Football

Gary Neville becomes only the fourth Englishman to manage in the Champions League

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Gary Neville may have lost his first game in charge of Valencia on Wednesday night, but the former right-back wrote himself into English football history in doing so.

According to The Sun, Neville became only the fourth Englishman to manage a club in the Champions League - quite remarkable given Europe's elite competition is in its 23rd campaign.

For a long time there has been concern over the lack of English managers establishing themselves at the highest level in football, leading to questions of the managerial standard on these shores.

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Bournemouth's Eddie Howe has proven a success in management after steering Bournemouth to an unprecedented promotion to the Premier League last season, whilst the sacking of Garry Monk as Swansea manager served as a reminder of the issue surrounding English management.

Neville is in some prestige company when it comes to English managers in the Champions League, with the likes of Harry Redknapp (Tottenham), Sir Bobby Robson (Porto/Newcastle) and Ray Harford (Blackburn Rovers) having achieved the same feat.

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Redknapp - the latest manager to have tasted Champions League football in 2010/11 - and Tottenham enjoyed an excellent run in their first year in the competition, beating some of Europe's biggest names.

Then equipped with the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, both now plying their trade at Real Madrid, Spurs downed both Inter and AC Milan en route to the quarter-finals, only to be knocked out by the aforementioned Los Blancos.

Robson, on the other hand, experienced the Champions League with Porto in 1993/94 and Newcastle in 2003/04.

The late Englishman steered the Portuguese outfit to the semi-finals of the competition only to be beaten by Barcelona, and with Newcastle failed to progress in a second group phase featuring the La Liga giants and Inter.

Harford, finally, took charge of Blackburn in the 1995 Champions League, which ended miserably for the Lancashire club, finishing bottom of their group with one win.

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Topics:
Gary Neville
Premier League
Football
Manchester United

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