Gary Neville believes Arsenal will not win the Premier League this season despite their eight-point lead at the top of the table and even thinks Manchester United will finish the season above them.
Arsenal moved further clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Tottenham in a pulsating North London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The result left Arsenal eight points ahead of reigning champions Manchester City, with Newcastle and Man Utd a further point back.
When asked if Arsenal will win the Premier League, Neville said on his podcast: “No. But I said Leicester wouldn’t win the league. They won’t win the league. Manchester City will win the league, and I think Man Utd will finish second, and I know that will annoy Arsenal fans!
“I’d rather Arsenal win the league than Man City. I think it would be absolutely sensational for the Premier League.
“I think about watching the Premier League, we’ve seen City sweep up, apart from Liverpool, over the past five years. To think Arsenal could come and win it, it adds to our league, it makes our league great.
“I’d love Man Utd to win it, but I don’t think that’s going to happen this season.
“The reality of it is, I think at some point Man City will hit a run. Once they do, they’ve got to play Arsenal twice. With City, is Erling Haaland not getting the service, or does he need to do more I’ll ask that question.
“Does he need to do more, or does he need to be patient?
“If Erling Haaland starts to kick on, if City start to purr, if the defense starts to shore up a bit more than it has done, and they need Ruben Dias back if they can, I think City will win it.
“At some point, there will be a very difficult period for Arsenal this season. Is it conceivable that Arsenal are going to continue as they are? I don’t think it is. Could they draw two and lose one in a three-game period, and if they did that, their lead is gone, and the pack is up with them?That’s what I think is going to happen, we’ll see a traditional Premier League season where a team goes out, the pacemaker, and then they’ll get drawn back in a little bit.But I still think that this season is going to be far better for Arsenal than I ever imagined it would be.
“I know Arsenal fans will beat me, as they have been doing for the last four months, I hope you win it! I think for Mikel Arteta, it’s so difficult for young managers to break that [Antonio] With you, [Jurgen] Klopp, [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Pep] guardhouse, [Jose] Mourinho mold and become one of those super managers. You can’t break them.
“If Arteta wins the league this season, he breaks into that bunch. He’s doing it anyway, because his football is fantastic. But he needs to win that trophy. A Champions League, a Premier League, they are the super managers, the ones that win those trophies.So, fingers crossed that they do win it, if Man Utd can’t, which I don’t think they can, because I’d rather have that for the Premier League.
“Man City have won too many titles for me!”
Arteta: The way we won was pleasing to watch
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to Sky Sports:
“I loved the way we played, the courage that we showed, to come here and play the way we played. We have a job where we can make a lot of people happy and I’m sure we made a lot of Arsenal fans very happy.
“Everything we ask them, they are so willing to try to do it. It’s a terrific group of players, but I think we went another step. We won this season and last season in bigger stadiums, but especially the way we won today is very pleasing to watch.
“Determination and courage is great, but then you need to have the belief and the quality to do against this team what we did today. That’s down absolutely to the players.
“We were really aggressive. We were really intense with our high press, we won so many balls, so many duels, we managed those balls really good. There are going to be a couple of moments when they create chances and they are a very dangerous team, but overall, we did a lot of good things today.”
Conte talks up Arsenal’s title hopes
Spurs boss Antonio Conte speaking to Sky Sports:
“Arsenal are a difficult opponent now – like Manchester City. Both teams are going to be title contenders and one will win the Premier League. We played against a strong team but I’m not disappointed with the commitment. They showed desire to come back In the past we did this but the goalkeeper was really good not to concede a goal.
“I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them to play against us in dealing with the atmosphere. They showed they have a great balance and to hit at the right moments. And then to suffer also in the second half as they suffered a lot and showed resilience.When a team can do this that means they are ready to fight to win the title.”
Merson: It’s Arsenal’s to throw away
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:
“I think it all comes down to next weekend [againt Man Utd, live on Sky Sports]. It’s the game.
“If Man Utd go and beat Palace away, which I do expect them to do, then they’re three points behind Arsenal [if they win at the Emirates]. If Arsenal win the game, Man Utd are out of the equation and it’s Man City chasing them down.
“It’s Arsenal’s to throw away now. I know there’s a lot of football to go, but that first half was like watching Man City.
“If you lived in New Zealand and you hadn’t seen football for four years and they were playing in light blue, you’d have thought you were watching Man City. That’s how good they were.
“Everything Arsenal were doing, you could see there was a plan. There’s patterns of play, but Tottenham are off the cuff. If it happens, it happens, you can’t see any plan.
“For the second goal, the goalie is kicking the ball. It’s 1989. They’re getting the ball and kicking it out of his hands. That happens on a Sunday morning at Wormwood Scrubs. You can’t do that – there are two centre-halves there waiting for the ball.
“I feel sorry for the midfield players, they’ve been left to be embarrassed today.”
Redknapp: Never seen a calmness like Arsenal had
Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp:
“Derbies are normally frantic. You don’t usually associate a calmness like the way Arsenal played in the first half, especially coming here in such an assured manner.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it in a long time. An Arsenal team that came here last season and didn’t have the capacity to hang on.
“But they are a completely different proposition and they’re eight points clear.
“The only thing that could get in their own way is maybe a couple of injuries. I look at Thomas Partey and the job he does in midfield. If they were to lose him, there’s no one that can come in and do that role.
“I’m enjoying watching them play. That’s the best 45 minutes of football I’ve seen all season from a team, especially in a cauldron like this where you’ve got to have cool heads.
“I thought Arsenal were magnificent today.”