I have the utmost respect for Gary Neville, a fabulous pundit, excellent businessman and an all round good guy. I really feel for him during his wretched time in Spain with Valencia. As a captain he played for the best and he had a career filled with medals. At the time of his playing career he was at the top of the pile, now he is lingering closer to the bottom than anyone ever expected.
His work on Sky as a pundit, alongside Jamie Carragher, has won him a lot of plaudits since he retired from playing the game. Let’s be honest, he was never a well-liked player unless you were a United fan. As he has changed a lot of people’s opinions on himself he took to business, opening up a successful hotel next to the Theatre of Dreams with his fellow Class of 92' teammates. Then moving onto buying Salford City again with his former United colleagues, the team moved from strength to strength and he bought a lot of praise for the small football club just outside of his favourite city. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold, very similar to his highly decorated playing career.
His time in Spain has possibly shown him what a tough life a manager has. Do you think he puts in the time and effort? Of course he is, from watching him on TV and many of his friends talking about how he lives his life, he is extremely driven. You can’t go from being a captain of the best club in the world to moving to Spain and not having the same drive and love for the game as he had as a player.
Unfortunately for Gary, a quote has come to bite him on the behind. He said that if he was involved in a team that lost 7-0 then he wouldn’t be able to look at his family. He has been ridiculed on social media about this quote but I assume that this “banter” is the least of the current Valencia managers' worries.
I am certainly no expert on Spanish football and I haven’t watched any of Valencia’s matches, but I just think Gary set himself up for a massive fall. Obviously Neville is a risk taker by taking this appointment, but should he have thought with his head before his heart and the pressure of fans asking him when he was going to put all his knowledge into management? I think the idea of English coaches working abroad is absolutely fantastic and I think this should be a necessity when becoming a manager in the English leagues. A lot can be learned by coaching in other countries and I think that the English game will gain a lot from this.
Gary Neville is a tough cookie and he will not give up on his job at Valencia. Entering the deep end before you can swim is very, very brave and I hope it works out for him I really do. His intelligence, work rate and overall determination will put him in good stead to achieve whatever he wants, at Valencia or elsewhere.
By Thomas Seabridge - Derby County fan - @