Arsene Wenger explains why Gary Neville is struggling at Valencia

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Football News

Arsene Wenger has made it clear in the past that he was not a fan of the snide remarks that Gary Neville made about his Arsenal side every time they lost a game.

The Frenchman branded the Manchester United legend "ridiculous" last October after Neville questioned whether the Gunners were taking big games seriously.

Neville, of course, has since left his role as a Sky Sports pundit and has put himself square in the firing line after a disastrous start to his life in management.


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His Valencia side have only gone from bad to worse since he took over and is fighting to save his job after a 7-0 hammering at the hands of Barcelona earlier this week.

Indeed, Neville could find himself back next to Jamie Carragher and that other non-descript fellow on Monday Night Football if Valencia do not beat Real Betis on Saturday.

Sly digs

Ahead of Arsenal's game against Bournemouth, Wenger was asked to comment on Neville's situation and, having heard so much criticism from the former England international, could not resist the slyest of digs.

Here's what Wenger told The Mirror:

“I believe that most of the time the reputation of a big player gets you a big club early.

“You gain a few years. You do not start at Fleetwood. When you are Pep Guardiola you start at Barcelona.

“When you are not a big name you have first to battle. That is a disadvantage because you do not start as high. But, on the other hand, you learn your job.

“I believe experience plays a big part when you don’t start well. When you have a difficult start you have no credibility through your history because you haven’t shown you can do it.

“So it becomes more difficult when you have a bad start. At some stage, if you have a good team, they always find their way. I think Valencia will get out of it.”

Big-name player

Neville had been tipped to succeed at Valencia despite his complete lack of managerial experience simply because he was regarded as one of football's finest TV analyzers. However, he has since found that his reputation, both as a player and a pundit, has counted for nothing on the touchline.

In comparison, Wenger was able to learn his trade for years at Nancy-Lorraine, Monaco and Grampus Eight before he took charge of a big club. By then, he already had a clear philosophy.

What Wenger is saying is, because Neville was so widely known, he did not have that chance, and it has cost him big.

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Manchester United
Premier League
Gary Neville
Arsene Wenger

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