Nev opens up on Klopp feud after only time he ‘went too far’

Date published: Saturday 20th November 2021 9:44 - Matthew Stead

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville

Gary Neville believes his criticism of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was the only occasion he went beyond his remit as a pundit.

Neville engaged in a war of words with Liverpool back in 2016, laying into German goalkeeper Karius for his below-par performances.

That led to a pointed response from Karius himself, with manager Jurgen Klopp also weighing in on the matter.

Neville declared that Karius “can transmit anxiety all around the ground, and all through a team,” while the former Manchester United defender sarcastically called himself ‘a failed manager’ after the keeper referred to his struggles as Valencia head coach in response.

Klopp was vocal in his condemnation of Neville, but admitted later in 2018 that “I made a mistake. I was a little harsh about the Neville brothers, for sure, but I said what I said.”

For his part, Neville has also admitted fault – although he stands by his stinging critique of Karius, who is currently languishing in the reserves at Anfield after two unfulfilling loan spells with Besiktas and Union Berlin.

“I think I have overstepped the mark once in punditry when I have attacked a player that was above and beyond what I should have done as an ex-pro, a coach and an owner,” Neville told the Daily Mail.

“I think I am a respectable human being. I thought I went too far on Karius. I said Liverpool would never win the league with him. He criticised me after and so did Jurgen Klopp. No problem. I look back now and think I criticised the lad too much for his age, his position.

“I actually think I was right. They signed Alisson and Van Dijk and won it. But that doesn’t mean I should have done it.

“I think Gary Neville as a decent human being and professional – knowing how difficult it is to play for United and Liverpool – went too far.

“Even when Suarez bit Ivanovic and some pundits said that was the end of him in England, I defended him on┬áMonday Night Football. I have been in dressing room where players have done things. Not bites, but stuff.

“I want to finish my career with integrity and I will not call for players or managers to be kicked out of clubs, not on performances anyway.”

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