Liverpool and Man City pair snubbed as Gary Neville names ‘best in the league by a mile’

Pep Guardiola admits any slip by Manchester City would see Liverpool win title

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Gary Neville has not included either Trent Alexander-Arnold or Joao Cancelo in his team of the season. The former Manchester United defender chose Andy Robertson at left-back and claimed the Scot “is the best full-back in the league by a mile”.

Alexander-Arnold and Cancelo were surprise omissions from Neville, as his co-pundit Jamie Carragher included both in his team of the season after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Newcastle on Monday. In the full-back positions, where Neville played the majority of his career, he picked Kyle Walker and Robertson.

Neville explained on Monday Night Football: “Absolutely love Cancelo. I could not love him any more but I can’t ignore Robertson, the best full-back in the league for me by a mile in that he does both things incredibly well.

“This is not Mr Steady, this isn’t six or sevens out of ten, this is eight or nines out of ten every single week, and the impetus he gives Liverpool down that left-hand side when it matters in games where it’s hurting. He is unbelievable, he does more than I think you would ever notice.

“Obviously he has got overshadowed at times by the fact that Trent has an unbelievable delivery which is absolutely fantastic to watch, but Robertson is the best full-back in the league by a mile in my view.”

When questioned by Carragher if Robertson was the best full-back in the league by a mile, Neville replied: “I think he is, in terms of attacking and defensive content, I think both of them together he is the best in the league by a mile.”

Alexander-Arnold is second to only Mohamed Salah in the assist charts this season, creating 12 goals and only one behind the Egyptian. Robertson has 10 assists, while Cancelo has seven. Both Liverpool and Manchester City have kept the same number of clean sheets this season in the Premier League with 21, while the two sides have both conceded just 24 league goals this campaign.

Neville and Carragher agreed on seven players for their respective teams of the season in Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Salah, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. Carragher chose Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Cancelo and Declan Rice with his remaining four places while Neville picked Walker, Ruben Dias, Robertson and Rodri.

On his inclusions for Matip and Rice, Carragher said: “He [Matip] has been fantastic, he has been as good as Virgil van Dijk this season he has been outstanding. I always talk about Fabinho and Rodri because they play for the two top teams, they are as good as anyone in Europe in that position at breaking up play but what Declan Rice reminds me of is almost an old-fashioned midfield player, who normally plays in a two. Now we have this holding position, they sit and you have two eights who push forward.

“I think Declan Rice, I always say he reminds me of Roy Keane where he is just playing centre midfield. He is not just a holding midfield player Declan Rice, I think he likes to get forward, people say he doesn’t get enough goals but in terms of driving forward with the ball that is always what you associated with midfielders from the past when we were growing up, a Bryan Robson a Keane, sort of box-to-box. I think he is more than just a sitting player, I am a huge fan.”

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