Gary Neville has labeled Arsenal’s recruitment strategy as “truly pathetic” after Unai Emery was sacked.

The Spaniard was fired on Friday morning after the loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night took Arsenal‘s winless run to seven matches.

And Neville thinks the players have “let him down” while the club’s “recruitment policy” has not been good enough.

“I don’t know who’s been responsible for recruitment over the last two or three years, they’ve chopped and changed, there have been new people brought in,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“But if I was in the boardroom at Arsenal I’d be giving them a right rocket. There’s no way Emery is telling David Luiz to step up two or three times, there’s hideous things you see from the other defenders and midfielders.

“You think of [Granit] Xhaka the other week, Emery is a man of honour and you see that behaviour, this is much deeper than the coach. Emery might be sailing his way back over the Channel this afternoon and be very happy to leave behind what is, quite simply a very average bunch of players.

“There’s no way Unai Emery was telling the players to do those things. Some of the things we were seeing on the pitch were fantasy football really.

“Without a shadow of a doubt the players have let him down. The manager will take the hit, it’s his responsibility to place them into an organised shape, but some of those players – I’ve been critical of my own club over the last few years for their recruitment policy and their strategy, but Arsenal’s is truly pathetic.

“You couldn’t find a more erratic bunch of players in terms of defending to watch. If you said to find three or four most erratic defenders in Europe, it’s almost like that’s the brief for recruitment. The players have let him down but some of them aren’t up to it.”

 

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Gary Neville thinks Brendan Rodgers has the managerial ability to take over at Manchester City when Pep Guardiola’s time at the helm eventually comes to an end.

The Northern Irishman led his Leicester City side to an impressive 9-0 victory on the road at Southampton on Friday night, a win that moved them temporarily second in the Premier League table.

And that result has led Neville to talk about the former Liverpool boss as a potential successor to Guardiola.

“I think if you look at what he achieved at Liverpool and then Celtic and now what he is doing at Leicester, we always talk about international coaches having philosophies and values, but he improves teams and plays great football,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“He is quite innovative and he does seem to be a great coach, the players enjoy working with him, and I’m asking the question now, why wouldn’t he be seen as a coach of one of the big clubs?

“You look at Manchester City changing to Pep Guardiola and you probably won’t see Brendan Rodgers‘ name linked with that job because people at the club will be thinking, maybe, someone else.

“But why not? If you look at what he’s done in terms of the football he plays and the improvement he has on players on the pitch.”

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Gary Neville has questioned Manchester United’s interest in West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Rice emerged as a potential target for United over a summer which saw them pursue young, hungry British players.

Some (silly people) have even mooted a possible £90m bid in January, but Neville does not feel United “need another player” like Rice.

“It’s going to cost a fortune,” he told Sky Sports.

“I mean, you talk about £80m, £90m to get him out of West Ham. We’ve seen a bid for Zaha go to Everton this year for £70m. To get players out of the likes of West Ham now, Crystal Palace, it is not going to be easy.

“Would I say yes now at £80m, £90m? I’m not feeling that personally at this moment in time, but am I seeing a really good player who could potentially develop into something fantastic for the next ten years? Yes, I really do think that.

“But do United need another player? They’ve already got Matic, they’ve already got McTominay doing a similar role to what I see Rice doing.”

 

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Gary Neville doesn’t think Declan Rice should be able to play for England after representing the Republic of Ireland at senior level.

The 20-year-old appeared for the Republic of Ireland’s youth teams and won three senior caps, but FIFA ratified his switch in March to England as those three appearances came in friendlies.

Neville told The Sun: “I’ve heard he’s a really good lad, I just think that ultimately a player should not be allowed to play for his country’s senior team and then switch.

“It doesn’t feel right to me. It’s a really strange thing to see and ultimately FIFA and UEFA need to stop it.

“There have been players who’ve asked for interviews and meetings with the national team manager. Why?

“Why is that influencing your decision, do you want some level of guarantee about play?

“Country is about an emotion, it’s about a feeling and that might be England, it might be Ireland, it might be Wales, whatever country you play for I’ve no problem with the process of players picking who they want to play for.

“I’ve issue with this sort of beauty parade to determine which country they play for. It should be taken out of the players’ hands.”

 

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