Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Still as feisty and fired up as ever, Gary Neville gave his customary 110% in yesterday’s match against Chelsea. However, his best wasn’t good enough. All the signs are that the Manchester United captain will never again be the player he was before his long-term injury.

A year out is difficult for any player to successfully comeback from. At nearly 34 years-old the task is made even more difficult. Having been plagued a series of minor injuries – the usual signal that a body is on the wane – it’s unlikely Neville will regain the pace required to compete at the highest level. 

In yesterday’s match Neville struggled time and time again to deal with the pace and acceleration of Nicolas Anelka, Ashely Cole and Didier Drogba. He was lucky to stay on the pitch after Michael Ballack rode a scything tackle, as the United captain, already on a yellow card, arrived late to a challenge.

Alex Ferguson knows better than most what is required for a player to compete at the top, but he has shown unwavering loyalty to certain ageing members of his golden generation. Neville need only look to Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to rest assured that he will be given every opportunity to regain his form before being put out to pasture.

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