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

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Graham Taylor rejects claims he was asked to cap number of black players in England side

Graham Taylor has denied claims that the Football Association tried to cap the number of black players when he was in charge of the England team.

Spanish football could be shut down from May 16 over TV rights argument

La Liga faces being shut down from May 16 over an argument between Spain's football federation and the Government.

Real Madrid the most valuable team in football ahead of Barcelona

Real Madrid have retained their place as the most valuable football team, despite a drop in figures, according to Forbes magazine.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

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