Phil Neville, who is in discussions for the job of England women’s head coach, says the job is the best he could’ve asked for.
Mo Marley is currently in charge of the team, after the FA sacked Mark Sampson. In recent weeks, the association have considered Neville for the role. The former Manchester United and Everton man told the BBC: “I’m excited to see how discussions turn out.
“I have the opportunity to go to a World Cup and be successful with a group of driven and professional players, and as coach it’s the best job I could ask for. I’ll be going into international football and in-between matches to learn the culture of the women’s game.
“I am always going to get criticism because I’ll be going into the women’s game but that is testament to the level of the game. It is a fantastic opportunity.”
Nothing is official yet, and it’s fair to say there’s been a bit of backlash around the rumours. Neville has some experience of management, working as a caretaker manager for Salford City and assistant manager at Valencia. Yet he doesn’t have any experience of the women’s game at all.
Plus, managerial experience at clubs like Salford City and an assistant job in Spain aren’t exactly the highest level roles. The comment from Neville about the criticism he’ll receive is particularly telling.
Clearly the 40-year-old is aware he’s not everyone’s first-choice. Instead of making a case for himself, he makes a comment about how far the Women’s game has come.
I don’t think fans of the game are particularly interested in what Phil Neville thinks of the sport. Their main interest is whether he’s qualified and experienced enough to do the job.
If the FA do end up hiring Neville, he’s going to have a point to prove from day one. For the sake of the England team, hopefully he’s up to it.