Neville slams Arteta’s ‘flaky fed lions’ in Arsenal defeat

Date published: Sunday 4th April 2021 10:19 - Will Ford

Neville

Gary Neville has criticised Arsenal’s “really flaky” performance in the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, likening Mikel Arteta’s side to “fed lions”.

While Jurgen Klopp’s side impressed at the Emirates, Arsenal barely mustered a whimper as they were totally outclassed by their opponents.

And Neville joked that he and fellow commentator Martin Tyler could have lined up in defence for the Reds, so rarely were they threatened by Arsenal’s limp attack.


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“I mentioned the word flaky before – this has been really flaky from Arsenal,” Neville said during commentary for Sky Sports.

“It’s the most basic I’ve seen them under (Mikel) Arteta. I described the Arsenal players as fed lions. Arteta wants hungry ones. It’s been a really, really shabby performance from Arsenal. I haven’t liked it from minute one.

“Me and you could have played centre-back for Liverpool tonight, Martin (Tyler). Arsenal haven’t laid a glove on them. I’ve been so disappointed with them.”

Arteta admitted he was in “shock” after the game and apologised for the display.

He told Sky Sports: “We completely deserved to lose the game. They were better in every department and deserved to win the game with the margin they had, or even more. I accept responsibility for the way we played today.

“Liverpool completely deserved to win the game, probably by a bigger margin. We were extremely poor. We apologise.

“They made the right decisions, we didn’t. It is my fault. I have to set the team up to perform in a different way and that is it. Congratulations to Liverpool because they were exceptional today. That showed the difference between the two teams – that when they play at that level, the margin is incredibly high.

“I don’t have to use any excuses – that we don’t have five or six players – the standards are much higher at this football club and I have to get them to perform at that level. It was technical as well.

“We gave every ball away and could not put three passes together. The basics weren’t there today. If you do that against this kind of opponent, you get punished like we have.

“At the moment I am in shock. I didn’t expect that because of the way the team trained. It is a challenge. A challenge brings an opportunity. If you have courage and you represent a club like this, you have to stand up and take it.”

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