Just before Christmas, everyone’s favourite football pundit decided to finally take the plunge to become a manager. Gary Neville broke the hearts of fans across the land as they began to contemplate life with, god forbid, Craig Bellamy and Jamie Carragher.
The insight from the man best known for owning Salford City are now shared only with his charges at Valencia. But seemingly not for long…
Neville has sprung a surprise by claiming that he doesn’t see management as his future. Missing us already, Gary?
Don’t get your hopes up, though. If you want to see an immediate return to Monday Night Football, you’re out of luck. Neville clarified that he doesn’t see himself in football management in 15 years’ time, but does so in the immediate future.
You raise our hopes just to smash them again Gaz, don’t you?
But with that admission in mind, what else lies ahead for the former darling of Monday nights?
An obvious return to our screens once Neville is done with management would be ideal for fans. How else will we get our fix of learning how that corner routine meant it was the goalkeeper’s fault that Arsenal lost.
He might not like management, but being someone’s number two? He’s done a decent job with Roy Hodgson of late as they led the Three Lions to the Euros in 2016.
“Neville could thrill ladies across the land by stepping out of the sea, Daniel Craig-style”
Basil Fawlty hotelier
By all accounts, the Hotel Football which Neville owns is a decent kip if you’re in Manchester. Who wouldn’t want Giggs and Scholes-themed toiletries? (Apart from the fans of all other 91 league clubs.) Good hotel as it is, there’s definitely something of the grumpy Basil Fawlty hotelier about Neville, down to the tache. You can just imagine him beating his Bentley with a branch, Cleese-style, while yelling profanities about Anfield and zonal marking.
To raise money for charity last July, Neville guested on guitar with The Charlatans on the roof of Hotel Football. He looked far more nervous than he ever did facing down Zinedine Zidane in full flight, but he was pretty accomplished. He also regularly wangs on about Courteeners and The Stone Roses on Twitter, so he plainly yearns to be football’s own Johnny Marr. Leave being the boss to some strutting frontman like Roy Hodgson while you carry on in the musical powerhouse assistant manager role.
Maybe when the Euros is over, Hodgson and Neville can make a reboot of The Odd Couple? Neville irritates Hodgson by playing his Charlatans albums too loud, only for bromance to blossom as Hodgson lends his assistant his Camus novels. Then one night they have too much sauvignon blanc and get to naked wrestling by the fire. With hilarious consequences.
Maybe Neville could be the next James Bond? Thrill ladies across the land by stepping out of the sea Daniel Craig-style, fighting crime and being a general bad ass as he sees off white-cat-stroking super villain Sepp Blatter with a two-footed reducer.
Scratch everything else, Gary if you’re reading this, and why wouldn’t you be. Please be the next James Bond.
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran