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Phil Neville has gone a little bit quiet on Wolves and Newcastle…

4 years ago

Phil Neville had plenty to say not so long ago.

Specifically, back in late September.

Only half a dozen matches into the season and Neville insisted, without being prompted, that Wolves were the greatest side to come up from the Championship (see below).

When questioned about the Newcastle United 1993/94 Kevin Keegan side, Phil Neville was adamant, even KK’s side weren’t a patch on this Wolves side.

Coincidentally, when Neville made his Wolves comments, they had just drawn at Old Trafford. Back then Man U weren’t great and now we know that for sure, Phil Neville though with his red and white glasses on.

This isn’t a go at Wolves, good luck to them, they have come up, invested, and are having a bit of a go.

However, pundits/experts such as Phil Neville are a complete joke, how can you come out with such nonsense based on half a dozen games and a couple of draws against the Manchester club.

As it stands, Wolves have now played 12, won 4, drawn 4, lost 4. Their four victories ave been 1-0 wins over West Ham, Palace and Burnley, plus a 2-0 over Southampton.

They are now 11th in table with 12 points, having scored 12 goals and conceded 13.

If you ask me, forget all about any comparisons with the brilliant Keegan team of 1993/94, surely the comparison has to be with Rafa’s 2017/18 vintage! A well organised team that defends resolutely but hasn’t got enough quality to score goals.

That Keegan team finished third in 1993/94 after promotion, in a 42 game season they scored 82 goals and ended up with 77 points.

Taking the average over a 38 match season, Wolves would now have to average 2.4 goals and 2.08 points per game, if they were to match than NUFC KK team.

I think in reality they could just possibly match the 10th place Newcastle achieved last season.

However, with only one point from the last 12 including defeats to Brighton and Watford, Wolves and Phi Neville might just be looking over their shoulders.

My earlier article on The Mag – 24 September 2018:

Phil Neville should maybe stick to talking about his expert subject, women’s football.

The former Man Utd player showing himself up when appearing on Match of The Day 2 on Sunday night.

After having watched Wolves draw away against what looks a very average Manchester United team, Phil Neville came out with a well over the top claim.

This is what Neville and MOTD 2 presenter Mark Chapman said in their exchange:

Phil Neville:

“Defensively they (Wolves) are really solid, you saw the (Man) United game yesterday, they (Man Utd) struggled to break them down.

“They (Wolves) are the best side to ever come up from the Championship.

“I think they are brilliantly coached, I think he has got the balance right, Nuno, between defending in numbers and strength, then attacking with quality in midfield.”

Mark Chapman:

“So in the Premier League era, you would have them better than say Kevin Keegan and Newcastle United who came up with Andy Cole up front?”

Phil Neville:

“Yes, I think they (Wolves) are the best side that has ever come up from the Championship.

“They have spent money, they have got quality players. You saw on Saturday the strength in quality they have got on the bench, the quality up front, the two midfielders.

“They will not be scared to go to any Premier League ground.”

Fair play to Wolves because they have ambitious owners who are having a go and look to have a decent side BUT to suggest they are better than Keegan’s 1993/94 side on such little evidence is hilarious.

So far Wolves have played six games and only beaten Burnley and West Ham – both 1-0, two clubs who are really struggling. They have lost to Leicester and as well as the draw on Saturday, have drawn at home to Everton who played for 50 minutes with 10 men,  and got a creditable but fortunate home draw against Man City despite having only two shots on target and the away side dominating.

I think Wolves will do ok but that NUFC team was top quality.

Peter Beardsley missed the start of the season through injury and Keegan’s side won only two of the first eight matches, when you looked how the season turned out, who knows what could have happened with Beardsley from the start?

Keegan’s team finished third in the Premier League after promotion and as you can see below, they actually scored more goals than anybody else, including Phil Neville’s beloved Man Utd. As for conceding, Newcastle only let in three more than the champions.

The final 1993/94 Premier League table:

Cole and Beardsley were brilliant together and I would argue they were the greatest front two in the Premier League era, that season they scored 65 goals between them (55 of those in the Premier League).

I would be amazed if Wolves’ strikers are within a million miles of those two.

As well as many other good players, that season Kevin Keegan had six (past, present or future) England internationals, with Venison, Bracewell, Lee and Howey, as well as the front two.

Also, if Phil Neville wants to go down the nonsensical route of claiming it is all different now (reality is you can only compare to teams/clubs of the same era), then surely it then makes Man Utd’s title win that 1993/94 season as all but worthless, if football is supposedly so much better now.


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