Inter Miami president David Beckham has reflected on the phone call in which he fired Phil Neville as manager.
Beckham and Neville were teammates for many years at Manchester United and the former defender was appointed manager of Inter Miami in January 2021.
However, Beckham made the decision last month to fire Neville, with Inter Miami in last place in the Eastern Conference.
Although there is no relegation in MLS, Beckham felt that something was not right on the pitch and that a change was necessary.
Beckham named Tata Martino, who previously managed Inter Miami rising star Lionel Messi for both Barcelona and Argentina.
David Beckham felt he had to fire Phil Neville due to Inter Miami’s difficulties
Beckham praised Neville’s work ethic, but Inter Miami lacked consistency on the pitch
Beckham and Neville played together 277 times, including United and England games.
Commenting on the decision to sack Neville, Beckham detailed the choice to name him in the first place and praised his work ethic.
Beckham said the athletic: ‘Yes, we have a great brand, but the most important thing is what we do on the pitch. Unfortunately, as an owner, you find that you have to make tough decisions. We had Diego Alonso in the first season and we made it to the play-offs (finishing 10th in the 14-club Eastern Conference).
“I thought it was the right time to make a change. I felt that culturally we weren’t quite there and I went back to my roots. I went back to what I knew and thought, ‘We need someone in this building who is on top of everything: show up at 6 am and leave at 7 pm, work, bring a culture and give everything, not just to Inter Miami, but to the city and really immerse yourself with your family. That’s exactly what Phil did.
Beckham praised Neville’s ‘seriousness’ but added that a change needed to be made.
“I’ve known Phil for a long, long time, so bringing him in was a big move and he did an amazing job over the two years he was here, with the players and the staff.
He brought a seriousness that we didn’t have. But on the pitch, we weren’t quite right and unfortunately we felt a change was needed.’
Beckham added that Neville reacted professionally to the decision to fire him. He said: ‘he knew he was coming and he took it like a gentleman.’
Furthermore, Beckham says he wants better results, although he understands that patience is required.
He further commented that having a manager in charge for an extended period, as was the case with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, would be highly beneficial.
Beckham and Neville were teammates at Manchester United for many years.
Beckham wants stability and chose to bring in Tata Martino as the new coach of Inter Miami
The arrival of Lionel Messi could help improve the fortunes of Inter Miami significantly
Beckham said: “I’m not ashamed because we’ve come a long way and I’ve realized that things of value can take time to build.” But I want to be better, I don’t want to look at the league table and always think: ‘Are we going to win tonight?’
“Because I spend most of my time in London, I’m sitting at 2am watching the games and when we lose it’s frustrating. I don’t enjoy being at the bottom of the league, I want better results, but I also understand that there must be some patience.
“I told Jorge (Mas, owner of Inter Miami) from day one: the reason why Manchester United was so successful is because there was stability. I had a coach throughout my entire career there and that stability runs through the entire club.
So when we bring in a coach, I feel like that coach should be here for the next 10 years. That’s the way we’re going to be successful.’
Messi’s signing could certainly have a big impact in terms of improving Inter Miami’s fortunes.
Messi has scored three goals in his first two games for the club, which has also been joined by his former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.