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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 25 February 2021

'I’m almost happy Gary Neville has flopped at Valencia'

The pundit-turned-coach is yet to win a match in La Liga since his appointment.

Gary Neville has come under pressure at Valencia of late.
Gary Neville has come under pressure at Valencia of late.

FORMER INTER AND Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo says he is “almost happy” to see Gary Neville struggle at Valencia as it highlights the marked difference between management and punditry.

The Argentine, who took on a rather less spectacular first managerial job in the form of struggling Serie B side Modena, was talking about the former Manchester United defender during an interview with Paolo Di Canio.

Crespo believes Neville was too harsh on television — he was less than complimentary about Di Canio’s Sunderland side during his time as a pundit — but hopes his failings will illustrate the difficulty in swapping a microphone for the dug-out.

“To watch a game from the TV, it’s much different than from the bench,” Crespo explained to FOX Sports. “I’m almost happy for Gary Neville’s troubles at Valencia. I remember he was too harsh as a TV pundit!”

Crespo was rather more upbeat about one of his former managers, Claudio Ranieri, and praised the Italian’s work in taking Leicester City into title contention more than a decade after his time at Chelsea turned sour.

“When he trained me, he had to change everything because so many new players had arrived at Chelsea that he had to integrate into the team,” Crespo recalled.

He was unfortunate because we finished second in the league and were eliminated at the semi-final stage of the Champions League.

“Ranieri with Leicester is doing an incredible job on a mental level. The players are playing with maximum organisation, making the most of their movements.”

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