Gary Neville’s tenure as Valencia boss hit rock bottom on Wednesday as Barcelona ran riot in their Copa del Rey encounter, and now a Valencia legend has turned on the Englishman.
After watching his old team get thrashed 7-0, Santiago Canizares has called for Neville to apologise and resign following yet another miserable result in his reign.
The former Manchester United defender is yet to win any of the eight La Liga games he has been in charge of and has lost the faith of the fans, who managed to get #Nevilleveteya - which translates to Neville go now - trending in Valencia on Twitter following the Barcelona defeat loss.
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Canizares, who made over 400 appearances for Valencia, wrote on Twitter after the game: “VCF’s defeat today is the worst I’ve known since I can remember.
“I’m waiting for the resignation of the coach, as well as an apology. I may be ignorant, but I’m surprised he hasn’t done it, I thought he was honest.
“If (Valencia director Jesus) Garcia Pitarch believes in Gary as he said on Monday, I’m disappointed.
“If he lied to us, and tomorrow Pitarch suggests the dismissal of the coach and it’s not accepted, it’s better for him to leave to.”
The Spaniard’s words of pessimism will be echoed by Valencia’s supporters.
Messi and Suarez show
Valencia were humiliated by Luis Enrique’s side, with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick and Luis Suarez grabbing four. Their task was made all the more difficult when Shkodran Mustafi was sent off moments before half-time and Canizares took offence to Valencia’s players cowering instead of rising to the challenge.
He continued: “Worse than a defeat is the fleeing of the battle. That should give us a clue as to what these players can do if this becomes really difficult.
“Mustafi showed his face, and I think all Valencianistas appreciate that. Today before the media and always on pitch.
“I just want what happened this year to help us distinguish the honest from the dishonest. If we do that, we more forward…”
The former goalkeeper concluded his rant by admitting Valencia’s dismal run is testing fans’ allegiance.
He said: “Finally, this is a test of our valencianismo. To demand decisions is responsible, to desert is not. Amunt!”
Neville joined the Spanish club in December following Nuno Espirito Santo’s resignation but has only proceeded to hurt Valencia’s Champions League hopes.
They were five points off the top four when he arrived. Now, Valencia sit 19 points behind fourth-placed Villarreal.
Following time spent as Roy Hodgson’s understudy at the England national team, combined with his clear tactical nous displayed while on punditry duties for Sky Sports, many expected Neville’s first stint as a manager to be a success.
But a move to a different country is proving not to be a decision to regret.