Same thing every season for the last 10 years…..

        Probably the same faith u gave Wenger for the last 10 years tooooo

        and we all know what happen at the end of each season….

    2. “Tactical wise hes finished….”.
      Yet I don’t know how he was able to keep a clean sheet against City, let alone win or draw a game.
      Despite the fact that Man City had “16 corners and most of the possession around 60%”, the team couldn’t make any profit of that. Lets suppose that goals from us were lucky. By that, it would have finished a draw. But Man City couldn’t score 1 goal in their home game. Even a LEGIT one!!

      And the same against Chelsea too, when we played them both times. At home, we couldn’t finish the game, but what about Community shield? Despite getting some chances, Mourinho could do nothing about that.

      1. still on the “Tactically wise he’s finished” talk………. And yet we saw his ineptness exposed in the westham and Liverpool game …….i hate when folks think just a win against the likes of chelshit or citeh makes u think u can do that 3times in a row….. Pls wake up and smell the coffee!

        1. Hey soap, Stop being so pessmistic we will sign cavani Keep the faith soapy. COYG

        2. says the dude who was a massive flop in the benzema deal…… What was that slogan again? Ah! *BenzyFrenzy* L()L

      2. To Lethal Prince 9, before the ManC game it was the players who said to Wenger that if we play tiki taka against them, we`ll lose, it was not tactical wise movement from Wenger, it was the players who were/still are confused why we are going to every game with the same tactics. Same goes with Le Goq, he was the only option left ´cause of injuries. Luckily we have players like Santi, Özil Sanches, sometimes Rambo, who with their individual skills can turn games to us and produce game after game chances that Girould can miss and score average 1 of 5 of them in a single game. Every team has learned how to play against us.

  5. Special credits to @YinYang69, who mentioned in his comment about what actually happened and what media made about it.

  6. WTF!! yea we all know wenger is great but does that justify him not adding important upgrades to the team?? i can see Gary Nevilles point of view, am also asking do we have strong midfielders who can be bullies in some certain match?? his point of view is clear, we have amazing technical players but at a point we’ll need power too, at a point we gotta start winning dirty if it’ll get us the league. he only criticized wenger based on the past ten years, c’mon guys how many years should wenger keep making the same mistake?? arrogant, naive or not, the bloooooody point of Neville is STRENGTHEN YOUR TEAM!!!

  7. Don’t really get Neville’s issue with our recent central midfield pairing. It has worked and continues to work. Cazorla’s passing, techniques and INTELLIGENCE on and off the ball very well complements Coquelin’s aggressiveness, athleticism and WILLINGNESS to defend for the team. And vice-versa!

    That combination is almost the prefect alternative to having a big guy like Viera or Yaya Toure in the middle.

    1. And also, we had Diaby who was almost a good replacement for Vieira or Toure, sadly that didn’t worked out as we thought. It was one that bad tackle, that made him injured for such a long period. Still he believed, that when Diaby will return as a fully fit player, we will be watching “a new Vieira”. At last he finally decided that Diaby can’t be a fit player for long time and released him.

  8. Even he’s nt gonna buy DM, he should at least get us a WC striker. Forget what Gary n co said, what this great team need is just a WC striker who can motivate Ozil n co. Do watch Ozil lately? He’s afraid of making forward passes to Giroud cos he knows it’s gonna be a fast one two.

    1. I would like you to suggest some world class players who are available in the transfer market rather than just repeatedly stating the problem.

      1. jackson martinez was available and he wouldve helped us a lot. dont know if he’s “WC”. but atletico was quicker than wenger.

    2. You use a target player like Giroud for those fast 1-2’s. It puts pressure on defenders to have the ball come into the top of the box and others make cuts off that.

    1. Gotze????

      How many midfielders do we actually need???????

      What we actually need now is a Striker, DM and CB…

  9. Giroud is just not good enough….

    this is his 4th season and hes still struggling to score…..

    he needs to go and yet WEnger still dont realise it…..

  10. @leo.
    I am with Wenger on that one. FFP was supposed to be a valuable aid in using our relatively restored financial strength against the big guys in the transfer market this season. Now it is more less dead, I am absolutely gutted. We have to start finding more creative ways of getting what we need in the market.

    1. Arsenal are doing it the right way but I wish it would get talked about as such from every pundit that mentions the club.

  11. Stop moaning everyone we have just bought a striker a 15 year old kid from Ipswich for 100,000 that’s the budget gone till next transfer window!!

  12. Gary neville should be next arsenal manager, it will be upgrade to this selfish arogent buffon wenger.

  13. Neville was voicing his frustration and attempting in an awkward way, to empathise with frustrated Arsenal fans. To be fair, every manager is arrogant because they play the system and set the team up their way.

    However, our manager is also stubborn and single minded to the point of arrogance. His inability to use the squad efficiently is testament to that, added to the lack of transfer activity etc etc etc.

  14. Arsene Wenger has stated previously saying that the start of last caused the chance of winning the league into vapours and this season is no different and i believe nothing can’t be done and only sacking of the manager is the best possibility available at this time cause Wenger won’t be asked what the fans think of him cause he will say some bullshit stats of Coquelin when actually he started playing only from 2half of the season and if he feels that stats are his only option to win an argument then he is adamant and has selfish interest cause the fans pay a lot of money to watch Arsenal play.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs