Martin Odegaard's leadership at Arsenal questioned by Gary Neville, with several team-mates also blamed for Premier League slump
- Odegaard not lifting team-mates, says Neville
- Neville also criticised Partey, Xhaka & Zinchenko
- Arsenal winless in four league matches
WHAT HAPPENED? Odegaard received a lot of praise amid Arsenal's long run at the top of the Premier League this season, but he has caught some flack during their run of four games without a win. Neville believes that the Gunners' skipper, along with Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka, have failed to lift their less experienced team-mates to stay in charge of the title race.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "I look at Martin Odegaard, fantastic professional. Oleksandr Zinchenko, great professional," the ex-Manchester United full-back said on The Overlap podcast. "But when you actually get to the highest pressurised moments in the biggest matches in the crux of the season, are they leaders then?
"Arsenal’s senior players, Partey, Zinchenko, Odegaard, in the most difficult period – when those younger players like [Bukayo] Saka and [Gabriel] Martinelli needed that guidance, Jesus needed telling to stop running around and just stand up front and be really disciplined in how you play – they didn’t impact the rest of their teammates on the pitch, I don’t believe. In fact, they contributed to the difficulties they were having in the matches."
AND WHAT'S MORE: Neville added: "Xhaka at Anfield, Partey’s performances in the last few games, I think Zinchenko gave a goal away in one game as well – the Liverpool game and maybe West Ham as well – and Odegaard had probably his most difficult game as well against Manchester City."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City in midweek, cutting the north London team's lead at the top of the table to two points. City have two games in hand over their rivals, leaving Odegaard and his co-stars in danger of dropping to second place.
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal are looking to end their four-game winless run when they take on Chelsea in the Premier League on May 2.