Gary Neville was never the most talented footballer. But he was one of the most effective right-backs that The Premier League has ever seen. Why? Because he understands football.
Good reading of the game cannot be understated. Take Manchester United player Nani. Noone would doubt that this is a guy capable of jaw dropping skill. He has all the physical attributes to be a sensation. But he often appears to lack the decision making skill to go with all his other qualities. The result? A serial under performer who isn’t used and probably wants to leave the club.
Neville was and is a great reader of the game. And he was quick to praise another supreme tactician for masterminding the defeat of the seemingly invulnerable Mancheseter City on their own patch on Minday night. Neville said of Mourinho on Sky Sports:
You saw him tonight and he was like the conductor of the orchestra. He walks out at the start of the match and sits on the bench before his team have even come out.
“He comes alive on big match days and that’s what the best managers do. He is the best in the world at the moment at affecting big matches, absolutely brilliant.
“He thinks about every small detail, things that I don’t think many would think of because he’s been around the block. He’s shrewd, he’s smart and he calls it on.
How things could have been different for Manchester United. If you believe the word on the street Mourinho wanted to come to manage United in the summer. But, in what could turn out to be a history-shaping decision, the club appointed David Moyes instead. Chance gone. Manchester United will surely never get the opportunity to employ The Special One again. He certainly wouldn’t be available in time to sort out the current mess at Manchester United.
But few would now argue that Manchester United got thew wrong man in the summer. The defeat of Manchester City on Monday only served to remind the top brass at Old Trafford that they could still be sitting atop the pile right now if they had made the right managerial appointment.
In truth we would give Gary Neville the job ahead of Moyes. He is much more similar to Mourinho, tactically and in terms of charisma, than the beleaguered Scot. If Moyes can’t turn this current situation around then perhaps Manchester United will be bold and bring in Red Nev to save the club. We have no doubt that he would do a great job with Sir Alex upstairs for the odd bit of mentoring.
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