Despite Arsenal putting together a sturdy challenge that ran until the penultimate weekend of this campaign, the former Manchester United defender has explained why Jurgen Klopp’s side are best placed for a charge in 2023-24.
The number of clubs with genuine ambition to win the league may be in short supply after the summer given the issues with regular hopefuls Tottenham and Chelsea, leading to United, Liverpool and Arsenal being the likely candidates alongside a Newcastle team juggling their return to the Champions League.
For Neville, the key to challenging is “an alignment of quality and mentality” starting with having a manager capable of going toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola.
“Manchester City’s players have real quality, that goes without saying, but in the most difficult moments they’re able to put a run together and come through difficult challenges,” he told Sky Sports.
“That takes a lot, it takes a manager to guide them and bring stability. Other clubs have to look at that model - it happened at Manchester United under Alex Ferguson, at Liverpool under Bob Paisley and Bill Shankley, and Arsene Wenger had a period at Arsenal.
“You’ve got to be a great manager and have a great group of players to be able to do it consistently like [City] have. The other teams have got to aspire to that.
“At this moment in time, the ones who’ve proved it over the last five, six years are Liverpool.
“I know Arsenal have run City close this year but the only team I can say that have demonstrated they can get close to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
“They’ve dropped well below their standards this season but you don’t know whether they’ll get back to those standards next season - because they’ve proven they can do it before.”