Gary Neville has missed much off this season, just as he did nearly all of last, because of injuries. With Wes Brown and Rafael both suffering too, it has left United playing John O’Shea as our fourth choice right-back. After missing out on the chance to win a second European Cup medal, I imagine Neville came back more desperate than ever, but sadly, it hasn’t worked out that way.
It was claimed last week that United’s recent slump, losing two games in a row, could be attributed to the fact Gary Neville isn’t around. The grit and determination he has is something every team needs!
He has spoken to The Morning Star about several things today, most notably his insistence that he did nothing wrong when celebrating Rio’s last minute winner against Liverpool as well as his dislike of the nickname ‘Citizen Neville’.
“I have supported Manchester United since I first came to watch them aged five,” said Neville. “If I can’t go and celebrate a goal the way I want then, to be honest, they want a game of robots. And it’s going that way. There’s no expression or passion. They punish you for taking your shirt off or celebrating in front of the opposition fans. It’s wrong to remove passion, emotion and feeling from the game when you’ve supported your club all your life. When you’re on the pitch, all’s fair in love and war. Obviously, you can’t go running into the other supporters. I don’t think I did. I celebrated within the boundaries of the pitch. Fans can say what they want, they can sing about you, so, if they want to give it out, then you should be able to take a bit back and everyone should just accept that’s just the game we are in.”
Neville is seen as a union man, someone who will take on the battles of those around him and fight for what he believes to be right. He has orchestrated a press conference snub following the criticisms the England team received following a World Cup qualifier in 2004, as well as urging his England team mates to go on strike in support of Rio Ferdinand’s ridiculous ban. Neville insists the media have got it all wrong though!
“Citizen Neville and Wolfie – those comments did get on my nerves because that’s not really how I am,” he added. “Defending your team-mates is not a revolution or anything like that. We are living in a time when you are surrounded by a load of rubbish in the media – headlines are created out of nothing, out of non-stories.”
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.