Gary Neville speaks about his failed spell at Valencia
Gary Neville spoke to Sky Sports' podcast about his time at Valencia, ignoring Alex Ferguson's advice and the managers he struggled against.
Gary Neville spoke on the 'Off Script' podcast on Sky Sports about his time at Valencia, ignoring Alex Ferguson's advice when he first took charge and the managers he struggled most against in LaLiga.
The former Manchester United player admits he got several things wrong when he arrived in Valencia. From thinking about it the wrong way to not listening to his former manager, Ferguson,
"Early on, it was clear that some players were unhappy," Neville said. "I should have made big decisions on players that weren't committed to club at that point. I remember speaking to Sir Alex Ferguson quite early on and his advice was: "Just get rid of them, son. Protect yourself. Only have people in the dressing room that are facing the same direction as you."
"But I didn't listen. I tried to talk some players round to staying until the end of the season. But they weren't happy. I ignored Sir Alex Ferguson's advice. Not my wisest moment."
Neville on lost confidence at Valencia
Neville managed the club for 28 games winning 10, drawing seven and losing 11. There was a 0-7 beating to Barcelona at the start that hurt Neville. He admits eventually it got to the stage where he didn't want to take training.
"I promised myself when I left Valencia that I'd never go weak on a big decision again. I went weak for a period of four months where I lost my confidence. I woke up one morning and I didn't want to go to training. It got to the point where I didn't even want to take training sessions - I was handing it over to my coaches. I felt embarrassed doing the sessions in broken English where everything was done through a translator. I'm a good communicator so the idea I couldn't get my message across meant it all came on top of me quite quickly," Neville said.
The Sky Sports pundit says Ernesto Valverde and Diego Simeone made him feel particularly out of his depth. "Ernesto Valverde especially. He went on to manage Barcelona but I faced him when he was at Athletic Bilbao. He changed his system three times over the course of the game and he was always one step in front of me. It felt like he was toying with me, like I was a little puppet. I could feel it on the touchline. That's what inexperience feels like," he said.
"Against Atletcio Madrid, I felt like Diego Simeone was strangling me gently. He was almost torturing me in football terms over 90 minutes. At the end of the game, I went to shake his hand and he stormed past me. I didn't like that. Whatever happens, you go and shake your opponent's hand - that's respect. I thought he was one horrible so-and-so," Neville continued.
Neville left the club in March of 2016 after taking charge in December the year before. The former right-back has been open and honest about the situation in the past but never in such detail. Valencia ended up finishing the season in 12th place in the league as Neville returned to his role as Sky Sports Monday Night Football pundit.
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