Gary Neville to fill Andy Gray’s boots at Sky
But there’s good news for Liverpool fans - Jamie Redknapp will be sharing the punditry duties
Three months after Sky's main soccer pundit, Andy Gray, was fired by the broadcaster the former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has been confirmed as a replacement.
The 36-year-old, who hung up his boots earlier in the season, will share lead analyst duties with his former on-field adversary Jamie Redknapp.
There was speculation when he quit after 19 seasons with United that Neville would join Sky, but he had other options to mull over, including the offer of a coaching role at Old Trafford or a job with the Professional Footballers' Association.
"Now I have retired this feels like the perfect way for me to stay involved in football," said Neville who made no secret of the fact that he was a Manchester United fan as well as a player. "I am looking forward to bringing my 19 years of match experience into television."
His decision to become a pundit is an interesting one. Although he was often in the media spotlight during his career he rarely courted the press and was often antagonistic towards the media.
He was also a divisive figure on the field and was once accused of trying to incite a riot by running the length of the pitch to celebrate a late goal for United against Liverpool in front of the opposition fans.
He is likely to be as outspoken as a pundit as he was as a player, and his strident views earned him the nickname Red Nev. Football fans are notoriously sensitive about perceived bias against their club and Neville's performances will be heavily scrutinised. Fortunately for Neville, Sky's other lead pundit, Redknapp, was a Liverpool player and is likely to oversee games involving the Reds.
The confirmation that Neville is joining Sky comes on the same day as details of Neville's testimonial were announced. The long-serving defender will be honoured in a game between United and Italian club Juventus at Old Trafford on May 24.
Gray left the broadcaster, along with anchorman Richard Keys, in January after they were overheard making disparaging remarks about a female linesman and other allegations of sexism surfaced. ·
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