Wrighty: Neville and co ‘sadly mistaken’ on Unsworth

Sarah Winterburn

Ian Wright’s latest comments will presumably ‘rile’ Phil Neville as he has made it clear that David Unsworth should not be the new Everton manager.

Wright not only believes that managing at Under-23 level is no preparation for Premier League football; he also says that Unsworth should stop talking about his credentials as an Everton man.

It is refreshingly sensible from Wright after the nonsense from Neville on the BBC.

He tells The Sun: ‘If Everton hand him the reins now ahead of time, it could turn out to be the worst move either of them could make. Romanticism is all fine and good but it doesn’t win you points and matches.

‘The Premier League is not like that.

‘If you’re not up to it, if you’re not ready, it chews you up and spits you out, and for Everton it is all about survival.

‘If anyone truly believes doing a great job with the Under-23s qualifies you as a Prem manager, they’re sadly mistaken.

‘The Toffees have developed a reputation as one of the country’s top breeding grounds for young talent, and Unsworth has played a massive role in that. But that doesn’t mean he is ready to take first-team control now. I think we got a glimpse of that at Leicester on Sunday.

‘Unsworth made what I saw as a classic naive managerial mistake of panic substitutions.

‘There just seems to be a smack of desperation about some of the things we’re hearing from him. Comments about really wanting to be Everton manager, about how he doesn’t see himself as a gamble.

‘He’s on record talking about how he knows the club inside out and knows what the fans demand.

‘That’s all well and good but just keep your powder dry. Don’t keep talking about how much you want the chance to manage Everton.

‘Take this opportunity as what it is — a free shot, a chance to steady the ship before a new man comes in.’