UK Markets open in 2 hrs 12 mins

Gareth Southgate is ‘England’s biggest asset’ - he managed Croatia game ‘unbelievably’, says Gary Neville

·2-min read
Gareth Southgate is ‘England’s biggest asset’ - he managed Croatia game ‘unbelievably’, says Gary Neville
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Former England defender Gary Neville has heaped praise on Gareth Southgate after the Three Lions’ Euros 2020 victory over Croatia, labelling the manager “our biggest asset”.

England won their opening game at a European Championships for the first time ever as Raheem Sterling’s goal earned a 1-0 victory at Wembley.

Southgate made several bold calls, starting Kieran Trippier out of position at left-back, Raheem Sterling in attack despite his poor club form and Kalvin Phillips in midfield alongside Declan Rice.

However, the manager’s team selection paid off, with Trippier part of a new-look back four that was rarely troubled, while Phillips set up Sterling’s winner in a superb display.

“I was shocked by the inclusion of Trippier at left-back like most people but not in a doubting way because I don’t doubt the manager,” Neville said on ITV. “I think we’ve got an outstanding international manager who’s got unbelievable experience.

“There are a lot of things that I would have said historically would have gone against England today. Two-o’clock kick-off, 30 degrees, playing against a team that passed us off the park in the last tournament, an experienced team. Not having his best defender, not having his best team.

“I thought he managed that game unbelievably today. You talk about who the best player was, it might be Kalvin Phillips or Raheem Sterling but our biggest asset is our manager.

“The clamour in the past would have been to for Grealish and he didn’t even bring him off the bench. So, he’s willing to make the unpopular decisions, ones that some of us ultimately, at times, don’t think he should make because he knows that group better than anyone. He knows how to get a performance and a result better than anyone.

“He’s had seven or eight tournaments now, as a coach now, with the U21s, as a player. He’s vastly experienced and I feel really comfortable with him there, as an England fan, and what he did today was really good.”

Read More

Gareth Southgate hails ‘outstanding’ Kalvin Phillips as England man bosses midfield against Croatia

Kalvin Phillips leads the way as England show promising signs of solving age-old problem in Croatia win

Raheem Sterling sends a cryptic message about his difficult season for Manchester City after England win

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting