FANS were left perplexed, angry and utterly confused as Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher bizarrely walked off during their pre-match punditry last night.
The Sky Sports pair were asked a question by presenter Kelly Cates ahead of Liverpool’s win at Southampton – but simply left her while answering.
Neville, 44, started his response pitch-side at St Mary’s but as the camera continued to roll, he and his partner-in-punditry Carragher headed down the touchline.
Cates asked: “How significant was that last win?” referring to Saints’ victory over Brighton last weekend.
Neville said: “It was a huge win,” but then started walking off.
He then turned to Carragher, 41, and added: “Do you think they’re now safe? Five points clear of relegation with a game in hand. They’re obviously in good form as well.”
Carragher started his response and Cates could be seen standing on her own still in position in the background.
The former rivals were heading inside to interview Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl ahead of their clash with title-chasing Liverpool.
It is understood the move was planned – although producers probably did not envisage the walk off looking quite so harsh on Cates, who took to Twitter to clarify the incident.
She said: “They were going to interview Hasenhuttl in the tunnel! Would have looked weird if they didn’t have anything to say on the way there.”
But there is no doubt the move certainly came across as rude for some viewers, who took to Twitter to air their views.
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have got to be the rudest d***heads on this planet!
Twitter user Dan Wolf
User Dan Wolf blasted: “Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have got to be the rudest d***heads on this planet!”
Another said: “What is this? I can’t make sense of this disrespect from Carragher and Neville.”
One user added: “Feel sorry for Kelly Cates she’s good at her job unlike Carragher and Neville who’ll always be big heads.”
But while the pair came under criticism, plenty blamed Sky Sports for the misdirection.
One person wrote: “They could have just said thanks to her. I don’t think Neville and carragher have done anything wrong here. Just really poor direction from sky.”
Another said: “Apparently it was planned that Gary Neville & Jamie Carragher would walk off, but they could have stuck around to answer Kelly Cate’s question first! Just weird….& comes off as totally rude.”
A third tweeted: “Neville & Carragher probably got messages in their ears, hilarious still.”
And a fourth tweeted: “I wish I saw the rest of the video because perhaps it wasn’t something that is as stupid as this looks. But, the lack of set up was weird and the camera work on Neville and Carragher looked awful.”
Carragher, 41, was also criticised for his “bias” commentary during the game, which Liverpool came from behind in to win 3-1 and return to the top of the table.
He claimed his former side should have been awarded a penalty when Maya Yoshida slid in on Naby Keita in the box but referee Paul Tierney waved away the protests.
However, on replays it showed there was definite contact between the two players – although it looked as if Keita may have already been on the way down when he was touched.
Carragher was firm, saying: “It’s a penalty. When you are a defender and come across like that and do not get the ball you have a problem.
“What a position the referee had. You can’t complain with that. There was a big shout from behind the goal.”
Watching fans were not impressed with his opinion, however.
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Andy wrote: “I quite like Jamie Carragher but the bias is getting a bit much. ‘You can’t blame the official for missing that one’ when Liverpool score an offside goal.
“‘Definite penalty’ When Keita dives in the box.”
Jack Simmons added: “I can’t stand Carragher, why is he allowed to commentate over Liverpool games? He’s insanely biased.”