Michael Owen: Gary Neville is the man to succeed Roy Hodgson
Former England striker Michael Owen believes that Gary Neville is the ideal man to replace Roy Hodgson in two years time.
Despite a disappointing showing in Brazil, the English FA have confirmed that Hidgson will remain in charge for the next two years, but Owen believes that when the current boss leaves his post, the frontrunner should be his former United team-mate.
“The proposition that would excite me once Hodgson steps aside as expected in two years is to offer the opportunity to someone at the start of his coaching career and give him the platform to thrive,” Owen wrote in his column in The Telegraph.
“Someone who would command the respect of his peers and bring a fresher approach to the job.”
“A personality who is completely in tune with the demands on the players at that level. Neville ticks every box.”
Owen dismissed the argument that the Sky Sports pundit lacks the experience required to manage at the highest level, suggesting that experienced managers have failed in the past.
“It would be a risk, but the so-called ‘safe pair of hands’ we’ have gone for over the last 20 years have hardly brought success.”
Owen has highlighted Jurgen Klinsmann with Germany at the 2006 World Cup and Pep Guardiola’s time with Barcelona as examples of where ‘in-experienced’ managers have shone and says Neville would rejuvenate supporter’s belief in their country.
“The immediate priority is ensuring we qualify for the European Championship finals, but beyond that we must also have a long-term plan to ensure the next World Cup is more satisfactory than this one.”
“I would be confident of progression – and genuinely optimistic about the direction we will take – if Neville was leading rather than assisting England in Russia in 2018.”