Owen backs Neville for Eng job

2014-06-24 12:33
Gary Neville (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Michael Owen has thrown his weight behind ex-team-mate Gary Neville, by saying Neville should be the England boss. 

Michael Owen, the star of England's 1998 SWC campaign, thinks the FA should look no further than current coaching staff member Neville should they wish to relieve Roy Hodgson of his duties.

Hodgson, who wants to remain in charge of the hardest job in football, has a contract until 2016 and initial reports suggest the FA are not looking to sack the former Liverpool and Fulham manager.

Owen, writing in his article for the Telegraph, is suggesting England take a bold approach in their succession planning.

Whenever a team performs like England have at a major event, the inevitable reaction is to suggest a long list of managers who could have made England perform better. While Owen is not suggesting Neville should immediately takes charge of the Three Lions, he is putting Neville's name forward when the time comes.

Owen suggests Neville would be the perfect man to replace Hodgson, with continuity - for both the players and staff - the main selling point.

Neville would be able to command the respect of his peers while bringing a new approach to way England approach the game.

Owen rubbishes the idea that a lack of management experience would hinder Neville. Firstly, there is no comparison between coaching a national team and an English Premiership club. Secondly, "the safe" option has hardly brought England the success that the fans and players so desperately seek.

Owen suggests England take a similar route to Germany and Barcelona when appointing the successor to Hodgson, whenever that may be. Germany handed the national team to Jurgen Klinsmann for the 2006 SWC where Klinsmann guided the Germans to a third placed finish after losing to Italy in the semi-finals.

Pep Guardiola's record at Barcelona needs no elaboration. 

England take on Costa Rica tonight at 18:00 (SA time).

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