TOSH AND BECKS
It is less than two years since Big Phil Neville explained his genius to unsuspecting hacks. “I have a vision that no one else has,” he boomed back in October 2019, and that was not the only quality he saw in himself. “I’ve got bravery that no other coach has,” he continued before inviting the flock to draw the obvious conclusion: “Thank your lucky stars [that I am England manager].” The Fiver, for one, has always been thankful that Neville moved into management and regular press conferences.
Sadly Neville is not at Big Sports Day this month with Team GB, since he abandoned that plan when he surprisingly stepped down as England manager in January to take charge of [Fiver goes googling] Inter Miami. Getting that gig had nothing to do with lucky stars, it has been claimed, even if the club is part-owned by his longtime mucker and business associate, David Beckham. “The interview process was as hard as any I have done,” recited Neville in May during a rare period when no Class of 92 documentaries were being filmed.
Beckham had struck a similar note at the manager’s unveiling, insisting that the appointment was one of life’s sweet coincidences, that his buddy just happened to be the perfect candidate. “[It’s] nothing to do with the relationship we have, the friendship we have, the loyalty we have to each other, he’s the right man for the job,” trumpeted Beckham before Neville chimed in with his mission statement: “This fantastic soccer-loving market deserves consistent performances and a winning mentality, and I look forward to getting to work.”
And in fairness, you have to admire that buildup. They’ve absolutely put it on a plate for The Fiver. A little like Neville’s team did on Wednesday when they lost 5-0 to New England Revolution. “The thing that really surprised me was I wasn’t expecting it,” tooted Neville even though his team had also lost their previous five matches and are bottom of the Eastern Conference 12 games into his reign. “You can lose games in football but the manner in which we lost [against New England] was – I’ve said the word ‘unacceptable’ in the past, but this feels worse than that,” continued Neville, who admitted he may need another vision: “The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves – and so do I. We win together, we lose together.” They do the latter a heck of a lot more often than the former.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“No money in the world would replace this. If I never get a penny, I don’t care. It’s just about being there in those moments” – after volunteering at the club for 60 years, kit man Clive Baxter can barely contain himself as Sutton United prepare for the big time at last. Ben Fisher has more.
“If Neil Harris wants an ‘irreverent round-up, a bit of humour mixed with serious and not so serious links’ (yesterday’s Fiver letters), then why on earth is he reading The Fiver?” – Keith Martin.
“Is Neil Harris asking about the return of the Mill in the hope of inserting himself into the column, if Football League clubs are in the market for a new manager who has Championship experience?” – Darren Leathley.
“Yesterday’s Fiver gives the impression that Liverpool’s loss of its world heritage status is solely due to Everton’s proposed stadium, when in fact it was simply the last straw in a running battle over many years with Unesco. The real fault lies with the area council which, through lack of care for planning, has given building consents w1lly nilly, particularly in the Pier Head area of the riverside where existing (Grade 1) buildings known as the Three Graces are situated. I must add that the site for the stadium is an absolute eyesore” – Paul A Haggerty.
“Were both The Fiver’s Argentinian and Brazilian cousins asleep at the wheel and missed this opportunity to highlight the latest from the Fun and Games in South America Dept?” – Gareth Rogers.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Mike Smith, the first non-Welshman to manage Wales, has died at the age of 83.
Portsmouth have launched disciplinary proceedings after concluding an investigation into allegations that some of their U-18s players used discriminatory language about England players in a group conversation after the Euro 2020 final.
Arsenal have tied Emile Smith Rowe down to a new contract.
Lucy Bronze thinks Team GB need to improve at Big Sports Day, despite winning their opening match against Chile 2-0.
Australia flamin’ stuck it to 10-man Argentina at BSD 2020.
Norwich boss Daniel Farke insists he would reject the offer of a 17th-place finish in the Premier League before a ball is kicked. That feels a mistake. “Of course it would be a great success and would probably have a non-relegation parade through the city and everyone would praise us but I am not too addicted to positions,” he honked.
Crystal Palace are considering lassoing Oban Kazak to Selhurst Park, but face competition for the defender who spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool from Schalke.
After a forgettable spell in Germany, winger Demarai Gray has returned to England after signing for Everton. “I’m delighted to be back in the Premier League at such a big club and I’m excited to play with the team and get to work,” he cheered.
There is a chance, should Blackpool get promoted back to the Premier League, that we will once again witness a man falling off the top of a car, after Stuart McCall was appointed as their new assistant manager.
And Crewe Alexandra have agreed a new 99-year deal with Whitby Morrison to sponsor their ground’s Ice Cream Van Stand. “We look forward to working with them long into the future,” whooped chairman Charles Grant.
STILL WANT MORE?
“All the clubs are under the government’s control, so club officials are constantly in touch with the government – or sometimes they are state officials themselves” – four Eritrean footballers are in hiding in Uganda waiting for a resolution. Ed Aarons and Alex Cizmic tell the story.
Pedri has played 66 games last/this season – Suzanne Wrack writes about the teenage Spaniard’s trek to Japan.
Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!
#Fiver #Checking #Inter #Miami