Gary Neville achieved everything during his glittering playing career. Holding down a regular place in the England side and being one of the chosen few to occupy a place at Sir Alex Ferguson’s football table, few honours have eluded the former Manchester United captain. Having said this, it is with some incredulity that I greet Andre Villas Boas’s comments where he suggested that Neville had no place criticising one of his players, David Luiz.

In comments of accuracy, and quite frankly, humour, Neville referred to Luiz as appearing to be controlled by a fan with a playstation in the crowd – such is his buccaneering (to put it politely) style. Villas Boas’s fury stinks of a man who has had a poor relationship with the media since his arrival on these shores and simply fails to recognise the accomplishments of the man that he spars with.

…such a fantastic career and boast a CV…

Had Gary Neville not had such a fantastic career and boast a CV that Villas Boas can only dream of, then perhaps his venomous tongue would have been met with some sympathy. After all, a manager protecting his players is reasonable, but to discount the words of such a knowledgeable pundit so voraciously smacks of the ridiculous.

Neville’s move into punditry has been a breath of fresh air. In a presenting world dominated by the stagnating match of the day crew and the machismo of the likes of Keys and Grey, he has brought fresh insight, and the sort of character and understanding that can only really be shown by someone so recently out of the game, and someone having achieved such prominent success.

…sake of my traditional football punditry…

So, for the good of the game, and for the sake of my traditional football punditry weary eyes and ears, Andres, leave Gary to it. Perhaps wait until you’ve justified a portion of your mind-boggling compensation fee before speaking up next time. 

Image courtesy of Gary Neville


About The Author

A young journalist from Nottingham, England. Writing on Football, Cricket, Current affairs and Music. Follow me on @petermblackburn

One Response

  1. Tim

    You’ve made the point well that Neville’s reputation allows him the freedom to say things as he sees them. Nonetheless, I think it’s a matter of professionalism and the manner in which Neville made his comments that justify AVB’s response on this occasion. I’m with you that AVB is a walking disaster when it comes to media handling, but I’m on his side on this one as, no matter what reputation you have, there are comments you just cannot make. If Neville had criticised Luiz’s performance in a more analytic manner, then really it would have been fine.

    Also, on a sidenote, I might be the only one who dislikes Neville’s punditry. Yes Andy Gray was a sexist, but he used phrases like ‘what a hit son, what a hit!’, whereas Neville is just bland and never really offers any unique insight in my opinion.



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