Gary Neville going to Valencia is good for English football

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Gary Neville shocked the football world when he announced he would be taking over as head coach of Valencia.

The fact their owner has a 50% share of Salford City FC, which Neville co-owns alongside the other members of the Class of 92, was clearly the driving factor. While he will be badly missed from Sky Sports, the next question is how it will affect England?

Neville has already stated that he will take a more backseat role as assistant manager for his country and Roy Hodgson was quick to back the former Manchester United star's decision.


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It is unlikely to have an immediate effect as the next international break England have, Valencia will not play any matches - meaning Neville will be available to join up with the squad.

Valencia fans seem fairly pleased with the appointment, if nothing else they hope he will end the apparent control that agent Jorge Mendes has over the football club. While the supporters may not know of the outspoken reputation Neville has in England, his first press conference proved he isn't hiding from the principles that have made him popular.

Honest and outspoken, he made no attempt to disguise the size of the challenge he now faces. The Valencia fans demand to be competing with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona without the financial capability of doing so. They would argue that if Atletico Madrid can do it, why can't they.

Owner Peter Lim will acknowledge the risk he has taken as shown by the size of Neville's contract - only until the end of the season. With brother Phil already established at the football club - and also has a head start in learning the language - Gary already has a link between himself and the players. His brother's effectiveness in this role could determine the success of this new era for one of Spain's great football clubs.

For neutrals, the hope must be that this is a success, proving that English coaches can be successful abroad. This might also lead to more British coaches getting top jobs in England, which is also desirable among most native fans.

Only time will tell if this experiment will be a success. It is difficult to think of any group of people in this country who would want this appointment to be unsuccessful given how much is riding on it. The future of British managers could well depend on the next six months.

La Liga
Gary Neville
Phil Neville
Manchester United

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