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Gary Neville led the complaints after Jamie Carragher revealed his combined Manchester United 1998/99 and Manchester City 2022/23 team on Sky Sports during Monday Night Football after Liverpool won 3-0 away to Leicester. The punditry duo both presented their selections but Neville especially was speechless at his colleague’s call to leave out Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes in favour of Jack Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan.
While Neville was also on the end of some jokes having named an entire United team and omitting every current City player, having been part of the team to win the treble under Sir Alex Ferguson, Carragher had no issue mixing the two sides and included six City players alongside five United.
Carragher’s full team read: Peter Schmeichel; Kyle Walker, Jaap Stam, Ruben Dias, Dennis Irwin; David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish; Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland.
When asked to explain his choices, Carragher first took a jab at Neville for discussing the controversial Gundogan and Grealish picks. “I just went for Kyle Walker, I just think he had the edge over Gary’s performances in the 1998/99 season,” Carragher said.
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“The other one is obviously Grealish, Ryan Giggs had that famous goal but Grealish has got better numbers. Grealish has got five goals, seven assists, Giggs got three goals, one assist in that season in the league, that’s why I’ve gone for him, but of course Ryan Giggs is a better player than Grealish, I get that, in his overall career, but in terms of that season, I’ve gone for that. And you can’t not pick De Bruyne and Haaland.”
When asked why he picked Gundogan over Scholes, Carragher explained: “I didn’t think Scholes was a regular in that team at the time.” To which Neville then came back at Carragher: “But you’ve just gone off goals and assists, I’ve got Scholes had 21 goals and assists that season from central midfield and played 51 matches – what part of that season did he not play?
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“I’m not gonna entertain – I love Jack Grealish, I love Gundogan – but I’m not entertaining the conversation around Ryan Giggs over Jack Grealish and Paul Scholes over Gundogan. I’m not entertaining the conversation, I’m sorry.”
Viewers took a similar stance to Neville and were surprised to see the likes of Giggs and Scholes omitted. On Twitter, @FplHeno wrote: “So let me get this straight…..you picked Grealish over Giggs because he got more goals and assists in these particular seasons, but forgot to check this stat when going Gundogan over Scholes???”
While @balionboys added: “Even City fans would admit that Gundogan, Grealish, and Walker are no where near that team and Dias is 50/50.”
One viewer even described picking Gundogan over Scholes as an “insult” to the United icon. “My god this is an insult! Gundogan is excellent but Scholes was on another planet,” @Bradley31761624 wrote on Twitter. “Grealish over Giggs. De Bruyne is the only midfielder they have at that sort of level. Haaland gets in also.”
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