Famous Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville is often criticised by the masses for his widely biased opinions towards Manchester United and its players during intense football debates. He is usually subject to serious criticism and trolling on Social media after such takes but what he did last night in the panel of the heated face-off between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium has taken everybody by surprise – even his most bitter critics.
The former Manchester United right back who is a well known football pundit now, praised the two Liverpool full-backs, i.e, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, which is very uncharacteristic of him. It is not unknown that Liverpool and Manchester United have always been bitter rivals and it reflects in the relationship between Jamie Carragher (former Liverpool player) and Gary Neville on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
Comparison with Roberto Carlos and Cafu
Speaking about the full-back pair of Liverpool, Gary Neville said, “Sometimes, during a game, you have to check yourself when you’re involved in an emotional game like this as a co-commentator or commentator, you’re mentioning them in the same breath as probably the two greatest full-backs I’ve ever seen, Roberto Carlos and Cafu.”
“For so many years they were the shining example. They transformed full-back play. I know there had been attacking full-backs before, the Liverpool teams of the 70s, but when you think of them as being an attacker first, defender second, contributing to free-kicks, attacks, crosses, every part of the game. They made full-backs a prominent part of the team.
“They were exceptional, but these two… I don’t think I’ve seen two full-backs play in the Premier League that are as good as these two as a pair. The way in which they combine on the pitch, the way they play the game, they’re an absolute joy.”
The match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur ended in a 2-2 draw that was marred by controversy. After a number of missed chances by Spurs forward Harry Kane, Andrew Robertson finally gave Liverpool the lead but in vain as it was soon equalized by Son Heung-Min’s goal.
Moments later, Andrew Robertson received his marching orders after being shown the red card following a rough tackle on Emerson Royal. It completely broke Liverpool’s momentum and the Reds could not go home with three points.
Despite having received the red card, the Scottish left back’s performance throughout the match was commendable.
What makes the duo so special
Praising him, Gary Neville said, “Robertson with his consistency does everything well. Defends well, he’s competitive – slightly too much at the end – but he scored a goal and set up a goal. Alexander-Arnold is an absolute phenomenon when it comes to the quality of his passing, his delivery. It’s something I’ve never seen before from a full-back.
“It’s like De Bruyne, it’s Beckham, it’s Gerrard, and they’re attacking players. He’s playing at right-back, it’s the highest accolade I could pay him.
“The contribution these two make is unbelievable. It’s bizarre to me. I grew up saying let the full-back have it. You can’t let these two have it.
“Conte knowingly let them have it, which was the beauty of the match, because it encouraged them forward thinking ‘here we go I can win the game for my team’. But in Conte’s mind, that was how he was going to win the game, to expose Liverpool’s centre-backs.”