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02nd Apr 2017

Three of Arsenal’s most high-profile stars ripped new ones by Gary Neville

No holding back

Darragh Murphy

Arsenal were definitely the more satisfied side with the point on Sunday.

The Gunners drew 2-2 with Manchester City at the Emirates but it was the away side who created more chances in a bizarre game, during which violence broke out in the crowd.

Unsavoury scenes could also be seen outside the ground after the final whistle and it was clear that supporters remained deeply unhappy.

A number of Arsenal players flattered to deceive throughout the 90 minutes, with midfielder Mesut Ozil having a particularly poor game in the centre of the park.

Other causes for concern among fans included the sight of defender Laurent Koscielny hobbling off, which prompted waves of panic among supporters, as well as the visible anger on the face of goalscorer Theo Walcott when he was withdrawn by manager Arsene Wenger after 68 minutes.

And it was that trio of players who analyst Gary Neville decided to slate in the immediate aftermath of the result.

“I might be being a bit harsh here, but I’m going to say them anyway,” said Neville on Super Sunday.

“Koscielny always goes off. He’s a centre-back. He plays to half-time and then goes off. He might have a bit of a problem with his Achilles and I might be being very harsh, but he went off against Bayern Munich and went off in a big game today.

“Walcott trudges off the pitch. He hasn’t played well, but his attitude is, ‘I’ve scored a goal, you shouldn’t take me off.’ Yes you should, you were poor and that’s a matter of fact.

“Mesut Ozil goes through on goal and bottles out of a challenge when his manager’s backside is on the line. Go for a 50-50 or nick in front and win a penalty.

“There’s three instances today and I’m being harsh, but if you’re talking about throwing the cat among the pigeons, let’s do it. Let’s throw it out there.

“Arsene Wenger deserved for Koscielny to at least have a go for five minutes in the second half. Go on mate, have a go for us. No, he didn’t.

“Theo Walcott should sprint off the pitch and shake the manager’s hand and say, ‘Thanks very much for giving me a game today. I’m lucky.’

“Mesut Ozil should go for a 50-50 with the goalkeeper. That would help, wouldn’t it?”

Gary Neville pulls zero punches!