Gary Neville’s Carabao Cup final verdict as Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley

Watch and listen as Gary Neville has his say on Arsenal's poor performance in the Carabao Cup final

Gary Neville was highly critical of Arsenal’s 3-0 Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City during his commentary, labelling the players “spineless” and “an absolute disgrace”.

Here, the Sky Sports pundit delivers his post-match verdict – which can be heard in full in the latest Gary Neville Podcast – while also previewing Arsenal’s upcoming meeting with Man City, live on Sky Sports Premier League this Thursday…

Arsenal vs Man City

March 1, 2018, 7:00pm

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My immediate thought is not for Manchester City – they’ve won the Premier League title irrespective of what happens on Thursday – it’s more, what’s the atmosphere in the ground going to be like on Thursday night at the Emirates?

We’re going to be there two or three hours before, and we’ll see it build up and you’ll be able to feel that. I think it might go, I think if they concede a goal on Thursday it could be a very difficult, horrible game for Arsene Wenger and those players, and the board as well.

We saw it last season, I didn’t enjoy it, it was unpleasant when the protestations were going on leading up to the game, the marches from the fans, the banners. I didn’t enjoy it, I thought Arsene Wenger deserved better than that.

But I can see it coming again this Thursday. The questions will be tough in the press conference now, and they will be tough on Wednesday in the pre-match press conference, and I think on Thursday night those Arsenal fans who’ve walked out of that stadium here at Wembley, there were probably five or six thousand left out of 32,000 at the end, it’s going to be a very, very difficult week, and those players are going to somehow pick themselves up and put a performance in on Thursday.

It’s the least they can do because they have not performed here.

Look, I played in cup finals in Cardiff where we got beat by Liverpool, where we didn’t play well. It was a horrible feeling.

But I saw things out on that pitch from Arsenal. I actually called it in the lead up to the third goal, where they were walking back, and walking up, and walking towards the ball. You do not walk on a football pitch, that’s the one thing you don’t do.

Highlights of the Carabao Cup final between Arsenal v Man City.

You might just be on your toes, you might be ready to go or to pounce, you might be jogging or ready to adjust your position, but you do not walk on a football pitch at any point. You’re always lively and making sure you’re ready to move.

I have to say, they’re walkers, they maybe lacked confidence and the belief to beat Man City, but I called it pathetic – that might be too strong – I called it a disgrace, I think that is not based on a single performance, it’s based on two or three years now, watching these players do the same things and losing in the same way.

I’m finding it difficult to take because it’s a wonderful football club with a great history and tradition, but at the moment they’re in decline in terms of their performance levels and their standards.

The standard of an Arsene Wenger team is slipping, because in my mind I think of it initially in the first 10 years as being a strong, powerful, aggressive, counter-attacking team, but could also play good football.

In the middle part, it was wonderful combinations of football. Now, I’ve not seen anything. I’ve not seen power, counter-attacking or wonderful combinations of football and that’s really difficult to take.

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