England: Phil Neville leaves Lionesses manager role

Phil Neville has left his role as manager of England’s women and is set to take over at David Beckham’s Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

The 43-year-old was appointed as England boss in January 2018 and his contract was due to end in July.

The Football Association says it will “shortly confirm” an interim head coach until Sarina Wiegman’s arrival.

Netherlands manager Wiegman will take on the full-time role following the delayed Tokyo Olympics in August.

Former Manchester United and Everton defender Neville was the leading contender to manage Great Britain at the Games, but his expected move to the United States has left the FA needing another option.

Neville led the Lionesses to their first SheBelieves Cup title in 2019 and fourth place at the Women’s World Cup later the same year, but results since that tournament have been poor.

England’s struggles under Neville continued at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, where a late defeat by Spain in the final match was their seventh loss in 11 games.

The Lionesses have not played since that game last March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career,” said Neville, who won 19 of his 35 games in charge.

Manager P W L Win % Clean sheets
Phil Neville 35 19 11 54% 14
Mark Sampson 59 38 13 64% 32

“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, who had no previous experience in the women’s game before taking over, has made a “significant contribution” during his three-year spell, said Baroness Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football.

“The commitment, dedication and respect he has shown the position has been clear to see,” she added.

“I will personally miss our many conversations about ways we can improve and progress.”

England are now ranked sixth in the world, having been third when Neville succeeded Mark Sampson.

Neville’s record against the best sides came under particularly scrutiny, with England winning one of their nine games against teams ranked in the top five in the world during his reign.

Opponent (competition – date) Result
France (SheBelieves Cup – March 2018) Won 4-1
Germany (SheBelieves Cup – March 2018) Drew 2-2
USA (SheBelieves Cup – March 2018) Lost 1-0
Sweden (friendly – November 2018) Lost 2-0
USA (SheBelieves Cup – March 2019) Drew 2-2
USA (World Cup – July 2019) Lost 2-1
Sweden (World Cup – July 2019) Lost 2-1
Germany (friendly – November 2019) Lost 2-1
USA (SheBelieves Cup – March 2020) Lost 2-0

“After steadying the ship at a challenging period, he helped us to win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time, reach the World Cup semi-finals and qualify for the Olympics,” added Campbell.

“Given his status as a former Manchester United and England player, he did much to raise the profile of our team.

“He has used his platform to champion the women’s game, worked tirelessly to support our effort to promote more female coaches and used his expertise to develop many of our younger players.”

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