Chris Sutton has told Gary Neville to pipe down and accept that Antonio Conte would be a good manager for Manchester United.
Tottenham boss Conte made the headlines on Saturday when he masterminded a 1-1 draw away at Liverpool. The result had major implications for the Premier League title race and top-four battle.
Spurs’ point could prove crucial as they battle Arsenal for a place in next season’s Champions League. Liverpool, though, slipped up and allowed Manchester City to go three points clear at the summit on Sunday.
Conte’s tactics of soaking up Liverpool pressure and hitting them on the counter-attack drew plaudits but also criticism. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp insisted that Tottenham should “do more for the game”.
Neville, meanwhile, used Klopp’s frustrations as evidence for his claim that Conte would not be a good fit at Man Utd.
Writing in a column for the Daily Mail, though, Sutton hit out at both Neville and Klopp for their assessments.
“Antonio Conte was right for Manchester United when they were looking for a replacement for David Moyes in 2014,” Sutton wrote.
“For Louis van Gaal in 2016, for Jose Mourinho in 2018, for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021.
“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.”
Sutton also took a pop at Klopp, who added that he “cannot coach” the football Conte likes to play.
Sutton slams Neville, Klopp over Conte claim
“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!” the pundit added.
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.”
Conte has indeed claimed at least a point from his matches with Liverpool and Man City this season. His Tottenham side drew 2-2 with Liverpool in December and beat City 3-2 away in February.
Man Utd eyeing Tottenham boss similarity
While Neville may not want Conte to ever manage Man Utd, the Red Devils could use some of his never-say-die spirit this season.
Spurs stuck to their task for 95 minutes and Son Heung-min admitted that he felt “exhausted” after the match.
United, meanwhile, failed to muster any sort of fight in their 4-0 defeat to Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
That, coupled with a 9-0 aggregate defeat to Liverpool this season, shows the size of the task facing new United boss Erik ten Hag.