Gary Neville believes he knows why Arsenal lost the Premier League title at the end of the season.
Arsenal’s Premier League title aspirations were dashed on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, leaving them with just nine points from a possible 24.
Gary Neville has stated that Arsenal’s recent slump is down to “mentality” after Mikel Arteta’s side saw their Premier League title aspirations dashed at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
After controlling their own destiny for so much of the season, a run of only nine points in seven games had left their chances hanging by a thread before they ever took the field at the City Ground. And that dreadful run was topped off by a 1-0 defeat, which meant Manchester City were proclaimed champions before facing Chelsea the next day.
Despite an unquestionably successful campaign, the probe into the capitulation is already well begun. And Sky Sports pundit Neville has noted the Gunners‘ mental frailty, referring to their floundering form at the close of the 2021/22 season, which saw them finish fourth to Tottenham.
“When you look at the context of how poor a run it is for Arsenal, we know last season they had the top four in their grasp and went on a really bad run towards the end of the season,” he explained on Monday Night Football. “I looked at this graphic this morning, and it shows that Arsenal have the fewest points of any team in Premier League history in the last ten games in which they finished in the top three.”
“It just tells you what Mikel Arteta has to shift.” It’s a mental thing in the final part of the season, it’s an experience thing that they haven’t been able to handle in the last 10 games of both seasons in the last two seasons.”
And Neville claimed that the side was now forced to reflect on what could have been in both of their previous campaigns: “If they’d got those ten games in both seasons, they’d have been in the Champions League last season and potentially could have been champions this time,” he said.
Despite his critiques of Arsenal’s end-of-season form, Neville expressed respect for the way the Gunners stunned everyone in 2022/23. And his appreciation was reflected in his Monday Night Football award selections, with Martin Odegaard named his young player of the season.
And the Norwegian forward was also featured in his team of the season’s midfield, alongside colleagues Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli up front, either side of Erling Haaland. There was additional enough towards the back for William Saliba.
Jamie Carragher, a co-pundit, was less charitable, only including Odegaard among the four Gunners chosen by Neville. After an outstanding debut season at the Emirates, he did include Oleksandr Zinchenko at left back.