Gary Neville slams Mikel Arteta for ‘jumping around’ on Arsenal touchline
Gary Neville has suggested Arsenal’s ability to show calmness and composure in matches is being hampered by manager Mikel Arteta’s ‘jumping around’ on the touchline.
The Gunners took the lead twice in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham in the north London derby but they were pegged back on each occasion by excellent finishes from Spurs skipper Son Heung-min.
Neville was critical of Arsenal’s reaction to retaking the lead after Bukayo Saka’s 54th minute penalty, saying they got ‘caught out’ and did not switch back on after celebrating the goal.
Their lead was wiped out just 23 seconds after play restarted as James Maddison robbed a dithering Jorginho, drove forward and then played in Son, who calmly slotted the ball past David Raya.
Arsenal Lack Composure
Neville felt it showed a lack of composure from the Arsenal team and believes the senior players should have kept them focused – though feels that is hard to do when Arteta is so animated and emotional on the touchline.
Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, he said: ‘I want to see a composure from this Arsenal team and that’s difficult because the manager’s on the sideline jumping around like you wouldn’t believe.
‘I want to see passion, but I want to see composure and a coldness, and that feels like a contradiction. But I want to see it in the right moments at the right times.
‘When they scored that second goal, Saka’s penalty, which was a beautiful penalty, celebrate it, give your fans something because they want to see it means something.
‘But there should be two or three senior players in that group saying, “Right, come on. Switch on now, we’re ready and we’re going to see this through”.
Mentality Kicks In
‘Your mentality kicks in of knowing when a game’s in danger. Declan Rice had gone off at half-time and that presented a danger, so should Jorginho have been left there almost last man on the ball for Son’s second equaliser? Maybe, maybe not.
‘He should have done better himself, of course, but when you concede a goal a minute after one going in, that’s what I’m talking about, that mentality. They didn’t get set again.’
It is clear that Arsenal lack composure and mental toughness. This is something that Mikel Arteta needs to address if he wants his team to be successful. His animated behaviour on the touchline may be hindering his players’ ability to stay focused and composed during matches. It is up to Arteta to find a way to motivate his players without disrupting their concentration.
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