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Former Man Utd star plays down criticism of Chelsea man

David Luiz, Chelsea. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport David Luiz, Chelsea. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

Friday, April 12, 2013
8:02 AM

Gary Neville insists he has no axe to grind with Chelsea defender David Luiz.

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The former Manchester United defender is currently splitting his time between his coaching role with England and his job as main pundit for Sky Sports.

Neville has earned high praise for the articulate and insightful manner in which he delivers his analysis.

But, without meaning to, sometimes he goes too far.

Never was that more true than following Chelsea’s defeat at Liverpool last season, when he likened Luiz’s performance to “being controlled by a 10-year-old on a PlayStation”.

It was taken as a signal Neville did not feel Luiz was a good player, which the 85-times capped full-back is adamant is not correct.

“Once or twice I have overstepped the mark and said things in innocence but I can see why it gets portrayed in a certain way,” he said.

“The David Luiz comment was a moment in time, describing a performance within a game.

“It wasn’t ‘I don’t think he is a good player and he never will be a good player’ like it has been interpreted for the last two years.

“He was sensational against United at Old Trafford and there are incredible merits in him.

“But through that statement it is like people think I have turned off him as a player.”

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