Gary Neville uses Crystal Palace to show how far Sunderland have fallen

Selhurst Park

The Sky Sports pundit is disappointed there is more passion on show at Selhurst Park than the Stadium of Light.

Gary Neville says he can hear far more passion at Crystal Palace these days than at Sunderland, according to his regular column in the Daily Telegraph.

Indeed, the England coach and current pundit argued in his column that football in the north is slowly losing all its power, with London and the south taking over.

And Sunderland were one of the biggest examples he used. Neville says he used to consider Sunderland a horrible place to play because of the passion on show from the Black Cats.

Now, though, Neville has used Crystal Palace to show how far the Wearside outfit have fallen.

The former Manchester United right-back didn't mean any disrespect to Palace but merely stated the disappointing aspect of a stadium full of 49,000 fans offering less than one with only a 26,000 capacity.

Again, Neville wasn't criticising the fans but rather their respective responses to the lack of passion on show from the players at Sunderland - and quite the opposite at Crystal Palace.

Neville told the Telegraph: "I remember us losing a game at Sunderland and Adrian Heath and Peter Reid refusing to give me the ball back on the touchline - and the slanging match that ensued. It was a horrible place to play because of the passion bursting out of the ground.

"Now, I get the feeling the squad is riddled with people who can’t wait to get the first train out of there after the match. I can go to Crystal Palace now and hear far more passion than at Sunderland."

Neville's theory makes sense but he skipped over one crucial part.

Indeed, he stated that Manchester is the exception in the north - but that's a rather big point that needs elaborating.

Could it, in fact, simply be to do with the size and economic status of the cities involved? Manchester and London are two big hubs and therefore boast the best football clubs. Could its simply be a case of that rather than north v south?

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