Why mutinous Gary Neville is a shrewd choice for England

May 15, 2012

Outspoken former United man will pep up England camp as he joins Hodgson as coach

GARY NEVILLE, the firebrand former Manchester United full-back who once tried to instigate a player mutiny against the FA, is to join Roy Hodgson's backroom staff as a coach.

The 37-year-old, who retired as a player last year, spent the last season working as a pundit with Sky, where he has been something of a revelation. He will now combine that role with his new England duties.

The move has been widely applauded. "He will be respected in the dressing room and will act as an ideal link man between players and manager, having been an international team-mate of the likes of Steven Gerrard," said The Sun.

The Daily Telegraph said Hodgson and Neville would be a "good blend" and described the dynamic between them as "wise owl and young lion".

It added: "Neville's role will be part-coach, part regimental sergeant major and part-friend to the stars. Hodgson can shape the players tactically."

The Times says the appointment is "shrewd". Neville, unlike many of his contemporaries, has analysed his own career "and considered how it all could have been done so much better".

It also applauds Hodgson for resisting the temptation to appoint a friend or a "yes-man".

Neville was a divisive character as a player and did not shy away from controversy. He enraged Liverpool fans in 2006 by running half the length of the pitch to taunt them after United scored a late winner at Old Trafford. Three years earlier he tried to instigate an England player strike after Rio Ferdinand was dropped from the squad for missing a drugs test.

He has routinely criticised the FA but Sam Wallace of The Independent says the appointment shows maturity. "It probably says a lot about both parties, not least the way the FA is trying to change, that both saw able to see past their differences in the past to get Neville on to Hodgson's staff."

The other bonus is that that presence of Neville on the England staff could persuade Paul Scholes, who is actually three months older than him, out of international retirement.

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Typically astute move by Hodgson, chapeau!

What fantastic news this is for both Gary Neville and the English International football team .A man who clearly knows what he is speaking about , which shouts out loud and clear when you here is punditry work on  Sky.He puts the likes of Alan Shearer on the BBC to shame .Neville obviously has done his detailed research into the topics he and the Sky programme  he is co-hosting.Which is what I am sure Roy Hodgson will charge  him with to investigate fully Englands opponents in Poland and the Ukraine in this summers tournament.Building through to Brazil in 2014.
You would also imagine similar to when he was at United a shop- steward type role , to provide accurate , undiluted feedback from the English players  to Roy Hodgson.
As  I am Scottish I have no vested interest in Englands performance , but want them to do well.To adopt any - other stance , in my view is churlish, and from a Scottish perspective, reeks of jealousy.
Gary certainly has his work cut out for him with three key jobs , England,Sky and his fantastic columns in the Mail.
Most normal human people , would be near meltdown, burn-out with that workload.Not the magnificent Red Nev  though A 'young lion' with a ferocious growl.
Good luck to him and England.