GARY NEVILLE picked nine Manchester-based players in his Premier League team of the season – and there was still no room for John Stones.
The Sky Sports pundit and Jamie Carragher appeared on Monday Night Football yesterday to go through their end-of-season awards.
And the former United right-back found it difficult to overlook the teams sitting first and second in the table for his best XI from 2020-21.
Both pundits went for a 4-3-3 formation and included Ruben Dias, Luke Shaw, Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Phil Foden and Harry Kane in their teams.
Of the remaining five spots for Neville, he chose Chelsea stopper Edouard Mendy, City pair Kyle Walker and Ilkay Gundogan as well as United dup Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford.
Speaking on his defence, Neville told Sky Sports: “Sometimes you can over-complicate it but Kyle Walker has become an excellent performer in a defensive position.
“He’s been a lot more disciplined this season.
“John Stones had a fantastic season but he’s covered by Stones and Dias.
“Other than Dias, Harry Maguire is the other outstanding centre back in the league. That’s nothing to do with Manchester United.
“He has been reliant, consistent, he is starting to show authority. If they had him and Dias together I think they would be unstoppable.”
In comparison, Carragher completed his selections with Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez, West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal, Stones, Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and Spurs forward Son Heung-min.
He hailed the way Martinez has helped transform Aston Villa this season and confessed his love for Coufal.
Carragher added: “Since Thomas Tuchel has come in, N’Golo Kante has been as good as anyone in the league, especially some of his outrageous Champions League performances.
“Gary’s team could not cope without someone sitting in midfield. My team beats his team 100 per cent. That is a fact.”
There was no room, therefore, in either XI for 20-goal hero Mo Salah chasing the Golden Boot, Ederson on 18 clean sheets – the most in the division – nor any Leicester players chasing Champions League qualification.
Elsewhere, the Sky pairing also selected their player, young player, signing and manager of the season.
Neville and Carragher agreed on Dias as their standout performer.
Since his club-record £64.5million arrival from Benfica last summer, the Portuguese has been in brilliant form and could win the treble in his first season.
Carragher said: “He’s come in and been the best player in the league. City always score the most goals but they have not won this league the typical Pep way.
“Last season defensively they weren’t as good, there was a weakness. Dias is like Carles Puyol, I love watching defenders like him and John Terry.
“His leadership qualities at 23, to go into a team with that many big players and look a leader, I think that is pretty special.”
They also agreed on City and England star Foden as the best young player in the Premier League.
Carragher, meanwhile, went for Tomas Soucek for the impact he has had at West Ham as they close in on European football.
They both opted for Pep Guardiola as their manager but admitted that may have to change by the end of the season depending on who finishes in the top four and wins the FA Cup and Champions League.
Ruben Dias was handed the player of the season from both punditsCredit: Getty
Pep Guardiola has the provisional title of manager of the season while Phil Foden wrapped up young playerCredit: EPA
The Sky Sports pundits made their selections on Monday Night Football togetherCredit: Action Images
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