Man U mo­tor­mouth billed big­gest moaner

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

SO Gary Neville reck­ons that Chris Foy was “bla­tantly wrong” to claim, in his ref­eree’s re­port, that he dis­missed the Manch­ester United cap­tain at Barns­ley 10 days ago for mak­ing “no at­tempt to play the ball”.

Adam Ham­mill, the un­for­tu­nate Barns­ley winger on the re­ceiv­ing end of Neville’s chal­lenge, might beg to dif­fer. In­deed, even Sir Alex Fer­gu­son could not find fault with Foy’s de­ci­sion to is­sue the red card.

Neville earned him­self a three­match ban for the chal­lenge on the for­mer Liver­pool young­ster which, con­sid­er­ing that he is in the fi­nal year of his con­tract at Old Traf­ford with the likes of Rafael da Silva, Wes Brown and John O’Shea bat­tling it out for the right-back spot, might lead to an un­help­fully lengthy spell out of the team should any of his re­place­ments im­press in his ab­sence. So it is not dif­fi­cult to grasp Neville’s frus­tra­tion, no mat­ter how my­opic it may seem.

The prob­lem with Neville, though, is that he is in dan­ger of be­ing for­ever re­garded as foot­ball’s big­gest moaner when his CV sug­gests he should ac­tu­ally be re­mem­bered as one of the greats.

Go to the of­fi­cial Manch­ester United web­site and there is a “Leg­ends” sec­tion which pro­files over 100 years of great play­ers at Old Traf­ford. Neville sits in fifth po­si­tion in terms of over­all ap­pear­ances on 576.

He has won the lot at United, bar­ring the Uefa Cup, which is hardly likely to keep him awake at night, and he could add an­other medal or two to his col­lec­tion this sea­son.

His Eng­land ca­reer may have stalled due to two years’ worth of in­juries, but he has won nearly 90 caps and, in his prime, was un­ri­valled on the right side of the de­fence for his coun­try.

But ask even the staunch­est United sup­porter about Neville and the warmth and af­fec­tion they have for Ryan Giggs and Paul Sc­holes tends not to ex­tend to­wards “Red Nev”.

Sure, they love his open hos­til­ity to­wards Liver­pool, but there is a sense that his rebel per­sona is lit­tle more than a mask for a kid from a nice fam­ily in Bury.

When Roy Keane snarled, it was gen­uine. With Neville, it’s not quite so scary and be­liev­able.

The clock is tick­ing on Neville’s United ca­reer. He will be 35 in the New Year and it might be time for him to start think­ing of his legacy and just how he will be re­mem­bered at Old Traf­ford.

So why al­low a glit­ter­ing ca­reer to be over­shad­owed by moans and gripes and badge-kiss­ing cel­e­bra­tions in front of Liver­pool and Manch­ester City fans? – The Tele­graph

A LOT TO SAY: Manch­ester United’s leg­endary Gary Neville.

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