Gary Neville believes that the manner in which Antonio Conte set up Tottenham against Liverpool is a “clear reason” why the Italian was ill-suited to becoming manager of Manchester United.
Conte was heavily connected with the vacancy at Old Trafford before the appointment of Erik ten Hag as the club’s new permanent manager.
Spurs secured a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday evening, denying Liverpool a potentially crucial win in the title race as Manchester City opened up a three-point advantage at the top of the Premier League.
A defensive, battling approach to the fixture from the visitors was criticised by Jurgen Klopp, with the Liverpool manager saying afterwards that he “didn’t like” the sort of football employed by Conte’s side.
Building upon Klopp’s comments, Neville expressed his belief that the unpopularity of the way that Conte set up against Liverpool is why he was not “the right fit” to take over at his former club.
Neville wrote in a tweet responding to a clip of Klopp’s comments: “I respect Conte and his football enormously but this Klopp interview gives the clear reason why he wasn’t the right fit for United.”
A draw hit Tottenham’s hopes of qualification for next season’s Champions League, with Arsenal’s win against Leeds extending the advantage for Mikel Arteta’s side to four points in the battle for fourth place.
The two North London clubs meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday, but even a home win would still leave Spurs requiring their rivals to drop points against either Newcastle or Everton in their final two fixtures.
Conte became Tottenham manager in November having left Inter Milan last summer soon after securing his fourth Serie A title.
The 52-year-old also guided Chelsea to Premier League triumph in 2017, but Klopp admitted to being troubled by the way that his counterpart approaches certain fixtures, feeling that “they should do more for the game”.
“I’m sorry I’m the wrong person for that, I don’t like this kind of football,” Klopp said after his side were held. “But that’s my personal problem.
“I think they’re world class, and I think they should do more for the game. I think the game against Liverpool they had 36, 38 per cent possession.
“But it’s my problem. I cannot coach it. So that’s why I cannot do it.
“So yes, world class players block all the balls, really difficult. Atletico Madrid is doing it. Fine, they won whatever.
“Fine, absolutely fine. I just can’t. I respect everything they do, but it’s not me.”