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Gary Neville continues his ‘billion-pound bottlejobs’ Chelsea rhetoric

During Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville stood by his characterization of Chelsea as ‘billion-pound bottlejobs.’

Despite facing a youthful Liverpool side with limited first-team experience, Chelsea, who have splurged over £1 billion on transfers since BlueCo’s takeover in 2022, succumbed in extra time at Wembley. They had controlled much of the second half before faltering in the additional 30 minutes.

Neville, alongside Peter Drury and Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports’ broadcast of the game, famously branded Chelsea as ‘billion-pound bottlejobs,’ sparking widespread discussion.

Appearing on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football the day after the final, Neville was pressed to clarify his remarks. While conceding that he may have been somewhat excessive, he stood by his now infamous statement and the underlying sentiment it conveyed.

“I feel bad now!” Neville began. “No, look, I’m not going to sit here and say it was an instinctive commentary moment…I mean, it was instinctive because I didn’t know what was going to happen in extra-time.

“But Peter did about 35 seconds after the goal and Carra did about 25 seconds and I was getting angrier.

Neville explains his Chelsea comments

Gary Neville went on to explains his comments on the game a bit more: “If you hear my commentary during extra-time, I was getting angrier with Chelsea from the first minute of extra-time until two minutes to go because I could smell the fear in Chelsea from the very first minute of extra-time when I said: ‘Why are they sitting off them? Why are they letting these young lads grow?’, and then Jurgen Klopp started to grow.

“If you remember, there was a chorus, a song, that Liverpool fans were singing because they could smell the blood, they could smell the fear in those blue shirts.

“I got to half-time of extra-time and I said: ‘somehow, Mauricio Pochettino and all those players have got to work out that if they got into this position at the start of the season and told themselves they’ve got 15 minutes against a Liverpool team that have only got two players that would make their starting XI normally, that they would snap their hand off!’

“Grab this opportunity, don’t have regrets! Just from a playing point of view, the idea of a team not seizing the day, seizing the moment, grabbing the opportunity, all those things we say to each other in lives as young people, that we want a team to grab this moment. Chelsea shrunk.

“I used the word ‘shrunk’ and maybe ‘bottle’ is a very strong word, but playing with absolute fear, froze, whatever you want to call it, that’s what we saw in extra-time.

“Ultimately, I don’t want that tag to stick with them because the reality is that there are a lot of talented young players there who may go on.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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