Gary Neville reveals talks with Sky Sports producer after brutal 'billion-pound bottle jobs' jibe at Chelsea

Gary Neville reveals talks with Sky Sports producer after brutal 'billion-pound bottle jobs' jibe at Chelsea

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Gary Neville sherds light on Sky Sports talks

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 29/02/2024

- 10:46

Updated: 29/02/2024

- 10:55

The former defender made the remark as the Blues lost to Liverpool in Sunday's Carabao Cup final

Gary Neville has revealed he talked with a Sky Sports producer after his infamous 'billion-pound bottle jobs' jibe at Chelsea over the weekend.

The former Manchester United star aimed the dig at Mauricio Pochettino's side after Virgil van Dijk scored to win the Carabao Cup for Liverpool.

Neville has been criticised for his comments, with some feeling he overstepped the mark.

And the 49-year-old, speaking on The Overlap, has now revealed he talked with a Sky producer to seek clarity.

Gary Neville Chelsea

Gary Neville has admitted he talked with a Sky Sports producer after his 'billion-pound bottle jobs' dig at Chelsea


"After the game I went to the producer and asked whether it was harsh, he said it might be a touch harsh, but he said, 'We're on television, in entertainment and its one of the biggest moments this season, last minute goal', and secondly, 'Did you think they bottled it?'

"I said that they froze in extra time, there is no doubt that they were playing with fear and froze.

"I was actually going to do a roll back on my podcast, the day after, and say that I shouldn't have probably used that word 'bottle,' but when I heard that Mauricio thought the team were playing for penalties, I thought that it was the epitome of freezing."

Neville also revealed that he'd thought of the line moments before Van Dijk struck to win Liverpool the prize.

He revealed: "I'm not going to sit here and say that it was an instinctive and in-the-moment comment, I had one minute to think of that line.

"Peter Drury, the big moment after the cup final, that's the commentator's moment, and he was on for about 30-35 seconds.

"I knew that [Jamie] Carragher would come in next because I could feel him next to me, wanting to come in, Liverpool scored, and he literally jumped up and turned around to his mate.

"I got progressively angrier during extra time with Chelsea, and I thought to myself, initially I was going to use [Todd] Boehly's name, but I didn't want to personalise it, then I thought, should I say it, is it too strong?

"I was thinking that as I said it and sometimes when you think that you might think that it's a reason not to say it, but I felt as though it needed to be said, it's a harsh line."

Neville has insisted he doesn't feel Chelsea are going to 'bottle' things for many years to come.

He also says he's 'not proud' of the remark, too.

The former Manchester United star continued: "I don't put the same emphasis on bottling a game as anybody else.

"I'm not saying that the Chelsea players will continue to be bottle merchants for the rest of their career or that they can't win a trophy in the next three months, but during that 30mins of extra-time, they bottled it.

"When I think of it today, people say it's a great line, but I don't think of it as a great line, I don't feel proud about it.

"I remember my David Luiz comment ten years ago, and I regret that because it was personal.


Virgil van Dijk Liverpool Chelsea

Virgil van Dijk netted the winner as Liverpool beat Chelsea in Sunday's Carabao Cup final


"I don't personalise a line anymore. Bottle doesn't mean cowardice, they just froze on the day, we froze in games sometimes, in Champions League semi-finals.

"Sometimes you do freeze – Manchester United, the year before they won the Premier League title against Leeds, they bottled the run in.

"We bottled the run-in, when we were without Roy [Keane] in 1998, against Arsenal – we've all bottled run-ins."

Meanwhile, Pochettino initially downplayed Neville's comments.

Speaking after his side's 3-2 win over Leeds on Wednesday, however, the Argentine blasted back at the Sky pundit and revealed he disagreed with the veteran's assessment.

Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea Liverpool

Mauricio Pochettino has hit back at Gary Neville following Chelsea criticism


“Gary, my friend, what did you do? Because his opinion now is always around and around and around," he said.

"Come on, of course I cannot agree about that.

“With all my love to Gary, I think it is not fair to use this type of word about a team that is so brave and a club that is always showing to fight for big things.”

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