Carlos Tevez revealed recently in an interview that he can’t believe that Gary Neville can be allowed to coach the England national side and still work for Sky Sports as a pundit.
Like many single parent families I fail to see the problem with Neville holding down 2 jobs. Tevez does make a convincing argument however, that Neville cannot commit fully to England if he has his media duties to fulfil.
But the role of an England coach is not a full time position, and besides qualifiers and major tournaments take place during international breaks so it’s not like he has to choose one job over the other. In practice there’s time for him to do both.
“Red Nev” as he was affectionately known for his staunch loyalty towards Manchester United has proven himself on Sky Sports Monday Night Football programme that he is an astute pundit with the ability to provide insightful analysis.
This, reinforced by the fact that Neville only called time on his own playing career recently (which is more than can be said for some out of touch pundits) mean he is a real asset for England.
Tevez argued that when Fabio Capello was England manager his assistant, Franco Baldini, was regularly spotted at grounds up and down the country checking up on potential and current England players, and that Neville hasn’t been doing that.
Whilst there is some weight to this claim, the fact is there are other coaches and scouts more than capable of checking a player’s performance for their club.
In an ideal world the England coaches would spend endless hours with the players week after week putting them through their paces in training and getting them to play as a well drilled unit, something we haven’t seen for an England team for a long long while.
But as the contact times are so short between coaches and players maybe what’s needed is pure motivation, and who more to give them that than a man who had a stellar career at club level and played every game like it was his last?
Gary Neville may not be to everyone’s taste, I’m sure many Liverpool fans were far from happy when his role was announced, but he is a winner.
Obviously it isn’t ideal that Neville has other commitments apart from his role in the England set-up; there is the possibility of a conflict of interest. But I’m not sure Carlos Tevez, a man who once refused to come on as a sub for Manchester City and then went into exile, is the man to point fingers.
At least Neville actually has a role to play. Whilst David Beckham looked good on the touchline in his 3 lions embellished suit at the 2010 World Cup there are doubts at how much he added tactically. The whole thing seemed like a bit of a publicity stunt. David Beckham-Head Cheerleader.
And besides, if it’s good enough for Roy Hodgson, then it’s good enough for me.