Tag Archives: Phil Neville

Lionesses appoint Hege Riise as Short-Term Head Coach

The England Lionesses have appointed the former Norwegian midfielder Hege Riise as a short-term head coach following the sudden departure of Phil Neville to Inter Miami in the MLS.

Riise will step into the role from February of this month to lead the upcoming training camp supported by ex-Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson. 

During her distinguished playing career, Riise was an Olympic, World Cup and European Championship winner and scored 58 goals in 188 internationals.

The 1995 world player of the year has since gone on to have an impressive coaching career too, having managed to steer Norwegian side LSK Kvinner to six consecutive league titles.  She has also previously been the assistant coach to the all-conquering USA Women’s side, which won Olympic Gold in 2012.  

Speaking about her Lionesses appointment, Riise said: 

“I’m excited about the opportunity I’ve been given to work with England Women. This is a proud and ambitious team that I look forward to working with and I am confident of making a positive impact when I meet up with the squad in February.”

The Director of England Women’s football Sue Campbell, meanwhile, added:

“I am delighted to welcome Hege Riise and Rhian Wilkinson to the England coaching team, having had positive discussions with them in recent weeks.  

“They bring significant international experience and will help guide our players before the arrival of Sarina Wiegman as our new head coach to lead us into the home EURO in 2022. Once February is complete, we will sit down and assess the Lionesses situation and consider next steps for Team GB in consultation with the home nations and the British Olympic Association.”

Riise could be in the frame to take on the Team GB job too as that role has also been vacated following Neville’s departure, but it is understood that her primary focus will be working with England.  

This appointment will also have no affect on the incoming Dutch coach Weigman, who is due to take the helm of the Lionesses from September 2021

Phil Neville leaves Lionesses to join Inter Miami

England Women’s head coach Phil Neville has left to succeed Diego Alonso at MLS club Inter Miami.

The former Everton and England defender is set to leave his post as Lionesses’ head coach, (which he has held since 2018), with immediate effect.

At 43, Neville already had a vast amount of coaching experience under his belt, working with the England’s U21 side, taking a coaching role at Manchester United and the assistant manager position at Valencia, before landing the England Women’s job.

During his time in charge, he led the Lionesses to glory in the SheBelieves Cup for the first time in 2019 as well as a fourth place finish at the World Cup in the same year, where they were narrowly eliminated by eventual winners USA in the semi final.

Despite a promising first eighteen months at the helm, the team’s form tailed off after that impressive tournament. They failed to retain their SheBelieves Cup crown last year and have lost seven of their eleven games since, their worst run since 2003 which placed mounting pressure on Neville to resign.

In April of last year Neville announced he planned to leave his position as manager when his contract expires in July 2021 after the 2021 Euro tournament was postponed to 2022 as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Neville agreed to step down from England duties almost nine months ago now, but was still in line to oversee Team GB at this year’s rescheduled summer Olympics in Tokyo before allowing Holland head coach Sarina Wiegman to take over the England role permanently in September.

Taking the Inter Miami job would obviously rule him out of contention for leading Team GB at the Olympics, with the FA already looking to appointing a caretaker manager to do so.

Inter Miami, who are part owned by Neville’s former teammate David Beckham, finished 10th in the Eastern Conference in their inaugural season, winning seven, drawing three and losing thirteen of their games.

They earned a spot in the MLS playoffs, becoming only the seventh franchise to do so in their first season, but were defeated 3-0 by Nashville, in what proved to be Alonso’s last game in charge.

Neville will be tasked of getting the best out of Miami’s marquee signings, mainly World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi, Argentine Gonzalo Higuaín, who registered just one goal last season and former Celtic player Lewis Morgan who was a huge success story last campaign.

Paul Scholes returns to Management

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes is to take temporary charge of Salford City following the surprise departure of manager Graham Alexander. 

Scholes currently co-owns the League Two side with his former Red Devil teammates: Gary and Phil Neville, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt. 

It is the second time Scholes has entered the career of management. His first was a 31-day stint in charge of Oldham Athletic last year, but he resigned citing interference from the owner.

In a club statement, Salford City said:

“Paul Scholes will act as the interim head coach while the club looks to secure a new manager.” 

Salford City informed Alexander of their decision on Monday morning and leaves the club fifth in League Two with two wins in five matches this season. They are currently unbeaten so far this campaign.

His last game in charge was Salford’s 2-2 draw with Tranmere Rovers, City were leading 2-0 and on course for a comfortable win, however, two goals from Rovers in the final five minutes, which ensured Alexander’s team dropped two crucial points.  

The Club Statement continued to say:

“Salford City Football Club announces that manager Graham Alexander has left the club with immediate effect.  

“The club met with Graham this morning and after discussion have agreed to part company.”

Alexander enjoyed a largely successful spell with the club, having guided them to promotion to League Two in his first full season in charge and he managed them to the Leasing.com Trophy final in the 2019-20 campaign.  Salford only, however, managed an 11thplace finish in the League.

First team, coach, Chris Lucketti, also will leave the side. 

The club concluded by saying:

“The club would like to wish him all the best and success in the future.” 

How do you think Scholes will get on with his latest spell in management?

Friendly International: England vs Germany

Match Preview – Kick-Off 5:30pm Wembley

England’s women are aiming to put their recent poor form behind them by securing a first win on home soil against the two-time World Champions, Germany.

Saturday’s friendly at Wembley Stadium could see a record attendance for a women’s match in the UK with the 90,000 stadium expecting to be a sell out.

The FA will also use this fixture as an opportunity to honour former England women footballers at England’s home of football, where they never got a chance to play on. These players are expected to include former England Captain and current Manchester United Manager, Casey Stoney.

Previous Meetings

The Germans have largely dominated the rivalry between these two sides.  There have been 25 meetings in total and the Lionesses have lost 20 of them.

In the past four years however there has certainly been cause for optimism as England defeated Germany for the first time in a World Cup Third place playoff match 1-0 in Canada.

Phil Neville’s team have also achieved two draws in the past four years against Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side including a 2-2 draw in the SheBelieves Cup back in March 2018.

Form of both teams

Post the World Cup England’s form has dipped.  Since their Third-place playoff defeat to Sweden Phil Neville’s side drew with Belgium 3-3, having at one point been 2-0 ahead mid way through the first half.  England subsequently lost back-to-back matches 2-1 to both Norway and Brazil.    They did however return to winning ways against Portugal last time out, on October 8th, thanks to a goal from Arsenal’s Beth Mead.

The German’s form by contrast has been formidable, since their World Cup Quarter-final loss to Sweden.   They have scored 31 goals already in their four European Qualifying games including a 10-0 win against Montenegro at the end of August.

Team News and Players to watch

England welcome back star forward Ellen White – who shared the golden boot with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, scoring six goals.  They will however be without Chelsea’s playmaker Fran Kirby and centre back Millie Bright through injury.  Other key players such as Jill Scott, Toni Duggan and Georgia Stanway will also be unavailable due to various injury problems.

The Lionesses will have to keep an eye on Freiburg’s Klara Buhl. The young forward has scored 6 goals in four matches in Germany’s Euro campaign, including a hat trick against Ukraine back in October.

Lyon’s Dzsenifer Marozsan is also regarded as an important player for this German side.  Marozsan has scored 32 goals in 96 appearances for the national team and has consistently proved to be one of the best playmakers in the women’s game over the past few years.

Key Stats

  • The first match between the two sides was played in 1984
  • England achieved their first draw with Germany in January 2007 – a goalless draw played in China.
  • Germany won the last match at Wembley 3-0 against England back in November 2014 in front of a then record crowd of 45,619.
  • Germany has won eight European Championships – six of those titles were achieved between 1995-2013 before World Cup runners-up, The Netherlands broke that dominance by winning the title in 2017.

Prediction

England 1-3 Germany

Can see a similar result to that of 2014 – the Lionesses still have a few important players missing and Germany’s form particularly in the past few months has been exceptional.