Gary Neville: initially hated by everyone – baring Manchester United fans – then found a few followers taking up punditry but then got lambasted for his spells at Valencia and England. If you were to graph the former United captain’s career popularity, it’d be a bit like *that* bully at school; had a couple of close-knit mates, left school and realised he was a bit of a twat so became an alright bloke at Uni, then the popularity went to his head again so he did something stupid and lost respect.
Neville’s just about covered all that, but now he’s back in the ‘good books’, amongst the general football population who watch the beautiful game in England. However, this season it seems that the annoying bully is back; highlighted no more so than Loris Karius debacle, and it’s followed with some other gripes that prove how Neville is becoming increasingly irritating and slowly losing a fan base.
Dig out the old archives, because his former Manchester Untied colleague, who returns to Old Trafford this weekend in the FA Cup, pinpoints exactly why the pundit will forever be destined to not have a consistent following…
“Gary isn’t happy unless he can have a good gripe and it’s not too long after meeting up that the first shout of ‘shut up’ is sent flying down the dinner table”.
“Gary and brother Phil were ‘a pair of busy little shits”.
If this isn’t enough evidence that Gary will forever be ‘that bloke’, then look at another United legend in Mark Hughes, who brandished Neville a “lunatic” for celebrating against Manchester City fans following a late United winner. As a side note, Neville did not play in this game. There’s passion and love for your club, but there’s just pure unnecessary dickishness which Neville probably deployed at Valencia and England, and throughout his whole career.
The former United gaffer has shown signs of this unnecessary childish behaviour now he’s back at Sky Sports. Just look back at that Loris Karius situation, everything Jaap Stam has said about the Chuckle Brothers is perfectly demonstrated. This petulance was again portrayed when at England, made clear with his confrontation with Roy Hodgson; we all know how Sam Allardyce would have treated G Nev.
The bottom line is, before everyone continues to rave about Neville, remember a leopard never changes their spots; and in the case of Neville, those spots can be a very annoying bloke. He’ll continue to make unmeasured assumptions of players and managers behind his warm gantry, and he doesn’t deserve to be put on a pedestal as Mr Popular of Sky Sports.