Should Neville Play On?
By Andy Taylor.
So Manchester United’s ‘Red Nev’ is to be offered a new one year deal at the club where he has spent his entire career. Sir Alex has said;
I can certainly see Gary playing on next season, he’s a player of great willpower. He’s got where he is in life because he has the will to do it. We don’t play him every week because of the nature of his body. But he’s showing incredible drive for a 35-year-old. I think he’s a great example.
I can see why Neville is being offered the deal with all his experience, but personally I don’t know if it’s the best option. He has recovered well from his career threatening knee injury, to fight his way back in to Manchester United’s first team during this season, but time and ageing limbs are fighting against him. You will never find anyone more committed to a club than Gary is to Manchester United, a commitment and passion that has got him in trouble with the F.A on numerous occasions. Too many times now though, he finds himself out of position and lacking the pace he once had to recover.
He has shown the odd glimpse of his former self, overlapping on the wing to whip in a dangerous cross, never more so than when he set up Wayne Rooney against Barcelona. I think at the end of the season it might be better for Gary to move up into the coaching staff, to share his experience and passion for the club with the youngsters that are so desperate to make the grade.
Manchester United have Wes Brown, Rafael, and Owen Hargreaves that can all play in the right back slot, not to mention John O’Shea who has played in nearly every position for the club. So personally I think Neville should move ‘upstairs’, where he will be remembered for his fierce tackling and great energy up and down the right flank, especially when he was partnered with David Beckham on that side of the field. At the time there was no full back/midfield combination in the world that were better than them. No Man Utd fan, especially me, wants Gary to be remembered for being turned inside out every week by the likes of Ashley Young and Robin Van Persie. We want to remember his great days both for England and United.
Wes Brown has, for so long, waited in the wings for his opportunity. He to has battled injuries and poor form but now it seems to be coming together for him. I think he should be given his chance to play regularly. Rafael will make a great understudy while he is still learning the ropes, and looks like he will mature into an amazing defender like the Evra’s and Irwin’s of the world. Those two will easily cover the position. The last thing any fan wants is for one of them to leave because yet again they are being left on the bench or in the reserves, Neville to get injured or to suffer poor form, and then the team be left with no cover.
Neville has always been outspoken and is a player that only United fans love, the rest of the world seems to hate him, but that can only be jealousy. At his best he could have walked into any team in the world and led them or dragged them until they had nothing left to give. So even though we can see why his loyalty to the club is being rewarded with this new contract offer, maybe it would be selfish for him to carry on next season. Paul Scholes knows, and has said, that when he can’t perform at Manchester United standard then it will be time to go.
Gary Neville all United fans salute you, and all will want you to remain at the club in one form or another; maybe one day as manager, but please don’t make it that you can’t do yourself, and your beloved club justice. Do what is best for YOUR club.
Should Gary Neville step aside or play one more year? Please leave your comments below……
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