Season Analysis: Gary Neville
Gary Neville is a United legend in his own right. He swaggers onto the pitch like an unruly teen and swaggers off it looking a world-beater, his face displaying scratches, bruises and floods of sweat. And he never lets anyone down. Whether that’s on or off the pitch.
He is a man of expressions and those have been revealed in a rather inappropriate, but Neville-like manner. If he’s jubilant, he’ll show the whole world his jubilation. The now-famous smacker he gave Paul Scholes in the Manchester Derby a good example of this, or the time where he ran down the touchline shortly after Michael Owen’s winner against, er, City back in Autumn. And he’s not afraid to express his feelings for the players he loathes most. In the Carling Cup game away to, er, City, he duly saluted Carlos Tevez with the finger after he had scored a penalty.
On the pitch, he’s been assured and confident. He’s signed yet another one-year contract, and because Rafael has failed to really get to grips and lacks much discipline, his presence in and around the team will be useful, to say the least. But what we’ve really come to love about Manchester United’s captain is his childish antics and his many famous moments and quotes. Who remembers this quote many moons ago: ‘I was with David that fateful night he first saw the Spice Girls on the telly and said, “See that girl who can’t dance or sing, I’m going to marry her”.’
He is getting older, and that has shown in recent years. Yet he still does care, and continues to threaten down that right hand side when needed too. He became somewhat of a ‘regular’ in the last couple of months due to Wes Brown’s reoccurring injuries and Rafael’s inconsistencies. Nothing spectacular from Neville, but was cool and composed and he got the job done. You feel he may have extended his contract just so he can have another crack at the title, but you sense that it will probably be the last11 for this United legend.