Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger responds to Gary Neville’s criticism
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refuses to be drawn on Gary Neville's criticism of his Gunners side
Arsene Wenger has responded to Gary Neville’s criticism of his Arsenal legacy.
The former Manchester United defender blasted Wenger’s failure to sign “players of power” and accused the Gunners manager of arrogance for failing to address obvious weaknesses in his Arsenal side.
Neville also analysed Wenger’s signings made in the five years following their 2004 Premier League title triumph, which included names like Cesc Fabregas, Andrei Arshavin and Aleksandar Hleb.
I try just to do my job well for 20 years. I leave judgment to everybody else, the assessment of the quality of my work. Everybody is entitled to that opinion
“I can’t think of a word to describe that bunch,” Neville said. “I could but it wouldn’t be usable on television. They’re certainly not what I would call what you want to win you a league, the powerful characters, the strength you need running through your team. The profile of players completely changed and the style has changed and that to me is where I’ve got no sympathy.
“I just cannot get my head around why he would not sign players of power to assist these talented players you’ve got to enable them to win the league.
“It is the one big, if you like, black mark against Arsene Wenger in these last 10 years: why he hasn’t identified an issue with these types of players [points to Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla] because they cannot win the league with those types of players. It can’t happen. To me it’s arrogance: to think that you are not going to adapt your team to impact on the other teams you’re playing against.
“It is either naivety or arrogance because they keep losing this way.”
However, Wenger, speaking after his side’s goalless draw with Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Monday night, refused to be drawn on Neville’s criticism of his Arsenal reign.
“Look, I don’t know what that has to do with arrogance.
“I try just to do my job well for 20 years. I leave judgment to everybody else, the assessment of the quality of my work. Everybody is entitled to that opinion. I could prove to you that it’s not necessarily right but let’s not go into that debate tonight.
“When you don’t win, you’re wrong and people find reasons. Are they good reasons? I have enough experience to know when it’s right and when it’s wrong.”
Arsenal have earned just four points from their opening three Premier League games of the season after a 2-0 defeat by West Ham United in the first game at Emirates Stadium.
The north London are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table and five points behind current leaders Manchester City.