World of Sport

Keys: Neville’s ‘too close to Manchester United’

Former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys has accused current pundit Gary Neville of having 'an agenda' on the air.

Neville was stinging in his criticism of Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea after the Spaniard's mistake helped Tottenham earn a late point against the Red Devils last weekend.

Neville said in his post-match analysis that the United players were unlikely to be forgiving of De Gea's mistake, commenting: "The idea that they're saying 'unlucky mate, let's go and have a drink,' well, that is not that place. Anybody is misguided if they believe that is what happens.

"There is an incredible amount of accountability in that dressing room; it is not a place that is forgiving, it is not a place where you won't get people who will confront each other when mistakes are made."

However, Keys, who left Sky for talkSPORT in 2011 along with the sacked Andy Gray after perceived sexist off-air comments from the two were leaked to the media, said on his radio show that he believed Neville's criticism must have been prompted by somebody at Old Trafford.

"I think he was sent out with an agenda. I don't think Gary would have done that had he not been told, 'Listen, finger him'. I don't think you can nail a goalkeeper in that way," Keys said.

Keys then went on to further criticise Neville's role as a coach with the England national team by telling the Daily Mail: "'I don't think he can do both jobs. It will continue to compromise him. He's also too close to Manchester United."

When informed of Keys' observation via Twitter, Neville's response was straight to the point.

"This is not interesting it's wrong," he said. "I never have and never will take instructions off anybody to say anything!"

Neville subsequently removed the Tweet, even though the response was understandable given no one has questioned his objectivity before.

In addition, the England assistant coach had already underlined how highly he rates De Gea in another Twitter posting.

"For the record I think De Gea can be a great GK. He is young in an unforgiving environment and will physically mature in next two years."