Jamie Carragher teased the return of Gary Neville to Monday Night Football on Twitter.
The former Liverpool defender sent Twitter into a frenzy when he told his followers that a “man who had a spell in Spain and came back earlier than expected” will appear on Sky Sports’ broadcast of Stoke versus Tottenham.
Clearly aware that fans would immediately think of former Valencia manager Neville, Carragher followed up his tweet with a light jab at his Sky Sports colleague.
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When a Twitter user delightedly exclaimed: “YES! GARY IS BACK!!”, Carragher had to deliver the bad news that fans of insightful, interesting analysis all dreaded.
“Sorry, no he’s not. The man on tonight came back with some trophies!”
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Neville's forgetful spell
Neville’s spell at Los Che lasted just four months after he won three of 16 league games in charge.
Also included was a disastrous 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey in February. He was dismissed a month later following a 2-0 home defeat to Celta Vigo.
Neville went to Spain with high hopes of translating his expert analysis of football matches into proficient coaching, but it took 10 games for the former right-back to record his first victory in La Liga.
The Manchester United hero joined up with the England squad for friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for him.
His tenure at Valencia might just have put him off management for the foreseeable future, and Sky Sports would certainly welcome him back to star alongside Carragher.
His current thoughts, though, are with the England squad. He will be Roy Hodgson’s assistant at Euro 2016, which starts in less than two months’ time.
Many defended Neville
Journalists were quick to assess Neville’s brief spell in Spain once his dismissal was announced. Match of the Day host Gary Lineker claimed it “looked a brutally difficult first job”, while Spanish football expert Graham Hunter believes Neville thought he would have been given more time to adjust to his surroundings by owner Peter Lim.
“A cocktail of horrible factors piled against him,” Hunter claimed, per the BBC. “The first problem was he trusted Peter Lim - trusted that he'd be given time.
“I don't think in any way his credibility - as a coach, an analyst or somebody who will be brilliant for British football in the coming years - has been dented one little bit.
“He leaves a club that is still badly wounded, badly put together and he would have been the man - once he learned Spanish fluently - to put the club right again, off the pitch as well as on it, next season."
As the response to Carragher’s tweets prove, Neville is always welcome back in the Sky Sports’ studio.