Neville hits out at FA: ‘I’m seen as a failure’

Matt Stead

Gary Neville has criticised FA chief executive Martin Glenn, and claims that he is now seen as a “failure” as a coach.

Neville served as Roy Hodgson’s assistant for England from 2012 until the latter’s dismissal in 2016, with the pundit leaving his post as a result.

The 41-year-old also suffered an ill-fated four-month spell in management with Valencia, and is now choosing to concentrate on his business ventures.

Neville does not foresee a return to coaching within the next five years – if he ever does return at all – but he has hit out at comments made in the summer by FA chief Glenn.

One of the three men charged with appointing Sam Allardyce as Hodgson’s replacement in July, Glenn discussed the propensity of former players to head into punditry as opposed to coaching in the summer.

“There’s a pathway should they choose it,” Glenn said. “It’s just the alternatives seem more interesting, more fun and more lucrative. If you can earn millions being a pundit it’s a lot less pressured than it is running a team.

“There is something about England where because of the money in TV that is not a bad pathway at all.”

Speaking to Revista of Sky Sports, Neville has hit out at those comments, and says that he is now regarded as a “failure” in coaching.

“I feel sad about the fact that Martin Glenn said a few months ago that all ex-players go into punditry for the money,” he said. “It’s not that simple, Martin. It’s not that simple. That’s an excuse; I don’t use excuses.

“He’s got to find the solution, not tell me the problem. Holland have got the solution. Ajax have got the solution. Barcelona have got the solution. Football clubs have the solution. There are models out there that create pathways. They keep you on the pathway.

“The FA invested in me for four years. I’m the most experienced I’ve ever been, yet you get chucked overboard. I’ve been to eight tournaments as a player and three as a coach. I’m probably the only English coach that’s managed in La Liga at a top-four club in the past 15-20 years – even if it was only for four months.

“I’m only 41 years of age, and yet you’re regarded as a sort of failure. The reality is that the investment has to come through defeat and victory. Of course, after Iceland you have to go. It’s difficult. But the pathway of young coaches cannot be just based upon a run of defeats or victories, or else you’re ever-changing who you invest in.”