Watch: Gary Neville suggests Arteta should leave Arsenal if they get CL
Gary Neville has angered Arsenal fans by suggesting that Mikel Arteta should leave the club if they qualify for the Champions League this season.
Arsenal are favourites to secure the final Champions League spot in the Premier League, sitting three points above Tottenham with 10 games remaining.
A top-four finish would represent a remarkable turnaround in north London given Arteta’s side sat bottom of the Premier League after losing their first three matches of the season without scoring a goal – and many were questioning Arteta’s future at the Emirates.
But Neville believes this could be ‘as good as it gets’ for Arsenal and says Arteta may decide to leave the club this summer even if they finish fourth as the Gunners are ‘not going to compete’ with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
“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,” Neville said at a Sky Sports fan debate.
“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”.”
Neville’s comments understandably left some Arsenal fans incensed and it’s hard to imagine Arteta leaving his post this summer.
Gary Neville deep down wants Arteta at United.
He reeks of desperation. pic.twitter.com/U4cUfXHQ4M
— Gilles 🇳🇬🏴 (@_Grimanditweets) March 30, 2022
Comparing Arteta’s first 120 games as Arsenal manager with Wenger’s
The 9 players Arsenal signed alongside Mikel Arteta in 2011 & how they fared