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Neville, Carragher Pick Premier League’s Finest

Premier League Team of the Season: Insights from Neville and Carragher

Neville and Carragher Laud Arsenal’s Defensive Duo

In the fervent debate surrounding this season’s standout performers, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have not hesitated to spotlight the defensive linchpins of Arsenal, Gabriel and William Saliba. The duo’s solid performances have been crucial in Arsenal’s campaign, allowing them to contest the title with Manchester City right up to the climactic finale of the league.

Gary Neville, during a detailed discussion on Monday Night Football, was effusive in his praise for Gabriel, who has been a cornerstone of the team’s defence.

“We talk a lot about Saliba but Gabriel has been absolutely outstanding,”

he said. The return of Gabriel to the starting lineup was a game-changer for the Gunners, according to Neville. “There was the potential for him to leave [in the summer] but Arsenal weren’t themselves, they tried different things… once Gabriel came in he was outstanding. Absolutely brilliant.”

Future Legends in the Making

Carragher’s analysis echoed that sentiment, suggesting a bright future for the pair. “I think if this partnership stays together for the next three, four years we’re talking about them alongside Ferdinand and Vidic, Carvalho and Terry,” he remarked. This comparison places them in the pantheon of Premier League defensive greats, highlighting their potential legacy.

Midfield and Attack: Season’s Best Picks

The team selection from Neville and Carragher also featured a midfield trio of Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard, and Rodri, with youngsters Cole Palmer and Phil Foden providing width. Neville singled out Odegaard for particular acclaim, anointing him his player of the year. “I didn’t have to think about it at all, he’s a beautiful player and he knits everything together. An absolutely unbelievable football player,” Neville gushed. He suggested Odegaard’s playmaking would further flourish with a sharp striker ahead of him: “If he had a striker that made those darting runs, a [Sergio] Aguero type, the number of chances he’d make is unbelievable.”

Defenders and Forward Choices Differ

While Neville added Ben White, Emi Martinez, Erling Haaland, and Destiny Udogie to his best XI, Carragher opted for Kevin De Bruyne, Jordan Pickford, Virgil van Dijk, and gave the nod to Ollie Watkins over Haaland. This diversity in choices underscores the subjective nature of such selections, influenced by individual performances and strategic impact throughout the season.

Both pundits agreed on Cole Palmer as their young player of the year and highlighted Declan Rice as the best signing. Manchester United’s season was deemed underwhelming, marking them as the underachievers of the year.

The strategic insights and detailed appraisals from Neville and Carragher provide a fascinating glimpse into the tactical nuances that define a season, and their selections offer a template for discussing the premier talents of the league.

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