Chris Sutton disagrees with Gary Neville over Man Utd not hiring Antonio Conte

Neville remains adamant that Manchester United were right to not appoint Conte earlier this season, despite the Italian leading Tottenham on a charge towards the top four

Gary Neville is adamant Manchester United should not have appointed Antonio Conte
Gary Neville is adamant Manchester United should not have appointed Antonio Conte

Former Premier League winner Chris Sutton has furiously disagreed with Gary Neville over Manchester United’s decision to shun appointing Antonio Conte.

Conte was heavily linked with taking over at United as their season began to fall apart under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last year. But despite the Italian being without a club and available immediately, the Red Devils opted to steer clear.

With United unwilling to appoint him, Conte went on to join Tottenham instead. The fortunes of the two clubs have differed widely in the months since he arrived in north London, with Spurs still battling for a top-four place.

United meanwhile saw their hopes of securing a place in next season’s Champions League ended by a hammering at Brighton on Saturday. Hours after that humiliation, Spurs claimed an impressive draw at title-chasing Liverpool.

It was a typical Conte performance from the visitors, with Spurs having just 35 per cent of the possession. That saw the Italian’s tactics criticised by some, including Neville, who continued to insist he was not the right man for the United job.

“I respect Conte and his football enormously but this Klopp interview gives the clear reason why he wasn’t the right fit for United. You can play football in an expressive way and win the league. Pep , Wenger , Sir Alex , Klopp etc all proved that. Simone 4-4-2 aggressive style . Proper United that. Conte wing backs ?? No,” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Conte has led Tottenham to the edge of the top four

HAVE YOUR SAY! Should Manchester United have appointed Antonio Conte before he joined Tottenham? Comment below.

Sutton, who won the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers, has now fired back at Neville, insisting that Conte would have been perfect for the Red Devils. The former striker called for Neville to “behave” as he moved to defend the former Chelsea boss.

“Antonio Conte was right for Manchester United when they were looking for a replacement for David Moyes in 2014. For Louis van Gaal in 2016. For Jose Mourinho in 2018. For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021,” Sutton wrote in a column for the Daily Mail.

“He would be right for them now if they were still searching for a new head coach. Conte is a winner — he won the Premier League with Chelsea and Serie A with Juventus and Inter Milan.

“He knows how to get a result — just ask Liverpool and Manchester City, neither of whom could beat Tottenham this season. United went to Brighton on Saturday and were smashed. Would that have happened on Conte’s watch? Unlikely.

“Jurgen Klopp was agitated after Liverpool were held by Tottenham and had a pop at their style of play. How dare Conte not play the way Klopp wanted! Then Gary Neville sparked a social media debate on Sunday by tweeting that Conte’s style is ‘why he wasn’t the right fit for United’. Behave. United would be lucky to have Conte in charge.”

While United can only finish as high as sixth this season, Tottenham still have a huge chance of finishing in the top four. They have three games to overhaul Arsenal’s four-point lead, with the two sides meeting in their last north London derby of the season on Thursday.

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