Gary Neville: Unai Emery Has Done “Brilliant” Job To Have Arsenal In Top-Four Contention

By The Editor
on 16th April 2019

Gary Neville believes Unai Emery is massively overachieving with this Arsenal squad…


Gary Neville lavished praise on Unai Emery after our win at Watford pushed us back into the top four as the race for the Champions League slots enters its final furlong, Sky Sports reports.

A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang strike in the opening 10 minutes from a horrendous Ben Foster error gave us an early lead, and the hosts’ task was made even more difficult after captain Troy Deeney was sent off for a stray arm on Lucas Torreira.

We played against 10-men for 78 minutes and couldn’t muster a second goal, with Watford applying plenty of pressure on our goal.

The man advantage wasn’t evident throughout the game and one imagines that Emery would be less than pleased with the performance.

For Neville, however, it was further evidence that suggests Emery is working miracles with a squad of players who’re significantly inferior to the other top four rivals.

“For them to be where they are in front of Chelsea with a game in hand, navigating the Europa League which we have always talked about on this programme for four or five years about how hard it is to play Thursdays and Sundays, out of sync with what is a normal week and how teams struggle with that, I think it’s a brilliant performance,” Neville said on Monday Night Football.

“When you think of how Chelsea and Manchester United have spent a fortune, Chelsea have just got a far stronger squad. We talked about Eden Hazard last week being one of the best players in the world, Arsenal are nowhere near that.”

Emery has also had to deal with a substantial amount of turmoil in his first season as Arsenal boss during a period of significant transition.

Off the pitch, two of the men responsible for bringing him to the club have jumped ship; Ivan Gazidis and Sven Mislintat.

On the pitch, Aaron Ramsey is set to leave the club in the summer on a free transfer to Juventus, though Emery has integrated him well in the squad.

Also, the enigma that is Mesut Ozil continues to divide opinion and Neville believes Emery has handled these speed bumps admirably.

“When you look at that Arsenal team there are a lot of questions still to be answered. You think of Ozil, you think of Ramsey leaving, the defenders, the midfield doesn’t look quite right, you’re not convinced about the goalkeeper at all, the full-backs look like they could change every week.

“And yet, he is getting that level of performance out of them. I think it’s a brilliant performance.”