Valencia look to Neville for leadership

The instability, the ups and downs, the resignations, sackings, internal ructions and disputes. A club which has been utterly unpredictable chaotic, fascinating for onlookers but painful for those involved and with emotions wrapped in the club. One man has emerged from the sorry mess at Valencia with immense credit since the summer: Phil Neville.

The man who admitted never having to make his own tea until his mid-30s, such was his sheltered lifestyle, took the plunge of going abroad to further his coaching career, which started so traumatically at Old Trafford under David Moyes.

Neville will remain as assistant at Mestalla until the end of the campaign at least – he is highly regarded by the playing staff and is now a Spanish speaker – but no-one believed he would be working under another Neville, elder brother Gary. At the start of Wednesday, the Sky Sports pundit was tipped to be named the new boss at Fulham, but within hours he was ushered in as Coach of Los Che.

Both brothers are famous for their relentless work ethic and unshakable dedication to succeed in every aspect of what they set out to do. Gary has established himself as the king of football punditry in the UK: encapsulating, informative, insightful. When he talks, you listen. He possesses immense tactical knowledge, has a wide-ranging network of contacts within the game and has fascinating, and relevant, anecdotes.

Under Nuno Espirito Santo, Valencia found success last season by mixing a possession-based game with a level of intensity that many opposition sides found difficult to cope with. An impressive fourth-placed finish and taking four points off Real Madrid showed their clout, yet this time around they have been unrecognisable. Lacking any coherent playing style and with discontent both on and off the pitch, the cold relationship between Coach and players clear for all to see.

This is a club who are de facto under the influence of Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes. Nuno was Mendes' first client whilst even a quick glance at the influx of signings over the past 12 months have one common trend, they share the same agent. Then there is the half-owner of Salford City and Singaporean businessman Peter Lim, who took over ownership of Valencia 18 months ago.

Lim was supposed to bring about economic and social stability to Las Valencianistes, but the honeymoon period is long since gone. The business partner of both Nevilles has overseen carnage at boardroom level. Former President Amadeo Salvo and sporting director Rufete – both hugely popular amongst the supporters – were forced out.

Supporters are naturally suspicious of goings on at the club, believing that Lim and Mendes have ulterior motives at every turn. Understandably, Neville's appointment is linked to Lim yet this is an exciting move, despite the risk involved. Having no grasp of the Spanish language and managing a club with big expectations are massive challenges, yet that is exactly what Gary Neville relishes.

He has an assistant who he can trust on every level, a hugely talented pool of young players and financial backing off the pitch. Currently ninth in La Liga, there is a real sense of underachievement and a top four finish – a route back into the Champions League – is not out of the question. Gary Neville is known in Spain where his leadership qualities are acknowledged and are a deeply-admired characteristic. A voice of authority within the English game, there are many ideas and methods that he can impose upon his new squad.

Neville often refers to the playing style at Old Trafford under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson – fast, incisive, counter-attacking, penetrative wing play, taking risks. These ideals and instructions had been drilled into the former full-back throughout his playing career and he possesses the intelligence to translate these ideas to players, regardless of any native language barrier.

Perhaps the chaos will become a little more organised. Perhaps a clear, coherent strategy will rejuvenate a side who have lost their way.