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Neville Has No Doubts, But Do We?

Gary Neville played his last game for United in March last year, after a collision with Bolton’s Gary Speed forced Neville off the pitch early in the first half. Since then, we have been let down time and again in regards to when he will return, with further injuries delaying his come back.

It is without doubt that we have missed Neville’s leadership on the field, with Ryan Giggs acting as a poor replacement as captain. With times getting tough for United, relying on an injury time goal to scrape a point at White Hart Lane, and losing to City at Old Trafford, we are getting more and more desperate for the ‘never say die’ attitude Neville instils in our players on the field.

With fears of the possibility that Neville will never return to the first team, he has spoken out today insisting that he will be back soon. “The fact I’ve been out for so long brings about speculation regarding whether or not I’ll make it back. I understand that,” Neville said. “Ironically my ankle has been okay for the last couple of months, I’ve just picked up little knocks here and there that have lasted a couple of weeks or so; they can really set you back when you’ve been out for so long. I’m training again and I am focused on getting fit. I’m not going to put a timescale on it or name a game when I’ll be back. Once I get fit, and I’m doing the best I can to get to that point, I’ve no doubts I’ll be okay.”

Neville turns 33 next week, putting more pressure on our captain. After going close to a year with no football, the difficulty of not only returning to football, but returning at a level high enough to compete in the first team, is unmeasurable. However, we can’t forget what desire and determination did for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s career, who came back against all odds aged 33 and had a blinding season for United, scoring 11 goals for us in a season where we were crowned Champions. If Solskjaer’s commitment to the club can be matched and beaten by any player at Old Trafford, it is certainly Gary Neville, but I’m sure I’m not alone in getting tired of playing the waiting game.

Do you think Neville still has a future at United?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. smarties says:

    are we certain we’ll see the same player first of all?

  2. denton davey says:

    Over the past while it has become evident that Wesley – who is an excellent defender – is no replacement for RedNev’s attacking prowess; and, any suggestion that Ryan Giggs provides a captain’s leadership is simply laughable – Ryan IS a legendary UTD player but he seems to be just too nice a guy to be the team leader.

    The sooner Gary returns the better. His return will RADICALLY IMPROVE the attack. We saw on Sunday that having two central defenders playing at fullback really limits the width of the attack. How ironic is it that both City goals were scored through the middle of the defence ?

  3. Taehrlo says:

    Neville is done. Replace him.

  4. spiritof1983 says:

    Nev has until the end of this season to comeback and show SAF that he still can perform at the expected level. If not we will be forced to buy, which I think SAF is trying to avoid as the only time its worthwhile is when the players are below 25-26 years old. This type of investment places a negative marker to younger players trying to break through like Danny Simpson and Kieron Lee. Nev coming back fits the plan (to buy time for the younger players coming through).

    Likewise Silvestre coming back fits the plan for the left side for the moment. It would allow us to see if our academy boys are growing in first team setup or need replacing themselves. It is too soon to tell so these two senior injuries must comeback. I think they can. Both have good professional training ethics.


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