Inter Miami have appointed former England Women manager, Phil Neville, as their new head coach. The switch will see him link up with ex-Manchester United teammate David Beckham, who is part-owner and president of the MLS franchise, founded back in 2018.
During their playing days, the pair enjoyed great success. They were part of the Red Devils side that clinched a famous treble during the 1998/1999 season, and the duo won a spate of other honours after coming through the club’s academy.
Beckham Happy With Inter Miami Neville Appointment
Beckham revealed his delight at the appointment in an interview on the club’s website: “I am very happy with the leadership group we have established to lead the team as we turn the page following our inaugural season and look forward to having Chris and Phil join us soon. I have known Phil since we were both teenagers at the Manchester United Academy. 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.
“Phil has deep experience in football, as a player and as a coach at both club and international level, and over his career he has worked with many of the finest managers and players in the game. I know his qualities as a person, his decency, loyalty and honesty – and his incredible energy and work ethic. 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.”
Neville Not Always Successful for England Women
Prior to taking the Inter Miami job, Neville had been in charge of the Lionesses and his reign was controversial. Characterised as a ‘publicity stunt’ by the media, he did not even apply for the job, instead being cherry-picked by the FA to fill the void left by Mark Sampson’s acrimonious departure.
Despite this, Neville’s started off his tenure with a bang, leading his side to victory in the SheBelieves Cup in 2019, before steering them to their second, consecutive World Cup semi final — a losing effort against eventual champions the United States — later that year.
After this initial success, results began to stagnate with the 43-year-old’s uninspiring tactics getting their fair share of criticism. However, in his first interview as Herons boss, Neville promised that Inter Miami fans could expect exciting football when the MLS season kicks off in February.
“When the supporters come to the stadium, I want them to see the team with an identity and say, ‘this is an Inter Miami team, an exciting team that plays a real open brand of fútbol.’ We want to play technical fútbol, we want to be aggressive, we want to play on the front foot, we want to go out and try and win every single game,” he revealed.
“I’m not a coach that likes to sit back, I said when I started my journey as a coach I want to be as brave as possible and try to win every single game of fútbol. I’m going to stay true to those values at Inter Miami. I think those values suit the values of the ownership, suit the values of the supporters, and I think the supporters will enjoy the brand and style of fútbol that I want to play and the players want to play. I think hopefully we’ll look back in time and say this team has a real identity of what Inter Miami is all about.”
It is reported that the England Women job Neville has vacated will be filled by Hege Riise, before Sarina Wiegman takes over in the summer.
Inter Miami Squad – Higuain & Matuidi the Stars
Neville joins a club with a talented squad, filled with both experience and youthful exuberance. Their marquee player is former Napoli and Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuian, who they signed on a free transfer from Juventus last year. Blaise Matuidi — who lifted the World Cup with France back in 2018 — is another household name, while wing-back Brek Shea has experience playing in the Premier League with Stoke City. In terms of names to watch out for, 20-year-old Argentine winger Matías Pellegrini has been tipped for a move to Europe in the not so distant future.
The MLS fixture list has not yet been released, so it is not clear when Neville’s first game will be, but with the season not scheduled to kick off until 29 February, he still has plenty of time to bolster his squad with new signings.