Gary Neville has praised Tottenham Hotspur supporters for their show of solidarity towards Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka during the pre-season north London derby clash on August 8.
The young England winger was returning to club action for the first time since he, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were racially abused for missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Former Manchester United defender turned Sky Sports Pundit, Neville, described the moment as a “beautiful thing” and says it’s a mark of how far the football world has come over the last two decades.
Speaking on Sky Sports before Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Brentford on Friday evening, Neville said: “Well I think there is an outpouring of support and I think what happened with Tottenham fans with Saka was a beautiful thing when you think about it.
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“The idea that Tottenham fans coming off the back of a tournament where an Arsenal player has missed a penalty, 20 years ago that would’ve been battered by opposition fans so there has been fans and there is an acceptance that this has to stop.”
Saka himself was grateful for the Spurs fans’ warm reception as he was seen applauding the crowd upon entering the field of play.
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He later followed that up with a message on his official Instagram account that read: “So much respect for this. Thank you.”
Although Arsenal’s season started with disappointment after a difficult loss to newly promoted Brentford, Saka will hope to build on an extremely productive campaign last time out having notched seven goals and provided nine assists in all competitions.