Outspoken pundit Gary Neville has refrained from criticising Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ever since he took the job at Manchester United – something he has now confessed to
Gary Neville has been in the firing line after he openly admitted that he wouldn’t call out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to his personal relationship with the Manchester United manager.
The pundit has never shied away from voicing his opinions whether it’s Liverpool, the European Super League, or even his former club.
But he has refrained from criticising Solskjaer ever since he took the job at Old Trafford – something he has now confessed to.
The pair were former teammates under Sir Alex Ferguson and still have a good relationship to this day.
Pundits having certain allegiances is ironically something Ferguson used to complain about when he was in charge of the Red Devils.
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Liverpool’s former players dominated punditry duty with the likes of Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson and Phil Thompson the most notable names across BBC Sport and Sky Sports.
Fergie took exception to Hansen, in particular, with the two Scots never seeing eye to eye.
The animosity started when Sir Alex left Hansen out of the Scotland squad of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and from that point on, they would often clash in the public eye.
In 2012, Ferguson hit out at the former Liverpool defender in his programme notes in response to something he said on Match of the Day – before criticising Hansen for sticking up for his ex-teammate and “pal” Kenny Dalglish on countless occasions.
Ferguson said: “He’s got a responsible position in the role he has in football. It’s obvious to me that he said what he said in the week before we played Liverpool and I can understand that – he’s a former Liverpool player and Kenny (Dalglish) is his pal.
“That’s no problem with me. He’s maybe tried to shake things up a bit but he should be more responsible really.”
One of Ferguson’s biggest pet peeves is now something Neville is guilty of.
Neville admitted he would never ask for Solskjaer to be sacked despite how the Norwegian is performing at the club.
These comments have been met severe backlash especially since the pundit is renowned for calling it how he sees it.
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Neville said on Monday Night Football: “He should be under massive pressure because he’s been there for two years, 100 per cent.
“I have Manchester United fans on my social media saying you won’t call him out because he’s your mate. No, I won’t. I won’t call out any manager and ask for them to be sacked.
“He’s my former team-mate and I actually like him a lot, Manchester United have failed with two managers who are perceived as world class. I think you give him until the end of the season.
“I disagree with Jamie (Carragher), if you win the Europa League or the FA Cup and finish in the top four, that is progress. The pressure is building though, what a collection of players, he has to get them to perform.”
Neville’s stance has changed dramatically since he proclaimed that Man Utd would win the Premier League before Liverpool following the Red’s title triumph the season before last.
He said back in 2019: “I can guarantee you as clear as day, Manchester United will win again.
“And that’s not being disrespectful, they’ll probably win the league before Liverpool.
“It genuinely does not concern me because it can be corrected by a little bit of money on the stadium and good decisions in the boardroom and good decisions in the recruitment department.
“What I’m saying is, Liverpool, [Manchester] City, Tottenham [Hotspur], all these clubs have had poor recruitment policies over the last 25 or 30 years at times. So United are going through one at the moment.
“Eventually they will stumble upon the right recruitment system, the right recruitment people, they’ll get a great manager—hopefully that’s Ole—and they’ll start to win again. That’s going to happen.”
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