Gary Neville tips Arsenal for title and says they have found their own Roy Keane
A bold claim from the United legend.
Declan Rice may not be the most popular man on this side of the Irish Sea, but his performance yesterday in Arsenal's last-gasp win over Manchester United left Gary Neville in awe, as he likened Rice to fellow Sky pundit Roy Keane.
Rice, who claimed his summer move to Arsenal was done with the intention of cementing himself as a legend at one of England's biggest clubs, went some way to delivering on that promise with his 96th minute winner against Erik ten Hag's floundering United side.
"DECLAN RICE, A GUNNER FOR LIFE"
Unbelievable scenes as Declan Rice SURELY gets the winner?! 🔴 pic.twitter.com/Uu9MfS8qkA
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 3, 2023
Speaking on his totemic midfield display in the post-match analysis, Gary Neville said;
"You probably thought the game was going to drift to a draw, but then, Declan Rice. I know Jesus scored a third goal but that second goal for Arsenal by Declan Rice was a big, big moment. That is what he has been brought here (Arsenal) for.
The United legend went on to say that he believes the Gunners have what it takes to go all the way in the Premier League this season, thanks to additions of the likes of Rice.
"I've tipped Arsenal to win the title this season, which is a long shot. Manchester City are outstanding and everybody would point towards them. But it's in these moments that you find out about a team, even though it's very early in the season and City have been absolutely flawless so far," Neville said.
Declan Rice labelled Arsenal's version of Roy Keane:
Declan Rice and Roy Keane shared a laugh in the former's post-match interview on Sky after the game, as they critiqued Rice's deflected stoppage-time winner.
But it was the comments of Neville again which perked the ears of both Arsenal and United fans, with the pundit going on to liken Rice's influence on Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side, to the influence with which Roy Keane held over Alex Ferguson's Manchester United sides of old, saying;
"There are big players, and there is a man over there in the studio today, Roy Keane, who would drive his team towards victory. He might not score the winning goal like Declan Rice did today, but he'd never stop thinking that the victory is the only result.
"I think Declan Rice plays every minute of a football match thinking that a draw is a bad result, and that is a really important factor. You sign these players for the big moments in the big matches, and he's scored in the last minutes."
Whether or not Rice follows in Keane's footsteps and leads Arsenal to Premier League glory remains to be seen, but Neville, a man well known for his distaste of the Gunners, seems to have begrudgingly accepted that Rice's Arsenal are the Premier League's best chance at dethroning Manchester City.
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