Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was strangely optimistic about Arsenal’s hopes for the season ahead despite a 3-1 defeat against Liverpool this afternoon.
The Gunners were well beaten at Anfield once again, continuing a dire recent run away to the Reds, as well as to the rest of the top six.
Remarkably, it’s been over four years since Arsenal last won away against a big six side, when they beat Manchester City 2-0 in 2014/15.
And while they weren’t quite thrashed as badly today as they were by Liverpool when they lost 5-1 last season, Neville’s comments on the defeat seem unlikely to ring true with most Gooners.
While he admits he was at risk of sounding patronising, Neville did think Unai Emery’s side put in a decent performance considering the nature of the opposition.
That said, most Arsenal fans will probably just remember some bad misses by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe, and costly defensive errors by David Luiz contributing to another miserable performance on the road.
Is Neville actually making much sense here? Decide for yourselves on this analysis made during commentary while the score was still 3-0…
‘It’s difficult when you lose 3-0, it feels like you’ve taken a bit of a doing to take positives from it,’ the former Manchester United defender said, as quoted by the Metro.
‘But it feels like a… positive 3-0 defeat, if you could argue that. I’ve seen things today from Arsenal that I quite like.
‘They are playing against a brilliant team, let’s be clear. They pushed Manchester City right to the end last season, a monstrous amount of points, and obviously won the Champions League, so we’re talking about one of the best in Europe.
‘And that’s told today but from an Arsenal point of view we’re talking about building block by block. And I don’t mind what I’ve seen. Arsenal fans behind the goal might see it differently travelling back to London having lost 3-0. But I think over the season it will bear out that they will do okay.
‘It’s the manner of the performance sometimes with Arsenal in the past we’ve been critical of. I’ve not seen that today, they are still going, they’ve not left anything in the changing room, it’s all out there on the pitch.
‘I know it’s still a defeat but psychologically, I think even those Arsenal fans are still there, there have been times in the past when they’ve been walking out of here with 15-20 minutes to go, that’s not the case today.’