It would be a “monumental” feat if Mikel Arteta wins the Premier League and breaks the Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp period of dominance, says Gary Neville.
Declan Rice’s long-range goal capped a stunning demolition of his former side West Ham as Arsenal claimed a 6-0 win at the London Stadium.
The extraordinary victory, Arsenal’s biggest in a Premier League away game, puts the Gunners level with second-placed Manchester City on goal difference, maintaining their title hopes following last Sunday’s win over Liverpool.
Neville, speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, admitted he wants to see Arsenal go all the way this season and that it would be good for the Premier League if the Manchester City and Liverpool era of dominance was broken.
He said: “For Arteta to break Klopp and Guardiola would be huge for the Premier League – we want disruption.
“Manchester City have been incredible, Guardiola is a genius and Klopp is the best manager over the last six years having worked against Guardiola with the resources that’s he had. If Arteta could drive through the middle of them it would be monumental. I can’t wait for the next three months. I want them to be controlled. To be determined. And to know there is a long way to go.”
Arsenal were criticised by Jamie Carragher following their win over Liverpool for over-celebrating, with Carragher saying: “You’ve won a game – get down the tunnel.”
It was a debate that raged on during the build-up to Arsenal’s game with West Ham and Neville has called on the Gunners to tone down the hype of their post-match celebrations in order to reserve emotional energy for the run-in.
He added: “There has been lots of jokes made this week about over-celebrating, but it’s a serious topic.
“Emotion and passion can sap energy, particularly if you are over-enthusiastic.
“From someone that is qualified in these kinds of things, if you use up too much emotion and are overhyped, it does sap energy.
“Against Bournemouth last season – about 10-12 games out – Zinchenko was screaming at the fans in his car 120 minutes after full-time. If you’re using up that level of emotion, imagine what we aren’t seeing. You can read into the impact of that heightened feeling. Arsenal have got a great chance – they’ve got a great team, a great manager, the back four are solid, the midfield are strong and the front players are such a threat.
“When you score a goal, celebrate for your life, but at the end of the game, treat it as if it’s one game down. Keep that control of getting the job done. They need to manage the last few months of the season really well and focus on the job.”
“They are the team that are closest to Man City. Liverpool have a great manager but I feel Arsenal are a better team. There is so much energy and passion at Arsenal, that’s great, but we’re now entering into a run-in. When you think of Floyd Mayweather and Muhammad Ali – boxers who used to call it on with their enthusiasm.
“They were so great they could do it. Arsenal aren’t in that position to be like that. It’s helped them that they’ve not been in front and had no pressure or expectation. They need to sit there, sit there, sit there, and pounce at the end. That’s how they’ll need to win the league. Last season I never thought they’d win the league, this year they can. They have more control. I’m feeling it for them.”
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