Gary Neville tends to have an opinion on anything and everything — and whether you agree with him or not, he is always worth listening to.
So it was no surprise his Sky Sports sparring partner Jamie Carragher took such glee in retweeting some of Neville’s old words in the wake of Salford’s ruthless sacking of Richie Wellens this week.
‘The scary thing is that a large % of people now actually support these sackings as they’ve become accustomed to it,’ Neville tweeted in early January 2018.
‘How can you build a football team without getting 2-3 years. A rule change is required to moderate sackings of managers mid season in their first year at a club.’
That rule would not just have been put to the test at Salford this season, their revolving door having left Carragher comparing Neville to the infamous Atletico Madrid owner Jesus Gil.
Graham Alexander was fired in mid-October with the unbeaten Ammies fifth in the table after five games.
Wellens was poached from Swindon — much to the upset of Robins fans who had not only enjoyed the League Two promotion campaign last season but also the way that it had been achieved. Neville had publicly admired Swindon’s football from afar and picking a man who spent his formative years at Manchester United while Salford’s famous co-owners were at their peak felt like a good fit.
But that did not cut the 40-year-old much slack when Neville apparently led an inquest last week into why Salford were falling short in their promotion ambitions.
The stark facts are Wellens won 11, drew ten and lost nine of his 30 games in charge, a run of four wins from the last 14 leaving them six points adrift of the play-offs.
Salford’s owners are not the first or last club in that position to make a change — with Neville reportedly frustrated at Wellens’ reluctance to ditch his possession-based game for a route-one approach.
They have invested in the club and they want success yesterday, with Gary Bowyer given the last 11 games in the hope he can get Salford into the play-offs and repeat the promotion from League Two he achieved with Blackpool in 2017. And yet the strangest part of the whole affair has been Neville’s public silence. Not a word. It really wouldn’t feel very classy if we have to wait for the documentary.
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