Santiago Canizares has major doubts over the appointment of Gary Neville at Valencia, claiming the Spanish club is “no place for apprentices”.
Canizares, who made over 400 appearances winning two league titles during a 10-year stay at the Mestalla, says Neville is anonymous amongst fans and will not be given the luxury of time to settle in Spain.
The Valencia great also raised concern over Neville’s experience as a coach, with the former Manchester United and England defender-turned-pundit venturing into his first managerial position.
“In Valencia we know almost nothing about Gary Neville, he’s an unknown,” the 45-year-old retired goalkeeper said.
“Being a good analyst is not the same as being a good coach. Valencia is not a team for experiments, it’s not a place for a coach to get his apprenticeship.
“Three years ago the club gave a former player, Mauricio Pellegrino, his first proper coaching job. There were similarities with Neville, in fact. But it did not work out. So that’s why there are doubts.
“[Owner Peter Lim] has hired someone he knows, a friend who happens to have coaching badges. He has very good personal references.
“But what is he like as a coach? No one knows because he has no experience. It is one thing to give your opinion and another to get things working on the pitch.”
Canizares cited the difficulties former United boss David Moyes faced during his spell with Real Sociedad, which was brought to a premature end after just 12 months in November.
“The main difficulty he’ll have is the language and getting to grips with Spanish football,” he continued.
“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.”
With Valencia sitting ninth in La Liga, Neville’s priority will be to lift the club into a top-four position and qualify for the Champions League, according to Canizares.
“There is still a long way to go this season and Valencia are only five points behind fourth, so it’s not difficult, especially because none of the teams above them have the squad that Valencia have,” he added.
“If he can get Valencia to perform at even 80 per cent of their potential they will achieve that objective, so it’s all set up nicely for him.”