Thursday 11 February 2016

Should Gary Neville be given more time?

I recently ran a twitter poll on whether Gary Neville should be given more time by Valencia or not. 

Here are the results of the poll

52% believed he should be given more time

48% said he should be fired.

My opinion on this is Gary Neville shouldn’t have been given the job in the first place.

Gary Neville had an exceptional career as a footballer. Coming through the youth ranks at Manchester United in the famous class of 92; he had modest technical ability but more than made up for this with good organisational skills, communication, Understanding, desire and work rate. As a coach I value these traits immensely as top flight football isn’t just about stunning technique as you can see in countless players having good careers at the top level.

Neville’s desire and determination took him to the very top with united, and made him England’s most capped full back with 85 caps. When Gary’s playing career was coming to an end he naturally went into coaching and was quickly put through his coaching badges including being invited and going through his UEFA Pro Licence. During this time Gary was appointed as assistant manager/coach for the England National team.

During this busy time Gary made his debut at sky as a pundit on Monday night football and received a lot of plaudits for his work and analysis.

In a short space of time since retiring from football in 2011 Gary Neville has managed to achieve the perfect blend of qualifications and media profile making him almost irresistible to any chairman looking for their next high profile manager.

However does that mean he is capable of doing a job as a manager at a top flight club? My opinion is no, certainly not yet.

The highest qualification a normal coach can reach is an A licence, because anyone who hasn’t played top flight football probably won’t get the chance to go on the invite only Pro Licence. To get to be an A licenced coached, you would need to complete at a minimum your Level 2, UEFA B, A Prep and then your A licence qualification. This process alone can take at least 6 years and that’s if you can get on the next available courses once you have finished the previous one. To actually achieve a Pro Licence as well, the journey of a normal coach would easily take in excess of 8 years.

During this period as a coach you would be working with different levels of players, be it adults in the FA football pyramid leagues or working in academy or elite centres with kids of various ages and abilities. The challenges and experiences of a coach throughout this period are vital and valuable experience. 

Personally you learn way more coaching than you do on the courses themselves and every year you look back a few years and cringe sometimes at how you used to coach only a few years previous as you constantly develop through coaching.

Personality plays a big part in any coaches/managers make up as well especially if you want to go down managing a team rather than just coaching.

So my point is this. Gary Neville because of his playing career and TV profile has managed to shortcut his way to his qualifications at the expense of valuable experience. He is way more employable than most coaches and managers that I know but I would certainly argue that he is less experienced and less capable to manage a team than a lot of people I know in the game.

I don’t believe his England role would of benefited his coaching/managerial career a great deal either so he is learning to be a manager and coach whilst on the job at Valencia a huge club that expects to be in the top 6 and was struggling before he took over.

Add in to the mix the language barrier and you can see why he is struggling to achieve any kind of success at Valencia and I don’t see it turning around quick enough to save his job.

I actually believe Gary Neville will eventually become a good manager. His natural desire and determination will drive him to improve and better himself month in month out, and providing he doesn’t damage his reputation as a coach and manager in the next few years I am sure at some point in the future he will be very successful.

But right now the reality is he is way too inexperienced both as a manager and a coach to be successful at such a club, with such difficult circumstances.

In fact you will not see a more inexperienced manager managing in the top tier of football across Europe, but if you think you know one please comment below.

And as usual in football this is another case of profile and who you know over experience and ability to actually do the job.

Please let me have your comments below. Do you believe Gary was right to get the opportunity at Valencia? How many other managers are there that have better knowledge and experience?

Please keep checking out the posts about our new game Club Soccer Director, which is currently in development. We would love to hear your opinions and what you would love to see in the game.

And who knows you might get the job at Valencia in the game. Let’s hope you have more success.

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