Micah Richards admits he ‘didn’t like’ Gary Neville when he was a Man City player

Micah Richards reveals he didn’t like ‘horrible’ Gary Neville when he was a Man City player, and wanted to ‘put things straight’ with his former Man United rival over ‘false’ claims about Paul Pogba… but now admits Sky Sports colleague is a ‘nice guy’

  • Micah Richards admits he ‘didn’t like’ Gary Neville when he was a footballer 
  • He said his fellow Sky Sports pundit was ‘horrible’ to play against in derbies 
  • But the ex-Man City star feels Neville is ‘a nice guy’ after working with him
  • However, he has clashed with him over his ‘false’ views on Paul Pogba  

Micah Richards has admitted he was not a fan of Gary Neville when he was a Manchester City player during their bitter rivalry with Manchester United – calling him ‘horrible’ to play against.

Richards, now a pundit with Neville at Sky Sports – came up against the former defender a number of times during their time in the Premier League as City began to challenge their neighbours for the title.

And while Richards now believes the former United right back is ‘a nice guy’ having got to know him in the studio, he concedes that he did not see eye to eye with him on the football pitch. 

He said Neville was 'horrible' to play against in fierce derbies with Manchester United

Micah Richards has admitted he ‘didn’t like’ Gary Neville (R) when the pair were players

Richards, now a pundit, concedes Neville is 'a nice guy' having worked with him on Sky Sports

Richards, now a pundit, concedes Neville is ‘a nice guy’ having worked with him on Sky Sports

‘I didn’t really used to like Gary Neville, to be honest, because of the rivalry between the Reds and the Blues,’ the former centre-back told Jamie Carragher’s The Greatest Game podcast.

‘When I worked with him I was like ‘actually, he’s a nice guy’, but playing against him – he was horrible!’

While the pair have since buried the hatchet from their playing days, Richards has still disagreed with Neville on a couple of matters – including his opinions on United midfielder Paul Pogba, who has been subject to severe criticism from pundits.

The 32-year-old says he wanted to ‘put a couple of things straight’ with Neville after hearing what he claimed were ‘false’ comments.

But he said he took issue with Neville's 'false' views on Manchester United star Paul Pogba

But he said he took issue with Neville’s ‘false’ views on Manchester United star Paul Pogba

The former right-back has been a vocal critic of the World Cup winner during his time at United

The former right-back has been a vocal critic of the World Cup winner during his time at United

‘Some of the stuff he used to say about Pogba… I didn’t want to argue with him, but I  wanted to put a couple of things straight because I know Pogba and whatnot. A lot of what he was saying was false.’

Neville has indeed been a critic of Pogba in the past, claiming he played the game ‘at walking pace’ and ‘can do much more’ in 2018, before clarifying last year that he comes down so hard on the World Cup winner because ‘the biggest players will get the biggest criticism’. 

Richards, who retired from professional football in 2019 and quickly became a prominent face on England’s football coverage, admits he felt ‘starstruck’ when he was first invited to work for Sky as he sat alongside big names like Neville, Carragher and Roy Keane, and now considers them as his friends.

‘I was starstruck at the start, because you lot are legends of the game,’ he said. ‘But now I feel like I can call you my friend.’

The former Aston Villa defender said he felt 'starstruck' after appearing alongside big names like Roy Keane (L) when he first linked up with Sky

The former Aston Villa defender said he felt ‘starstruck’ after appearing alongside big names like Roy Keane (L) when he first linked up with Sky

Richards featured 245 games for his boyhood club City, starting his career while the club were still battling in mid-table, before the Abu Dhabi group took them over and elevated them to new heights.

He was part of the team that won their first Premier League title in 2011-12 and also won the FA Cup during their rise to prominence before he was sold to Aston Villa in the 2015-16 season.

But his spell in the Midlands did not go to plan as he was powerless to prevent the club sinking down to the Championship in his first campaign. He played just three times across the next three seasons and decided to call time on his career at the end of 2018-19.

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Gary Neville attributes Premier League’s resurgence in Europe to the ‘unbelievable’ managers

Gary Neville attributes Premier League’s resurgence in Europe to the ‘unbelievable’ managers as Jamie Carragher insists that an English club should get to EVERY final after Manchester City and Chelsea reached this season’s showpiece event

  • Gary Neville has heaped praise on the Premier League’s ‘unbelievable managers’ 
  • The Champions League final will be an all-English affair at the end of the month 
  • It is the second time in three seasons that two English teams meet in the final
  • Neville says that the influx of world class manager has resulted in success
  • Carragher says an English team should reach every final with these coaches 

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher insist that the reason for English clubs’ recent success in Europe is due to the ‘unbelievable managers’ in the Premier League. 

The final of this season’s Champions League will be an all-English affair after Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea advanced to the showpiece event earlier this month. 

It is the second time in three seasons that two English teams have contested in the final of European football’s premier competition, after Liverpool beat Spurs to triumph in Madrid in 2019.

Thomas Tuchel has taken his Chelsea side to the final this season

Gary Neville says English clubs’ success in Europe is due to top flight’s ‘unbelievable’ coaches

This season's Champions League final will be contested between Manchester City and Chelsea

This season’s Champions League final will be contested between Manchester City and Chelsea

English football enjoyed a golden period between 2005 and 2012 in the competition, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea all being crowned kings of Europe in that spell. 

However, the past decade has seen the Champions League dominated by Spanish clubs, despite the vast money spent by Premier League clubs. 

And Sky Sports duo Neville and Carragher believe that the arrivals of the likes of Guardiola, Tuchel  and Jurgen Klopp is the reason for the transformation in performances on the continent. 

Two years ago, Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the showpiece event in Madrid

Two years ago, Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the showpiece event in Madrid 

‘We should be proud that at this moment in time English football, the Premier League, is starting to dominate in Europe again,’ Neville said on Monday Night Football. 

‘I was going to Champions League games in that period of 2013-17 and I remember saying to Martin [Tyler] “what the hell is going on?” we were spending all this money and yet LaLiga and the Bundesliga were absolutely ripping us apart in Europe. 

‘We were the laughing stock in Europe as the Premier League. They were taking loads of money off us for players but then they were still winning and getting to the finals. But now if you look at the last few years we have got it back.

Neville says English clubs' upturn in fortunes is due solely to the influx of world class coaches

Neville says English clubs’ upturn in fortunes is due solely to the influx of world class coaches

Neville likened the quality of managers to that of Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Arsene Wenger

Neville likened the quality of managers to that of Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Arsene Wenger

‘The big difference is the managers. We have got absolutely unbelievable managers in this league. Pep Guardiola is a genius. Jurgen Klopp is absolutely outstanding. Tuchel in six months what he has done at Chelsea is out of this world. Pochettino, what he did at Tottenham was an unbelievable coaching performance.

‘I would say that, for me it proves that if we can keep the best managers in the world in this country, we will succeed. It is important for everyone to understand how important the managers are in football.’ 

Carragher concurred with the former Manchester United defender, insisting that with the best managers at the helm, confidence will be high among the English clubs that they can win the top prize.

Jamie Carragher added that an English team should get to every final with these coaches

Jamie Carragher added that an English team should get to every final with these coaches

‘I think the feeling with Pep, Klopp, Tuchel – we will see who ends up in Europe actually – all those clubs will have the belief that they can win in Europe because of the managers. 

‘I think this is only just the start for Manchester City, especially. They have got to the final, whether they win or not we will see, but they will have that feeling because they have got there now that that they can do that year in, year out.

‘Someone in England should get to the final year in year out because of the money but also right now we have got the managers, and we had them in 2005-12, that every other top club in Europe would take those managers.’  

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Manchester United: How the Glazers have left Old Trafford in decay

It’s nicknamed ‘the Theatre of Dreams’ but as Gary Neville has repeatedly pointed out over the last couple of weeks, the cold reality is that Old Trafford is anything but.

That’s not because of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s failure to deliver a Premier League title to Manchester United fans. Neville has no element of doubt about it – it is the fault of the Glazers, who he says have left the venue ‘rusty and rotting’.

At surface level, Old Trafford appears to be a fantastic stadium and its capacity of 76,000 is the highest in the Premier League. But the work to fit that many people in was completed back in 2006 and given the go-ahead before the Glazers bought the club in 2005. 

Old Trafford is a prestigious stadium but there are criticisms of how the Glazers have run the venue – and allowed it to decay – since buying Manchester United back in 2005

The roof leaked amid a heavy downpour of rain before United played Manchester City in 2019

It is a problem that has occurred before - notably when Old Trafford hosted Olympic football in 2012

United fans often complain about the leaky roof at Old Trafford – it was particularly bad when there was heavy downpour ahead of the Manchester derby (left) in 2019, while fans watching Olympic football in 2012 (right) were also caught out by it

Hundreds of Manchester United fans stormed the pitch at Old Trafford in protest at the club's American owners before Sunday match with Liverpool, which was later postponed

Hundreds of Manchester United fans stormed the pitch at Old Trafford in protest at the club’s American owners before Sunday match with Liverpool, which was later postponed 

Now, bigger does not mean better and other venues lead the way. Tottenham’s stadium is perhaps the finest in all of sport, Manchester City have since expanded the Etihad while United fans may even cast a begrudging eye down the M62 at Anfield and acknowledge that Fenway Sports Group, for their downsides, have overseen a great job of renovating Liverpool’s Main Stand. 

According to the football blog Swiss Ramble, United have spent £118m on their stadium in the last 11 years whereas Liverpool have spent £278m, City £374m and Tottenham £1.4bn. 

And at City, the corporate package exceeds anything United have to offer. The Tunnel Club is the jewel in the crown, allowing supporters to watch teams line up before walking out onto the pitch via windows in the tunnel. That experience costs upwards of £299 per game but even City’s fan zone is widely considered to better than what is on offer at United.

City benefit from having a lot of land around the club whereas at United, space is a little bit more cramped. Specifically, it is their south stand that is the issue.

There is a railway track that runs behind that part of the stadium which, along with the housing, restricts how much United can do to expand it going forward.

Sportsmail reported in February last year that while United would ideally like to expand Old Trafford’s capacity up to 90,000, work to get it up to scratch would not just cost £200million, but would also leave United looking for a temporary home.

‘It’s a very complex engineering challenge to deliver,’ Manchester United managing director Richard Arnold said, according to the BBC in 2018. ‘It would be a multi-season challenge and it isn’t certain that there’s a way of doing it which doesn’t render us homeless.’

The common consensus from every United fan that sits in that part of the stadium – which was renamed the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand in 2016 – is that it feels out of date. The roof has been known to leak when it rains and this has long been a complaint of matchgoing supporters. 

Manchester City's tunnel club corporate package far exceeds anything at United

Manchester City’s tunnel club corporate package far exceeds anything at United

At Liverpool, owners Fenway Sports Group have their faults but they have overseen a fine job of Anfield's Main Stand being renovated to increase capacity there

At Liverpool, owners Fenway Sports Group have their faults but they have overseen a fine job of Anfield’s Main Stand being renovated to increase capacity there

Gary Neville has often underlined his unhappiness at the current standard of Old Trafford

Gary Neville has often underlined his unhappiness at the current standard of Old Trafford

In April 2019, a storm hit north west England and in the hours before the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, part of the roof gave way and water was pouring onto empty seats below.

A similar thing happened in 2012 when Old Trafford hosted Olympic football – a torrential downpour during Spain v Morocco saw leaks appear in numerous parts of the roof. Stewards were able to move fans around the stadium that day because it was not at full capacity.

Another example where Old Trafford has caused embarrassment has come in their rodent issues.

Sportsmail reported back in January 2015 how United were battling with a mice infestation in the stadium and that as well as getting onto the pitch, the critters had also made their way into staff offices.

But they failed to act on it and later that year, in September, United were criticised  by council inspectors for ‘failing to implement adequate procedures to control pests’, particularly in areas of the stadium where food was being served.

Mice have repeatedly been a problem at Old Trafford and it is likely that it is in part an issue of its location, near to a canal. 

In 2010, a mouse was seen scurrying across the pitch as United played against West Ham and four years earlier, in 2006, Burton Albion complained to the referee during their 5-0 FA Cup defeat that there were mice all over the pitch.

Old Trafford's south stand, which has been renamed after Sir Bobby Charlton, needs work to modernise it, but its location is an issue for maintenance to be carried out

Old Trafford’s south stand, which has been renamed after Sir Bobby Charlton, needs work to modernise it, but its location is an issue for maintenance to be carried out

Old Trafford has had problems with mice before and the rodents have been seen on the pitch

Old Trafford has had problems with mice before and the rodents have been seen on the pitch

A food and hygiene report in 2015 criticised United for failing to implement procedures that would control pests around the areas of the stadium where food is prepared

A food and hygiene report in 2015 criticised United for failing to implement procedures that would control pests around the areas of the stadium where food is prepared

This weekend’s protest against the Glazers coincided with Neville’s impassioned plea for the United owners sell up and he again underlined how unhappy he is with the standard of the stadium.

‘You look at the club now, this stadium I know it looks great here (on TV) but if you go behind the scenes it’s rusty and rotting,’ Neville said. ‘The training ground is probably not even top five in this country, they haven’t got to a Champions League semi-final in 10 years and we haven’t won a league here for eight years.

‘The land around the ground is undeveloped, dormant and derelict, while every other club seems to be developing the facilities and the fan experiences.

‘The Glazer family are struggling to meet the financial requirements, and the fans are saying enough is enough.’

And United fans share his dismay about Old Trafford. As debate raged on social media on Sunday about the Glazers, with some rival fans pointing to how much money the club has spent on transfers in their time, United supporters were quick to reference the condition of Old Trafford in reply.

United fans repeatedly referenced the state of Old Trafford as debate around the Glazers raged on social media over the weekend amid the protests

United fans repeatedly referenced the state of Old Trafford as debate around the Glazers raged on social media over the weekend amid the protests 

One United fan said that the leaky roof sums up how much the Glazers care about United

One United fan said that the leaky roof sums up how much the Glazers care about United

There is plenty that the Glazers could do to improve the matchday experience of United fans

There is plenty that the Glazers could do to improve the matchday experience of United fans

‘No investment in years at Old Trafford, leaks in the roof just show how much the Glazers care about our club,’ one fan wrote. ‘The legacy of our club is at risk if these people continue to take from this club. The time for them to go is now, no one wants an apology. #GlazersOut’

Another said: ‘They don’t care about the club and use it as a cash cow. Old Trafford is falling apart, leaks everywhere and the roofs (sic) a mess. Yet they’ve not done anything to fix the structure of the stadium.’

If the Glazers really are as thick-skinned as people think and have no plans to sell United, then renovations to the stadium are urgently needed. There is scope for the matchday experience of every United fan to be improved when they can finally return to games.

Jurgen Klopp says Man United fans’ Old Trafford protests crossed a line when they turned violent

Jurgen Klopp says Old Trafford protests crossed a line when they turned violent and fans clashed with police as Liverpool boss again tells pundits who whipped up fury to ‘be careful and calm down’

  • Liverpool match with Manchester United was postponed after fan protests
  • Demonstration against United’s owners at Old Trafford turned violent
  • Bottles were thrown at police officers as they tried to move protesters away
  • Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he respects the right of fans to voice opinions
  • But he condemned the violent scenes that marred the protest at Old Trafford
  • Klopp again took aim at pundits who whipped up fan fury against Super League 

Jurgen Klopp has spoken out about last weekend’s Old Trafford protests, saying a line was crossed when the demonstration became violent.

Liverpool’s game with Manchester United was postponed after hundreds of United fans protesting about the club’s owners stormed the stadium before a minority clashed with police.

Klopp, who told television pundits such as Gary Neville to ‘calm down’ after they encouraged fans to protest in the wake of the failed European Super League project, said he fully respects fans’ right to express their opinion – but only in a peaceful way.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has condemned the violent clashes outside Old Trafford that caused the postponement of last Sunday’s match with Manchester United

Some police officers were injured after being pelted with bottles by protesting United fans

Some police officers were injured after being pelted with bottles by protesting United fans

Thousands gathered to demonstrate against the Glazer family, who own Manchester United

Thousands gathered to demonstrate against the Glazer family, who own Manchester United

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s home Premier League game against Southampton on Saturday night, he said: ‘Am I surprised that these kind of things happen?

‘No. I am an absolute believer in democracy, I am happy that people want to tell their opinions. But in situations like that it doesn’t happen too often that nobody gets hurt.

‘That’s why I said a week before when all the pundits are asking for protests, that we all have to be careful and calm down and ask for the right things.

‘I don’t know exactly what happened there but I heard some policemen got injured and these kind of things should not happen for sure. They should not break down doors and things like this.

‘Tell the world your opinion and what you think about something, that’s completely fine, but if it is not completely peaceful – and as far as I know it was not completely peaceful – that’s not right anymore.’

Klopp said he supports the right of fans to make their feelings known - but not in a violent way

Klopp said he supports the right of fans to make their feelings known – but not in a violent way

Liverpool fans also protested after the club's owners tried to join the European Super League

Liverpool fans also protested after the club’s owners tried to join the European Super League 

Liverpool's principal owner John W. Henry was forced to make a grovelling apology to the fans

Liverpool’s principal owner John W. Henry was forced to make a grovelling apology to the fans

Klopp made clear that he wasn’t in favour of the breakaway European Super League despite Liverpool being among six Premier League clubs who signed up before beating a hasty retreat.

In the face of fan protests, Klopp told pundits to ‘calm down’ and insisted the club owners had learned their lessons.

He was described as ‘tone deaf’ by Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker as a result.

Lineker tweeted: ‘A handful of owners try to tear our game apart and may well try to do so again, and we’re just told to ‘calm down and move on’.

‘Huge admirer of Klopp but he’s spectacularly tone deaf here. Without the fans of our beautiful game it would be much uglier today.’

Gary Lineker felt Klopp had got the tone of his pre-match remarks on The Super League wrong

Gary Lineker felt Klopp had got the tone of his pre-match remarks on The Super League wrong

The Match of the Day host called Liverpool's German manager 'spectacularly tone deaf'

The Match of the Day host called Liverpool’s German manager ‘spectacularly tone deaf’

The match at Old Trafford has been rescheduled for next Thursday – May 13 – and Klopp admitted he had sympathy for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side must play twice in 48 hours.

Klopp said: ‘We were informed about the process but we had nothing to do with it really. Yes of course, I have every sympathy for him because it’s not how it should be.

‘But it’s not good for us either to be honest.I would have preferred to play the game last week.

‘We now have five games in the last two weeks so that’s not really cool but it is how it is. There is nothing to complain about, it is just the situation.’

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Gary Neville has made WhatsApp group of pundits to present unified voice against breakaway league 

Gary Neville forms pundit army to help fight any further Big Six breakaway plots, with former Man United captain setting up WhatsApp group including BT rivals Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand and Jake Humphrey

  • Gary Neville led the fight on Sky Sports against the European Super League 
  • The pundit believes his colleagues can play a part to prevent more stunts like it
  • Neville has formed a WhatsApp group to unite broadcasters on the subject 
  • Gary Lineker, Jamie Carragher and Rio Ferdinand are among those involved  

Gary Neville has brought together a group of pundits, broadcasters and commentators in an attempt to present a unified voice — and prevent further attempts at a breakaway league.

The former Manchester United and England defender is understood to have launched a collaboration that crosses broadcaster rivalries and includes the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker and Steve McManaman.

A call has already taken place and another is due on Tuesday between those involved, with initial plans set to be discussed. 

Gary Neville is continuing the fight against another attempt at a breakaway league project 

He has brought together a group of pundits, broadcasters and commentators in an attempt to present a unified voice, including Rio Ferdinand

And Gary Lineker

The Sky Sports presenter has got the likes of Rio Ferdinand (L) and Gary Lineker (R) involved

The aim is thought to be to ensure that the group can present a powerful, aligned voice against any moves from club owners to take the game away from its supporters.

Others involved in what is a powerful WhatsApp group include Neville’s fellow Sky pundit Jamie Carragher and Jake Humphrey (BT).

The plot to create a breakaway European Super League is behind the move. Neville’s role in speaking out against the now-defunct proposal is known to have set the tone and played a key role in its downfall. 

Jake Humphrey is also involved in a WhatsApp group that sees the broadcasters come together

Neville has additionally called-on the support of his  Sky Sports colleague Jamie Carragher

Jake Humphrey from BT and Jamie Carragher of Sky are also involved in a WhatsApp group 

Setting up of group comes amid a continued backlash against those involved in breakaway

Setting up of group comes amid a continued backlash against those involved in breakaway

There is a recognition that those from within the game who now work in the media can play a key part in ensuring that any further attempts also fail.

While those involved work for a variety of different broadcasters, there is nothing to stop them joining forces on major issues within football.

The setting up of the group comes amid a continued backlash against those involved in the botched breakaway. 

After protests at Chelsea and Arsenal, Manchester United fans invaded Old Trafford on Sunday and caused their match with Liverpool to be postponed.

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Gary Neville implores Glazers to sell Manchester United as it’s the ‘honourable thing to do’

‘The stadium is rotting, the training ground isn’t in the top five in this country and we haven’t won the league in eight years’: Gary Neville implores Glazers to sell Manchester United as the ‘honourable thing to do’

  • Gary Neville says the Glazer family are struggling to back the club financially 
  • Neville hit out at the condition of Old Trafford and the club’s training facilities
  • Neville also criticised the club’s failure to develop the area around the stadium
  • Manchester United have now gone eight years without a Premier League title

Gary Neville has called on the Glazer family to sell Manchester United saying that it would be the ‘honourable thing to do.’

The Glazer’s have been targeted recently by United supporters over the club’s failed bid to join the now defunct European Super League; and Neville believes the Red Devils have become stagnant under their ownership.

Neville who spent his entire playing career at United, believes that the club are no longer showing signs of progress and that a change in ownership is needed in order for United to win major honours once more.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has called on the Glazer family to sell Manchester United

Joel Glazer (left) and Avram Glazer (right) have been the subject of criticism from United fans

Joel Glazer (left) and Avram Glazer (right) have been the subject of criticism from United fans

‘The Glazer family have been resilient and stubborn for many, many years. Neville said during Sky Sports‘ Super Sunday coverage. 

‘If you think about the club they picked up in 2004, it had the best stadium in the country, one of the best in Europe. The best training ground in the country, probably in Europe.

‘A team that was getting to Champions league quarter finals, semi finals, and finals regularly, and winning the league every season, or every other season.

‘You look at the club now, this stadium I know it looks great here but if you go behind the scenes it’s rusty and rotting.’

Neville also believes the Glazer’s simply don’t have the necessary funds to take the club forward on and off the pitch. 

Neville also hit out at the lack of investment in Old Trafford and the club's training facilities

Neville also hit out at the lack of investment in Old Trafford and the club’s training facilities

He added: ‘The training ground is probably not even top five in this country, they haven’t got to a Champions League semi final in 10 years and we haven’t won a league here for eight years. 

‘The land around the ground is undeveloped, dormant and derelict, while every other club seems to be developing the facilities and the fan experiences. 

‘The Glazer family are struggling to meet the financial requirements, and the fans are saying enough is enough.

‘My view on it quite simply is they’re going to make a fortune if they sell this football club, and if they were to put it up for sale now, I think the time would be right and it would be the honourable thing to do.’

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