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Gary Neville attacks Boris Johnson in surprise rant live on ITV

Gary Neville attacks Boris Johnson on ‘poor’ leadership in surprise rant live on ITV after England secured a place in Euro 2020 final.

After Harry Kane hit home the rebound of his spot kick and then the full time celebrations, the former footballer turned pundit took aim at the Prime Minister, who was in the stands wearing a Three Lions jersey with the number 10 on it.

Nev hit out after the final whistle, saying: “The standard of leaders in this country the past couple of years has been poor, looking at that man (Southgate), he’s everything a leader should be, respectful, humble, he tells the truth.”

He added: “We’ve never done this before in our lifetimes. These lads have to focus but we don’t have to. This country is bouncing, national holiday, enjoy yourselves!”

Ian Wright, who was close to tears, then added: “There was a bit of luck with the way it came about (the penalty), but all the years waiting, maybe that’s the luck.

“I’ve been dreaming of this day and now it’s come, I can’t believe it’s here.

“Raheem Sterling has attacked this tournament. I believe he was the difference, I am delighted for him, Gareth and the whole country.

“I am speechless because I want England to win something in my lifetime.

“Denmark played a brilliant game, faded at the end, but Gareth Southgate, his players, staff, everyone has been unbelievable.

“This crowd… it’s mesmerising being in this stadium right now.”

After Gary Neville had his dig at Boris, Rupert Hawksley of the Independent praised the pundit for ‘finally saying what needed to be said.’

The journalist said: “Boris Johnson chose to wear an England shirt last night (“Boris 10” was printed on the back). So did home secretary Priti Patel (“Migrants 0”, perhaps). Pretty crude stuff but you can understand it. Look at us, these photos scream, we really are just like you. And on another day, who knows, we might have all been fooled.

“Unfortunately for Johnson and Patel, however, Gary Neville was working for ITV last night. And in a few short words, spoken after England had beaten Denmark, Neville dismantled any attempt by this government to cash in on the success of our national football team. “The standard of leaders in this country in the last couple of years has been poor,” he said. “Looking at that man there [Gareth Southgate], it’s everything a leader should be – respectful, humble, tell[s] the truth, genuine. He’s fantastic, Gareth Southgate, he really is unbelievable.”

“Neville is our shrewdest and most eloquent football pundit. He picks his words carefully. So no one could be in any doubt that, by listing Southgate’s qualities – “respectful, humble, tell[s] the truth, genuine” – Neville was highlighting all the things our political leaders lack.

“It is often said that criticism simply bounces off Boris Johnson, but this will sting. Not because the words are particularly harsh – he is used to much worse – but because he has lost control of the narrative. England has just reached its first major football final since 1966. This should be a moment of unity and – political manna from heaven – a chance for the prime minister to lead the celebrations. Instead, “Gary Neville” is trending on social media and every news outlet is running the story. It is enough to make that England shirt cling a bit tighter to the tummy.

“Politicians can’t force people to think in a certain way. You can’t simply will yourself into being a “man of the people” – no matter how many hard hats or football shirts you wear. Neville’s comments chimed with the public in a way that “Boris 10” never could. Frustrating, I’m sure. But true.

“Political commentator Patrick O’Flynn described Neville’s words as “a nakedly political statement”, adding that “football analysts shouldn’t be telling voters during sports broadcasts that they voted for the wrong person”. Well, I’m sorry, but this government can hardly have it both ways. It’s a bit much to start complaining now that football and politics don’t mix when they have done all they can to politicise the sport. Priti Patel supported the decision of some fans to boo the players for “taking the knee”; now she is wearing her England shirt and tweeting lion emojis.


“Should football be political? I don’t know. That’s not really the point. The point is that it is political. Furthermore, the government has deliberately made it as political as possible. Gary Neville was simply following their lead. The difference is, people seem to actually hear what he has to say.”

Fans reacted after Gary Neville attacks Boris Johnson in a surprise rant live on ITV…

@PlasFron: Fans don’t pay to watch and support our team in order to hear political lectures from footballers or TV commentators.

@BH_Design: I didn’t pay to watch it, and he’s spot on……

@ClarkGEwan: Leave politics out for two seconds

@aHideousThing: “Leave politics out” means “allow the status quo to continue”, which is a very political opinion.

@Missgabillard: Wouldn’t be hard to be a better leader than Johnson tbf

@auba147: And he’s spot on

@maphyo79: It doesn’t always have to be about politics

@sarahcarey71: It doesn’t but it’s a good way to make a point with a wider audience that wouldn’t necessarily engage with political commentary.

@TRIGGZYBOY: Nailed it.

@UtdRedssss: What a man, itv probably clamouring to release a “views shared do not represent itv” type statement

@ConorScott_: Neville is right

@WClaringbold: Very much enjoying Gray Neville taking time to slag off Boris during the post match celebrations.

@TimtheRed54: @GNev2 speaks for a nation

@Hark_Munter: I heard it and rewound it to check I’d heard it right; @GaryNeville_ leads the way with no holds barred. Our footballers are showing up our government.

@cumbrianrl13: It’s true though

@RyanClayton4: Gary Neville taking shots at Boris hahah love to see it

@christi68157031: Why should he face any backlash for speaking the truth, something our PM is obviously a stranger to.

@HertsSid: Love that Gary Neville throwing shade at Boris Johnson is going to trigger the absolute fuck out of the “don’t bring politics into football” brigade.

@MadeYorkshire: He said exactly what millions of us think. Well done Gary.

@DriscollFC: Go on Gary Neville, getting stuck into Boris Johnson.

@joecallon: Gary Neville giving digs to Boris and then bursting into Sweet Caroline, I’ll allow it

@stefanstern: Gary Neville goes in studs up on Boris Johnson.

@raztaf1: You know there’s something seriously wrong when footballers and ex footballers can do a better job running the country than the current government.

@Intheboathouse1: To suggest football pundits shouldn’t get involved in politics is missing the point. This was a reference to leadership. We need moral leadership empathy, compassion, leaders need to look after people put their needs first especially in a pandemic. Nothing to do with “politics”.

@debrapatten: You said it @GaryNeville_ thank you for saying it out loud. @GarethSouthgate you are a total legend, thank you Sir.

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