Rachel Yankey doesn’t see much wrong with Phil Neville being appointed England Women head coach, and hopes to see a former female footballer in the men’s game.
Yankey, who won 129 caps for England, believes that the FA have chosen Neville as the next England manager for a reason. Speaking to Betfair, she said that time will tell if he’s the right person for the job.
“I know he hasn’t managed before – he’s obviously coached at Valencia, coached at Manchester United, his playing CV is fantastic – but whether he is the right person for the job, that remains to be seen.
“I don’t see anything wrong with the appointment. I think the FA have their criteria to pick a manager by and he must fit the bill, so we will just have to wait and see just how well he does with the team.”
Neville was a controversial choice as a manager due to having zero experience in women’s football. On top of that, he’s had very little managerial experience. Yankey highlights his time at Manchester United and Valencia, but he was at those clubs during struggling seasons.
It might be harsh to pin that on Neville, but his CV doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Nonetheless, he’s the one the FA have gone with, seemingly because nobody else wanted the job.
There were calls for a female coach after the Mark Sampson scandal, but Yankey feels gender should be irrelevant, adding: “I’ve always maintained that the best people for the job should be given the job,” she said when asked if the next coach should have been female.
“You shouldn’t just be given the job because you’re a female. I don’t believe that you should have all female refs just because it’s a female tournament. I think it should go to the best person, and the FA have obviously deemed that to be Phil Neville”
The former Arsenal winger is also hopeful of a ex-pro female footballer working in the men’s game after Neville’s appointment.
“Now we’ve got an ex-pro male footballer working in the women’s game, so perhaps we will see an ex-pro female footballer working in the men’s game.”