Neville and Ludlow Leave Their Managerial Posts18 Jan, 2021
It has been confirmed that Phil Neville will step down as England head coach with immediate effect following his designation to head up Inter Miami.
Neville had planned to see out the full term of his contract, terminating in July, and was also appointed as the manager for Team GB in the upcoming Olympic Games.
The FA will now prioritise naming an interim coach for the Lionesses with an announcement expected within the next few days, as well as beginning the search for a replacement Team GB boss.
Since taking charge of the Lionesses in January 2018, Neville has endured the good, the bad and the downright ugly. In 2019 he led the English side to SheBelieves Cup victory, World Cup semi-finals and helped the Lionesses qualify for the Olympics.
Yet, after that fateful semi-final defeat the Lionesses have failed to find their form and have suffered seven losses in eleven games. Most recently they placed third (out of four) in 2020’s SheBelieves Cup and have dropped in the world rankings from third to sixth under Neville’s leadership.
The Lionesses have not played a competitive match since March 2020 and currently have no upcoming fixtures. It has been rumoured that England had planned to host their own round-robin type tournament as they will not be competing in the SheBelieves Cup in America this year. However, any arrangements for such a tournament have not been confirmed.
Upon his departure Neville has commented, “it has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses. The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.”
Neville will now take charge of former England and Manchester United teammate, David Beckham’s club, Inter Miami.
Beckham applauded Neville’s appointment, stating, “we share a footballing DNA having been trained by some of the best leaders in the game, and it’s those values that I have always wanted running through our club. Anyone who has played or worked with Phil knows he is a natural leader, and I believe now is the right time for him to join.”
The Netherland’s head coach, Sarina Wiegman, has been named as Neville’s eventual successor and will join the national side in August upon conclusion of the Olympics on a four-year contract.
Under Wiegman’s management, the Dutch national sidehave won the 2017 Euro’s and were runners up in World Cup in 2019. Wiegman was also named Best FIFA Women’s coach in 2017.
The news of Neville’s departure is not the only change to personnel that the home nations have incurred in recent weeks. Jayne Ludlow and Shelley Kerr have also stepped down as the head coaches of Wales and Scotland respectively.
Ludlow, who has been with Wales since October 2014, commented, “my time as the national team manager has been an eventful and exciting journey. It has been an honour and an absolute pleasure to have worked with the staff and players across our age group and senior teams.”
Ludlow is the first manager to take the Welsh side into the top 30 in the world rankings and the only manager to have taken the reins for more than 50 games.
Kerr left the Scottish national side in December, three years since taking the helm, after they failed to qualify for the Euro’s 2022. Having led Scotland to their first World Cup in 2019, Kerr commented on her departure, “I thank the Scottish FA and all who supported me in fulfilling my dream of leading our country to the World Cup finals for the first time. I am privileged to have played a part in such an historical moment in Scottish football. That is something that will live with me forever.”