Gary Neville delivers his honest verdict on Mikel Arteta at Arsenal
Gary Neville praises Mikel Arteta for the impact he has had at Arsenal but warns about the Spaniard's long-term future at the club
Gary Neville has praised Mikel Arteta for the impact he has had at Arsenal this season – but has warned Gunners fans that the Spaniard could leave the club if they finish fourth.
The Spanish head coach has been earning lots of praise for the way he has got his team performing this season, with the north London side currently leading the way for a top-four finish.
Arsenal are fourth in the Premier League table and three points ahead of closest challengers Manchester United, who have played one game more than the Gunners.
The focus will now be on whether Arteta is able to steer Arsenal into the top four and secure Champions League qualification for the club for the first time since 2016.
Former Manchester United star Neville has been highly impressed by what he has seen from the Gunners under Arteta this term, but he is not so sure about the Spaniard’s long-term future at the club.
Speaking on The Overlap on YouTube, Neville said: “I really like Mikel Arteta, I think he’s a brilliant coach. I think the team is fantastic in terms of the young players they’ve got.
“But it’s interesting when you’re in a cycle of a club and you depress the ambition and have a significant period of failure because you then get really happy about finishing fourth.
“I found myself saying that about Manchester United. But it’s because of a depressed ambition.
“I think Mikel Arteta is a good operator. My concern is if Arsenal finish fourth this season – which to be fair, I think is 50-50, I still think there’s a long way to in that race – but if they finish fourth, that’s in some ways as good as it gets.
“You’ve got Pep [Guardiola], [Jurgen] Klopp, Man United, Chelsea, where can Arsenal go? They’re not going to compete.
“Mikel Arteta is a brilliant coach, I love that we’re seeing a team that he’s getting the maximum out of, I can see exactly how he wants to play, we all can.
“But he gets to fourth [and] if he was really hard about it, he’d probably say: ‘right, that’s the best I can do there, I’m going now and getting my next job’.”
Arsenal are back in Premier League action on Monday when they travel to take on Crystal Palace in the top flight.
The Gunners still have to play Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur away from home before the season is out, and they must also host Manchester United at The Emirates.