Football

Valencia appoint ex-Man United stalwart Gary Neville as head coach

Valencia have appointed former Manchester United captain Gary Neville as their new head coach until the end of the season.

The Spanish side, who are owned by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, have moved quickly to fill the void left by Nuno Espirito Santo after he handed in his resignation on Sunday.

In statement released on the club's website, Valencia president Chan Lay Hoon said: "We are delighted to have secured Gary so quickly.

"He combines top level coaching experience through his role as a senior coach with the England national team and a world-class playing career with England and Manchester United.

"Throughout his career Gary has always shown great leadership both on and off the pitch. He is hugely respected in English football and it was his personal qualities which persuaded us that he was the right choice to lead Valencia until the end of the season."

First head coach gig

Neville will be taking on his first assignment as a football manager at Valencia, where his younger brother and ex-United teammate Phil is currently assisting interim coach Voro.

The elder Neville will leave his current post as a pundit with Sky Sports with immediate effect to take over the reins of his new club on Sunday (Dec 6).

The 40-year-old ex-England right-back said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity with Valencia. Valencia are a huge football club of immense standing and I know from my time as a player the passion and dedication of the Valencia fans.

"I am really looking forward to working with the club’s talented group of players and am excited about the challenge ahead."

Must-win clash

While he will avoid a daunting first assignment against Barcelona on Saturday, Neville's first managerial test will come in a must-win Champions League Group H clash against Lyon next Wednesday.

Los Che (Valencia's nickname) must beat the French side and hope AA Gent are unable to defeat group leaders Zenit St Petersburg to avoid slipping into the Europa League.

Valencia currently sit in ninth place in La Liga.

One of the immediate reactions to Neville's appointment came from his fellow Sky pundit Jamie Carragher. The former Liverpool defender jokingly comparing it to the time substitute goalkeeper Pegguy Arphexad departed from Anfield.

 

 

Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague hailed Valencia for making a brave decision to hire the untested Neville.

 

 

The move caught many on Twitter, including several prominent football journalists, by surprise, although the jokes started pouring in soon after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Valencia CF Official webpage, Twitter

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