Neville: ‘Disjointed’ Arsenal as bad as I’ve seen

Sarah Winterburn

Gary Neville claims that Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla were “overrun and lacking in power” during the north London derby.

The Sky Sports pundit has previously said that Arsenal cannot win the Premier League with Cazorla playing in central midfield and the Spaniard was taken off at half-time with Arsene Wenger claiming he was “dizzy”.

Arsenal eventually drew the game 1-1 but Tottenham’s midfield trio of Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele physically dominated the game.

“From Arsenal’s point of view, it’s as bad as I’ve seen them, in terms of being disjointed, in such a big game,” Neville said.

“They finished really strongly, but the first half was the first time I’ve seen the midfield two look like I thought they might be in the Premier League, which is overrun and lacking in power.

“It was so difficult for Cazorla in particular, who was hauled off at half-time, they say he was feeling unwell. Well, I have a feeling there was case for taking him off even if he wasn’t unwell, because Tottenham were brilliant.

“They got back into the game, though, and I think both managers can be happy for different reasons.”

Neville was very impressed with Tottenham, saying on The Gary Neville Podcast:

“Tottenham were fantastic. Pochettino has really had to take the house down brick by brick and re-build it in the last 18 months.

“It’s not easy to move some players on – with the wages they are on, they want to hang around – and he’s done that. He’s now got a team out on the pitch that’s reflective of him. If I was a Spurs fan, I would gain great encouragement.

“There’s a team out there now that isn’t as flaky as it used to be, that runs like crazy, that absolutely ran all over Arsenal for 75 minutes during that game. If there was one part of the match that they failed in, it was heading the ball – they couldn’t clear their box.

“But it was a fantastic performance from a young team. From Pochettino’s point of view, he will have a bit of a tingle because he can feel where he’s taking this team. You can see the work that’s going in on the training ground.”

Neville’s previous comments on Arsenal feature in our 16 Conclusions from the game.