St Jakob Park

Next Game

Switzerland v England

Monday, 08 September 2014, 19:45

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E

Last Game

Costa Rica 0 - 0 England

Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 17:00

World Cup Group D

Neville calls for more flair

Gary Neville believes English players need to have 'more flair and imagination', but is adamant there are plenty of qualities to admire.

Last Updated: 23/07/13 at 11:36 Post Comment

Gary Neville: Says England need more flair and imagination

Gary Neville: Says England need more flair and imagination

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

England's recent failings at the European Under-21 Championship and the Under-20 World Cup have again prompted questions about the future prospects for the senior national team.

Former Manchester United captain Neville is not concerned by claims that England have no sense of identity, but is aware of the areas which need improving after being impressed by Spain at the U20 World Cup.

"We've got to be careful," Neville, who is part of England's coaching staff, told The Times. "When people talk about the DNA of English football, we've got one. We work hard, we're organised, structured, resilient, hard to beat. Not bad qualities.

"Go back over the last 20 years. Last year Italy, even though you can argue they performed better than us, didn't beat us. Portugal in 2004 and 2006 didn't beat us. 1998, Argentina, we were down to ten men for 70-odd minutes, and they didn't beat us. In 1996, Germany didn't beat us. So let's not give away what we're good at.

"People say we don't have a DNA? Give me a break. We have a DNA as a country - British standards, the British legal system, solidity, structure, organisation, that never-say-die spirit.

"We're not arrogant, we're the first to take the mickey out of ourselves and be down on ourselves. We're trying to take the best of that and add a higher level of flair and technical ability."

He added of the Spain U20 side: "I was fascinated by this team. Not by their technical ability, but because of the incredible work ethic around their defending. France are in possession and the positions of the Spanish are absolutely textbook, a back four pushing up from the back.

"This is an Under-20 team and they've been coached how to defend. This isn't the Spain I came across when we beat them at the Under-18 finals in 1993 or again in 1996 or 2002. They've evolved. That's what we need to do - to have more flair and imagination."

However, Neville is confident that the calibre of English players is improving from a technical viewpoint, commenting: "We're producing a different type of centre-forward - Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge.

"Our full-backs are no longer Gary Nevilles. They're Kyle Walkers, Ryan Bertrands, Luke Shaws, who think as wingers. We're producing a better quality of player."

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

P

resumably, Diaby is in this team but receiving treatment

lee
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

A

deadwood 11 and not an arsenal player listed. Heady days.

EssexGooner
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

W

ithout doing any research I would have to say that Richard Wright is the singular most successful ex Ipswich Town player I know. Yes, thats what the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of highs and lows feels like supporting the Tractor Boys. In other exciting news I saw two, count them, TWO squirrels today. What a start to August.

hump3.
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

Footer 365

Premier League: Jordan Henderson looking to raise game for Liverpool and England

Jordan Henderson is aware that he needs to 'step up' for Liverpool and England following the departures of key men.

Transfer news: Manchester City hoping to complete squad with centre-half

Manchester City are planning one more summer deal, with only a centre-back required to complete their squad.

Premier League: Paul Lambert delighted to have Roy Keane at Aston Villa

Paul Lambert is enjoying working alongside Roy Keane, a man he sees becoming a key figure at Aston Villa.

Mail Box

How Can Tim Sherwood Be Out Of Work?

Don't peple know his PPG was THE BEST EVER FOR A SPURS MANAGER? We also have mails on Luis Suarez, the new fashion for 3-5-2 and more...

Plenty Of Reasons Why Lukaku's Worth It

The mailbox defends Everton's enormous outlay on Romelu Lukaku, while we also have mails on Spurs and Suarez. Oh, and worrying about the new magic spray...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property