Gary Neville thinks Jamie Carragher should keep Sky Sports job despite spitting incident

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville (Getty)Gary Neville says Jamie Carragher has ‘no excuses’ for spitting on a 14-year-old girl, but has called on Sky Sports to stop short of sacking him.

The football pundit was filmed on Saturday after Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United spitting from his car window after being goaded about the result at Old Trafford.

Carragher has repeatedly apologised for the incident, including making an appearance on Sky News to express his regret. He’s also spoken to the family involved, including the young girl whose face he spat on.

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He’s been suspended by Sky Sports who said Carragher’s actions fell ‘well below the standards we expect of our people’.

Statement from Sky

‘Sky takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie’s actions, we have made that clear to him in person today and suspended him from his duties.

‘It falls well below the standards we expect of our people.’

Carragher has become one of the faces of Sky Sports since retiring from football in 2013, with his relationship with rival Gary Neville proving popular with viewers.

Neville has condemned Carragher on Twitter, but doesn’t believe he deserves to be sacked.

‘I’ve just watched Carragher say sorry [on Sky News]. No excuses he’s made a big mistake.

‘He’s massively passionate about football and he’s overstepped the mark and shouldn’t have reacted.

‘I’ve been on TV for thre years with him and in my opinion this isolated incident shouldn’t stop us working together.’

I’ve just watched Carra23 say sorry. No excuses he’s made a big mistake . He’s massively passionate about football and he’s overstepped the mark and shouldn’t have reacted . I’ve been on TV for 3 years with him and imo this isolated incident shouldn’t stop us working together
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 12, 2018

Sky have suspended him indefinitely, starting with his appearance on Monday Night Football this evening.

He’s also been pulled from working on Danish TV channel TV3 who he was supposed to analyse Manchester United’s Champions League game against Sevilla on Tuesday.

Neville and Carragher work together on Monday Night Football (Getty)Carragher also remains hopeful he has a future with Sky.

‘Hopefully going forward I can show the real me. I don’t feel that was representative of the real me. Hopefully the general public, Sky can look at that and my 20-year career. And I’ve made mistakes in those 25 years, but this is a huge one.

‘I’ve haven’t offered that [my resignation]. No, I’m just speaking to people at Sky and working out the best way to go forward. They’ve made it known they are very disappointed. I’ve brought shame on them and football.’

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Speaking on Sky News, Carragher called the incident a ‘moment of madness’.

‘Difficult to explain, the moment of madness. I lost it. I’ve apologised for it and I can’t take it back, as much as I want to. I can hopefully move forward,’ he said.

‘I can’t explain for those four or five seconds why I reacted like that. It never happened before and it won’t happen again. This whole incident, the family I’ve dragged them into and it’s devastating for them.’

Carragher expressed regret at pulling a 14-year-old into the scandal.

‘A young girl who wasn’t involved in anything, is now getting embroiled.

‘A young girl feels slightly worse than me. I’ve got a daughter exactly the same age and it’s difficult to say how I would react if someone had done that.

‘The way that father sees his daughter is the way I see my daughter.

‘It is my biggest regret, getting involved in that type of situation.’

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He added: ‘Hopefully I can get the chance to meet face to face with the family, and apologise to them again.’

Before he was suspended by Sky, Carragher was approached by reporters as he arrived at Euston station from Liverpool. He took that opportunity to apologise for his behaviour.

MORE: Jamie Carragher suspended by Sky Sports for spitting on 14-year-old girl

Gary Neville warns Jose Mourinho he cannot repeat one unacceptable mistake against Liverpool

Jose Mourinho has been criticised for his defensive tactics against Manchester United’s main rivals this season (Picture: Getty)Jose Mourinho has been warned a repeat of the gameplan which saw Manchester United draw 0-0 at Anfield earlier this season would represent an ‘unacceptable’ mistake by Gary Neville.

The Special One was roundly criticised after United emerged unscathed from their trip to Liverpool back in October, having shown almost no attacking ambition.

Neville admits it would be foolhardy to go for the jugular straight away given Liverpool’s threat on the break, but believes an overcautious approach would risk a backlash from the Old Trafford faithful.

‘I think, to be fair, there should be a level of caution applied to the first 60 minutes of the game by Manchester United,’ Neville told Sky Sports.

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David De Gea’s miracle save helped Manchester United earn a 0-0 draw against Liverpool back in October (Picture: Getty)‘Anyone who opens up against Liverpool has the potential to be blown off the pitch in the first 30 minutes. They are absolutely outstanding when they have space and you simply cannot open yourself up to those counter-attacks.

‘What I’d like to see is a controlled approach in the first half and then a clear intent to win the game in the second half.

‘The idea that it could be like the last meeting at Anfield, I would not accept that. They can never be boring in big games at Old Trafford. That does not necessarily mean goals but being passionate, intense, physical and fighting to win the game.

‘I said after the last meeting it was not acceptable and it is about showing intent to win the game, which they can do more and more as the game goes on against Liverpool.’

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Gary Neville delivers prediction for Manchester United v Liverpool

Neville is backing his former club(Picture: Getty)Gary Neville believes home advantage will see Manchester United through against Liverpool on Saturday, and believes Jurgen Klopp’s team are ‘a completely different proposition’ away from Anfield.

Jose Mourinho’s side will welcome the Reds to Old Trafford this weekend, with both teams hoping to edge closer to guaranteeing Champions League football next season.

The Red Devils sit two points ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League in second place, with the duo holding down two of the three spots realistically still available as Manchester City continue to move nearer to clinching the title.

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Mourinho will hope to come out on top (Picture: Getty)Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are not far behind and a win for either Liverpool or United on Saturday could prove crucial in the final standings at the end of the season.

And Neville believes that if United survive the first half an hour against Klopp’s side, then their home advantage should see them through.

‘I always fancy United at home,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘With Liverpool, you have to get through that first half an hour, especially at Anfield, where they are a completely different proposition.

Can Klopp’s side snatch victory? (Picture: Getty)‘I’ve always thought that for Liverpool away from home they struggled with the size of the pitch, despite them not being hugely different on paper.

‘It’s a lot harder for United to play at Anfield and a lot harder for Liverpool to play at Old Trafford, so I fancy United to win.

‘Jose Mourinho has two big games in four days that will define the rest of the season – against Liverpool and Sevilla. How strong he goes in both remains to be seen.’

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hits back at ‘stupid’ Thierry Henry and Gary Neville criticism

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was criticised by Thierry Henry and Gary Neville (Picture: Getty)Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes he has made Thierry Henry and Gary Neville look ‘a bit stupid’ with his impressive form for Liverpool.

After a slow start to life at Anfield following his summer move from Arsenal, Oxlade-Chamberlain has emerged as an influential player for the Reds in recent weeks.

The England international’s £40million move to Liverpool was greeted with surprise by some figures in the media, with Neville claiming he needed to drastically improve to get a game under Jurgen Klopp.

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The Manchester United legend, who briefly work with Oxlade-Chamberlain with England, said: ‘Everyone seems to be eulogising over him but he doesn’t get in the best XI and strengthen their team.

‘He has three or four areas of his game which he has to significantly improve.”

Henry, Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer, was just as critical, saying: ‘You have to bring something on the table. I have been watching him for a very long time and I still don’t know what he’s good at.’

Responding to the criticism from the two high-profile Premier League greats, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: ‘I was very aware of those comments. It is not nice to hear it from your peers or people you have worked with.

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‘Saying you don’t know what I do when you have worked with me, I think it is a bit stupid. When you have watched someone long enough you know what they can do.

‘They can have their own opinions. It cannot shake me. Fair enough if that is what they think, I am not really too bothered.’

Asked if he had spoken to the pair about the comments, the 24-year-old added: ‘No. I don’t need to. If people want to say those things, you remember them, you don’t forget them, but I am not here to make enemies.

‘The important thing is that when I came here I had a manager who had faith in me and he felt something different to that and I had faith in myself.

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal last summer (Picture: Getty)‘Everyone says you have to be your own biggest fan and believe in yourself. I am old enough and wise enough and I have been around it long enough to know that things will be said, and not nice things a lot of the time – and when you are doing well, nice things will be said.

‘That is all part and parcel of it [but] it is never nice to hear it from people you have worked with.’

Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday saw them move back above Manchester United into second. The Red Devils face Crystal Palace on Monday evening.

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Mohamed Salah was once again the hero for Klopp’s side, breaking the deadlock in the 40th minute before Sadio Mane secured the three points after the break.

On Salah’s incredible run this season, manager Klopp said: ‘I love the goals he’s scored, I love his assists. I love this player.

‘He’s doing so well, but all the others have exactly the same importance and he knows that.’

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Mesut Ozil must help Arsenal win trophies and return to the Champions League after signing new deal, says Gary Neville

Mesut Ozil, the former Real Madrid star, has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Mesut Ozil must help Arsenal win trophies and secure a return to the Champions League after committing his long-term future to the club, Gary Neville has said.

After months of intense speculation, Arsenal confirmed on Thursday that Germany international Ozil had put pen to paper on a new contract, believed to be worth £350,000-a-year.

Ozil, 29, has endured a mixed spell at the Emirates since signing from Real Madrid in 2013, winning three FA Cups but failing to challenge for the Premier League or the Champions League.

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The Gunners lost their place in the Champions League altogether last season and Neville says it is up to players like Ozil to get Arsenal back to where they belong.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the former Manchester United and England defender said: ‘Losing Alexis Sanchez [to Manchester United] was a blow, so to get Ozil sorted is positive for them.

‘But he now needs to perform at the level he has been performing in recent months for the next few years, to get Arsenal the trophies they need and to get them back up into that top four.’

#WeveGotOzil – and he’s not going anywhere 🔴
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 1, 2018

Ozil’s goals and assist stats since joining Arsenal are impressive but his application in the so-called crunch games has been repeatedly questioned.

And for Jamie Carragher, Ozil must improve this aspect of his game to cement himself alongside the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.

Carragher said: ‘I think the question has always been whether he does decide the big games, is he the man to take them to big trophies and the Premier League?

‘That has not happened over the last few years, and that has to happen for him to be placed alongside the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.’

Ozil had been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this year but said he let his ‘heart decide’ after signing a new long-term contract in north London.

Writing on Instagram, the German playmaker said: ‘Proud to announce: I signed dat thing… 3 more years with Arsenal!

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‘It’s been one of the most important decisions of my footballing career and that’s why I had to think hard and talk with everyone who’s important to me…

‘Good things take time! In the end I let my heart decide. As I always said, I feel at home here and I’m highly motivated to achieve big things in the next few years. Once a Gunner, always a Gunner.’

MORE: Mathieu Debuchy admits to difficult times in parting message to Arsenal

Gary Neville questions Liverpool’s £75m transfer move for Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk has joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75million (Picture: Instagram)Gary Neville has questioned the ‘incredible’ £75million fee paid by Liverpool to sign Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

Liverpool confirmed on Wednesday they had reached an agreement to make Van Dijk, who was also linked with Manchester City and Chelsea, the most expensive defender in history.

Former Manchester United and England star Neville insists Liverpool needed to bolster Jurgen Klopp’s defensive options but suggested they paid over the odds for Van Dijk.

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He told Sky Sports: ‘It’s a lot of money! When I first heard it I thought “wow, £75m”. I’m not surprised by the actual transfer but that is an incredible amount of money.

‘Liverpool need defenders and have to pay to get him. That’s the way the market is and it isn’t going to change.’

Liverpool were expected to sign Van Dijk last summer but were forced to abandon the chase after being accused of tapping-up offences.

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville (Picture: Getty)But Klopp has finally secured his long-term target in a deal that eclipses the £53m paid by Manchester City for Kyle Walker.

‘It sounds like a fantastic deal for Southampton,’ Neville added. ‘But if Liverpool can stop their creaking in big matches when put under pressure then it will be a good deal for Liverpool as well.

‘People will forget about the money that has been spent in a year or two if they can win trophies and get the defence right.

‘Liverpool have to get the defence right, in the bigger matches they do stress quite quickly and can crack, so from their point of view, paying that sort of money hopefully it pays off, but for Southampton they would snap your hand off for £75m.’

Gary Neville launches scathing attack on Liverpool and claims they remind him of Arsenal

Liverpool were thrashed 4-1 by Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday (Picture: Getty)Liverpool’s latest defensive shambles was reminiscent of the way Arsenal have regularly capitulated against elite opposition, according to Gary Neville.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were thrashed 4-1 by Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday, a performance which has left the Reds languishing in ninth place in the Premier League table, 12 points adrift of pacesetters Manchester City.

Liverpool’s leaky defence has already shipped 16 goals this season and nine combined in matches against City and Spurs.

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Klopp attempted to rectify a disastrous start to Sunday’s match by replacing error-prone Dejan Lovren after half an hour, but his decision failed to inspire an improved performance and Neville believes Liverpool are now just as weak as Arsene Wenger’s notoriously frail Arsenal side.

Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, the former England and Manchester United defender said: ‘The mistakes around those first two goals revolved around Dejan Lovren. It destroyed them. I was about to praise the Liverpool players – you couldn’t see any space – but then he decides to play offside from a throw-in.

Dejan Lovren endured a nightmare game up against Tottenham’s Harry Kane (Picture: Getty)‘It’s too much now for this Liverpool side in terms of how many goals they’ve conceded over the last five seasons.

‘The ultimate for Liverpool is to win the Premier League and I think a couple of times in the last five years – particularly that season under Brendan Rodgers – they should have won it if they’d defended half-properly. They’ve conceded 50, 48 and 50 goals over the last three years. They’ve conceded the most goals away from home in the Premier League this season. That’s wrong.

‘Anfield is a fortress but they crumble away from home when they come under pressure. It’s almost like Arsenal, where you keep seeing the same things, season after season. It’s Groundhog Day.’

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David Beckham and Gary Neville were pranked by 7-year-olds from Liverpool

David Beckham and Gary Neville during their time together at Manchester United (Getty)David Beckham and Gary Neville were humiliated by seven-year-olds on their first visit to Anfield, Gary Pallister has recalled.

The two Manchester United legends would go on to learn all about the rivalry with Liverpool, but on their first trip to Merseyside were still naïve about how deep feelings ran.

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So when they were asked for their autographs by a pair of youngsters from Liverpool they duly obliged. However they were quick to regret it.

‘The funniest thing that I remember was being there when it was Becks and Gary Neville’s first game at Anfield and two little Scouser lads went over, they must’ve been 6 or 7 years old, and they asked for their autograph,’ recalled their former Manchester United team-mate Pallister.

‘Neville and Becks were quite chuffed to have been asked and then the lads ripped it up in front of them and I walked past and said, “Welcome to Anfield son”.’

Beckham and Neville are close friends (Getty)Pallister, who was speaking to, added: ‘That stands out in my memory.’

Manchester United travel to Liverpool this weekend for a much anticipated Premier League meeting. The game kicks off at 12.30pm on Saturday.

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Read the interview with Gary Pallister & Dominic Matteo, including who is the most successful team in England.

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Gary Neville challenges Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku ahead of Liverpool clash

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville has urged Romelu Lukaku to prove he can win ‘big games’ for Manchester United ahead of their trip to Liverpool.

Scoring 16 goals in 13 games for club and country, Lukaku can claim to be one of the players of the season so far after leaving Everton in the summer in a deal worth £75million.

The Belgian has scored in each of his last six appearances for United but boasted an ordinary record against top six clubs during his spell at Goodison Park.

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And Manchester United legend Neville has told Lukaku that his career will be defined by performances in the crunch matches.

‘Romelu Lukaku has settled in brilliantly and done everything he was asked to do in terms of converting those home draws into wins, but games like this one are the real test,’ Neville told Sky Sports.

Lukaku has made a fine start to his United career (Picture: Getty)‘When I look back to the Everton striker’s recent performances at Anfield he didn’t play well, so this is the next step up for him.

‘Going away to Anfield is a big test and his service will be more limited so he’s now got to show the ruthless streak to win the big games for United.

‘He will be defined by his performances in big matches. You’re at a club with aspirations of winning things and a world class striker will be defined by trophies and performances in big matches.’

Jose Mourinho’s side have made a superb start to the season, winning six of their seven league games and also impressing in Europe.

Manchester United 2017/18 Fixtures

Liverpool (A) – Sat 14 OctBenfica – Champions League (A) – Wed 18 OctHuddersfield (A) – Sat 21 OctSwansea – EFL Cup (A) – Tue 24 OctTottenham (H) – Sat 28 OctBenfica – Champions League (H) – Tue 31 OctChelsea (A) – Sun 5 NovNewcastle United (H) – Sat 18 NovBasel – Champions League (A) – Wed 22 NovBrighton (H) – Sat 25 NovWatford (A) – Tue 28 Nov

United often frustrated their rivals when playing away from home last term but Neville believes his former side will be slightly more expansive this weekend.

‘I think Jose Mourinho will know on Saturday, after going there last season when he couldn’t afford to lose and with a team that weren’t in a good place, that he has a plan which can be effective,’ the former England defender added.

‘This time it is Liverpool who need to win this fixture and I would expect a lot more from United in terms of being on the front foot.

Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp will go head-to-head this weekend (Picture: Getty)‘It suits Mourinho in terms of his mentality. What I would expect is similar tactics from last season but with more ambition on the counter-attack.

‘Paul Pogba is a big absence with his arrogance on the ball, so they will defend deep and be compact again, but whereas there was a back six at times away at Anfield last season, they can commit more on the break.’

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While United are in fine form, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have won just one of their last four league games and have shipped more goals than any other team in the top half of the league.

The Reds will also be without Senegal attacker Sadio Mane, who is expected to be sidelined for around six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury.

MORE: Marcus Rashford impresses players from Manchester United’s title rivals on England duty

Barcelona and Liverpool hero Luis Suarez ‘is a Manchester United player’, claims Gary Neville

Gary Neville is confident Luis Suarez would fit in at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville believes Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez has the DNA to fit in at Manchester United.

Suarez, 30, widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in European football, joined the Catalan giants from United’s bitter rivals Liverpool for a fee of around £65million back in 2014.

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The tenacious Uruguayan scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for Liverpool and came close to lifting the Premier League trophy with the Merseyside club back in 2013/14.

However, Neville claims Suarez is made for the Red Devils and also insists his former side must strongly consider bringing Antoine Griezmann to Old Trafford.

He told Stretty News TV: ‘We can get a lot better. I’d like to see one more flair player in the team.

Antoine Griezmann has been on United’s radar for years (Picture: Getty)‘I’d like to see a winger who can beat a man and get everyone on the edge of their seat.

‘Having been in Spain for four months, I love Griezmann.

‘I would love to see Griezmann at United. He’s quick, he’s inventive he can beat players he can score goals.

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The ex-United and England right-back believes Suarez’s aggression and arrogance would see him fit in well at Old Trafford.

He added: ‘You would love to see Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Neymar and [Gareth] Bale and people like that because you know they would light up Old Trafford.

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‘Suarez, even though he played for Liverpool, is a United player.

‘It’s arrogance to say that but he’s fantastic. He scores goals and he’s aggressive.’

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