Gary Knows: The GOBs vs The GKBs (Part Un)

The Neville Brothers

I never thought I could ever possibly like any of the Neville brothers. The first 2 I encountered, I fucking detested: Phil and Gary. Apparently their dad’s name is Neville Neville, so he’s clearly a complete tosser, and clearly at the root of the problem.

I mean, look at this…

Neville Neville


Now, you shouldn’t judge somebody’s guilt based on looks, especially in such a serious case. But, come on. Look at his eyes. He definitely did it.

Though, was it really his fault? Calling a kid Neville Neville? I think the blame goes back at LEAST one more generation in the Neville family. Back to the grandfather, who’s name, according to Wikipedia, is Neville Neville Neville. Ok, I think we’ve identified the problem with this family here. The arithmetic progression of Nevilles in the name, isn’t it?! 3 Nevilles, then 2, then 1. And therefore the cure seems pretty straight forwad.

Let the next generation of Nevilles be known as “ℌ“ ie “The Family Formerly Known As Neville.”

I just hope they don’t fuck it up again by then naming their kids’ kids “ℌℌ.” But I guess they will. After all they are the “ℌ” family. They have priors.

Plan B:

Just in case that doesn’t work, I ran a statistical model based on all available data which showed that for there to be a 95% probability that there exists a non-douchey Neville brother, there would need to be 7,347 Neville brothers:

Neville Brothers

Forget the Zombie Apocalypse. It’s the Neville Brothers You Should Be Afraid Of.

Oh the horror of it. We would need to let loose 7,347 Neville brothers on this planet to produce a Neville brother that was not a complete cock. And even then, there is a 5% chance that the non-douche Neville turns out to still be a cock!

But if this experiment against the laws of God and nature bears fruit, the next step would be to mate this new non-douche Neville with the kindest women of best character, the Mother Teresas of this generation if you will, to attempt to breed us out of the Curse of Neville.

Gary Neville 1.0

Gary Neville was a fucking cock. I hated that little shit. And he hated us. But he also feared and respected us. Gary Neville knew what a rival looked like. And he knew a good club when he saw one coming.

Gary Neville 2.0

Gary Neville 2.0 respects who Arsenal were, respects what we’ve done and what we’re attempting to do, and he anticipates we will become a real force again in the future, a real rival.

I like Gary Neville 2.0. And I’m relieved it didn’t require us to let 7,347 Neville brothers loose on the planet, roaming free, playing at all full back positions for every team in every country at every professional level that we are ever possibly going to face, talentlessly kicking the shit out of every progressive team we sent out to play for our glorious club.

I like this Gary Neville.

Gary Neville 1.0 was the enemy. Although, does anyone have the potential to understand you, to see you as you really are, to be so coldly objective, as your long-time enemy does. Neville played for United for over 18 years and was described by his manager as the best Right Back of his generation. He played countless times for arguably the greatest manager of the Premier League era, and frequently it was against the only other manager who could contest that title. He faced Wright, Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira, Adams, Fabregas et al. He said of Arsenal “They were the best attacking team I played against.” And we matched United toe to toe while the budget allowed.

Neville knows something about what it takes to win and what makes a winning club.

The other thing that Neville knows is…”Arsenal are a much BIGGER club than Tottenham.

Neville is quick and instinctive in his analysis, and often swims against the stream of the media’s reactionary tendencies. Here are a few examples:

1: Yes, Arsenal are struggling but sensible people should be defending Wenger now” 15 December 2012: By Gary Neville

“But for George Graham, someone who has a greater knowledge of Arsenal than I will ever have, to be quoted as saying they will never win the league again leaves me stunned.

Arsenal are on the right track. They run the club in a sensible way. When I go there, I watch good players, good football and you sense the history of the place. There is a drop in quality, especially in forward positions. They were the best attacking team I played against and, at the moment, they don’t have that ruthlessness and devastation.

Sensible football people should be defending Arsene Wenger and fighting for him to build another great Arsenal team. And we certainly shouldn’t be sat here saying: ‘Arsenal will never win another title.’ To me, that seems absurdly reactive.

Then there is the piece written by Neville after our Chelsea defeat in September, 2012. Where others were slamming us for being on the wrong end of a gulf of class with Chelsea, he addressed the real issues. Look how his analysis from the start of the season encapsulated the problems that would continued to haunt us. He correctly identifies the 3 main issues and their remedies:  Defense, Attack and the lack of Belief that only comes from winning.

2. A lack of belief is all that separates the London rivals: 29 September 2012 By Gary Neville

If ever a team were in need of a trophy, it would have to be this Arsenal team. Because when you watched them lose 2-1 against Chelsea, there wasn’t a difference in quality. But it was as though there was one team who absolutely knew how to win a big game and another team that weren’t too sure.

Neville then goes on to identify a lack of belief and a winning mentality (which plagued us against all the top teams throughout the season where we came out 2nd best,) our leaderless attack which we struggled with all season, and the need to select Per Mertesacker to command the defense. Not bad for September, 2012.


Arsenal have improved but they would still crave a figure like Tony Adams: someone to take responsibility. As they set up to defend those two free-kicks from which they conceded goals on Saturday, I didn’t get that sense anyone was taking on that role.

When you watched Adams defend a set-piece, he would pull up his shorts and throw out his arms and start organising. Only then would he worry about himself.

I understand why they picked Laurent Koscielny, who is faster than Per Mertesacker, for this game. But I wonder whether Mertesacker is becoming the kind of personality Arsenal need in defence – and whether they missed him on Saturday.


Arsenal still haven’t got over the departure of Robin van Persie. There are more options in attack now with Gervinho, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and the possibility of Theo Walcott. But no one has made that central striking role their own.

He then goes on to identify our lack of belief as the real gap between Arsenal and the top clubs. 3 out of 3. Not bad for a days work. His September analysis turned out to encapsulate what were the prerequisites for our eventual turnaround.

And finally from Gary, there was that video…

3. That Video

And then there was Neville’s video analysis of our Spurs defeat? It was electric. More directly, more quickly than anyone else, he yanked open the kimono of our defense.

Not only did you and I watch that video over and over, so did the Arsenal defenders. Vermaelen must have been roasting on a spit, while Monreal may have been saved some of the pain, as he asked his team mates repeatedly “Que? Que?”

Exhibit A: From the Telegraph: Mertesacker believes his team made the required tactical improvements after analyzing their defeat to Spurs…”we saw a lot of things on television…We saw ourselves as a unit on the television and I think it was a good thing to do because sometimes you have a different view on the pitch and you feel different…Sometimes you can’t believe what you did as a defensive unit. Everybody was involved and everyone felt we needed to improve and speak…As a unit we have to cover each other. That was the most important thing we learned. There were a lot of situations where there was no pressure on the ball against Tottenham and the back four was not prepared for any balls between us.”

Hmmm. I’m guessing half of the 110k clicks on the youtube video are from our players watching it over and over again.

Why Gary Neville Must Be Stopped. By Us.

Which all leads me to Neville’s latest statement…the nerve of him stating that the club is in a great position going forward, it has done the right things in the recent past, and that it is “nearly there” with regards to the debt. Oh, and that if we now push on to future success, that this will be looked back on as one of the great managerial accomplishments.

Well, I can see why someone saying that must be stopped and his statements must be rubbished. No, we can’t have the best football pundit in England saying we are doing the right things and have done the right things. We want him rubbishing what we’ve done like every other pundit. That’s what we want. Neville must be stopped.

Clearly Neville knows football but knows far less about the running of our club than you or I. Or does he?????

In fact, throw in a few more question marks for dramatic effect: ???????

It is time for the GOBs vs GKBs.

In Part Deux of this blog, the Swiss Ramble and I address the veracity of Neville’s latest statement. You might be surprised what we find. But you really shoudn’t be. Gary knows.

Part Deux will be out tomorrow.

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