Phil Neville has left a young, talented Lionesses squad… now England have to go and win a trophy
THERE has been a mixed reaction to Phil Neville’s England reign after he quit early for Inter Miami.
But there ARE positives to take from his time in charge, having taken the Lionesses to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.
I have criticised the women’s performances since and England have dropped from second to sixth in the world rankings during his time in charge.
But you only have to look at the outpouring of tributes from the players to know he had an incredibly close bond with them.
Neville gave debuts to Georgia Stanway, 22, Leah Williamson, 23, and Keira Walsh, 23, who are now among the senior superstars.
These youngsters have got to tap into their full potential now and go on to win a major tournament.
When you look at the development of women’s football in this country, momentum has always come off the back of the Lionesses doing well.
The next generation want winners, so anything other than getting our hands on a Euros or a World Cup is now deemed a failure, which shows how far the team has come.
We need the younger players to now make their mark.
Sports scientist Dawn Scott will be our secret weapon, having helped the USA win two World Cups.
Collectively, it would be great to see an improvement in our fitness and physicality.
Players will dominate if they look to the likes of Lucy Bronze, who sets the standard for work rate.
If the Tokyo Olympics go ahead this year, women’s football has to take advantage.
But with Neville gone, Team GB need a new leader — it’s a big hole to fill and they must move fast.
It worries me that we don’t know who will be leading that team yet.
I would love to see Manchester United manager Casey Stoney lead the side.
She has built United from scratch and turned them into a title-chasing side in just four years. She has also played at the Olympics.
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I know she’s very happy at the Red Devils but she could take over Team GB on a short-term contract.
Even my name was put into the hat! I’d never say never, but at the moment I have things I want to focus on in my media career.
We’ve got to come to a decision soon, for the sake of the players and the growth of women’s football.
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