|England Women Manager|
|Org||England National Team|
|England Women National Team|
|Club as Player||Manchester United|
|Salford City||Gary Neville, along with his brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes is a co-owner of Salford City|
2009 07 08 Retrieve
[Everton defender Phil Neville remains convinced that the English Premier League is still the most exciting domestic competition in Europe, despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent suggestion that the Spanish Primera Division is superior] It’s all because of one man and one man’s wealth that players are going to Real Madrid. From an English football point of view I was gutted to see Cristiano Ronaldo leave. I think he brought a lot to the Premier League, everyone enjoyed playing against him, he is the best player in the world and he entertains people. We want the best players to be playing in the Premier League because we feel we play the best football and we have the best product over here. Real Madrid are spending money but I still believe the Premier League is the best, the most exciting, the most honest, the most entertaining and we can be proud of that
[Neville had the choice as a youngster between a career in football or professional cricket, and it is the summer game that will be occupying a large part of his thoughts over the remainder of the summer, with England and Australia battling for the Ashes in a series beginning today] I couldn’t wait for the Ashes. It’s going to be a really fiercely contested series. England look like they’ve refound their form and Australia look like a team in transition. We’ve got (Andrew) Flintoff fit, (Kevin) Pietersen fit - all the big guns. For me it’s one of the best duals in sport and there’s nothing better than beating the Aussies! My money is on England, no doubt about it.
2013 03 14 Retrieve
[Phil Neville eyeing career in county cricket after retirement from football] One hundred per cent, I will play cricket again in a couple of years time if my career ends. That is the first thing I am going to do; I am going to get back doing something I love. People sometimes fear retirement but I am looking forward to it because I can go and do something I love. To get the chance at my stage in my life to get back involved with Lancashire is great because I love going to Old Trafford to watch
2013 11 05 Retrieve
[Phil Neville on Paul Scholes] Paul, for me, is the best player in the England team. It worries teams. Speak to any other international team and they will single Paul out as England’s key player. For me, he doesn’t get the full credit that he deserves. He is a world-class player and deserves to be up there with the likes of Zidane and Figo
2015 01 10 Retrieve
[Julie Neville on her husband Phil’s domestic abilities] Ironing? Oh, gosh no, he wouldn’t even know where we keep the ironing board. He wouldn’t know how to turn an oven on. If you’d seen [his first attempt to make coffee], it you would not have thought it was classed as a coffee. I didn’t taste it, but it didn’t look good. All his talent is in his toes, that’s for certain.
2017 03 10 Retrieve
[Quotes on Frank Lampard] I think as a goalscoring midfielder, Frank was the best in Premier League history. You can’t take that away
2017 03 11 Retrieve
[Phil Neville compares Manchester City winger Leroy Sane with Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale] When I see Leroy Sane play, I remember Gareth Bale when he went from Southampton to Tottenham. Early in the season, you thought ‘Sane, oh he’s young, a little bit weak, he’s not used to English football’ - Gareth Bale was like that but what I’m seeing now is something similar to Gareth Bale. The way he has devastating pace, the way he goes past people with that power and pace. Simplicity at times, he’s not someone who’ll do two, three step-overs, it’s running behind, pace, and devastating finish. He could be a sensational player
2017 09 23 Retrieve
[Phil Neville speaks about Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford’s qualities] Everybody praises Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe but nobody talks about Marcus Rashford in this country. Because he’s English we just say ‘he plays on the left wing, he’s OK’. He is up there with Dembele and Mbappe, who also play on either wing. People say you have to play Rashford as a centre forward but you can play him anywhere because he is good enough. Rashford is in the same bracket as those two - £100m-£150m players - he is every bit as good as those two and can be in the future because he is improving every season. He broke in under Louis van Gaal and set the world on fire, in his second season under Jose Mourinho everyone thought he wouldn’t play but he did in all the big games. Now he is adding goals to his game and he can be absolutely world class
2018 09 01 Retrieve
[England women’s national team manager Phil Neville speaks about how he relates with his players] I text them individually and we have 30 WhatsApp groups, one for every player. It’s the only way we can be in constant contact. It means that every single minute of the day I know what players are doing. I know every part of their lives. I know about their animals; if they’ve got a dog I know its name. My players love their dogs. I know about their partners, I know if they go to the cinema - it’s the detail you need to be successful. If they have an ice cream I know about it
2019 03 02 Retrieve
[Phil Neville’s approach to building his team for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019] Everybody’s equal, that’s the beauty of our squad. Everybody has a chance to go to the World Cup. It’s how I wanted it. It’s how it was in my career. At any given time, if you deserve to be in that team, in that squad - I will pick you
2019 05 31 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says Manchester City are now miles better than arch-rivals Manchester United] Over the last five years, you’ve seen a team that’s gone away from the vision and philosophy of what the club is all about. When you look at City, Liverpool and Tottenham, their club’s foundations are really strong - and you’d say United’s are from a financial point of view. But stability on the field? If you look at those teams [City, Liverpool, Spurs], they have a system and a style of play and a tried and trusted method, whereas United seem to be going left and right from manager to manager. They need to get back to what United do best, which is playing a certain brand of football which hasn’t just been synonymous with Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s from the year dot, Sir Matt [Busby], Ron Atkinson…You hope with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Mick Phelan, Michael Carrick and Nicky Butt [in the academy] that United will start getting back to the foundations. I think it will take a long time - it’s not a quick fix - but hopefully with those guys in charge and the financial muscle United have still got, they can get back challenging soon because it’s difficult watching Man City win everything. It’s difficult because you think they’re miles better than United at this moment in time.
2019 06 08 Retrieve
[How Phil Neville has turned England’s women into World Cup 2019 contenders] At my first press conference I was told: ‘You know nothing about the players, nothing about women’s football’ and I just thought it was incredibly disrespectful.
[It’s in stark contrast to four years ago, when England surprised even themselves by reaching the semi-finals in Canada and claiming a bronze medal with victory over Germany] I sat in a room with my team just before we played Russia 12 months ago and we were talking about objectives for next year. What blew me away was that I wanted them to just say I want to win the World Cup. They said: ‘We want bigger than just winning a World Cup. We want, over the next five, 10 years, for the Lionesses to become one of the greatest sports teams in the world, to be talked about like the All Blacks, leave legacies that the young kids of today will always remember
[Phil Neville is not a manager content with standing still] When I came out of SheBelieves, the thing I thought was that the team need more belief in the style that I want to play. You’re playing for England. I want them to play with a certain arrogance, swagger and style
2019 06 08b Retrieve
[Phil Neville knows it will take his England team playing at their best if they are to challenge in the Women’s World Cup] For us to win it, we’ve got to be at our best and more. That I’m certain of. We’ll have to do a superhuman effort. The players know that. We’re in it to win it. We’ve had defeats to Canada and New Zealand in the last few months and I think what those defeats told us was that we cannot drop below our best or we will pay the price.
A lot of team have caught the USA up. They were the outstanding team but what happens to outstanding teams is people study them. The fact that Lucy Bronze plays in France for Lyon means she has no fear about playing against the best players. My England players who play in America have no fear about playing American girls. They know they’re only human.
[Phil Neville preaches bravery to his team and insists that he won’t berate them for making mistakes] I only criticise my players if they don’t try and make that pass, if they take the safe option. For the last 16 months we’ve told them about risk-taking, gambling in the final third, being brave
2019 06 09 Retrieve
[England women vs Scotland women. Phil Neville said after suffered a shock 1-0 loss to New Zealand in front of 20,000 in Brighton] The challenge now is for us all to perform on the big stage. We’ve talked long and hard about it, we’ve not been shy about our expectations. Now we need to deliver. That’s my challenge and my excitement. We’ve dreamt of this moment all our lives. When we get to it we’re going to have to perform. I’m going to have to manage better than I ever have and they’re going to have to play, to have any kind of success they are going to have superhuman efforts. People don’t just knock on the door and give you a World Cup medal.
If we’d have won today, it would be ‘it was just New Zealand’. The players are deflated because of the crowd. I think they know really that it’s all about the Scotland game now. Nothing in the Denmark or New Zealand game was going to change our thinking.
We experimented a bit. We wanted to see players in different positions. The most important thing for us is to go away and reflect. As much as there were good things in the game, there are things we need to improve on. Jamaica were very direct and they have some very quick players and at times we struggled to cope with that
2019 06 09b Retrieve
[Phil Neville’s England change French perceptions with stylish Scotland win] I think your image is wrong to be honest. I don’t want to be insulting to anyone. I think our league is better than the French league, I think our style of football is really good, I don’t think it is all about kick and rush, and hopefully you’ll see that tomorrow night.
2019 06 14 Retrieve
[Phil Neville on Nikita Parris] We challenged players 16 months ago with their own individual development plan and being the best player in the world in their position. And in Nikita, we’ve seen a player develop from being a really, really good WSL player, to now signing for the best team in the world in Lyon, scoring goals in the WSL, making an impact on the big games on the big occasions, and she’s someone who’s still got another five to 10 per cent in her. The ability to score, the ability to create, the ability to play left, right and through the middle, and I think [against Scotland] you’ve seen a little snippet of what a special player we’ve got. She’s world class, that’s a given now.
2019 06 14b Retrieve
[England women vs Argentina women] We have to develop this system and it’s the right way to play. We are going to make mistakes because we are that open. In the first-half against Scotland, we had both full-backs in wide positions the whole centre of midfield was open. But we trusted each other, we kept playing the ball into midfield. Yes, we gave the ball away for the goal but we were trying to do the right thing. We were trying to pass it through midfield and I cannot criticise them for that
2019 06 19 Retrieve
[Japan clash a reminder of England’s progress - not a revenge-fuelled rematch] I’ve got to be honest, I’d bite your legs off to win tomorrow night!
2019 06 19b Retrieve
[Japan women vs England women. Should England win the group, however, it would place them in the same half of the draw as the USA and France] There is a long way to go; we have not looked beyond tomorrow night to be honest. There are pitfalls to finishing first or second, but we are going out tomorrow night to win with the strongest team possible and the performance we’ve see in the last two games. My view is that we want to win seven games in this World Cup. I’ve got to be honest with you, I would bite your legs off to win tomorrow night
2019 06 20 Retrieve
[Georgia Stanway certainly did that in a superb performance against Japan, earning high praise from her manager and team-mates alike] If she keeps her feet on the ground she is going to be one of the best players in world football.
2019 06 23 Retrieve
[Phil Neville acknowledged that each game had seen some sloppy passages from his team but also admitted his own standards might be unrealistically high] Yes, it does frustrate me. I’m looking for something that may take a long time to achieve, that total domination for 90 minutes. I sometimes expect more of them, but maybe no team can do it for 90 minutes. My expectation levels are sometimes higher than what’s achievable. But I have to keep pushing the standards. And so far I’ve seen nothing in this tournament that gives me fear. I’ve seen nothing that makes me go: ‘Oh dear me, if we play them we’re going to struggle’.
[England are favourites to beat Cameroon] Our biggest tests are going to be against teams like that, the teams that we’re expected to beat but will sit low and really try to stifle us. My players are looking forward to the games where teams will come out at us, give us more spaces to play and to counter-attack
[No team at this World Cup has rotated as much as the Lionesses] We pick players based on their profiles. Over the years I’ve learned that, if you have one cog that’s not quite right in the system, that flow of how you want to play can’t work. It’s not science, it’s common sense, it’s playing the right players in the right positions for the style of football you want to implement in a specific game
2019 06 23b Retrieve
[Phil Neville has condemned the behaviour of Cameroon’s players after his side’s 3-0 last-16 win at the Women’s World Cup was shrouded in controversy] It wasn’t a World Cup last-16 game in terms of the behaviour that I want to see from footballers. This is going out worldwide and I can’t stand here and say that I particularly enjoyed it, my players didn’t enjoy it. Young girls all over the world were seeing that behaviour, for me it’s not right and I can’t stand here and say it’s fantastic or it’s brilliant that we’re into the quarter-final because there’s a bigger picture here. The behaviour was wrong because it’s the image of women’s football, and it’s going out worldwide about a team that comes to the side and start refusing to play. There is a certain standard of behaviour that you’ve got to do, my players did that and I’m proud.
Sympathy? None. Ellen White was onside, deal with it. We know the rules, we’ve been spoken to by referees 350,000 times in the last three weeks and she got every decision right. In fact, I think at the end she took pity on them because I thought we should have had a penalty and a sending off [for Cameroon]. In the end they should actually count their lucky stars it wasn’t five or six
2019 06 23c Retrieve
[Phil Neville praised Toni Duggan’s response to an ‘unacceptable’ incident in which Augustine Ejangue appeared to spit on the England forward] [The press officer] just mentioned it to me now. I think it’s pretty clear, so it’s unacceptable. I will praise Toni Duggan because that, for me, is the worst form of anything you can do on a football pitch really. There’s no place for it on a football pitch. Duggan was fantastic, the way she handled it. I think it showed the humility and class my players showed. She wiped it off her and got on with playing football. That, for me, makes me very proud.
[Houghton missed her post-match media duties to receive treatment] We’re concerned about her, she’s not someone who stays down. It was a late tackle and we’re going to have to do everything possible to get her fit for the quarter-final. She’s a big player for us, our captain, and her and Lucy Bronze were outstanding. Steph Houghton was player of the match and can’t be here as she’s on the treatment table, from the tackle that everyone saw. She needs to recover, she’s in a lot of pain. It’s not FIFA’s fault, this time. The big players stand up in the big occasion. I thought the composure of the two captains spread through the team
2019 06 23d Retrieve
[Phil Neville tells Cameroon to ‘get their ship in order’ after controversial World Cup clash] When I started in management, I think Arsene Wenger told me the team mirror the manager. And their team mirrored the manager. If that was any of my players, and it wouldn’t ever be any of my players, they would never play for England again with that sort of behaviour.
[The former Manchester United man sought to praise the referee, Qin Liang of China, for the way she handled the protests] I feel sorry for the referee. The decisions were correct, and I think at the end the referee was probably trying to protect football by not giving the penalty, not giving the sending off. She was trying to protect football and I admire her unbelievably for that
[Neville also urged Cameroon to back away from criticisms of the officials after the game] I think what we’ve seen today is we’ve seen people fighting in the VIP area, we’ve seen Cameroon people fighting at our hotel and we’ve seen that behaviour on the field. So I would say get your ship in order before you start throwing stones. I’m just proud of my players, I’m proud of the organisation I work for, because we’ve handled ourselves with class
2019 06 26 Retrieve
[Phil Neville has revealed England centre-backs Steph Houghton and Millie Bright are both ‘major doubts’ for their Women’s World Cup quarter-final against Norway] Both are major doubts - Steph because of the tackle. We’re hoping she takes part in some of the training today. That’s the key for Steph. Millie has got a virus that’s going a little bit through the camp. She’s probably more of a doubt than Steph, so we’re going to give them right until the last minute to be fit.
[Phil Neville has no qualms about bringing in Leah Williamson and Abbie McManus] You guys [the media] have had an obsession with my rotation for the last 18 months. What I would say is the players that we’ve played are for moments like this. We can just say no problem, Steph, Millie, whoever, we can just bring two people in who know the system, know the style and have got utter belief and confidence in each other. It’s a seamless transition. You plan for these moments. I said six months ago, ‘You don’t want to get to the quarter-final of a World Cup and throw a young kid in or someone we haven’t tested, haven’t tried, who doesn’t know our system’.
There’s been a plan behind it for moments like this. I’m totally relaxed. When I got into management, I said from day one, only worry about those that can get on the bus - and those that can get on the bus are the fit ones. Unfortunately, in situations, you’re going to have injuries and it’s opportunities for others. I’d put my life on Leah Williamson and Abbie McManus, if they’re called upon, to be the best two players on the pitch
2019 06 27 Retrieve
[The emphasis on wanting to play good football puts Phil Neville’s team further under the microscope] In terms of system, physicality and technically, they tick every box. They have a spirit, togetherness and tactical system that is hard to play against.
2019 06 27b Retrieve
[Norway women vs England women. Phil Neville’s side have had no problems negotiating their opening four fixtures, conceding just a single goal as they won them all. Their last-16 encounter against Cameroon, however, was not a match without controversy as their opponents railed against two VAR decisions] That wasn’t a World Cup last-16 tie in terms of behaviour that I want to see from footballers. I am completely and utterly ashamed of the opposition. At times, we probably didn’t know whether the game would continue. It didn’t feel like football. I didn’t enjoy it, the players didn’t enjoy it. My players kept their concentration fantastically, but those images are going out worldwide about how to act, the young girls playing all over the world that are seeing that behaviour. For me, it’s not right
2019 06 27c Retrieve
[Phil Neville himself never had any qualms about nerves and pressure - perhaps the reason he ignored Jill Scott and allowed David Beckham to pay a quick pre-match visit] I think in the past you’d have tried to shield them from it, for fear of failure. But my girls don’t have any fear of failure. The occasion, the attention, it’s what they’ve grown up wanting. As I say all the time, three or four years ago we were crying out for this, so when we get here we’re not going to back off, not going to say it’s nerve-wracking or our bellies are twitching a little here. We will embrace it. The bigger the occasion the more pressure on them, the more they relax, play and embrace it. The bigger games are the ones they like
2019 06 27d Retrieve
[Phil Neville has heaped praise on to England right-back Lucy Bronze after her player-of-the-match display against Norway in the Women’s World Cup quarter-final] I think what you’ve seen tonight, you’ve seen that Lucy Bronze is the best player in the world, without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it three times. There’s no player like her in the world, there’s no player that has her athleticism or her quality and I’m very lucky. I played full-back but never to that level that she plays at - she’s the best player in the world.
[The quarter-final success means England will face the winners of France and the USWNT on Friday night] Well, you know what - we want to play them both. We’re not bothered who we play. We’ll go to Lyon and the atmosphere and the occasion will be great. We’re having fun
2019 06 30 Retrieve
[Phil Neville believes England crashing out at the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup would be a disaster] A semi-final defeat would represent failure. This England team is ready to win now. We have to develop the serial winner mentality. We have to develop that ruthlessness. The only way for us to go back home is as winners. If we don’t, we have to keep striving to understand that losing in a semi-final is not OK.
[England will face the tournament favourites U.S. women’s national team on Tuesday night in Lyon] I don’t want us saying that there is no pressure on us. That’s the safe way to think. We have to be even braver. This is the game we wanted. We have always known that when we got to the World Cup, we were going to have to beat the USA if we were going to win the tournament
We have got to be 20 per cent braver than we have ever been before to win this game. We are not going to back away from this challenge. We have planned and prepared for this. We are in great shape. I don’t think they will look forward to playing us. If they are looking at teams who can challenge them, we will be number one or two on their list
2019 06 30b Retrieve
[England manager Phil Neville described the officiating and VAR as his biggest concern going into the World Cup] For the women’s game to get better we need to be having conversations like this and be brave enough to come out and say this needs to improve
2019 06 30c Retrieve
[Phil Neville has slammed U.S. Soccer for sending operations staff to scout out his team’s hotel in case the U.S. defeats the Lionesses on Tuesday in the World Cup semifinal] It’s not something that I would want my team ops person doing. It’s not something that England would do. I actually found it quite funny. I just thought, ‘What are they doing?’ It’s not etiquette really, is it? I just think that that’s not something that I would allow from our organization.
[Neville, though, believes that Ellis should be unhappy that her team’s staff was allowed to be spotted in enemy territory] I’m sure Jill wouldn’t have been happy with that arrangement. I wouldn’t have been if that was my team’s ops person going around.
2019 06 30d Retrieve
[England coach Phil Neville says USWNT star Megan Rapinoe is ‘a winner’ who deserves admiration for her actions on and off the field’] Megan is someone from day one that I really admired. I remember in my first SheBelieves, there was a ball bounced on the touchline and I went to catch the ball and her studs came right through my Apple Watch. She’s not paid me back yet! What I liked about it, she didn’t say sorry, she just got on with it, she’s a winner. I like the individuality, both on and off the field. I think she’s a world-class footballer
[The USA forward has previously knelt during the American national anthem in a protest over inequality and now does not sing the words. Neville admitted mixing politics and sport made him feel uncomfortable] I admire Megan Rapinoe for standing up in what she believes in terms of a lot of things - the fight for equality, diversity, inclusion, that she fights a lot about and campaigns a lot about. Me, personally, I would never get involved in any political issues. I’m a football manager, I don’t know anything about politics. I don’t like it when politicians get involved in football. Sometimes it’s just, ‘stay in your lane’ from my point of view, but if you’ve got views, values and you want to air them and you have a platform, I admire people who will stick their head above the parapet.
We as footballers and managers have a platform to influence, to show kids around the world that being a footballer and influencing people and doing the right things is the right thing to do. What my players have done in this tournament, they’ve had visibility around the world. What they’ve found is millions of people - boys, girls, men, women, any religion, skin colour - have probably fallen in love with a group of 23 players that love playing for their country. I think that’s more powerful than any press conference or words you can use
2019 07 01 Retrieve
[Phil Neville was watching on to see who his team would face in the World Cup semifinal. As the clock ticked down and they held onto a 2-1 lead, Neville noticed the U.S. looked calm, composed. Like they knew the outcome before the game even ended] When you saw the last five minutes of the game against France, the game management was fantastic. They took the ball to the corner, they knew what it took to win and they celebrated like winners. That’s what I admire. I’ve got to say, America have got that ruthless streak of wanting to win.
2019 07 02 Retrieve
[Phil Neville on Megan Rapinoe] At my first SheBelieves [Cup], Rapinoe put her studs through my Apple watch when I went to catch a ball. She still hasn’t paid me back for that. But she didn’t say sorry; she just got on with it. She’s a winner.
[He later called her world class] I admire people with personality, who have strong values and stand up for what they believe in. So, yes, I admire Megan Rapinoe.
2019 07 02b Retrieve
[Who are the best players in England Women?] Lucy Bronze should win the Ballon d’Or. She’s the best player in the world
2019 07 02c Retrieve
[England vs USWNT. Phil Neville’s side refusing to show any fear in their face] We’ve planned for it, we’ve played against them and we know how we’re going to play. When it was France or USA in the semi-final every one of my players said: ‘Let’s hope it’s USA’. You have to beat the best, and the USA are the best. They’ve proven it. But we’re ready for them. Sometimes, before these games, you can have fear and trepidation - but I can smell nothing but freedom, happiness and excitement.
2019 07 02d Retrieve
[Phil Neville rallied behind captain Steph Houghton after she saw her penalty saved in the Lionesses’s devastating Women’s World Cup semi-final exit to the U.S. women’s national team] I couldn’t ask for more. We had the time of our lives. Steph Houghton has had an incredible year. She’s an amazing person on and off the pitch. She’ll be upset. She’s been phenomenal. No blame should be attached to her.
[Neville was pleased with the character and quality shown by his side] We just ran out of steam. I asked them to play football the way we wanted. We’ve done our very best. I’ve told them no tears tonight. The disallowed goal was offside, we’ve had VAR decisions go our way. We got on with it. Millie Bright shouldn’t have been booked in the first half. The referee wasn’t really in control of the game. Then we went to three at the back and got stretched. That’s football. That’s sport. You’ve got to pick yourselves up. We’ve got a big game on Saturday. We’ll go again
2019 07 03 Retrieve
[The United States may have beaten England to return to the Women’s World Cup final, but Phil Neville is adamant his Lionesses will eventually bridge the gap] They can now have our hotel. They’re the standard-bearers. I played for a football club that won a lot in a long space of time. We were the ones that everyone wanted to catch. Eventually teams caught Man United and eventually we will catch USA. At the moment they’re the best team because of that winning mentality. We will get there, we are closing the gap. We’ve got to keep investing in the pathway, driving standards within our leagues and young players. We’ve got to keep having sustained success and keep building the momentum that we’ve got. America have got that winning mentality of knowing what it means to win. We will get that, we’re learning that, developing that, coaching that every single day. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. We will get there.
2019 07 05 Retrieve
[England coach Phil Neville on Karen Carney] Karen deserves all the plaudits that will come her way. It’s been a privilege to work with her over the past 18 months but even more special has been the chance to get to know someone who is an incredible person and a special team-mate. While she will not want a fuss, Karen is someone who deserves total recognition and respect as a true legend of the game
2019 07 06 Retrieve
[The not-so-secret - but unstoppable - USWNT weapon behind World Cup 2019 final run. England coach Phil Neville was asked about his opponent’s propensity to start games quickly] I think the first 15 minutes you’ve got to be ready. They do come out of the traps really quickly. I think the first 15 minutes will determine the way the game is going to shape [up].
2019 07 06b Retrieve
[England vs Sweden. Phil Neville will be keen to give minutes to some of the younger players who have only featured in fits and starts in this tournament so far - the likes of Georgia Stanway and Leah Williamson will be hopeful] It is full squad, strongest team. I want to send a message to my players that this game is important. We do have certain positions that we will need to freshen up in, but my players know this game is one we want to win. We want to go away from this World Cup with something to show for the hard work we have put in. Also, six wins, one defeat sounds better than five wins and two defeats.
2019 07 06c Retrieve
[England manager Phil Neville is proud of his charges as he saw the Women’s World Cup end with defeat in a ‘nonsense game’] I think maybe there was carry on from the semi-final - the emotion. The two goals sparked us into life and I don’t think I have seen us play better than we did after those first 20 minutes. We gave it our best shot, we fell short and we just have to make sure next time we are better. Well done to Sweden but it is a nonsense game. We are probably showing in those first 20 minutes the disappointment we felt from the USA game. We came here to win it, not finish fourth.
[Despite finishing their World Cup campaign with back-to-back losses, Neville was delighted with what he saw in France and is already looking forward to 2023] The players came here and delivered everything I wanted - the style of play. This is sport. We have to come back in four years time and be better. There are many champions that have had to suffer before coming back. We go home, we dissect and we breathe and then we get back on that horse again
2019 07 07 Retrieve
[Phil Neville admitted his England players have destroyed him at the Women’s World Cup] They destroyed me. They turned me into an emotional wreck. I cry at everything - I cry at watching Dirty Dancing now, and Pretty Woman. Because they are the most unbelievable set of girls, honestly they are. You think some days that they’re not going to be up for today and they are. They drive each other forward. They inspire me. They’ve changed me. In life you’re always at your best when you’re happy and when you’re having fun, and for these players to perform at their best I think at times I’ve needed to relax. I’ve always been a 100-miles-an-hour, eyeballs out, intense type of guy, but sometimes they like to see a smile, the smile gives them comfort and that feeling that you trust them and they’ve made me into that kind of person.
[He indicated that the Lionesses, who were also eliminated from the World Cup at the semi-final stage in 2015, are playing the brand of football he has been aiming for since he took charge in January 2018] You have periods in the day when you think we were so close, and then you have periods where you get maybe a little bit angry that we should’ve done more. Maybe 12 months ago should we have been firmer? When you start reviewing some of the work you’ve done, some of your tactics or whatever, you do have to self-reflect. And I’m sure that after the tournament I’ll probably do that more than anyone because ultimately the responsibility falls with me. We’ve still got to be proud of the work we’ve done and I’m proud of the way the players tried to play. The semi-final was enthralling. 56,000 people, my players playing the type of football I want them to play, every single player giving their all. I said to them at the start of the game, don’t leave anything and they didn’t leave anything. They left their hearts on the field
2019 07 07b Retrieve
[England women’s team manager Phil Neville has questioned the handball rules, calling them a ‘minefield’, but ultimately supports attempts to keep the game moving forward. And when asked his opinion on VAR] Handball I think is the big problem. I think a prime example is the penalty we got against Scotland and the goal disallowed [against Sweden], the handball. There’s a grey area between what is unnatural, silhouette, and even I don’t understand it to be honest with you. I say I don’t understand it, it’s how can we get that consistency. I think the referees have been really good in the tournament and they’ve just abided by the rules that have been set. There’s no criticism of the referees
[Neville believes it is for the good of the game and something everyone will have to adjust to] The hurt is if you think about the goal that Ellen [White] scored the other night and the goal she scored today, we’d scored it, we’d celebrated it, we’d done silly dances down the line, we were then thinking about how we were going to win the game and then literally four, three minutes later it’s taken away from you. It’s a horrible feeling. I remember the Champions League game when Pep did the same when City were against Tottenham and you think at the time it’s alright, and then when it happens to you, it’s a nightmare. It will take some getting used to, I have to say. But to keep the game moving forward, we’ve just got to make sure we keep nailing the big ones.
[Neville believes most of the problem stems from adjusting from going from judgment calls over rules to a strict interpretation] They were, they were explained and they’ve been implemented to the law, to the absolute law. When the goal was disallowed, or when Ellen’s against the USA was disallowed, whether it’s a toe a foot or an arm, it was offside. You can’t argue, you can’t speak to the referee afterwards and say ‘that wasn’t offside’ because it was offside. It takes away all that, all the controversy. I just thought today that the handball one, we probably just need to … what is handball? It didn’t look like a handball because ultimately the Swedish defender came and clashed in and the ball was there … could you see where she touched it?
The handball is an impossible one for someone that probably is watching to actually give. I feel sorry for them. That is the rule that I thought ‘this is going to be a minefield’ and it will continue to be so. If you abide by the rule of common sense then you’re going to get inconsistencies, week-in, week-out and I think it has to be black and white. What they’ve implemented is black and white rules. We were told beforehand that would be the case, it’s happened but we still don’t like it. I just feel the handball still needs work because the Scotland goal, Jen Beattie is probably on a beach somewhere on holiday right now thinking ‘that was never a handball’ and Ellen today is thinking ‘that’s never a handball and that’s my golden boot’. And it just seems cruel
: 2019 07 31 Phil Neville among the nominees for this year’s Best FIFA Women’s Coach award
2019 09 03 Retrieve
[Phil Neville has called links to the U.S. national team position flattering] There’s been no approach. My focus is on winning us a gold medal in the Olympics. It’s flattering because it means you’re doing a good job. My focus is England. I love this job
[Neville insisted that he had plenty of work to do in his current position after England drew Belgium 3-3 last week before Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Norway] We’ve got a big job to do, you can see over the last two games that the work is still in progress, and we’ve still got a way to go
2019 09 24 Retrieve
[Toni Duggan will miss England Women’s upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Portugal but Jordan Nobbs returns to the squad after recovering from injury] It will be great to be back in front of our fans again after two away matches. I know playing in Middlesbrough will mean passionate support and the big crowd we’re expecting shows just how much the team connected with the public in the summer. This game - and the match at Wembley against Germany in November - will be our chance to say ‘thank you’ to them. For us as a coaching team we are working towards EURO 2021 and every camp is vital for our tournament preparation. We cannot afford to waste a day and those players we have picked are aware there are others pushing them hard for their spot. With the Olympics also coming next summer, we know we have to finish an excellent year of progress on a high
2019 08 08 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says Romelu Lukaku was never right for Manchester United] He started well, didn’t he? He started well. I’ll be honest with you, I never felt as if he was a United centre forward. That was my feeling. But he started well, then obviously he lost a little bit of confidence and then found it difficult to get back up to form. I think there was always that feeling of was he fit enough? And was his style suited to playing football for Manchester United? That was my question. He’ll always score goals wherever he goes. He’ll score goals for Inter. But the way you want to play, you’ve got to fit the right people on the bus and Romelu Lukaku was never that person
2019 08 09 Retrieve
[Phil Neville claims Romelu Lukaku was never the right fit for the footballing philosophies at Old Trafford] I’ll be honest with you, I never felt as if he was a United centre forward. That was my feeling. But he started well, then obviously he lost a little bit of confidence and then found it difficult to get back up to form. I think there was always that feeling of was he fit enough? And was his style suited to playing football for Manchester United? That was my question. He’ll always score goals wherever he goes. He’ll score goals for Inter. But the way you want to play, you’ve got to fit the right people on the bus and Romelu Lukaku was never that person
2019 08 09b Retrieve
[England Women Team manager Phil Neville on Lucy Bronze] What you have seen tonight is that Lucy Bronze is the best player in the world: there is no player like her, no player who has her athleticism and quality. I played full-back but never to that level she played at
2019 08 10 Retrieve
[Phil Neville before England’s quarter-final with Norway] Ellen White’s taken her game to another level. People thought she was a grafter, a hard worker who did a job for the team. But I’ve not seen a better centre-forward in this tournament
2019 08 14 Retrieve
[Phil Neville hails change in attitude at Old Trafford] It’s early days. From what I’ve seen in pre-season, it’s been a real together, unified team. I’ve seen a team that play a certain way with a certain system. There’s been a shift in culture in terms of the players they’ve brought in. The signings that Ole has made, and with the likes of Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong coming into the squad, the bare minimum is that we’re going to see a Man United team that are going to fight to the end. The best moment for me on Sunday was when Daniel James scored that goal. The emotion on his face and what it meant to him. I think Manchester United should mean something to you
There are probably more skilful players, and players with better reputations than McTominay, but if you’re talking about character and resilience, that lad has gone through it all to get to where he wants to be. And that’s through sheer hard work, dedication and training, doing extra. It’s no coincidence that Jose Mourinho picked him in the biggest games against Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, and Ole’s doing the same now. And there’s nothing better. A level-headed young lad who is working his socks off. The fundamental basis of any successful person is hard work, and Scott McTominay is doing that in abundance.
2019 10 04 Retrieve
[England manager Phil Neville has challenged Beth Mead to reach Megan Rapinoe’s levels after a fine start to the season with Arsenal] Beth’s in the best place she’s been in. We were quite tough on her coming off the back of the World Cup and she’s answered everything we’ve asked of her. In terms of players that score goals and assist, I don’t think there’s anyone like her in our team, she assists and scores in most games that she plays. Her delivery, think back to the World Cup, the cross in the semi-final for Ellen [White], she has an impact in every single game, now it’s just the consistency. We saw Rapinoe win the big [FIFA The Best] award last week, on the big occasions she delivers. That’s the challenge we’ve set Beth: Do you want to get to that level? We’ve shown her the stats, the assists, the goals, we’ve said do you want to reach for the moon? You can go left or right here. Do you want to do OK, which is what we’ve seen, or go to the next level?
[Fellow centre-backs Millie Bright and Abbie McManus have withdrawn from the current squad, who will take on Brazil on Saturday 5 October before travelling to Portugal. That means 22-year-old Williamson is now in line for her first start since before the World Cup, when she was in the line-up for England’s 2-0 win over Denmark] I think what you’ll see from Leah Williamson when she starts tomorrow is her go to the next level. She’s been patient. What we’ve said to Leah is she might play in defence or midfield, I see her as both, I really do with her composure and quality. That girl has to play for England sooner or later
2019 10 05 Retrieve
[Mead proves she’s more than ready to rise to Neville’s Rapinoe challenge after starring against Brazil] We saw Rapinoe win the big award last week, on the big occasions she delivers. That’s the challenge we’ve set Beth: Do you want to get to that level? We’ve shown her the stats, the assists, the goals, we’ve said do you want to reach for the moon? You can go left or right here. Do you want to do OK, which is what we’ve seen, or go to the next level?
2019 10 06 Retrieve
[Phil Neville insists he is not worried about England’s run of five games without a win] No. I’ll sleep well when we play like that. We have to win football games. It’s not just a ‘Let’s just keep everybody happy’ type role. The FA want me to win football matches, so I want to be judged like any other manager. We have to grow the game, but we also have to win football matches. That’s not changed from day one. It’s just, at this moment in time, what’s happening on the left-hand side in terms of the growth is really fast and really exciting, and we need to keep moving at a similar speed on the right-hand side by winning games
[Neville confirmed that Jordan Nobbs, only recently back from an ACL injury, won’t play in Portugal] There are a couple of young players. Lauren Hemp’s been training with us all week, Chloe Kelly, and Ellie Roebuck is with us as well, so there’s a couple of young players that we want to have a look at.
[It could also be a chance for goal-scorer England to start. Neville will hope she can provide what the Lionesses need, especially with Ellen White out injured] If you look at the way Ellen played in the World Cup, and Jodie Taylor in the  Euros, that’s the level we want in terms of being clinical. Beth England came on and scored the goal, and we’re looking for that hunger and ruthlessness in the final third. It’s not just the centre-forward, the attacking front six need to contribute by being ruthless. They need to make sure we punish teams. We want to score the perfect goal sometimes, but sometimes just lashing the ball in the back of the net is the best thing. I’d say that was probably our biggest downfall [against Brazil]
2019 10 13 Retrieve
[Millie Bright’s excellent form for Chelsea poses a centre-back conundrum for England boss Phil Neville that looks extremely difficult to solve] There comes a point in a young player’s development where you physically can’t leave them out. When you put them in a game you know how they are going to perform. Now she’s ready
[He said after his side beat Manchester United 1-0, fresh off the back of travelling to Italy to face Fiorentina] It’s a new experience for us and to be brutally honest we are still getting used to it, it was a long week
2019 10 21 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set his Manchester United team up perfectly for Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday] Tactically, Ole got it really spot on. Five at the back, they defended the middle of the pitch really well, the three centre-backs, in particular, defended the goal really well, every cross that came in from wide areas they were set. Just that cross at the end when it gets fired across the box. Rojo just lost a little bit of concentration and it got punished. Liverpool did finish really strong and United will feel like that’s two points dropped
[The ex-United defender also questioned Solskjaer’s decision not to bring Anthony Martial and Brandon Williams on until the dying minutes of the match, leaving them little to time to make an impact] The momentum did change. I thought the substitutions of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana and Keita just gave them a bit of impetus in terms of energy and United didn’t make the substitutions. They brought Martial on … I thought maybe just five or 10 minutes too late to change the momentum. You could see that United were camped in. I don’t know what Rojo was doing for the goal. He had no need to go ahead of the other centre-back, he stays in his slot and he picks up Lallana. But I thought it was an outstanding performance from United. Full of energy, they played a more direct style and at the end, the fans were dead because of the effort the players put in. They didn’t get their just rewards
2019 10 29 Retrieve
[England manager Phil Neville has named his 21-strong squad for the forthcoming clashes against Germany and the Czech Republic] This is going to be a momentous occasion in the history of women’s football in England. To have sold out Wembley Stadium for the first time and to have potentially over 80,000 fans cheering on our team will not only be record-breaking, it will be an incredibly proud and humbling experience for myself and my players and staff. It will be a hugely significant landmark moment on our journey and we are all extremely honoured to be playing a part in that. But it will also be a moment for us to say thank you and show our enormous appreciation to all those players throughout the history of the women’s game in England whose hard work, determination and resilience in far tougher times has helped bring us to where we are today.
The hairs will be standing up on the backs of our necks a week on Saturday when we walk out onto the Wembley pitch. I’m delighted that so many of England’s former players are able to join us for an occasion which celebrates the achievements of every one of them. There’s an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at The FA to help us attract huge crowds like this and I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support. On my recent travels around Europe to watch my players I can tell you that what’s happening in England - the way the Lionesses have connected with the nation and the attendances in the Barclays FAWSL and of course at Wembley - is attracting huge admiration from other nations
2019 11 08 Retrieve
[Phil Neville believes England will have to give one of their best performances under his charge if they are to beat Germany on Saturday evening] They are in a state of transition but they still maintain their spot - second in the world. They are Germans, they know what they are doing. They are consistent and that’s what you will see tomorrow. You will see a team that won’t fold. You will see a team that will be disciplined, a team that won’t be scared of that occasion and we will have to play probably as good as we’ve ever played under me to get that win tomorrow
[Neville believes they have been a different team over the last few months] They have scored 31 goals in the last four games haven’t they? Albeit they have played some pretty good games. I thought they missed Marozsan massively in the World Cup. I’ve got to say, if she would have been fit like we know her then they could have easily got to the final instead of the Netherlands - I think they would have beat Sweden. I think that was a big loss for them at the World Cup. My second game was against them and since then no one has really spoken about them. They’ve changed the coach, changed a little bit of the system - they’ve got, probably three or four different systems that could play at any given time tomorrow
[Neville has his own experiences of beating Germany to draw on too] The game in Charleroi [Euro 2000] was my first experience of the rivalry between both countries. We had Kevin Keegan as a manager, who obviously played in Hamburg and knew about the rivalry and it was the supporters really. When you come into these types of games, it’s the fans that remember the rivalry
[That’s not to say the rivalry is lost among the players though, either] I was in Lyon last week and obviously Dzsenifer Marozsan was there, and you see that this is the game that they want to play in. They obviously want us to go out to Germany at some point and play because I think England vs Germany is still one of the biggest and best fixtures on the calendar
2019 11 09 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says he is happy to take full responsibility for England’s poor form of late] I’ve got to take responsibilities for those results, the buck has got to start and finish with me. The team reflects the manager and the team aren’t good enough [right now] which means I’m not good enough
[When asked if England’s level had dropped since their return from France] There is no hiding from that fact. One in seven is totally unacceptable. It is not what I see as success and we need to do something about it very quickly. We can talk about the emotional highs about the World Cup, but when you get into November that becomes an excuse
[The Lionesses must pick themselves up quickly for a trip to the Czech Republic for another friendly on Tuesday] They’ve got to go again on Tuesday. It’s a challenge, it’s my job to make sure that they’re in the right frame of mind and to pick the right team on Tuesday. To get the right result in the Czech Republic will be a massive test for us now in terms of how our players can respond to disappointments. You think about the games in tournaments that we’ve got coming up. Games in a short space of time happened in the Olympics, they happened in the Euros. We’ve got to recover quickly. And we’ve got to make sure that we produce
2019 11 09b Retrieve
[Phil Neville reflects on the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019] I’d say if I was looking back at two things that I learned in the summer: one was that, without doubt, they were the best 52 days of my career. Living, breathing World Cup football at the top level against the best coaches and the best teams, it was a phenomenal experience
2019 11 09c Retrieve
[Neville’s Lionesses have flaws exposed by Germany in front of record-breaking Wembley crowd] This is the type of game where there are no excuses. We’re in the best shape since we’ve come back from the World Cup and it’s now going out and delivering on the biggest stage
2019 11 10 Retrieve
[Phil Neville takes full responsibility for poor England form] As a manager you want to live and die by your beliefs, but ultimately the run that we are on means something has to change. Performance levels have to change and it is up to me to find that formula. I take responsibility for that. Our tactic [vs Germany] was to go away from the style of performance we have promoted and play more direct. There were probably more forward balls played down the side than have ever been played under my tenure
[Neville adamant that his team need to play attractive, attacking football - and get results] For the long-term development of English football and the long term development of the Lionesses we have to play this style of football. It is the right way to play, it is the England DNA. It is the way Gareth [Southgate] is playing, that I am playing, that the pathway coaches are playing on both sides, it is what we believe in. I do think it is the right way to play football, it is just we need to get better at it faster than we are at the moment.
We are being punished for mistakes, for the expansiveness of our style, but we need to get better because the mistakes are coming not because of the shape we are in but little technical errors that we are working on all the time. I am hoping, and [this is] what we are working on, that the DNA we want to set into the players [comes] eventually, at the big occasion. Whether [that is] at the Olympics, or Euro 2021 or the World Cup in 2023, this is the way we are going as the FA, as a group of coaches. For me it is the only way to play: entertaining, attacking football. I know we have to win games, and we have won games, but at the moment we are not and we have to look at a way of finding a tweak to make sure we start winning games again
[Asked whether he believes it is an issue within the squad and his players] I’d go to my grave with these players and their attitudes. That’s why I want to take responsibility. My performances haven’t been good enough and you can see that with the results we’ve got. I will protect them. They know they’ve got my trust and belief, but we’ve got to make sure we’re better
2019 11 12 Retrieve
[England’s Phil Neville dilemma: Post-World Cup wobble morphing into identity crisis] There is no hiding from the fact. One in seven is totally unacceptable. It is not what I see as success and it’s something that I think we need to do something about very quickly. I’ve got to take responsibility for those results. The buck has got to start with me and finish with me, ultimately, because the team always reflects the manager, and at this moment in time the results haven’t been good enough which means that I’ve not been good enough
2020 01 03 Retrieve
[Phil Neville urges Man Utd to add creativity in January amid Jack Grealish & James Maddison rumours] Look, they didn’t deserve to win but I thought we had chances in the game where you could have played a pass through, where you needed that extra bit of quality. I think this is where Ole Gunnar needs to strengthen. Moments where the right weight, the right pass, pass to the right side. I totally agree [the defence] is not good enough but I always think the defending side of the game is easier to rectify, to get better. It’s the final end of the pitch where you need to spend money, where you win Champions Leagues and where you win Premier Leagues
You can see the squad and sometimes you think, yeah, one or two additions would do nicely because we are building towards something. It just depends on if what we think will be right for us will be available. Of course it’s playing on our decision-making when we’ve got two players out for a bit, Scott McTominay for two months and Paul Pogba for a month. That gives us less options and we have loads of games and important games. But it still has to be right and that’s the big point here, if someone is available and something is possible we’ll do it. We’re looking at one or two
2020 01 23 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says Solskjaer needs time at Man Utd & two January signings] It’s a massive concern. I think they’ve got to stick with him [Solskjaer]. The squad to me looks light, it looks inexperienced, it looks weighed down by the expectation. I think they need two signings in this window to have any success this season. There’s bits I see from them that I think, ‘They’re heading in the right direction’. The youth side, the energy around the place. It’s just that lack of quality. United are where they are at this moment in time and people have got to accept it
2020 02 18 Retrieve
[Phil Neville has named his full 23-woman squad for the upcoming tournament] This is an exciting moment for the England Women’s team. With eight of our squad under the age of 23 - and six of them having competed in the WU20 FIFA World Cup - we are focusing on developing the incredible young talent we have in the women’s game with a keen eye on Euro 2021 in 16 months’ time
All of the young players who have been given their opportunity today have earned their places on merit, based on exceptional form and performances at club level as well as for England’s development teams, and I am delighted to be giving them all the opportunity they rightly deserve
Of course we will continue to rely enormously on the world-class senior players who have been the mainstay of the England Women’s squad for many years. They know what it takes to succeed on the world stage and they can teach our younger players so much about the physical and mental standards required to compete at the very top level
It’s also important that we continue our policy of integrating other talented youngsters on camp wherever possible so they can benefit from the experience of training with the Lionesses, and to that end, we look forward to welcoming Hannah Hampton and Alessia Russo to the group
Despite a largely successful 2019 World Cup campaign, we knew we needed to make significant changes to our approach if we are to be ready to win Euro 2021 on home soil next year
This squad is the realisation of months of hard work and refocusing which we have done as a team behind the scenes in recent months
Having welcomed new senior staff including Dawn Scott, who is leading on physical performance and nutrition, we can be confident that we are taking the right approach to maximise our chances of success not just at SheBelieves, but for the mid to long-term future of the England Women’s team
2020 02 22 Retrieve
[Phil Neville’s selection was announced on Tuesday] This is a vital time to expose Sandy MacIver and Ellie Roebuck to the exposure of playing in one of the best tournaments outside of the major tournaments. If we get to Euro 2021 and people like Sandy and Ellie haven’t had that kind of experience, then we would have failed as coaches in terms of our planning of their development
2020 02 22b Retrieve
[England coach Phil Neville on facing USA in the upcoming SheBelieves Cup in March] We want to be the biggest threat to them. We want to overtake them. That’s the aim. Not just to get level with them, we want to overtake them. The more we play them, the more that we compete against them, the more confidence we’ll have
2020 02 23 Retrieve
[Old Trafford to host England’s Women’s Euro 2021 opener] It doesn’t get much bigger than managing your country at a home Euros and to have the opportunity to do so at a stadium that holds so many memories for me is huge. Old Trafford has a special place in my heart, but it is also one of the country’s most iconic football grounds, so today’s announcement is a significant one for the tournament. I’m looking forward to kicking off our campaign in Manchester and to offering fans across the country the chance to watch the elite women’s game on home turf next summer
2020 02 26 Retrieve
[Phil Neville hopes the Lionnesses put in a strong showing stateside] We have to start beating the USA and beating the top teams in the world consistently. You can probably only judge when it comes to a major tournament and you start winning major tournaments like the USA have. We have just employed Dawn Scott, a fitness coach, who has been to the World Cup and won and been to Olympics Games and won and that is where you judge yourself, in the best moments and the best competitions, but along the way you have to experience what it takes to win
2020 03 12 Retrieve
[Phil Neville’s England have hit the skids after SheBelieves Cup failure] I’ve got to start earning my coin, being a better manager - and the results need to improve. Ultimately, we need to find the formula. I think we need to take a step back now and start building the foundations again - getting back to the brilliant basics
[After last night’s defeat] I went through five managers in Valencia with better records than I’ve got at this moment in time. David Moyes lost his job at Manchester United with probably a better record than I’ve got so I take responsibility
2020 03 19 Retrieve
[Speaking after he had announced his SheBelieves Cup squad, which included Telford rather than Earps] Ultimately, it was a choice between Telford and Earps because I was never going to take a keeper of that experience and not play them. I have explained to Mary that this is a one-off decision. It was a choice between which experienced keeper I would take to support the two young ones
2020 04 24 Retrieve
[Phil Neville to leave role as England head coach when contract expires in 2021] As a result of the changes to the proposed tournament scheduling we will now be working to plan for a revised match calendar once it is safe and appropriate to do so. I am looking forward to getting back to work with the team as soon as possible. We have a fantastic squad of players and there is plenty to work on as we look to progress as a team going into 2021
2020 04 30 Retrieve
[Phil Neville wants to move into club management after leaving England] We’ve got another eight camps and maybe an Olympics to go to, so it’s in the back of my mind. I approach it as I did with the end of my career, as I did when I joined Valencia, that’s with a completely open mind. Whatever opportunities come my way, I will think about them. Ultimately, the biggest thing I want to do is finish the job with the Lionesses, which I’ve absolutely loved. I think what I would say is that international management can be really frustrating. You only get the girls for 12 days and it’s really intense - then you let them go back to their club managers and you can’t impact them for another three or four weeks. I think, when you’re young in management and you’ve got that energy, the day-to-day is probably now the next thing I’m looking for. I want to impact players more than on the international level
[Neville is disappointed with the way things have worked out, but vowed to give his best to the role in his final months in charge] It was strange really because I still have 14 months left on my contract. I was getting messages from players thinking I was leaving straight away. My aim was to manage at the Euros next summer, with the first game being at Old Trafford, but, because that was put back, it got out that I wouldn’t be in charge for the Euros in 2022. Ultimately, I think it’s died down now and it’s just business as usual really. There’s still a long way to go
2020 05 01 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says Manchester United have rediscovered their direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] I love what’s going on. I know there was a little bit of negativity and stuff, but I remember watching a game - I think it was Aston Villa, 2-2 - and I came away and I just saw a different type of football. Faster, more energy, and more forward-thinking. It was actually good to watch. I spoke to Ole - I drop him a text every now and then - and just ‘keep going, I think the fans are actually liking what they’re seeing’. Regardless of Ole being a legend of the club, the signings in the summer were young, adventurous, they gave the club a little bit of energy, and I think you can see the direction now that the club is going in. I think we’ve not had that now for probably two or three years. He’s going to get time; he’s blooding all these young players. When I speak to United supporters outside the ground, I can see a genuine energy and a genuine feeling that regardless of the results or where we are in the table, I think they can see the pathway and the journey that we’re going now. It’s what we want to see as a Man United supporter, and we’re all Man United fans. I think we have to go away from the fact from signing these big galacticos and all that, and just sign good, young, hungry players that are going to come in and make this club better.
You can’t change the philosophy or the history of the club. The whole club’s been successful in buying good, young, hungry players or producing good, young, hungry players. You look at Brandon [Williams] and Mason [Greenwood] that have come in this season… Jimmy Garner, who’s probably close. You’ve got so many young players coming through, and we’ve got a manager who wants to put them in and build teams round them. You go back to [Matt] Busby, you go back to all the great managers, and that’s what they’ve done. It’s not rocket science, and probably we went away from that with the previous two managers that we had
2020 05 11 Retrieve
[Manchester United’s decision to sign Kleberson and Eric Djemba-Djemba forced Phil Neville out of Old Trafford] At the end I was really frustrated. It was probably in my last 18 months, where playing once every two or three weeks, or once every two or three games was not enough for me. I was 27, 28, I’d accepted it for much of my career with great players around me. Then we had a few players that came in like Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba, and they started to play in front of me, and that was a real wake-up call for me, that I wasn’t going to accept anymore. I spoke to Sir Alex. We both found it difficult, and agreed that it was probably best for me as an individual was to leave. It took a lot because United was my club, but I think it was the best thing that I did
[Quizzed on that, the current coach of the England’s Women’s team] I think it was [a weakness]. It was in a way that I could never nail myself to one particular position, but what I would say is I played so many games in my career because I could play in so many positions. Sir Alex would always say to me I was so valuable because of my versatility, so I rather looked at it from a positive side - but looking back, if I’d have nailed a position, I maybe would have been a bit more successful
2020 05 28 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says he always intended to leave the England Women’s team after three years to take a job in club football] My plan was always just to go for the three years and then get into day-to-day running of a club job, which would be what I wanted to do. It’s been brilliant and I’ve loved every minute of it, but ultimately you don’t get to see the players. You don’t get to impact them every single day, which is now what I feel I need to do. The plan was always to do the three years. I had a World Cup, I had the Olympics - which [would have been] this summer - and then there’s the Euros in England next summer. That was my three-year stint at international football. I think international football for a 41, 42-year-old can get quite frustrating, so I thought, get some managerial experience, which is unbelievable in terms of going to major tournaments, and then cut my teeth in day-to-day running with the energy that I’ve got. With the coronavirus, there has obviously been no Olympic Games, no Euros - which meant that obviously I had to make the decision early.
I’d say that for the whole of the lockdown period, the news and the focus has totally been on the Premier League. I’m pretty sure that the likes of Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City will look after their women’s team. I think there’s a massive commitment there. It’s teams like Bristol City, Birmingham and Brighton, even - when they’re looking at the budgets for the year, and obviously the biggest income is on the men’s side. Reading and Birmingham have both furloughed their women’s teams and staff. I hope that we don’t lose them, because ultimately there’s only 12 teams in the senior division. We need to keep teams like Birmingham, Bristol City and Reading because they’re really good teams who have been there from the start
2020 06 16 Retrieve
[Phil Neville says Pogba playing well can see Man Utd challenge Liverpool & Man City] I think they can play together. I think Pogba has got the ability to play a little bit deeper or a little bit higher, and he can go box-to-box. I think they’ve got the players now where Pogba can fit in. It’s easy for people to say ‘get rid of Pogba’, but actually, have they built a team around him yet that enables him to perform? The criticism he gets… United lose and it’s Pogba’s fault, United win but Pogba doesn’t play well and it’s Pogba’s fault. Maybe now with Fernandes, it takes a bit of that pressure away, and you might see [an improvement]. Pogba playing well will give Man Utd a better chance of winning the Premier League. When I see United playing well with Pogba in the team I think he’s world class. He’s won the World Cup, he knows how to win. With Pogba in the team playing well, it gives United a good chance of challenging Liverpool and Man City
2020 06 27 Retrieve
[Manchester United are only one Virgil van Dijk-esque signing away from being Premier League title challengers] I think one more signing. You think about Liverpool signing [Virgil] Van Dijk and Alisson in goal. One or two more signings or [Paul] Pogba and one more signing playing to their absolute best. I think United can get closer. Maguire has had a really strong impact but another real strong centre-back. They’ve still got to be defensively sound. One more signing and United can challenge
2020 06 28 Retrieve
[Man Utd only need one more signing to challenge for title] kjaer is to completing a rebuild in Manchester: I think one more signing. You think about Liverpool signing [Virgil] Van Dijk and Alisson in goal. One or two more signings or [Paul] Pogba and one more signing playing to their absolute best. I think United can get closer
[Pressed on which area United need to reinforce when the transfer window reopens] Centre-back, you look at the impact Van Dijk had. Maguire has had a really strong impact but another real strong centre-back. They’ve still got to be defensively sound. One more signing and United can challenge
[on Solskjaer’s potential attacking plans] He’ll want Rashford to develop into a centre-forward, 100 per cent. But I think Rashford, Martial and Greenwood like to play in and around a centre forward. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they still went into the transfer market and bought a centre forward. But with Pogba and Fernandes and their type of creativity, Martial and Rashford and Greenwood will get better service. It means that when they play a little loose, they’ve got someone in Fernandes who will play that killer pass