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Aug 11, 2011

Neville doubts Liverpool challenge

Former Manchester United skipper Gary Neville does not think Liverpool can challenge for the Premier League title this season despite spending £100 million on new players since Kenny Dalglish's return.

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Dalglish, who guided Liverpool to three league titles during his first stint as manager between 1985 and 1991, has added the likes of Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson to his squad since succeeding Roy Hodgson in January and believes his side are now good enough to challenge for English football's top trophy.

However, Neville, who won eight titles during his 20 years at Old Trafford, feels it will be a while yet before Liverpool have a realistic chance of add to the 18th league title they won back in 1990, a total which United surpassed last season.

"Liverpool are getting to that point where they need that success now. The club demands it," Neville told The Sun. "Going back to 1992-93 you just become very desperate and very wanting. You become needy.

"You feel like it's a goal, it's a challenge, rather than something to get excited about. You can see exactly what Kenny Dalglish is trying to do there. He has brought an identity back to the club. Whether they can go on and win the title... I'm not sure whether that will happen this season."

The former England international also believes Chelsea will be United's main title rival but thinks neighbours Manchester City, whom United beat in the Community Shield on Sunday, can also push them close.

He said: "The reality is that the first and second best teams in the country for the last five years have been United and Chelsea. City will challenge, there's no doubt about that. But I look at Chelsea and think of them as being the main challengers for five years now. And I see no reason why that should change as a lot of the same players are there. For me, I see Liverpool as just ahead of Tottenham."

Although Neville has ruled Arsenal out of the title race he has urged the club's fans remain patient with manager Arsene Wenger, who has not won a trophy since 2005.

"I can understand Arsenal fans wondering [what's going on] - fans are impatient," Neville told The Independent. "They need trophies but I wouldn't begin to even think about losing Arsene Wenger. They wouldn't have done any better under any other manager.

"Wenger is there for the long haul. He is still doing an excellent job and that's why he remains in the job. They are two to three players away from making that extra step. They have been close and then faded away.

"They need to hang on to the players they have got or invest in new ones but never underestimate what the manager can achieve with players. People are too quick to jump on the bandwagon. Nobody else could have achieved what he has achieved and playing the quality he has. He should not be under pressure. As a club, they believe in the long term."

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