Gary Neville Reveals What Peter Schmeichel Said To Him When He Broke Into First Team
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville is a prime example of how hard work and dedication can be far more beneficial than natural talent.
The 43-year-old didn't exactly grab the headlines, but he worked at his craft and enjoyed a hugely successful 19-year career at Old Trafford.
As we all know, Neville was part of the famous Class Of '92 along with the likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, but many, including Alan Hansen during that infamous Match of the Day episode, doubted them.
It has recently emerged that another unlikely character doubted Neville in particular.
Episode 4 of my podcast 'The Edge with Joey Barton' is now available. In this episode I chat with Gary Neville about winning, setbacks and other topics. I hope you enjoy it. #TheEdgeNeville @deezeruk#MUFC @ManUtd @GNev2@theedgepod_jb- Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 22, 2018
Neville revealed on Joey Barton's latest podcast that Peter Schmeichel initially thought that the right-back wouldn't make it as a player.
"He told me on a Christmas day out, about three or four years after I broke in, 'I genuinely didn't think you were good enough.'
"I thought you were a risk to us winning the league and conceding goals. I thought you would make mistakes - I didn't think you were good enough.'
G Neville: "Peter Schmeichel was horrible to me when I broke into the team. Anytime a goal went in during training, he'd batter a defender if they'd made a mistake, so the standard every day was high. They were all like that. Bruce, Keane, Ince, Sparky." #mufc [the edge]- United Xtra (@utdxtra) February 22, 2018
Neville then admitted that Schmeichel used to call him 'crap' during training sessions. Perhaps these 'words of encouragement' helped him to grow a thicker skin, but it does sound rather harsh from the Danish shot-stopper.
"We used to do crossing practice at the end of training and he used to stand on the penalty spot and catch my crosses and tell me they were crap." Neville said.
Neville proved his doubters wrong and the rest is history.
Thought on Schmeichel's comments during Neville's breakthrough year at Manchester United?