Gary Neville has a well-earned reputation as one of the best pundits in recent years.
The Manchester United legend has helped to re-invent the way in which football is analysed in this country – but that doesn’t mean he’s always on the money.
For all of his expertise he can occasionally see things through ‘United Red’ tinted glasses.
Perhaps the clearest example of that came back in the summer of 2019, when Neville “guaranteed” his old team would win the title before Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.
"What I’m saying is Liverpool, City, Tottenham, all these clubs have had poor recruitment policies over the last 25 or 30 years at times. So United are going through one at the moment," he told Sky Bet's The Big Debate in August 2019.
"I can guarantee you as clear as day, Manchester United will win again. They’ll probably win the league before Liverpool, in my opinion. And that’s not being disrespectful, they’ll probably win the league before Liverpool."
Of course, as we now know, Liverpool finished a staggering 30 points ahead of their old rivals. Ending their 30-year wait for a title in the process.
After reassessing, Neville made another Man Utd guarantee, but this time it was slightly more realistic.
“The one thing I can guarantee you is that United will win again,” said Neville before the start of the 20/21 campaign.
“That might not be this year or next year, but it will be amazing when they win again, and the longer it builds up, the greater the actual feeling is when you do it.
"I’m not sitting here, as a United fan, thinking, ‘We must win the league this year’. Yes, we’d like to, but you know when it’s your time and it’s not yet.
“It will be, maybe, when Klopp and Guardiola leave Liverpool and City – hopefully in the next couple of years!
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“That will be the chance, as they’re two outstanding managers who have built really good teams, but they’ll leave in the next one, two or three years.
"That will be the point when United can come back in and capitalise – I’m sure Chelsea are thinking that way as well.”
It remains to be seen whether Neville’s second “guarantee” will be closer than his first – but if isn’t, United could be in trouble for years to come.
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