Santiago Canizares warns Gary Neville about new role at Valencia

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Gary Neville has been given a friendly warning by a Valencia legend that the Mestalla isn't a place for 'apprentices'.

Former goalkeeper, Santiago Canizares made over 400 appearances for the La Liga side, captained the side for eight seasons and won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies as well as the UEFA Cup.

The shot-stopper also earned 46 international caps for the Spanish national team, but bizarrely missed out on the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea due to an aftershave bottle incident.


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Talking to the Sun, Canizares has insisted that Neville won't be given the opportunity to learn on-the-job and that the fans of Los Che will be expecting the most from the Englishman.

Canizares said: "In Valencia we know almost nothing about Gary Neville, he’s an unknown." He went on to further add, "Three years ago the club gave a former player, Mauricio Pellegrino, his first proper coaching job... but it did not work out."

The Spaniard also went on to discuss the doubt that the fans had about the appointment by commenting on the relationship between Neville and Peter Lim, the club's Singaporean businessman owner.

"[Peter] Lim has hired someone he knows, a friend who happens to have coaching badges. He has very good personal references."

Another potential hurdle that Canizares pointed out was the language barrier Neville would face and pointed to David Moyes' situation at Real Sociedad as his example, saying that the inability Neville has to speak Spanish fluently - if at all - will not help his cause and could make it more difficult for him to adapt to Spanish football, as shown with the former Everton and Manchester United boss.

Canizares does, however, feel that the former right-back does have the chance to ensure a top-four finish in La Liga, which would give Los Che Champions League football the following season.

"There is still a long way to go this season and Valencia are only five points behind fourth, so it’s not difficult, especially because none of the teams above them have the squad that Valencia have."

“If he can get Valencia to perform at even 80 per cent of their potential they will achieve that objective, so it’s all set up nicely for him".

La Liga
Gary Neville
Manchester United

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