Surely Rafa has to respect Gary Neville with his glittering record as a Manager…Oh
Valencia supporters were shocked when on 2 December 2015 Gary Neville became their new Manager.
Two years later, Newcastle fans are shocked to Gary Neville have the nerve to criticise how Rafa Benitez manages Newcastle, that is Rafa Benitez who won two incredible La Liga titles in three years against the odds with Valencia.
Valencia fans had seen their team finish fourth in La Liga in 2014/15, qualifying for the Champions League.
However, their manager was disappointed with the team falling below his high standards the following season and resigned on 29 November 2015.
Not that they were having a nightmare but Nuno (the manager currently guiding Wolves to the Premier League) was disappointed with 19 points from 13 games, even though it put them 9th and only two points off fifth place in the table.
The nightmare for Valencia fans was about to arrive.
The owner of Valencia is Peter Lim, the same Peter Lim who owns 50% of Salford FC along with former Man Utd players Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and…Gary Neville.
Valencia supporters were then horrified to see Peter Lim’s judgement clouded by his personal relationship with Gary Neville, appointing him as the new Head Coach/Manager of Valencia despite the fact he had never ever managed before.
Despite a talented team/squad at his disposal, Gary Neville then tried to outdo what John Carver had almost done at Newcastle the previous season.
The Sky Sports presenter (and out of work manager ever since Valencia…) went on a tragic run without a victory in the league, it taking fully 70 days before his first La Liga victory for Valencia.
By 30 March and with Valencia deep in relegation trouble, even his mate Peter Lim had to accept how woeful Gary Neville had been as a manager, sacking him to try and save the club from what would have been a disastrous demotion to the second tier of Spanish football.
Neville was replaced by long-time former Rafa Benitez assistant Pako Ayestaran, who promptly got three wins and a draw in his first five matches to drag Valencia out of relegation trouble.
Other highlights of Neville’s time as manager were getting thrashed 7-0 by Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey, knocked out of the Europa League, as well as losing at home to Lyon in the Champions League and being eliminated at the group stage – this was against a Lyon side who only had one point from their first five group matches.
Gary Neville failed to keep a single clean sheet in La Liga in his entire time as manager and as mentioned above, he has never managed since this debacle at Valencia.
The season before Valencia employed Gary Neville they finished fourth in the league and 21 months after sacking him, this is where Valencia are currently in the league…
Yet, Gary Neville had a go at Rafa Benitez on Wednesday night as the Newcastle boss left half his first team on the bench with crucial games on Saturday and Monday coming up and they faced all conquering Manchester City…
Gary Neville speaking on Sky Sports during Newcastle v Manchester City:
“…you (Newcastle) are going to have a lot of time without the ball…but I also don’t think we should just sit and accept that first 30 minutes.
“No ambition from Newcastle.
“That’s not acceptable in this league.
“There’s defending and then there is showing absolutely no ambition whatsoever.
“If it were a boxing match the referee would have stopped it.”
Next week Gary Neville explains why it is a disgrace when Chris Froome says he can’t win the Tour de France on a Penny Farthing.
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