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28th Jun 2018

Former Manchester City defender torn apart by Gary Neville

Harsh but probably fair

Robert Redmond

“It was a criminal mistake.”

Gary Neville didn’t hold back when discussing Aleksandar Kolarov’s performance for Serbia against Brazil. Serbia exited the World Cup after suffering a 2-0 defeat to the South Americans on Wednesday evening.

Kolarov made an error in the build-up to Brazil’s opening goal, scored by Paulinho in the first half, and Neville had little sympathy for Serbia’s captain.

“It was a criminal mistake by Kolarov, who you cannot trust him as a defender,” Neville said of the Roma full-back on ITV’s coverage of the game.

“He might score and assist you four goals but he gives away 14. I watched him at Manchester City for a number of years and he’s a winger, really. It’s a poor and a bad mistake. You can’t trust left wingers to run back there, it’s impossible.”

Last week, Neville was scathing of Jerome Boateng after his display in Germany’s win over Sweden, when the Bayern Munich defender played poorly and was sent-off in the second half.

“The centre-backs have been a joke. I mean Boateng for some reason seems to think he is Beckenbauer, thinks he is a player. He’s played under Pep and now starts to think he is a fantastic footballer.”

Otherwise, Neville hasn’t been particularly critical of players at the World Cup.

The nature of ITV’s coverage, where there are four pundits and several ad breaks, means that Neville has been unable to provide the in-depth analysis that he does on Sky Sports’ coverage of the Premier League.

However, he was on form with his comments about the former Manchester City full-back.