Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher clash trying to pick a combined XI
Gary Neville initially refuses to pick ANY Man City players in his combined team with United’s 1999 Treble winners… as Jamie Carragher opts for six of Pep Guardiola’s current crop including Jack Grealish over Ryan Giggs
- Sky tasked Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher to pick a unique combined XI
- The choice was Man United’s ’99 Treble winners or this Manchester City side
- Neville originally didn’t pick a single City player before offering a revised team
Gary Neville tried to dig his heels in as he initially refused to pick a Manchester City player in his combined XI from his ’99 Treble-winning Man United team and this Treble-chasing City side.
The discussion point appeared to be a sore one for Neville at the end of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, and he initially doubled down in that he wouldn’t swap a single one of his team-mates.
Fellow pundit Jamie Carragher soon put forth his team, causing consternation for Neville when he selected Jack Grealish ahead of Ryan Giggs.
Carragher also plucked for Ilkay Gundogan – who scored twice in the win over Everton – which again caused a ruckus as Neville refused to even ‘entertain’ changing out any of United’s Treble-winning midfielders.
Ryan Giggs is a better player than Grealish – but not in that season – so that’s why I chose him.
‘I’m not entertaining a conversation about Jack Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan over Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. I’m just not,’ Neville fumed.
Jamie Carragher (left) and Gary Neville (right) were at odds when choosing a combined XI
Neville originally refused to pick a single current Man City player for this Treble combined XI
Asked why he overlooked Kevin De Bruyne and 52-goal hero Erling Haaland, Neville conceded that he wanted to show loyalty to former team-mates that felt more like ‘brothers’ to him.
‘I felt like I was being disrespectful to Yorkey and Coley,’ he added.
‘They were amazing. Yorke has more goals/assists than De Bruyne – I felt I was being harsh. If you were being objective – and I don’t want to be here…!’
Carragher ended up selecting five United and six City – and was forthright in his reasoning.
‘This wasn’t on who was the best player over their whole career, it was just on that season, that’s how I judged it, just on that season,’ the ex-Liverpool defender said.
‘I went for Kyle Walker, I thought he had the edge on Gary Neville for performance in the 98-99 season, and the other one is obviously Grealish.
‘Ryan Giggs obviously had that famous goal but I just think Grealish has got better numbers. Five goals, seven assists, Giggs had three goals, one assist in that season, in the league, that’s why I’ve gone for him.
‘And you can’t not pick De Bruyne and Haaland.’
Carragher and programme host David Jones were not going to let Neville off that easily to not pick any City players and he did eventually serve up a revised XI which featured a handful of City stars.
Carragher went for six Man City stars with five from Man United’s ’99 Treble campaign
Neville was aghast at the selection from Carragher of Ilkay Gundogan (left) over Paul Scholes
Neville stuck with Peter Schmeichel in goal, and Denis Irwin at left back, but did find room for Ruben Dias to partner Jaap Stam.
Right back, his own position in that United team, was left blank.
From there he went with David Beckham, Roy Keane, Scholes and Giggs as midfield before picking Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland up top.
His midfield, he said, is the greatest midfield in the history of English football. Case closed.
‘I’m happy to go with Kyle Walker as I think he’s a brilliant defender,’ Neville said of the right back spot.
‘Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland you can’t deny – Haaland what he’s done this season is unbelievable and may not be repeated for years to come.
‘I don’t want to be disrespectful to any of the players I played with. That midfield is the best midfield to ever play in this country. I don’t want to entertain any conversation without them.’
So, the big question then was, who would win between this City side and that United side?
‘City’s football you can’t deny [how good it is] but my view is we’d find a way [to beat them],’ he said. ‘We had more off the bench. I think we’d find a way.’
Neville eventually compromised and ended up picking three Manchester City players
A midfield pairing of Roy Keane (left) and Paul Scholes (right) was non-negotiable for Neville
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