Nev names only player ever exempt from defensive duties

Date published: Monday 18th September 2017 11:40

Gary Neville says only one player has ever been exempt from defensive work in a pointed message to Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Neither of the pair started as Arsenal put in a much improved performance in the 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Sunday. Read 16 Conclusions, you scoundrel.

The Gunners pressed the Premier League champions relentlessly off the ball and Neville believes that both Sanchez and Ozil should continue to “sit in the stands” if they cannot replicate such a display.

The Manchester United legend added that only one player has ever had the “luxury” of overlooking his defensive duties: Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It’s not difficult and ultimately that video should go to Ozil and Sanchez because they do need to come back in, but if they are not going to do the job required, sit in the stands and let two players with less talent do the job you need to do in a big match,” he told Sky Sports.

“There’s no excuse for any player not to work back into a defensive position. The only player I saw have that luxury in 20 years was Cristiano Ronaldo and in big matches he was shoved up front.

“However, he scored 40 goals a season and United were winning things. That’s when you can get away with it. Sanchez does normally work hard but Ozil now has no excuse not to get back into his position after seeing that today.

“What Arsenal did today is show some respect at Stamford Bridge and they got the result because of that. I was delighted to see it because we’ve been crying out for it for many, many months.”

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