Gary Neville delivers mid-season Arsenal verdict
By Harry Sykes
Gary Neville has been impressed by Arsenal this season but predicted they will once again fall short in their bid to win the Premier League title.
Arsene Wenger’s side are aiming to end their 13-year title wait in what is an extremely competitive race for top spot.
Arsenal showed their battling qualities to come from three goals down at Bournemouth on Tuesday night to draw a thrilling encounter 3-3.
But the north Londoners are now in fourth place in the table and eight points behind leaders Chelsea, who will pull 11 points clear of their capital rivals if they win at Tottenham on Wednesday night.
Sky Sports pundit and ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville is a big admirer of Arsenal’s playing style but believes they will ultimately once again fall short in the title race.
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“I think Arsenal are where they’d expect to be, where you and I expect them to be,” Neville told the Sky Sports website. “They win, go on long winning runs, and then lose a couple, then win another eight or so, teasing you, thinking that they’re going to be title contenders but never quite getting there.
“They’re a good football team, they play the right way, but you feel they’re going to fall short, and you feel it’s going to happen again.
“It seems a bit sad saying that, but it’s a good thing in ways, it’s consistency, you’ve seen Man Utd and Chelsea dip out of the top four in recent years, so all credit for the consistency. But for the title, where this conversation lies, they’re still going to fall short I feel.”
Arsenal have finished in the top four in every season under Wenger in the last 20 years but they have not come close to winning the title since the Invincibles swept all before them in 2003-04.
Wenger’s team have suffered similar frustration in the Champions League, and have not gone beyond the first knockout stage of Europe’s top competition for six years.
In other Arsenal news, the Gunners have lodged a £28million bid for a Juventus player.