Gary Neville was “not serious” when he predicted that Man Utd will finish ahead of Arsenal this season, a former Premier League striker has claimed.
The Gunners have been superb this season. They are currently five points clear at the top of the table and they also have a game in hand over Man City.
Mikel Arteta’s side are gradually emerging as title favourites and few would have predicted that at the start of this campaign.
Man Utd meanwhile are doing pretty well themselves as Erik ten Hag has done a great job since taking over during the summer.
The Dutchman has overcome early season difficulties to guide United to the Carabao Cup final and they are also well-placed to finish in the top four.
Some even suggested last month that United were in the title race. Though in their last two games, they have drawn against Crystal Palace and lost 3-2 to Arsenal. This has seen them slip 11 points adrift of the league leaders.
Speaking prior to United’s loss against Arsenal, Neville boldly predicted that his former club will end up finishing ahead of the London outfit this season.
“No [Arsenal won’t win the league]. But I said Leicester wouldn’t win the league,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“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!”
Former Aston Villa attacker Gabriel Agbonlahor has not taken this prediction too seriously though as it was a “tongue-in-cheek” comment from Neville.
“I think when Gary Neville says things, he’s talking like I would if I was talking about Aston Villa against our rivals,” Agnonlahor told The Express.
“He’s saying that tongue-in-cheek for me, and he’s not serious. I think he’s just looking at it as ‘I’m not letting Arsenal win the league’.
“He doesn’t want to let Arsenal [win the league] because Gary Neville at Manchester United had their battles against the [Patrick] Vieira era at Arsenal.
“He will dislike Arsenal, so the thought of Arsenal being ahead of Manchester United is unthinkable for him.
“But deep down, he knows the way Arsenal are playing that, after all, they will finish ahead of Manchester United.
“You know he’s a very good pundit, but sometimes it’s tongue-in-cheek comments like that which he doesn’t really believe.”
It is very rare that I agree with Agbonlahor, but for a change, he is onto something here.
As much as Neville proclaims that he is an impartial pundit – and for the large part he is – when he makes statements like the one above it is clear that is sometimes looking at things through a Man Utd lens.