Belfast Telegraph

'Lazy' Arsenal have a big problems, raps angry Neville

By Jack de Menezes

Gary Neville has laid into Arsenal for their "lazy" approach in the 2-1 defeat by Manchester City and believes that something is "fundamentally wrong" at the club.

The former Manchester United defender was highly critical of the Gunners in the wake of Sunday's loss at the Etihad Stadium, which saw Arsene Wenger's men lose a one-goal lead and put in one of their worst 45-minute displays in the second half.

Neville believes that there is something wrong within the club, given their players looked drained after half-time, and he picked apart their defence for the two goals they conceded to Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.

"Arsenal's players look absolutely knackered, shot to pieces," Neville said. "It (the defending leading to City's second goal) was walking pace. You never walk on a football pitch.

"These players do normally put a shift in, they might not be the mentally toughest players in the world, but there is something fundamentally wrong."

Mesut Ozil came in for particular criticism as Neville highlighted during live coverage of the match that he was walking when Arsenal didn't have the ball. But Ozil has often been found to neglect the defensive side of the game, and instead Neville focused on the back four where he believes the problem lies.

Neville looked at Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, who has been one of the club's standout players over the last two years, and believes he fell into a lull during the match because of the poor work rate of fellow defenders Gabriel Paulista, Laurent Koscielny and, in particular, Nacho Monreal.

"The back four are lazy. You always want your full-backs going out and your wide players staying in," Neville explained. "Monreal jogs, walks, plays as a third centre-back and allows the young kid to do his job for him.

"Bellerin was calm, collected and not pro-active. (Arsenal were) always too deep because the two full-backs and centre-backs took the easy option and didn't do much running."

Arsenal now find themselves nine points behind leaders Chelsea, with the Blues on an 11-match winning streak that stretches back to Arsenal's 3-0 win over Antonio Conte's side at the Emirates in September.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph