Nuno Espirito Santo has resigned as coach of Valencia, the Spanish club where former Manchester United defender Phil Neville is assistant manager.
The 41-year-old Portuguese leaves after just over one season in charge.
Speaking in a news conference following his team’s 1-0 defeat by Sevilla, Nuno said he had told club owner Peter Lim of his decision before Sunday’s game.
Valencia finished fourth in La Liga last year but have struggled this term, winning five out of 13 games.
“I have spoken with the owner, the president and we are all agreed that Valencia is a project for the present and the future and I don’t want that to stop,” Nuno said.
“I want Valencia to return to being one of the biggest clubs in Europe.”
Editor’s Note: That was a bit of a surprise resignation after such an impressive first season in charge of Los Che, Espirito Santo has not managed to sustain that level of performance as they currently sit 9th in the table. That said they are still only 5 points of the Champions League places.
Whether there was pressure from owner Peter Lim is unknown but this is a club that needs Champions League Football to sustain their business model so had this form continued it would no doubt been sooner rather than letter than Peter Lim would have shown the Portuguese coach the door.
As for who is going to take charge, well in the interim it looks set to be Phil Neville. I don’t think he had that in mind when became Assistant Manager back in the Summer. Will he be able to keep the job until the end of the season at least, I suppose that depends if results are impressive and Valencia can climb up the table. But there is already a connection between Neville and Lim due to their shared ownership of English Non-League side Salford City, so Lim could see Neville as a safe pair of hands in the interim.
I hope Neville is given the chance the more coaches that are given a chance in top level European Leagues can only be good for English Football as a whole. Best of luck Phil.