The era of Andy Gray punditry came and passed with plenty of scepticism when Gary Neville was unleashed by Sky to take over one of the top jobs at Sky Sports. However, he may now have to give up that role because England want his full commitment and analytical skills.
Neville’s analysis on Sky has been superb as he talks through basic defensive situations, breaking things down in terms that a five-year-old could understand and doing it all in a very serious and focused style.
He’s also a much respected commentator although it is amusing when he tries to keep his impartial hat on during a Manchester United game.
That is exactly what England have seen in him, which is the reason Roy Hodgson drafted him into the England coaching staff in the first place and he could be closing on a permanent defensive coaching role with his country.
His TV work is something which seemed to get him noticed by the England camp very quickly and although that’s not the main reason he was drafted in, it wouldn’t have done him any harm.
What makes this a positive for England is they have someone who is used to the pressure and can get the basics of effective defending across in a simple way.
England achieved a remarkable recent result against Brazil, which came within the Hodgson era and a large part of the England defence at the moment is down to the former United right back.
If Neville stays on then it means continuity which is very important for England. It’s important because it enhances the chances of consistency, which is the only way England will overcome bigger and better sides and win a major trophy.
Love him or loathe him, you can’t argue against the fact that he knows what he’s talking about which is based on a career with Manchester United which earned him hundreds of first team appearances and nearly 100 England caps.
He’ll admit when he’s wrong and he won’t just defend defenders and slaughter midfielders and strikers. Despite his United background, he does see things in a very impartial way and is not afraid of saying the things or addressing the issues which others seem content to dance around.
If he’s forced to leave Sky then they’ll replace him but Monday nights just won’t be the same and it’s the second time in the last few years, that’s been the case although Gray and potentially Neville would have left Sky under very different circumstances.
Is Neville good enough for a permanent long term England position?
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