Phil Neville defends brother Gary's punditry

 

Everton captain Phil Neville maintains his brother Gary is always "honest" in his new role as a television pundit.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was left "gobsmacked" after the former Manchester United skipper's outspoken assessment of his side's deficiencies in recent weeks - which included a claim defender David Luiz had played against Liverpool like being controlled by a 10-year-old using a PlayStation and that he would not want to be in the Blues dressing room.

Neville, though, feels his brother just tells things "how it is".

"Gary has been fantastic - he has impressed everybody. I think he has won over a lot of people, and has won over a lot of people by being honest," said the Everton midfielder.

"He is saying it how it is. That is all you can ask for from a pundit.

"People like listening to him - I know I certainly do. The hour on a Monday night before the game is always fascinating, hearing someone talk who knows what they're talking about."

Midfielder Neville, who came through the Old Trafford youth ranks alongside his brother before signing for Everton in August 2005, added: "I don't think he has been outspoken at all - that's the one thing he hasn't been.

"He has done Manchester City games, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea - and I think he has given a fair account of what has been happening.

"Even though he is a die-hard Man United fan I don't think anyone can label what he has said - since he's been on Sky I think he has been pretty impartial."

Everton lost 1-0 at Arsenal on Saturday, where in-form Gunners captain Robin van Persie netted a superb winner.

David Moyes felt his side had shown plenty of industry, but just lacked a bit of a cutting edge in front of goal.

Neville feels scoring is a team responsibility.

He said: "People say 'you need a centre-forward'. Well we are getting in great positions, we are just not producing the final pass.

"Your final pass doesn't come from your centre-forward, it comes from your wide players, your midfielders, your full-backs or your defenders.

"Maybe we need to start giving our centre-forwards more chances to score.

"I know they are probably getting the brunt of the criticism that they are not scoring enough goals, but maybe as a team we need to provide better service for them.

"Against Arsenal we must have put in 20-25 crosses, and got in good positions, but we hit the first man, or we didn't deliver in time, or we made the wrong decision.

"That is something that has been happening all season and is something we need to improve on."

PA

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