Former Manchester United player and current pundit Gary Neville has attributed Arsenal star Thomas Partey's dip in form as a significant blow to the club's chances of securing the Premier League title. Neville expressed his belief that the Ghanaian midfielder's decline occurred at the most crucial stage of the season, impacting Arsenal's championship aspirations.
Following Arsenal's 3-0 defeat to Brighton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, the Gunners effectively conceded the title to Manchester City. With only two games remaining, Mikel Arteta's team now trails City by four points in the standings.
Partey showcased exceptional form earlier in the campaign, helping Arsenal build a comfortable eight-point lead over Manchester City just six weeks ago. However, in recent weeks, his performances have fallen well below his usual standard, allowing City to overtake Arsenal in the title race.
Neville expressed his disappointment with Partey's recent displays, particularly given the timing of his slump in form. "He's been in a shadow of himself in the last few weeks, Partey," commented Neville. "He has been nowhere near it. A large part of the season, he has been fantastic. His form and composure have deserted him at the most vital time."
Partey's decline in form has resulted in him losing his starting position in midfield to Jorginho in recent matches. While Jorginho delivered an impressive performance against Newcastle last week, Arsenal's performance against Brighton on Sunday exposed their vulnerabilities.
Following the defeat, Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard acknowledged that the team's hopes of securing the title were now nearly nonexistent. "It is going to be very difficult now, we have to be honest. It is tough to take," Odegaard admitted. "It is not a good feeling at the moment. The way we played, particularly in the second half, I don't know what happened, to be honest. It feels like there is no hope now."
With Arsenal's title aspirations fading, the focus will now shift to securing a strong finish in the remaining matches and evaluating the factors that contributed to their loss of momentum, including Thomas Partey's dip in form during the crucial stage of the season.