Gary Neville: Why I called Chelsea ‘Blue Billion Pound Bottlejobs’

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • 27 Feb 2024 09:35 GMT
  • 3 min read
Mauricio Pochettino, Gary Neville, Chelsea, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Gary Neville has attempted to explain why he controversially called Chelsea ‘Blue Billion Pound Bottlejobs’ in the wake of the club’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Liverpool during the Carabao Cup final on Sunday thanks to an extra-time header by Virgil van Dijk.

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The Blues have been heavily criticised for losing to a Liverpool team that was decimated by injuries and included a host of youth players in their line-up.

After Van Dijk nodded home Kostas Tsimikas’ late corner, Neville produced a line of commentary that has gone viral on X.

When the Dutchman’s header nestled into the far corner of Djordje Petrovic’s net, Neville said: “It's Klopp's kids against The Blue Billion Pound Bottlejobs. I don’t have any sympathy for Chelsea.”

Neville was, of course, referring to the fact that Chelsea have spent over €1 billion on transfers since Todd Boehly bought the club, but have flopped badly on the pitch.

And the ex-Man Utd defender appears to regret his choice of words, and hopes the tag doesn’t stick.

Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure at Chelsea
© IMAGO - Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure at Chelsea

What did Gary Neville say?

"I feel bad, I'm not going to sit here and say that it was an instinctive commentary moment,” Neville said.

“I was getting angrier. If you hear my commentary during the extra time I was getting angry with Chelsea from the first minute of extra time because I could smell the fear in Chelsea from the very first bit of extra time when I said, ‘Why are they sitting off them? Why are they letting these young lads grow?’

“There was a song that Liverpool fans were singing for about five minutes because they could smell the blood. They could smell the fear in those blue shirts. Chelsea shrunk and I use the word shrunk.

“And maybe bottle-job is a very strong word. But you know, playing with absolute fear, froze whatever you want to call it. That's what we saw in extra time yesterday. And you know, ultimately, I don't want that tag to stick with them because the reality is there's a lot of talented young players there."

Chelsea are currently 11th in the Premier League and their only chance of winning a trophy now is in the FA Cup where they play Leeds in the fifth round on Wednesday.

Read more about: Premier League, Chelsea, Liverpool

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