Gary Neville slams four Arsenal players for failing to ‘pull the team together’
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Gary Neville has criticised four Arsenal players after the Gunners’ recent poor form handed Manchester City the advantage in the Premier League title race.
Mikel Arteta’s men had a healthy lead before disappointing draws against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton allowed City to close the gap.
On Wednesday night, City showed their mettle as they completely outclassed Arsenal during the convincing 4-1 win.
As a result, Pep Guardiola’s men are now only two points behind Arsenal with two games in hand.
On the back of Arsenal’s recent form, former Manchester United defender Neville has slammed four players for failing to show leadership.
Speaking on The Overlap, he said: “I look at Martin Odegaard, fantastic professional. Oleksandr Zinchenko, great professional. But when you actually get to the highest pressurised moments in the biggest matches in the crux of the season, are they leaders then?
“Arsenal’s senior players, Partey, Zinchenko, Odegaard, in the most difficult period – when those younger players like Saka and Martinelli needed that guidance, Jesus needed telling to stop running around and just stand up front and be really disciplined in how you play – they didn’t impact the rest of their teammates on the pitch, I don’t believe.
“In fact, they contributed to the difficulties they were having in the matches.”
Neville continued: “Xhaka at Anfield, Partey’s performances in the last few games, I think Zinchenko gave a goal away in one game as well – the Liverpool game and maybe West Ham as well – and Odegaard had probably his most difficult game as well against Manchester City.
“And then if you think of the huddle that Zinchenko did [against Southampton] and then Odegaard came over and said, ‘Break up’
“So those four players that are the leaders in that team have not been able – at the moment those younger players needed it – to really pull them together and keep them calm and composed. That to me has been apparent these last few weeks.”
Arsenal are back in Premier League action next Tuesday as they take on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at the Emirates.