Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has been appointed as a coach of the English national football team by new manager Roy Hodgson. Neville has been given a four-year contract and is scheduled to start immediately by preparing the squad for the Euro Cup 2012 tournament. The 37-year-old has worked as a television commentator for Sky TV for the past year.
Neville said that it’s an honour to be a part of the England setup and is thrilled that Hodgson has asked him to join his staff. He added that he didn’t have to think twice when being asked to become a part of the national side. Their first test will be the first group game when England face France.
England always looks like they have one of the best team son paper, but this time the fans are not expecting as much as usual due to the recent failures, so it might work for them better. The current Euro 2012 betting odds on England to win the whole tournament is 10 times the money.
Neville has his coaching license in the UEFA A and B categories and also played 85 times for England. These include appearances at the 1998 and 2006 World cups as well as the European Championships in 1996, 2000, and 2004. He also captained Man United during his player career and won every domestic trophy in the English game along with the Champions League Final in 1999.
He managed to win an FA Youth Cup as a youngster and then debuted for England in 1995 as a 20-year-old and played 602 games with United before retiring in 2011. Hodgson said he thinks Neville is the perfect man for the job because he has his coaching qualifications as well as a lot of experience as a club and international player, especially since he played for England in five major tournaments.
Hodgson added that he wanted a younger coach to help him since Neville knows many of the players on the squad and has played with and against several of them over the years. The hiring may have come as a surprise to many fans and football experts though since Neville has been a critic of the English FA while working for Sky and said that he thought Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp should have been hired as England’s new manager.
“Hodgson appointment a shock” – Neville
After Hodgson was hired Neville wrote a column in the Mail on Sunday newspaper and said it was a shock that Hodgson was asked to manage England’s national team. He also said when Hodgson’s and Redknapp records were studied side by side though, and their strengths and weaknesses were analyzed, that there wasn’t a lot between the two managers.
He said that both managers deserved to be considered and a good case could be made for either one of them being appointed as England’s new boss. Neville feels that a lot of the negative reaction that has come Hodgson’s way after his hiring could actually turn out to be a good thing since many people may view him as an underdog and could rally around him.
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