Things arguably haven’t gone as well as Phil Neville might have expected at Inter Miami.
Brought in as manager by close friend and part owner, David Beckham, after an unimpressive opening MLS campaign, Neville’s tenure hasn’t come anywhere close to being a real improvement on the team Inter had before he joined.
After an appalling start, where Neville had won just two of 12 games since taking over in January – the worst record in the division at the time per Sky Sports – the team rallied.
However, they’ve dipped again, and Saturday night’s loss to New York Red Bulls was their fifth in a row.
It was also the last straw for Neville, who demanded a “massive investigation” per The Sun over the VAR call which saw Gonzalo Higuain’s equaliser chalked off.
“We got cheated in Portland and we’ve been cheated again,” he was quoted as saying.
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but something is fundamentally wrong with the way referees treat Inter Miami.
“We’re playing in one of the best leagues in the world, and I’m having a great experience, but I’ve got a dressing room that’s asking real, real questions about the integrity of this league in terms of the decisions we keep getting.
“[…] I hope I don’t come across as a bad loser. Congratulations to New York Red Bulls, but I’m sick and tired of receiving emails on Mondays saying: ‘Sorry, the calls could have gone the other way.’
“I thought the referee had a really good game. An outstanding female official has been let down incredibly by the VAR system.”
A good workman always blames his tools as the saying goes, and VAR is a convenient get out for a manager that does appear to be out of his depth in management.
Neville has never really had the cachet of a top manager, and there’s always likely to be the suggestion that he did only get the Inter job based on his connection with Beckham.
That’s because there wasn’t anything in his previous managerial appointment with the England Women’s team to suggest he had enough about him to make the step up to the men’s game.
Indeed, per The Guardian, his time in charge of England also saw frequent outbursts.
Perhaps, just like his brother Gary who was similarly not cut out for the dugout, his purpose would be better served by sticking to punditry.