England’s home defeat in front of a record crowd against Germany at Wembley on Saturday was a third defeat in five games since the tournament alone. England’s only win during that time has been a fortunate 1-0 victory over a far inferior Portugal side.
The slide in performances over the last three months have generally been alarming, while Neville has taken particular criticism over his inability to improve the ongoing weaknesses that have been apparent for some time, even before and during the World Cup.
Now, as England prepare to face Czech Republic, a side ranked 28th in the world, that has never qualified for a World Cup and that the Lionesses thrashed 5-1 in their last meeting in 2008, things may be about to reach breaking point for Neville.
Words to that effect from October when should have done more than scrape a 1-0 against a far inferior Portugal side. England will not win Euro 2021 with Neville https://t.co/MTbLJhagPm https://t.co/cviRn0hLsW— Jamie Spencer (@jamiespencer155) November 9, 2019
A report from The Times points to the potential dismissal and notes how Neville’s determination to build a long-term identity has not yielded any improvements. Germany, for one, appeared to target England’s known weaknesses and were rewarded for doing so.
Neville has tried to implement a style that England’s current crop do not appear comfortable with or able to play in. Either different players who can play that way have to be brought into the squad, the manager has to adapt his plans, which he seems unwilling to do, or he has to go.
Speaking to Sky Sports in the wake of the Germany defeat, Neville was adamant that he has no plans to walk away and would feel ‘ashamed’ if he did so at this stage.
Sky Sports News aired an interview with Phil Neville during the hour simulcast on NBCSN today. He said quite a few words. Some highlights:@KatieWhyatt@SuzyWrack @M0lly_Writes @KiersTheivam @SheKicksdotnet @lawson_sv @EqualizerSoccer @caitlinmurr pic.twitter.com/7RSD4BJuRn— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) November 11, 2019
He also spoke of ‘unwavering’ support, although there is doubt as to whether this is related to any assurances he may have received from his superiors at the FA, or his own general belief.
But Neville also admitted it is necessary to have some ‘honest conversations’ within the squad. He has accepted responsibility for not performing as a manager and acknowledged, “…the buck stops with me that I need to be a better manager to get more out of these players."