Gary Neville has doubled down on branding Chelsea “billion pound bottle jobs” for their extra-time performance against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final defeat.
The pundit’s pre-planned jibe has been a major topic of conversation ever since, with Mauricio Pochettino hitting back and calling the joke “unfair” in a seven-minute monologue.
Simon Jordan harshly criticized Neville “and his little Overlap gang”, while Gary Lineker and Ally McCoist also criticized him.
And now the former Manchester United legend has spoken in detail about his quote, whether he regrets it and the thought process behind saying it.
As to whether the excavation was spontaneous, Neville revealed in the latest episode of Sky Bet bets on football: ‘I’m not going to sit here and say that it was an instinctive and spur-of-the-moment comment, I had a minute to think about that line. Peter Drury, the big moment after the cup final, that’s the commentator’s moment, and he was there for about 30-35 seconds.
Gary Neville branded Chelsea ‘billion pound bottle jobs’ and doubled down on his comment
Chelsea conceded a goal in extra time against Liverpool in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
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“I knew (Jamie) Carragher would be next because I could feel him next to me, wanting to go in, Liverpool scored, and he literally jumped and turned towards his teammate.
“I got angrier and angrier during extra time with Chelsea and I thought, initially I was going to use Boehly’s name, but I didn’t want to personalize it, then I thought, should I say it? Is that too strong?
“I was thinking about that when I said it and sometimes when you think you might think that’s a reason not to say it, but I felt it needed to be said, it’s a hard line.”
Having led for much of the second half, the Blues appeared to relinquish control in extra time, despite Liverpool continuing to bring in young, inexperienced players.
Afterwards, Pochettino even suggested that he felt his team were settling for penalties, saying he thought spot kicks “would be good for us.” He has since insisted it was not a plan he implemented and raged at the fact that Chelsea’s huge transfer outlay is being used as a stick to beat them with.
Neville went on to say that he spoke to his Sky Sports producer after the game, concerned that his ‘billion pound bottle jobs’ line was too blunt.
He continued: “After the game I went to the producer and asked him if it was harsh, he said it might be a little harsh but he said, ‘We’re on TV, we’re in entertainment and it’s one of the biggest moments of this season. , last minute goal”, and secondly, “Did you think they bottled it?”
‘I said they froze in extra time, there’s no doubt they were playing with fear and they froze.
Mauricio Pochettino responded to Neville and said the expert was “unfair”
“In fact, I was going to go back on my podcast the next day and say that I probably shouldn’t have used that word ‘bottle,’ but when I heard that Mauricio thought the team was playing on penalties, I thought that was the epitome of freezing. .’
Neville maintains that his interpretation of “bottle work” is not necessarily as harsh as that of others.
He said: “I don’t put the same emphasis on bottling a game as anyone else.” I’m not saying Chelsea players will remain bottle merchants for the rest of their career or that they can’t win a trophy in the next three months, but during those 30 minutes of extra time, they bottled it.
“When I think about it today, people say it’s a great line, but I don’t consider it a great line, I’m not proud of it. I remember my David Luiz comment ten years ago and I regret it because it was personal. I no longer customize a line. Bottle does not mean cowardice, they just froze on the day, sometimes we freeze in matches, in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
“Sometimes you freeze: Manchester United, the year before winning the Premier League title against Leeds, repressed the match. We repressed the match, when we were without Roy in 1998, against Arsenal; we all have repressed.” clashes.’
Neville noted that last year he felt Mikel Arteta’s team ‘bottled’ the title race.
Neville says ‘bottling’ is something that can happen to all players, and it happened to him
He added that in his opinion he was right in predicting that Arsenal would “bottle” the title race by being in a strong position.
“Last year I said Arsenal were going to bottle up the title race and they did, because it was a feeling I had,” he explained.
‘I also accept that at some point in our careers, we suppress confrontations and people don’t like to admit it when it happens. You freeze, your legs get heavy, you lose energy and it becomes too much for you, and it happened to me.’
The Blues bounced back from defeat in the Carabao Cup final on Wednesday with a narrow 3-2 home win over Leeds in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge.
They will face Leicester in the quarter-finals and Pochettino would no doubt love the chance to go all the way this season, which has been poor overall, shedding the ‘bottle jobs’ label in the process.