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08th Aug 2018

Gary Neville’s face drops after being called the wrong name by Pep Guardiola

Pep knew what he was doing

Darragh Murphy

Pep Guardiola is not a stupid man.

Guardiola possesses one of the brightest minds in football and he absolutely knows the difference between Gary Neville and Phil Neville.

Having said that, this could well have been the slip of the tongue in the moment but it is also very, very possible that Guardiola knew exactly what he was doing when he referred to Gary Neville by his brother’s name during a segment on Sky Sports’ Premier League Launch Show this week.

When discussing the upcoming season, Guardiola appeared to wink subtly before motioning to Neville and Jamie Carragher and saying: “Because Jamie and Phil know that.”

Neville looked gutted to have been mixed up with his brother, while Carragher got a tremendous kick out of the exchange.

Neville and Guardiola have had one-on-one interviews in the past and the Manchester City boss memorably hit out at the Sky Sports pundit last season after Neville criticised him for naming just six substitutes on the bench for a game at Burnley, rather than give a youth player a place in the matchday squad.

“This guy, the pundit, he has to know my job is serious, it’s not a joke, never is it a joke. It’s so serious,” Guardiola said.

“And he should know that because he was a manager – for a short time.”

Mocking Neville’s ill-fated time as Valencia boss, Guardiola certainly knows which is which but it appears like he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the mickey out of the elder Neville brother, who eventually saw the funny side of being called “Phil.”