Carragher, Neville: Liverpool legend explains Haaland snub as pundits disagree on four TOTS picks

Lewis Oldham
Neville Carragher
Gary Neville alongside Jamie Carragher.

Jamie Carragher included four Arsenal players in his Premier League team of the season and disagreed with Gary Neville on four inclusions.

Carragher and Neville each named their Premier League team of the season on Monday night during Sky Sports’ coverage of Aston Villa’s 3-3 draw against Liverpool.

“The reason I’d go Watkins over Haaland…”

The pundits picked seven of the same players, but one notable difference was Carragher opting to select Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins over Man City‘s Erling Haaland, while Neville picked the Norway international.

Carragher snubbed Haaland as he has been “disappointed” by the Man City star despite him being one of the top scorers in 2024.

“This is a special player, one of the greatest in the world. His goal-scoring numbers will go on to dominate world football for the next five, six, seven years. He has to be in there,” Neville said on Sky Sports.

“You can think about giving someone else a chance but every club in the league, if they could name a centre forward, would take him.”

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On picking Watkins over Haaland, Carragher responded on Sky Sports: “The reason I’d go for Watkins over Haaland are there’s not much difference in the numbers, he’s playing for Aston Villa over Man City.

“When I think of Haaland this season, we know he’s the best striker – we get that. But this season, in the biggest games, I’ve been slightly disappointed, even in the Champions League.

“Also the games with Arsenal and Liverpool, I think the real elite defenders have got the better of him.”

Carragher and Neville did agree on including Arsenal centre-back pair Gabriel and William Saliba, though.

Carragher said: “If Saliba and Gabriel stay together for the next three or four years, we’re talking about them alongside Ferdinand and Vidic, Carvalho and Terry…”

Neville added: “There’s a lot of talk about Saliba but Gabriel has been outstanding.”

There was also a different opinion with the goalkeeper, as Carragher went for Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Neville selected Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez.

Neville explained: “Martinez – I think his xG saved stats, personality, character… Alisson that little injury maybe… How you finish the season has an impact. I felt I had to have a Villa player in the team. It was either going to be Watkins or Martinez.

“I was looking at Martinez, Alisson or Pickford and it’s the first time I’ve looked at Pickford. I’ve been critical of him at times in his Everton career. He’s proved himself with England and become a really reliable and good goalkeeper.

“Martinez to me is the best goalkeeper.”

Carragher’s team: Pickford; Saliba, Van Dijk, Gabriel; Rodri, Rice; Palmer, De Bruyne, Odegaard, Foden; Watkins.

Neville’s team: Martinez; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Udogie; Odegaard, Rodri, Rice; Palmer, Haaland, Foden.

📣TO THE COMMENTS! Who should be included in the Premier League Team of the Season? Join the debate here