There's an interesting article on the site regarding how underrated Phil Neville is. Now, I believe he is an average full back and at best an average midfielder; however, his total assets make him of outstanding value to the club.
John Arlott once said of Mike Brearley, that he would have him in his all-time great side purely for his captaincy. Of course a cricket captain is going to have much more influence than a captain in football. Some clubs offer the captaincy as a reward but, in my view, Neville is as inspirational a football captain as I have ever seen.
I believe he, as much as Moyes, was responsible for the confident aggressive attitude evident on Saturday. There is not a better professional in the Premier League.
Andy Crooks, Posted 11/01/2010 at 11:42:53
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1 Posted 11/01/2010 at 20:41:54
Think perhaps you underestimate his abilities at right back but agree wholeheartedly that his influence as captain is great. A lot more organised and detirmned with him in the team.
2 Posted 11/01/2010 at 20:49:01
FA Cup (3): 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04
FA Community Shield (3): 1996, 1997, 2003
UEFA Champions League (1): 1998-99
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999
England Caps: 59
3 Posted 11/01/2010 at 20:37:47
Well, they are back and we are climbing the table already, Ciarán may ultimately be proved right, but for that to happen we need to replace these guys with players out of the very top draw.
The improvement in our football over the past couple of weeks is largely down to their bravery, not "run through a brick wall" sort of bravery, but the "I’ll take responsibility" sort of bravery, the sort of bravery you need when your teammates are looking for leadership. They set an example; the hoofball that was so apparent in their absence has disappeared, defenders now have an option.
Fellaini and Rodwell have immense potential, but in the absence of senior players we could all see they are not yet ready for that sort of responsibility, only by playing with top top pros like Ossie and Captain Pip will they realise their true potential — look at Fellaini now.
I couldn't agree more with your post; Neville may not be the greatest footballer in the world, but he grew up winning and he knows what it takes, and his displays of courage, his refusal to hide even when he’s having a bad one himself, are exactly the kind of examples I want to see set for our younger players.
4 Posted 11/01/2010 at 21:05:13
5 Posted 11/01/2010 at 20:56:24
Hibbo, for all his qualities, is where he should be at the moment - in the squad. The problem that Pip poses for Coleman’s progress is more tricky.
Cricket? Schmicket.! (spell-check didn’t like that). Cycling needs, as they used to say, stars and water carriers - the domestiques who enable the stars to win - for the team. Although there are now super-domestiques who add to the value of the team while completing their necessary duties, the basic sporting model remains. I’ve heard a few commentators on the game refer to Phil Neville as a great acquisition for EFC, and I agree with them.
6 Posted 11/01/2010 at 21:41:20
7 Posted 11/01/2010 at 21:47:40
Happy enough to have him playing in right back — even though Hibbert’s been solid this season — rather that than messing with the middle.
8 Posted 11/01/2010 at 21:57:56
9 Posted 11/01/2010 at 22:10:28
But the more fit players we have obviously the better we will, Neville is a far superior right back than Tony Hibbert, and does appear to have a positive influence on the younger lads, and defence in general, but he is not Bobby Moore Mark II.
10 Posted 11/01/2010 at 23:10:17
Baines needs to get his crosses better, being the only one who gets forward... but also played solid at the back but Capt. Pip makes such a difference leading by inspiration. Would have liked Coleman to have come on in the last 10 minutes for the tiring Osman with Pips moving in front of the back 4 to tighten things up.
11 Posted 12/01/2010 at 01:03:19
Before last season, I used to think he was a good full back for us but I absolutely hated him in midfield cos I felt he was too shaky and hesitant with the ball at his feet. But last season he completely changed my mind and I think his best position is in midfield.
I was won over when he stopped Ronaldo at Goodison and then when he banged in a pen against Utd at Wembley.
He’s a great player for getting stuck in and winning the ball and driving the team on, and his professionalism and captaincy qualities make him a better player than he actually is ability-wise .
12 Posted 12/01/2010 at 01:06:27
13 Posted 12/01/2010 at 01:45:17
14 Posted 12/01/2010 at 09:49:47
15 Posted 12/01/2010 at 11:59:42
16 Posted 12/01/2010 at 12:14:07
I’d happy to see him in the team whether it be right back or centre mid. I do think RB would be the best positioon for him given the midfield options we have and his somewhat under-rated attacking ability / crosses that he can provide from RB. If he was to play CM then he ideally needs the playmaker alongside him so he can give it simply and therefore not have to try and be the creater himself which to be fair we all know he’s not.
But he’s an outstanding pro and one of Moyesies best and most shrewd signings.
17 Posted 12/01/2010 at 12:41:46
18 Posted 12/01/2010 at 13:06:33
He’s a fighter and a winner and our captain - and a very good captain, one of the best we’ve had for a long time.
He’s a class act. He takes his football seriously and his role seriously. It would not worry me in the slightest if Phil Neville followed David Moyes.
For now though, we are much better with Phil Naville than without him. He was immense at Arsenal and offers what all teams need, drive and motivation. Without Pip, and Arteta, and Jags, we often miss the drive.
Absolutely delighted he’s back.
19 Posted 12/01/2010 at 13:33:50
20 Posted 12/01/2010 at 13:56:36
No I think it is rather self-explanatory: from the little we have seen of Coleman (and it is little), he is fantastic going forward but a bit suspect at the back. This could all change if he is given a run of games which I believe shouldn’t happen as Neville is the best all-round RB we have.
21 Posted 12/01/2010 at 18:05:49
22 Posted 12/01/2010 at 21:55:01
The result was down to a great team effort but three players stood out for me Cahill, Fellaini and Heitinga all of whom were superb. Neville had a decent game, no more than that.
23 Posted 16/01/2010 at 01:50:44
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