Old Trafford full back may have a point of he could just be having a dig at Anfield man, you decide.
Gary Neville has questioned England manager Fabio Capello’s decision to pick Liverpool’s Glen Johnson as his sole right-back for the World Cup.
Johnson has established himself as England’s first-choice right-back under Capello, but suffered an injury-interrupted second half of the season.
And Neville said: “I’m surprised there is only one right-back in the squad.”
Neville also labelled attempts to lure Paul Scholes out of international retirement “a bit desperate”.
Despite failing in his attempt to bring Scholes back into the England fold, Capello did persuade Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher to return to the squad three years after his own international retirement.
And although Carragher has played the majority of his career at centre-back, his ability to cover either full-back position was seemingly key in Capello’s decision to overlook Manchester United’s Neville and Wes Brown.
However, Neville argued that Brown, who started at right-back when England beat Egypt in their last fixture as Johnson recovered from knee ligament damage, was unlucky to miss out.
“I wouldn’t say I’m overly disappointed not to be named in the initial 30-man squad, although I did think there was maybe a chance I could get in,” added Neville, who made 15 Premier League starts last season but failed to add to his 85 England caps.
“I’m probably more surprised Wes Brown isn’t in the 30, to be honest.” (BBC Sport)
Gary Neville always makes me laugh, not sure why, but he does. He has a point here and even those who do not have a lot of time for the Manchester United full back must agree with some of the points he has raised. I thought Wes Brown would make it, not because the 30 year old has had a great season, but simply because it seemed to make sense to bring in another defensive all-rounder to South Africa.
Clearly some will read Neville’s comments as a slight on Jamie Carragher and even though the thought of such an effect would not displease the Mancunian right back, he does kind of hit the nail on the head. Getting the Liverpool man to come out of retirement suggests a lack of alternatives and that doesn’t bode well for the English national team.
One thing Gary can not fault Fabio for and that is his insistence on not calling up the younger of the Neville clan, a certain Phil Neville who has already confused almost every individual on planet Earth by amassing an astounding 59 England caps! To put that into perspective the Everton man is the 35th most capped player for his country and has more appearances than the following legends. Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, Stanley Matthew and Jimmy Greaves. Amazing!