Full transcript of Neville, Carragher’s Arsenal argument
4 months ago, 21 Aug 12:37
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher embarked on a lengthy discussion over Arsenal and Unai Emery on Monday night.
With Carragher resuming his duties for Sky Sports this season, he has renewed his lovely punditry rivalry with Neville.
The two were pitted against one another during coverage of Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, but spent much of their time disagreeing over Arsenal and Emery.
While Carragher feels that the new manager “has to adapt” after defeats in his two opening matches, Neville insists that to do so would be a mistake.
The full transcript of their discussion is below. Enjoy:
Carragher: I think the manager has to adapt. Not throw away all his principles, but defend a little bit deeper. Has he got the players to press from the front? He hasn’t got the pace at the back. Has he got a goalkeeper who can play out? I just think that to get through to January he has to adapt.
Neville: I think it’s ignorant to suggest he has to adapt.
JC: Is it not stubborn from you to say that?
GN: No. He has had six weeks to work. Unai Emery has been a coach for 10 years and has been successful. He has his idea and the players have to adapt to him. He has to find out over this first season which players can adapt to him and which players can’t. Of course he will lose games. In the first season there will be some pain for Arsenal in this transition they are going through. I think it’s dangerous to adapt.
I know this from my biggest learning in Valencia. I set off on a path of what I was going to do and didn’t get results. The minute I started to adapt and take people away from my idea and do things different, I threw away the previous three or four weeks of work I’d done.
If he starts to work on one idea of playing out from the back, but then says knock it long, you start to get confusion in players’ minds. I saw Sam Allardyce’s comments on the radio, but Unai Emery is not trying to get eight points from five games to avoid relegation. He’s trying to build a team to win the title. The last thing he should do, in my experience, which was a bad one, is change and adapt because his players will walk all over him.
JC: I didn’t expect Arsenal to win these games, all I’m saying is the things I saw – trying to play out from the back, putting the keeper under pressure – why do that? Why play a high line when Mustafi can’t run? Are we saying top-level players in the Premier League cannot adapt?
I’m not saying play it long. Maybe if they can’t play it long, chip it to the full-back as Chelsea did on the second goal. You say managers shouldn’t adapt, but three or four years ago we lauded Arsene Wenger when he went to Manchester City and changed his plan and got a great ...
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