Friday 6 December 2019

Keane: Gary Neville won't be one calling shots for England

Glenn Moore

Gary Neville will report for international duty when the England squad meet up in Manchester today to make his debut as part of Roy Hodgson's coaching staff.

Neville was often outspoken as a player and his candour as a TV pundit has been refreshing, but his former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane does not expect Neville "to be calling the shots" in his new role.

Keane, who played alongside Neville for 12 years, said: "Gary wasn't as influential in the dressing room as people might think he was. He would say his piece, but he wasn't running the show -- far from it.

"So, don't think for one minute he will be going into England and calling the shots. He will be learning his trade and act as a link between the manager and the players and I think he will be good at that."

Neville, capped 85 times by his country, is qualified to UEFA 'A' licence standard as a coach, but has yet to use his qualifications, having been doing media work, primarily with Sky, since retiring last year.

"There's lot of thumbs up. Everyone says it is a good appointment, but let's wait and see how it pans out," said Keane. "Hopefully he'll do well, Gary's a decent guy and he's played at a decent level, but that doesn't guarantee you success."

Keane, who has managed Sunderland and Ipswich, added: "We've got to give him a chance -- he's not done any coaching before. I know he has done his coaching qualifications, but sitting in a studio talking about teams is very different."

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly was yesterday called into the England squad for Saturday's friendly against Norway, as cover.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United took the latest step in their successful French revolution yesterday when midfielder Roman Amalfitano (22) flew in to finalise a three-year contract, having just helped Reims to win promotion to Ligue 1.

Newcastle now have seven France-born players, ranging from first-teamers such as Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa to youngsters such as Yven Moyo and Mehdi Abeid, on their books. (© Independent News Service)

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