Gary Neville casts doubt on Arsenal’s Champions League hopes - ‘The experience is still not there’

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Doubts: Gary Neville believes Arsenal lack the experience for a top four push  (Getty Images)
Doubts: Gary Neville believes Arsenal lack the experience for a top four push (Getty Images)

Gary Neville has become the latest pundit to cast doubt on Arsenal’s top four hopes heading into the new Premier League season.

Mikel Arteta has overseen an ambitious summer spend in north London, with title-winners Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko arriving in a double raid on Manchester City.

Fabio Vieira was another big signing, while William Saliba’s return from loan spells in France strengthens the defence.

Still, while there was plenty of reason to be excited about the future last season as Arteta’s young side defied expectations, the manner in which they were beaten to Champions League qualification by bitter rivals Tottenham was hugely disappointing.

With the added burden of Europa League football to contend with, it’s going to be another hectic campaign for Arteta.

Speaking on The Overlap, Sky Sports pundit Neville followed Roy Keane in doubting Arsenal’s chances of breaking into the top four.

“The experience is still not there either off the pitch or on the pitch. I’ve watched Oleksandr Zinchenko, but he’s not a leader. I love him to bits… but he’s not a leader,” he said.

“Is he going to, in the difficult moments of the season, be able to pull it all together? He might do.

“I like the [transfer] window [Arsenal have had], I like everything you’ve done. Arsenal’s players that were there last season will have been burnt a bit by what happened in terms of falling away at the end [from the top four].

“So, have they got enough experience when they hit that same situation again and they’re under pressure with 10 games to go, who is going to get them over the line on the pitch to ensure that they don’t do the same thing again?

Arsenal unveil new pink third kit

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“That moment will come because I think they’ll be vying for third or fourth. I just think that’s when Arsenal in the past have just [fallen short].

“I know Chelsea and Manchester United are struggling a bit in terms of where they are and they might both blow up, but I think will both have to happen in order for Arsenal to land in the top four.”

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