‘It just feels a little bit strange’: Gary Neville is concerned ‘something isn’t right at Man City’ after a defeat that ‘was not a Pep Guardiola performance at Tottenham’ – and he is now having DOUBTS about picking them to beat Arsenal to the title!
Gary Neville is beginning to have doubts about tipping Manchester City for the title because ‘something isn’t right’ at the club following defeat at Tottenham.
Arsenal fell to a shock defeat at Everton on Saturday, presenting the chance for City to close the gap at the top to just two points.
Only they failed to do so in an abject display which saw them lose 1-0 and they remain five adrift of Arsenal having played a game more.
For Neville it was alarming how the display ‘was not a Pep Guardiola performance’ and the former Manchester United defender is struggling to pinpoint exactly why the atmosphere around the champions is ‘strange’ right now.
‘Something isn’t right at Man City. It just feels a little bit strange at the moment,’ Neville said during commentary of City’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham, in which Harry Kane scored to surpass Jimmy Greaves as Spurs’ all-time record goalscorer.
Manchester City’s ‘strange’ loss at Tottenham has Gary Neville questioning his title prediction
City’s defeat means they remain five points adrift of Arsenal having played a game more
Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, the Sky pundit went on to add that a confusing January – which saw Joao Cancelo shipped off to Bayern and top stars relegated to the substitutes’ bench – has him questioning his title prediction.
‘I’m less sure about City because of what has happened in this past week,’ he said.
‘The Cancelo incident, the leaving out of (Kevin) De Bruyne, (Ruben) Dias and (Aymeric) Laporte are still stuck on the bench, (Ilkay) Gundogan being on the bench today – it all feels a bit odd.
‘He’s a genius Pep Guardiola and this is a moment in time – but he isn’t beyond criticism. This is a very odd period in terms of what’s going on. They are not right. That was not a Pep Guardiola performance.’
City’s midfield, usually such an area of strength for them, helping them to win four of the last five league titles, looked out of sorts and overrun at times at Tottenham, which raised Neville’s concern.
Man City have already lost four games this season – more than the entirety of 2021-22 where they won the title by a single point ahead of Liverpool.
Neville (right) felt the loss ‘was not a Pep Guardiola (left) performance’, which is alarming
Neville has long maintained that City have a ‘special run’ in them that will see them pip Arsenal to the title but the tide could well be turning – and even Guardiola is publicly declaring his players cannot think about defending their crown.
‘It’s important for us to be close and to leave fifth, which is Tottenham right now, far away to secure qualification for the Champions League,’ Guardiola said.
‘The team started really well in many things – but after a mistake we made two weeks again, we repeated it again.’
He added: ‘We are not in the position to think about being champions, just the next game, Aston Villa, we will prepare well and play our game as best as possible.
‘Tottenham has a fantastic team and squad and they punish you. They have a lot of quality up front and don’t need much with transitions, set pieces, give a lot of credit to them.’
City face a midweek trip to the Emirates Stadium on February 15 before the reverse game at the Etihad Stadium on April 26, in what are two hugely significant matches in the title race.
They last met at the end of January in the fourth round of the FA Cup with City progressing with a 1-0 win.
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