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Gary Neville says football in England has evolved since his playing days at Man United.

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Gary Neville doesn't know if he would have handled playing in Chelsea’s clash against Liverpool.

Gary Neville says being a full-back isn’t an easy task in today’s football
Gary Neville says being a full-back isn’t an easy task in today’s football

The United legend says it is a big ask being a “wing-back” today.

Former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville says he is not sure he would be able to keep up with the pace of the Premier League at this point in time.

The Red Devils great was in awe when he saw how the Chelsea and Liverpool full-backs performed in the heavyweight clash at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

Thomas Tuchel’s Blues came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in west London.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead in the 9th minute before Mohamed Salah made it 2-0. But a stunning strike by Mateo Kovacic followed by Christian Pulisic’s volley brought Chelsea back into the game.

Following the match, Neville heaped praise on Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Konstantinos Tsimikas for their work rate during the enthralling encounter, especially in the first half.


Speaking on his podcast on Sky Sports, the 46-year-old said: 'When it comes to the game itself, I was looking at the game today thinking "how would I play as a right-back in that match?". I would have coped, maybe, because you adapt with fitness but that is a different level to what I had to face as a player 10 or 11 years ago.

'I didn't have to play like Trent Alexander-Arnold, nor Reece James, even (Cesar) Azpilicueta who is an experienced player that I used to play against. You ask him what he's asked to do as a right-wing back today, and Alonso. It's a big ask.

'To continually be challenged one-on-one, the runs in behind that are being made and the speed they are being made, with the timing of the passes - the game is quicker, they are running harder and they are running faster. We know that we have the actual proof.

'The idea the game used to be quicker is rubbish. That is proven to be wrong - the players are better athletes than we were 10 or 11 years ago. And they are doing it technically better and tactically better.

'The players now are technically better and the tactical understanding and the level of the coaches is higher than it was 12 years ago - and it is quicker.'

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