Valencia legend Santiago Cañizares casts doubt over Gary Neville appointment

Former Valencia goalkeeper claims Gary Neville was appointed thanks to his friendship with the owner.

Santiago Canizares, La Liga, Valencia,

Image: Fernando Bustamante / AP/Press Association Images

Santiago Cañizares clearly has a place in his heart for the club where he won the UEFA Cup and two La Liga titles amongst a number of other accolades, and it seems that he’s concerned about the direction that they’re headed.

The player turned pundit took to Twitter on Friday to share his thoughts on the new appointment of Gary Neville as head coach, and while he was respectful to everything that Neville has achieved in the game during his playing career, he pulled no punches when it came to what he thinks of the appointment.

He said that "Gary is in charge of Valencia thanks to his friendship with [Peter] Lim [Valencia owner]. Guessing whether or not he’s a good coach is exactly that: a guess.

"There’s a feeling that Lim is a very suspicious guy; he's picked the only friend and associate he has with a coaching badge.

"Gary is a football man, he's won everyone's respect with his hard work. I would love for us to have 11 Garys at Valencia, but the problem remains; there is no sporting management or sporting criteria [behind the decision]...If things turn out well, it will be down to pure luck".

In an interview with The Telegraph, he added that Neville would need to learn Spanish quickly and get to grips with a different style of football in order to get his ideas across to the players.

As an example, he cited that "[David] Moyes didn’t adapt to Spanish football, he didn’t learn the language, didn’t connect with the Sociedad players and couldn't transmit his philosophy. He was a disaster".