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Gary Neville had Alan Hansen moment and Liverpool made him eat words

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Gary Neville should have known better.

After seeing Manchester United demolish Chelsea 4-0 on the opening day of the season, he made an astonishing claim, insisting his former club would win the league before Liverpool.



He could not imagine how quickly his words would unravel right before his very eyes as the 2019/20 season unfolded.



“It genuinely does not concern me because it can be corrected by a little bit of money on the stadium and good decisions in the boardroom and good decisions in the recruitment department,” he said when quizzed about United’s downturn in fortunes since his own playing days.



“What I’m saying is, Liverpool, City, Tottenham, all these clubs have had poor recruitment policies over the last 25 or 30 years at times.

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“So United are going through one at the moment. Eventually they will stumble upon the right recruitment system, the right recruitment people, they’ll get a great manager – hopefully that’s Ole – and they’ll start to win again. That’s going to happen.

“I can guarantee you as clear as day, Manchester United will win again. They’ll probably win the league before Liverpool, in my opinion.

“They’re more ripe, they’re closer than you think and it’s not as bad as you think. That’s always the way it is.

“And that’s not being disrespectful, they’ll probably win the league before Liverpool.”

Fast forward seven months and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are Premier League champions. Meanwhile, Manchester United are down in fifth and trail by an astonishing 37 points.

Neville really should have known better. After all, being written off by a former captain of your fiercest rivals and multiple title winner, despite finishing as league runners-up the year before, is a feeling he knows oh too well.

After starting to establish himself in the Manchester United team during the 1994/95 season as they missed out on the league title to Blackburn Rovers, the former England international started in the Red Devils’ opening day 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa the following season.

Liverpool are Premier League champions

On paper, the 1995/96 season-opener might mean nothing to you. But Liverpool legend Alan Hansen’s post-match assessment certainly will and the six words that still haunt him to this day.

You can’t win anything with kids.

"I think they've got problems. I wouldn't say they've got major problems,” the Scot said on Match of the Day. “Obviously three players have departed, the trick is always buy when you're strong so he (Sir Alex Ferguson) needs to buy players.

“You can't win anything with kids. You look at that line-up from Manchester United today and Aston Villa at quarter-past two when they get the teamsheet, it's just going to give them a lift.

“It'll happen every time he plays the kids. He has got to buy players, it's as simple as that.

“The trick to winning the championship is strength in depth. They just haven't got it.”

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Manchester United went on to make Hansen eat his words, winning a league and cup double in 1996 with the Red Devils’ famous ‘Class of ‘92’ all establishing themselves as key members of Ferguson’s team with Neville making 30 Premier League starts during the campaign.

25-years on and Hansen has still never been able to live down his infamous quip.

Neville’s own claim won’t have its own place in folklore, but Reds fans will take great joy revelling in the Manchester United legend’s misplaced faith in his former side.

“They’ll probably win the league before Liverpool.”

Or not.

Liverpool haven’t just won the Premier League this season, winning their next title before Manchester United to finally end their 30-year wait to be crowned English champions.

They’ve demolished it.


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