Why former Man United man is wrong about Arsenal

A year or so ago I would have agreed with what Gary Neville has said about Arsenal and our recent struggles to get results in the big games against our Premier League rivals. Even now when you look at the stats it tells a grim story for the Gunners, but I contest his claim that we do not approach these games in the right way.

In a Sky Sports report the former Manchester United and England defender and current TV pundit accused Arsene Wenger and the players of being too arrogant or naive to change the tactics when facing the likes of Man City, Chelsea and Man United.

He said, “[Arsenal] don’t prepare for a big game like it’s a big game. I used the words arrogance and naivety earlier in the season.

“They prepare for a big game like they’re going out to play a game of football in the park.

“What about attention to detail? What about respecting your opposition whereby you might have to change something yourself? i think they go out thinking about wonderful passing, how they’re going to nutmeg someone or score a great goal.

“I never see anything different with Arsenal. It’s a wonderfully pure theory around football; it’s fantastic morals and principles but if it doesn’t work you have to challenge it.

“The week that they’ve had, losing in Europe, puts a little bit more pressure on them being at home.”

Really Gary? How about the way Wenger did go to a plan B last season and got a great away win over Man City? It was true that we used to be too attack minded in these games but the manager finally reacted to that and put it right. Man United may have won at the Emirates last season but they were extremely lucky not to lose, never mind win.

This season we lost away to Chelsea but until Mike Dean stepped in we were playing defensively and were heading in to the break on level terms. So it is another piece of lazy punditry to hark back to the bad old days of two seasons ago.

Let´s just hope that he is forced to admit he was wrong after Arsenal beat his former club tomorrow.

Tags Neville Wenger


  1. I agree completely. big games are not won with just the usual strategies but requires extra. extra detail extra caution extra work and so on. but all this are lacking. no real leader
    the last time we play a big match we falter due to lack of good leadership. imagine cazolar, the captain for the day refusing to show up during the gabby incidence

    1. What your saying has nothing to do with what Neville said. Where did he mention a leader? I’m not saying your wrong in your assessment it just has nothing to do with the article. Neville is saying we need to approach the game differently not necessarily put in “extra” effort and I disagree with him look at our results against the “big” teams the last year it seems as if we’re learning. And we’ll see when we play United how we approach the game

  2. All topics and arguing aside… Lets get all behind the team and beat these bunch of clowns tomorrow!!

  3. “How about the way Wenger did go to a plan B last season and got a great away win over Man City?”

    And how often does plan B happen? Once in 6 months perhaps!

    1. @Twig

      Spot on, I was about to say the exact same thing. Every 6 months…if that!

      Best example in recent times of a no plan B was against West Ham. I can maybe understand a team sticking to their principles being only one goal down as a game draws to close, but when you’re 2-0 down with the clock ticking, you clearly need a plan B. Plan A (get into the final third and make as many sideways passes as possible) hadn’t worked at all against West Ham, and with say 10 minutes left, I couldn’t believe we didn’t just stick Mertesacker upfront with Giroud and hit long balls and early crosses! We were were 2-0 down! Instead the team just carried on doing the same thing which hadn’t worked at all so far. You might as well throw everything at them and go out fighting. If we conceded again, it wouldn’t have mattered. Instead we lost with a whimper. Even more proof of how tactically rigid and inept Wenger is.

    2. We always seem to play defensively against the Giants of Europe is Bayern and Barca. Probably would against Real too but we haven’t played them in years.

      Why does Wenger seemingly acknowledge that we need to play defensively to have a chance against those clubs, but not against teams like Chelsea, City or United? Or perhaps it’s just a case of Bayern and Barca being good enough to force our players to go defensive regardless of what Wenger says, who knows…

    3. That’s true
      Wenger is incredibly stubborn and sticks to the same tactics and players

      I’m not saying Wenger should do like Van Gaal and change GKs before a penalty shootout. He doesn’t need to be extreme. If tactics don’t work, he just needs to change. If transfer policy doesn’t work he needs to change. We have gone over a decade without a PL trophy and horrible CL results, but Wenger sticks to his way

      1. How can you guys say that when we’ve been switching off between giroud and walcott who offer 2 completely different styles of play. Same goes for ox and Ramsey on the RW. Plus last year we saw us play completely different against the top sides and our results confirm this. I agree he needs to be more tactically flexible but give the man credit when it’s due

    4. Man city was the turning point. Then we done similar this time we played chelsea and won community shield. We where doing just fine again in our next big encounter which was chelsea again but nothing could prepare for what happened. So evidence does suggest we are learning, next big encounter is munu so come back and revisit and well see if what is what.

  4. Lets dig deep tomorrow and make the extra effort on the pitch to beat man u and get that 3 points! Coyg!

  5. Just watched Mourinho’s post match interview. The 8 minute rant one. I didn’t think his job would really be under pressure given that he just won the title so convincingly, and that he’s overwhelmingly popular with the fans. But judging by the way he speaks, seems like it is. Ironic that he says ‘top 4 is ok’.

    Also the part where he speaks about the players being mentally fragile, at the first mistake everything collapses and that they need a 2-3 goal cushion to have any confidence… Sound familiar? That’s Arsenal all over. Definitely Arsenal at this point last year, though I think Coquelin has really improved us on that front. Perhaps Cech too but we don’t know that yet.

    But if you do watch that interview, keep these two things in mind:
    1. Eden Hazard is Chelsea’s go-to guy.
    2. Eden Hazard: No penalty, no party.
    That puts it all in perspective.

  6. Every lover of the game will be absolutely delighted with Sadio Mané performance today. He’s not quite a big name like Lewandowski, Suarez or Aguero – but I believe he could do a great job for us upfront (even if he doesn’t score many goals). He’s pacy, powerful and persistent!

  7. OT
    Everyone criticised Wenger as top 4 is nothing better than top 5/6 .
    Surprisingly mourinhio is now saying top 4 Finnish is not bad Finnish for a team.
    Looser he has no one to blame now. Thinks if he finnishes top 4 it’s good.

  8. Everyone is having a go at Wenger, but the main villain is Kroenke.

    I look with distress on other Arsenal websites, where people say we can’t understand why Kroenke wants large cash reserves,so lets blame Wenger for buying no one anyway. It is all about collateral, rather like taking out a mortgage – if a lender sees you have large assets, they are more likely to lend you a large amount of money at a cheap rate, because they know they can take that asset away from you if you fail to keep up the repayments. So in a mortagee’s case they take your house, and hope it hasn’t depreciated, although you have to make a down payment anyway and in Kroenke case, they’ll take 66.7 % of Arsenal, if he fails to make a repayment.

    So Kroenke is using Arsenal as collateral in order to fund the move of his his St Louis Rams. He doen’t give a stuff about Arsenal, and just see us as a bargaining chip with the money lenders. While this man is in charge, we won’t achieve anything. Oh and that’s why Wenger will never be sacked under Kroenke, because he is about the only person who could keep Arsenal in the top 4, and the money rolling into the reserves on next to nothing.

  9. The Man Neville isn’t far from the truth. Have U watched Arsenal big games since 2011? The few we won, we were just lucky. We don’t look into game changing details, situations, or prepare for worse. Rather we just go into games just to play. Again I repeat, Wenger CANNOT motivate this team anymore, what else would he say to them. A manager that can’t correct his big players when they over-do stuff. Sanchez is our best player at d moment, but does too much most times with d dribbling, Ozil don’t shoot, even when in good position, Chamberlin plays schoolboy football, just run, run, run. Theo wants to be d hero, score all games when he can lay d pass to a better player in good position. Wenger doesn’t see these or react to them. Wenger is past it now. Regardless of whatever happens today with Man Utd game. Win, draw or lose, I want Wenger changed.
    Wenger Out, Wenger Out, Wenger /Giroud Out!!!!!!!!!!!!

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