Opinion: Will Gary Neville Prosper As A Manager?

Will Gary Neville Prosper As A Manager?

It’s quite clear by now that Manchester United fans would finally watch La Liga with a glint of interest, thanks to Gary Neville’s appointment at Valencia, after Nuno Santo’s resignation as the manager of the club after a 1-0 defeat to Sevilla. It was never expected- the appointment, but as soon as the news regarding it broke out, United fans were left rejoicing, as if their former skipper had joined them, instead of Valencia.

Gary Neville
Gary Neville

This happens to be Neville’s first stint as a first team coach and it’s nice to see an English manager stepping out of his country to gain a fair amount of managerial experience. David Moyes did do that, but it wasn’t his first stint as a first team coach in foreign pastures. After his job as an assistant coach of the English National Team, this happens to be Neville’s first experience of handling the club fully. But the question which first arose is, much before the actual appointment of the fierce right back is- would he achieve success as a gaffer.

Valencia happen to be one of the most demanding clubs in Europe right now, a club that does belong to the second tier of elite clubs, much like Liverpool or Spurs of England. They’ve got a sugar daddy owner in Peter Lim, who has been running this ambitious football club in an almost dictatorial kind of a manner. The Singaporean is one of the most influential personalities in world football, who has good relations with Jorge Mendes, who again is a very acclaimed and influential person in football.

Lim is a kind of an owner who loves to flaunt the goods of whatever he owns- buying heralded players and running the club as if it’s something which reaps him the profit that he wants. Regard for the good of the club, apart from showing off flashy goods is something he doesn’t have. And his relations with Mendes are something that are transforming Valencia into a business based club, who are more into reaping profits.It’s said that Peter Lim signed Nuno Santo from Rio Ave because he was easy to get and knew the Spanish dialect. He never realized that if a manager has to succeed at a club, there must a connect between him and the fans of the club. And that never happened in Santo’s case. He was forced into taking the decisions that Lim asked him to take, but all that the fans knew was that Nuno Santo is not the right man for the job at the Mestalla.

There was no communication at the club whatsoever, the fans could never identify themselves with their Portuguese manager as he struggled to understand the club. He was acting as a servant of the people who worked above him in the hierarchy and whenever something went wrong, the manager was treated as the evil force at the club, while the owner watched the show unfold. The manager acts on the directions of the owner,

Valencia’s last six managers haven’t been special at all, they’ve been random people picked up from a club where they hardly did anything out of the ordinary. Mauricio Pellegrino, Ernesto Valverde and Nuno Santo himself are examples of managers who have been appointed as if picking up an apple from a basket with a blindfold on, by Peter Lim. And Gary Neville is another one of those managers.

He may have an argumentative streak, that is well known among United fans, but it doesn’t mean that he’d succeed at any football club, that being a manager for the first time. He’s not used to the Spanish cultures and customs and won’t know any Spanish words apart from Uno Dos Tres, Yo Hablo Ingles or Hola, much like David Moyes who struggled a lot with the language and communication at Sociedad. And this being his first experience of being a first team coach, he’ll struggle a lot. Working under Peter Lim and not being someone who knows the club and he’s someone fans won’t be able to make a connect with. It isn’t his fault really, but he’s destined to fail at Mestalla.

Written by Kaustubh Pandey

Gonzalo Higuain

Scouting For North Londoners: 5 Top Strikers Arsenal And Tottenham Should Target This January

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Manchester United Or Chelsea: Where Should This Speed Merchant Head Off To?