Sean Dyche has praised Arsenal’s work ethic and has stated that they have the look of Premier League champions after his team suffered a 4-0 defeat at the Emirates but that hasn’t stopped Gary Neville rambling on.
Speaking after the game, a time when Sean Dyche usually likes to moan about what went against his team, the Everton boss commended the Gunners’ closing down, pressing, and throwing bodies to save shots off the line, which he believes is the mentality of a team that wins titles.
Dyche also acknowledged that Manchester City are a fantastic team but believes Arsenal’s work ethic makes them a contender for the title.
“Second half they showed what a side they are,” Dyche said.
“I said to my players, ‘what you’ve got to remember is it’s not just about their ability’.
“At the end they’re closing down, they’re pressing, they save one off the line because they’re throwing bodies at it.
“That’s what wins titles. That’s the feeling of a group that wins titles.
“I’m not saying they’ve won it by any means, Man City are fantastic but you look at their work ethic.
“They knew because they came to Goodison, we put in a real shift and gathered a way of playing to protect a lead as well and seeing the game through, they [Arsenal] responded.
“That’s what I said to the players, ‘the top teams learn, now it’s about us learning’.”
With Arsenal now five points clear of Manchester City with 13 games remaining, more people are starting to wonder if City’s run of form, that they’ve been expecting for a while, will ever materialise.
Gary Neville, in his role as Manchester United-supporting Sky Sports pundit, has finally admitted he is less confident in his prediction that Manchester City will beat Arsenal to the Premier League title.
Despite still anticipating that Man City will overtake Arsenal, because he just can’t cope with the alternative, Neville acknowledges that the Gunners could win the league for the first time in 19 years.
He cited Man City’s left-back position, tinkering with the team and system, and Arsenal’s impressive form this season as factors influencing his prediction.
“Arsenal have struggled in latter parts of seasons, with last season the most recent example of this,” Neville said.
“This is why Manchester City will win the Premier League, because when it gets to the last 10 games, Arsenal will start to panic a little bit, the anxiety will kick in, pressure builds.
“If Arsenal do it and win the league it will be an unbelievable achievement, but they haven’t been around the block like Manchester City.
“When it gets to the final 10 games and it really kicks in – [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Erling] Haaland, [Ruben] Dias, [Ilkay] Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker – these guys who have been there before, they’ll push on. But there are teams who get over the line for the first time and this could be the year for Arsenal.”
These are all points that Aaron Ramsdale recently addressed.
“What’s driving us on is the scars of last year — no one has forgotten about what happened,” Ramsdale said after the win over Everton.
“That’s obviously a big driving force in this team, [it hurt] a lot — especially as it was to the other lot down the road, which made it even worse for our fans and for us.
“It is just knowing our mistakes at the end of the season, the teams we dropped points against and knowing we have to trust our process, our basics, knowing that if we do nine out of 10, 10 out of 10, then we should get results.
“And if we don’t, at least we can say we have done everything we can. There were times last year we dipped under our levels, didn’t do what we had practised or what we had done all season, so it was a big lesson for us and we are just taking it into each game at the minute.”