Klopp’s cameo highlights why we shouldn’t listen to Neville

Ed Angeli

Gary Neville: great pundit but horrific in the dugout. It begs the question, where’s the guy’s dignity? For a man who prides himself on not losing face, it must take some serious swallowing of his ego to criticise managers in such depth from the comfort of the gantry. 

The problem with it, how should fans take his opinion seriously? Although the former Manchester United man tends to give a thorough insight on a certain topic, it has all just felt highly hypocritical, whilst also, wrong.

Neville misjudges situations, he did at Valencia and he did it at England. Where the former United captain had Phil as his right-hand man over in Spain, the pair turned more Chuckle Brothers than a European No. 1 and 2. But no dramas, the pair of them are now on healthy salaries working for the BBC and Sky Sports.

They’ve both been equally as critical in their assessments of defences and goalkeepers. The Loris Karius situation is the stand out example in this case, but then when you look back at the English pair’s record in Valencia, the clean sheets record was about as messy as a Brazzers studio. So, what gives them the right to go Kimbo Slice – RIP2k16 – on managers defensive models?

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Gary tried to bring this modern approach to management, the sort of analysis you see him and Jamie Carragher do from their high tech seats; this strategy was obvious when Neville gave all the players individual iPads with specific instructions on. You can’t communicate to players through a bloody tablet. It’s got to be personal, human interaction, that the likes of Carlo Ancelotti deploy so effectively.

We’re sure what was on these iPads probably contained decent enough direction for the Valencia lads, but that’s the problem. Neville would have had his pundit cap on, the ‘I’m speaking to my millions of viewers on Sky, who love football, and want to hear something insightful from an expert’. Different ball game in management, different instructions needed. So why should we believe what the former United captain is now saying currently on the box is correct?

The real and credible insight comes from those who know how to deliver instructions to players. Want a perfect example? Watch Jurgen Klopp on MNF back in September [interview below]. That was instructions, that was indication of tactics and how to communicate to players. We put Neville on this pedestal because the other sort of analysis we get is either from Paul Merson or BT pundits which know only to purely read of a fucking monitor.

The bottom line is, Neville failed while in the shadows at England as well. He failed here again to communicate his ‘brilliant’ models and theories of the game to the national side, and it ruined the summer for everyone. It would probably have been the case that if you stuck an average Joe in the England dressing room, that people would have said ‘excellent instructions, Gary’. But it’s not the case, you’re not speaking to the public, you’re speaking to elite athletes.

Taking specific results such as the Barcelona hammering and the Iceland embarrassment away from this, Neville failed in too many areas to warrant respect on the box. We can’t expect to hang onto his every word just because it’s said better than, Alan McInally.

He should have another go in a lower league, see how the United man does there – if a success – then he can come back on the box criticizing the way managers go about their business.

 

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