England women’s boss Phil Neville has been approached about the managerial position at Inter Miami – the club owned by former Manchester United teammate and Class 92 member David Beckham.
If Neville took on the role of Team MLS, it would likely lead him to no longer support Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
The former Manchester United man was set to lead the GB squad to the 2020 Olympics and England to Euro 2021 the following summer, but those plans were pushed back for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Neville has since announced that he will step down as Lioness boss at the end of his contract in 2021, but had maintained he was still eager to lead the GB squad in Tokyo.
The FA was due to announce the 43-year-old as the GB coach in January, but the Press Association reported (via BBC Sport) that preliminary talks have taken place between Miami and Neville – throwing a key in the work on the plans for the Olympic Games.
Neville’s absence could prove to be an advantage for the GB team. He had mixed success at the helm of the Lionesses, guiding them to success in the SheBelieves Cup and the World Cup semi-finals in 2019, before a drop in results and performance ensued after the France.
Neville made England a much more attractive position during his tenure, and for that he deserves a lot of credit. The position was effectively given to him by proxy, so the role was undesirable given the handling of Mark Sampson’s dismissal.
Two and a half years later, England were able to attract one of the best coaches in women’s football to Sarina Wiegman, persuading her to leave her extremely talented Dutch side. Such an appointment would have been unimaginable in 2018.
Neville made England play their best football of his World Cup tenure – when he had weeks with his team rather than short, intense and intense camps. He will likely prefer the regular daily contact from club management that Inter Miami would offer over the sporadic nature of international football, in large part because during parts of his tenure, especially after the World Cup, the England didn’t look like a team.
The game was rambling, inconsistent and even frustrating at times, and the team largely failed to master their game from the principles behind. In the SheBelieves Cup 2020, England have scored just one goal in three games.
Therefore, the role of coach of the GB team may not be a role that would suit Neville best given that he would have a very short time to work with his new team, and that would involve putting together a team. players from England, Wales, Scotland and the UK. Republic of Ireland. If he struggled when he ran out of contact time with the Lionesses, then the GB team would be another world of trouble.
Choosing an 18-man English-only squad is an unenviable task in itself, but add figures like Kim Little, Caroline Weir, Erin Cuthbert, Lisa Evans, Sophie Ingle and Jess Fishlock and it’s absolute carnage. The coach of Team GB will have a few weeks to transform this melting pot of British talents who have never played together into a tight-knit team.
Sometimes Neville’s England doesn’t look like they can play together – how would a home country hodgepodge team behave?