Phil Neville won’t be renewing his contract as the head coach for the England women national team once his contract ends in the summer of 2021. The Football Association confirmed today, leaving England in search of a new head coach to lead them into the UEFA Women’s Euro and FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Phil was appointed to lead his country until the end of England’s attempt to win the Women’s European Championship on home soil, but all this became impossible after the confirmation from UEFA yesterday that the tournament will be pushed back until 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FA was quick to respond in a statement issued by the FA’s director of women football, Sue Campbell who insisted that both parties were in agreement especially during this Coronavirus pandemic and their major priority was to ensure the Lionesses have continuity of coaching going into the home Euro and looking towards the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
When Football resumes after COVID-19, Phil will be expected to continue his work with the Lionesses on the further development of his squad. And he will be given maximum support with the important task whilst moving forward with the crucial succession planning process.
As a manager, Phil Neville has taken them to a third successive tournament semi-final last year but with recent form has persuaded the FA to twist rather than stick with him. Especially after winning his first five matches at last year’s Women’s World Cup.
But Neville was quick to preside over a dismal run of results since the Lionesses went out in the semi-final to the United States, losing seven matches out of eleven up to the end of the She Believes Cup in March.
Phil Neville was appointed as the head coach in January 2018 and said that it was an honor to be given the chance. He further insinuated with the new coaching team that something special was to happen as the team was on the verge in pushing the players into their very best.
His win percentage after 35 games is 54.5%, a long way short of his predecessor Mark Sampson 65% with the same squad who won the bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup but the Lionesses went out at the same semi-final stage in 2019, losing out on a third place to Sweden.
Phil wasn’t the popular choice 15 months ago, especially with many people questioning his appointment as the head coach of the Lionesses without any senior management experience or any history of working with female players. Although former Estonia women’s manager Keith Boanas feels that ultimately counted against him.
The FA will now begin for the search for a manager who will lead the Lionesses through the Women’s Euro in 2022 and into the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Bev Priestman, who is the current assistant coach is highly regarded but many believe that the FA may approach Jill Ellis. English-born Jill Ellis, who won two successive Women’s World Cups coaching the Unites States.