Next Game

S Marino v England

Saturday, 05 September 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

Last Game

Slovenia 2 - 3 England

Sunday, 14 June 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think that puts all doubts over Benteke's quality to bed. Can he do it after receiving the ball to feet, in the box, totally unmarked, on a warm, sunny afternoon in Swindon? Oh yes he can! This year is definitely Liverpool's year. YNWA.

rationalmanc
WATCH: Benteke's debut screamer

A

ll very well selling all midfield and strikers but unless we bring anyone in that is better than what we had then it will be a terrible transfer window in my view. Sorted out the defense but our midfield and striker options look very light.

bigo
Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Jose rues pitch and weather after defeat

Footer 365

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has 'difficult questions'

Arsenal centre-half Per Mertesacker says manager Arsene Wenger has a lot of "difficult questions" to answer.

West Ham forward Enner Valencia ruled out for up to 12 weeks

West Ham forward Enner Valencia has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a leg injury.

Jordy Clasie says he'd have rejected move to Man United in order to join Southampton

Jordy Clasie claims he'd have rejected Man United to sign for Southampton - saying it's "better to start lower and finish higher".

Mail Box

There's A Lot Of Anger About TV...

...and how much you have to pay - largely for games you don't actually want to watch. Many of you are forced to go illegal. We also have mails on Chelsea, Angel di Maria and...

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company