Gary Neville has claimed that Gareth Southgate is England’s biggest asset after the Three Lions claimed a 1-0 win against Croatia in their first game of Euro 2020.
A goal from Raheem Sterling in the 57th minute was enough for England to see off the Croats at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, as Southgate’s side inflicted revenge on the team that ended their World Cup hopes in 2018.
Southgate had come under some criticism for his team selection before the match as the likes of Jack Grealish, Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell missed out, but Neville told ITV Sport that he never doubted the England manager’s selections.
“I thought Southgate managed that game unbelievably today… our biggest asset is our manager.”
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 13, 2021
Gary Neville: ‘ We have an outstanding international manager.’
“I was shocked by the inclusion of [Kieran] Trippier at left-back. But l have to say, it wasn’t in a doubting way because l don’t doubt the manager. We have an outstanding international manager who has unbelievable experience,” Neville said.
“I don’t think there is one person in our population of 55 million who would have picked that team today. There were a lot of things today that l would have said historically went against England.
“A two o’clock kick-off, the heat, a team that passed us off the park in the last tournament, the best defender going into the game, and not playing his best team going into the game. But l thought he managed the game unbelievably.”
‘Our biggest asset is our manager.’
Goal-scorer Raheem Sterling and midfielder Kalvin Phillips were the stand out players for England at Wembley, and while Neville wasn’t short of praise for the two, the former Manchester United player reserved his highest plaudits for Southgate.