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Should Gary Neville Be The Next England Manager?

September 04, 2015

- Grant Whittington

With the international break now upon us, England face two games that should see them virtually seal their place in the 2016 European Championships to be held in France. While Roy Hodgson is currently doing a solid and consistent job in leading England’s qualification charge (and there is no suggestion that he will not retain the position for the duration of the 2016 tournament at least), he has gone on record to claim that his assistant and former Manchester United icon Gary Neville should succeed him in the role.

Is it too much, too soon? Should Gary Neville be next in line for the England Job?

Speaking at a press conference before England’s double qualification header this weekend, Hodgson was full of praise for Neville and made a compelling argument for his ability to become the next manager. It is fair to say that this assertion has been met with a mixed response by fans and media representatives however, with many questioning Neville’s credentials and experience as an international manager. Neville is a polarising character, so it is important to consider his potential from an objective viewpoint where club loyalties are not a factor.

From a positive perspective, Neville is a highly successful former professional who performed consistently at the highest level in England and Europe. With a winning mentality, an innate understanding of the game (as showcased by his insightful work as a Sky Sports pundit), and an ability to command respect from players, he certainly has the pedigree to grow and succeed in the role. His progression would also provide the kind of continuity that England have craved for an entire generation, especially as it looks to develop a fluid and flexible style of play.

The Case Against

In terms of negatives, Neville lacks managerial experience at any level. While coaching is one thing, taking the leap into international management without any experience at club level seems fanciful in the extreme. After all, Steve McClaren was an outstanding coach and manager who struggled to command respect in the role, and he had at least coached at Middlesbrough and won some silverware in the form of a League Cup.

This may ultimately the decisive factor, with the likelihood being that Neville will be required to cut his teeth as club level before managing on the international stage. This is certainly worth watching in the future, however, especially as Hodgson continues to edge towards retirement.

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