Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Other Neville

Our mate Gary has been getting a lot of press recently, It's possibly something to do with him taking over a bang average Spanish side by the name of Valencia. Who'd have seen that coming? Ok i know the owners of Valencia FC have brought a large stake in the Neville's side project - Salford City F.C - But honestly the guy is inexperienced as a manager and this could do him more harm than good! 

Anyway we've decided to focus on the other Neville... Phil. 

Phil started life at Man United along with his brother as part of the Class of 92. It took Phil noticeably     longer to break into the United team than it did his elder sibling although it's been well documented that during their school boy days, It was in fact Gary that struggled for game time. Phil would often find himself in the starting 11 for both county team and country. "Phil was always more talented as a youngster. He got in England schoolboy teams and things like that. I was struggling to even get in the county team - I was sub at times - whereas Phil was always one of the best in the country. I never got close to making England teams" Gary Neville 2003

Once Phil was established at United there was no moving him! He would go on to average between 30 / 40 games a season for the Red Devils. (386 in total) It was during this time Phil realised that he had no idea how to make a decent cup of coffee! (This embarrassing revelation came to light in Jan 2015 when Neville was asked to make a cup of coffee for a journalist visiting his home) *Keep it Tea!

After establishing himself in the United set up - International football soon followed, making his debut for the 3 lions aged 18. The Neville's had written themselves in the history books by becoming the first set of brothers to play together for the national team since the slightly less famous pair of Charltons. (Nope i've never heard of them either) Rumour has it that they we're part of the 1966 World cup winning squad! Phil went on to represent his Country 59 times, although it wasn't all singing and dancing for the younger brother.  In 1998 Neville was left out of the World cup squad - Something that still haunts him today. "It was probably the lowest point for me. I was almost sure I was going. I got right down to the wire and when I wasn’t selected it was a bitter blow." 

In 2005 Neville decided to move on from United and surprisingly enough ended up at Everton. (No United player has ever done that now have they???) The Toffee men snapped him up for a modest £3.5 Million quid! Still only 28 Neville had his best years in front of him. During his time at Everton Neville played over 300 games and in 2007 was handed the captains armband. It was also in 2007 that Phil would earn the last of his 59 England caps. 

Not one to find the net on a regular basis Phil managed to grab himself 2 league goals during 2007/08 and that proved to be his most prolific season for Everton! Many believe his best season as a pro came in the 2008/09 season. His versatility meant he played in an array of positions from right back to centre midfield. It's strange to think that Phil disagrees with this statement... Something to do with 1999 and a treble? Nope no idea either think he may of dreamt that one! 

The only thing missing from his time as a Toffee icon was silverware.  It was during his final seasons as a pro that he gained his UEFA B Licence.  

After hanging up his boots, Neville decided to join David Moyes on the coaching staff at United. The less said about that the better. (Although in fairness to Moyes, Untied haven't been hitting the heights this season either!) 

So what happened after that brief unsuccessful time a United with Moyes?? We need to rewind slightly to 2013 Shortly after the documentary came out regarding the Class of 92. The Neville brothers had this idea to buy a non league team and turn them into next big thing. After a few years of scouting different teams and persuading a couple of other ex pro's from the Class of 92 including a  certain Ryan Giggs to buy into the project they group decided to buy Salford City F.C. If you've got a spare few minutes and fancy a laugh have a google - There's some funny clips on the inter web with the likes of the Neville's acting like a Mike Bassett double act! One of the clips show's Phil pouring a hot drink for a fan.... Got a feeling it wasn't coffee! Unfortunately for Salford they just missed out this season on the FA Cup third round! But the signs are there that they will become a force within the next few years. 

*Before we forget... As if running a non league football team wasn't enough Phil can also be found on the coaching staff at Valencia! The man is a machine! 

So thats are brief history lesson on the living legend that is Gary.. Sorry i mean Phil Neville. 

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