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Nov 11, 2012

Tevez slams England assistant Neville

Carlos Tevez has unleashed a tirade toward former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville, claiming England boss Roy Hodgson should not have a television pundit as his assistant coach.

Tevez and Neville have had numerous public spats in the past, with the Manchester City striker labelling Neville a "boot-licking moron" in an interview with ESPN Argentina in 2010. The latest fued stems from Tevez's column in The Sun newspaper ahead of City's Premier League clash with Tottenham on Sunday.

The Argentina international blames Neville for some of England's failures, writing in The Sun: "I've been here almost seven years now and it's still hard for me to understand why England have not progressed on the international stage. The Premier League is one of the best and toughest in the world - to survive and succeed you must have wonderful skill, speed and fitness.

"And it's difficult to believe the country doesn't challenge more successfully at the Euros or in the World Cup. But maybe England have to look at the structure of its coaching staff.

"Which brings me to Gary Neville. I can't believe that any of the top countries would employ a television pundit as a part-time coach. Can you imagine Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Brazil or Argentina employing a manager's right-hand man whose day job is a television pundit? I can't ever see it happening.

"I'm not a fan of foreign managers taking charge of national teams. It would never happen in Brazil or Argentina because there's too much pride at stake to admit a foreigner could understand the culture or mentality.

"But at least when Fabio Capello was in charge, you saw his assistant, Franco Baldini at Premier League games scouting players. To be honest, I haven't seen much of that from Gary Neville.

"He should be out there watching games in the Premier League or the Championship, reporting back on current players and those who might play a part in the World Cup and beyond. He should also be turning up at clubs, watching their sessions, seeing how top class coaches work and how England players respond to them.

"Spain have been the most successful side in the world for the past few years. Is their assistant manager a TV pundit? The short answer is no. Gary has to decide whether England is his absolute focus or does he want to make a name for himself on Sky. Because, in my opinion, there is too much of a conflict of interest to do both.

Tevez also took aim at former Benfica and Newcastle manager Graeme Souness, who criticised the Argentine for his behaviour last season.

"I try and avoid watching my old friend Graeme Souness on the TV at the best of times. But when I'm unfortunate enough to catch him, I can't help but laugh.

"He tells us football is an easy game. He tells us players like Oscar don't intentionally score brilliant goals - even though everybody else knew it was wonderful skill against Juventus.

"The question that I would like Graeme to answer is: If football is so easy, why was he so unsuccessful as a manager in England and Portugal? Why didn't he buy players like Deco even though he had the chance in 1997? And why does no chairman trust him with their club any more?

"Football is an easy game. Especially when you are watching it from his armchair or from the Sky television studio," Tevez said.

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