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Gary Neville: A Young Manager's Journey

Started on 26 July 2013 by sTedDarzZ
Latest Reply on 7 August 2013 by sTedDarzZ
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As another Premier League season draws to a close, Gary Neville can be pleased with his first season in English football management. As the curtain fell on the 2013/14 season, Fulham claim 9th place in the league, a respectable position and a platform to build from. Not only that but they can be pleased with their performance in both cup competitions, advancing to the Final of one and the Semis of the other, another admirable effort.

The tail end of the season was yet another tale of inconsistency for Neville, a woe he would have to address in the following season…

Andy Carroll topped the scoring records with 20, a late burst from Benteke almost caught the big Geordie, but it was not enough and he finished on 17.

”I’m pleased with how the season went, the board set me a target of finishing in the top half and I’ve achieved that, next season we will look to kick on from here and finish even higher. In the cups the team exceeded even my own goals, the 2 cup runs were great to be a part of and the team showed how good they could really be throughout the competitions, just a shame there was no trophy at the end of either. Thankyou, and see you soon, I’m off on my holidays!

With that, Neville left the press room and headed to a final team meeting of the season. He thanked the team for their support throughout the season and congratulated them on their achievements. He then went home to his wife Emma, and prepared for their holiday, in Turkey.

Gary walked through the reception into the training ground, but stopped as he heard the voice of receptionist, Lucy…

”Been nice working with you Gary, when you gonna tell the lads?” She spoke, slowly, almost sadly.

”Tell them what Lucy?” Gary looked at her quizzically.

The young receptionist rustked under her desk, disappearing for a second before re-emerging with the Daily Mail in hand, she turned to the front page and lifted it so Gary could see. The Headline read:


”You’re the England manager Gaz! Hadn’t you realised?” She spoke half laughing, with a playful glint in her eye.

”No.” Gary said bluntly.

”England manager is a part time job anyway, even if they do offer me it, I won’t be leaving Fulham Luce.” Gary said, confidently.

Gary continued his walk, into the dressing room which was buzzing with voices.

”Nice of you to let us know boss.” Captain Brede Hangeland spoke up.

”I’d like to set the record straight, lads. I have had no communications with the FA, nor do I have any intentions of leaving Fulham.”

Gary’s mobile buzzed in his pocket, he took it out, looked at the screen, he did not recognise the number, he picked it up.

”Hello?” Gary’s north-west accent was thick as ever.

”Who is it gaff?” Brede spoke out again.

”The Fa.” Gary turned and walked out of the dressing room and into his office, as he spoke.

“We’re offering you the England Manager’s job, Gary, do you want it?”

“I know you are, half the world knows you are1”

“We’re sorry you had to find out like that Gary, you’re very much respected at the FA, we’d really like you to take the job…” Alex Thorne spoke assuredly.

”Of course I want it, but I’m not leaving Fulham, in days gone by the International manager’s job was a part time role, part time it will be again.”

“But you have to Gary, football has changed, that hasn’t been the case for decades…”

“I think I can do the job just as well whilst managing Fulham, it will give me an insight into what it’s like to play against our players. I think I can easily do both, if you do, you know where I am.”

Gary put the phone down and immediately regretted the decision. England! England?! And he was worried about his job at Fulham, but he loved it here and he honestly thought he could do both. After what seemed like an eternity his phoned buzzed again, full of apprehension, his hands clammy and trembling he picked it up…

”Gary? We want you. Get to Wembley.”


“We are very pleased and proud to present to you, the new, manager of England, Gary Neville!”

“Hello everyone, this is a very proud day for me, a moment I have dreamt of since I was a boy, since I first kicked a ball. It may come as a surprise to most of you but I will be keeping my post at Fulham, the FA, I, and the club all agree that I can do both jobs well simultaneously. In the past England managers were always club managers at the same time, it was seen as a part time job, I see it that way still. We have a game every few months and with the great teams I will have around me both with England and Fulham I feel the best decision for both teams and for my career is to do both to the best of my ability. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll all grow tired of talking about that decision over the next few weeks so I’ll leave you to it. From me, thankyou for the welcome, I have a welcome for you to, welcome to the new England. An England who can challenge and win things. An England full of grit, determination and belief. An England that will write it’s name into the annals of history. Welcome to my England. Welcome to Neville’s England, I hope you enjoy the ride.”


Having secured 9th position last term, Neville already expressed a desire to strengthen and improve, for progress.

Neville splashed the cash on club record transfer Alvaro Dominguez, to partner captain Hangeland at the heart of the Fulham defence. Neville also looked to strengthen the wings and despite dispensing with Bryan Ruiz, an unpopular decision, Neville brought in wingers Joshua Gatt, Sean Murray, Yanic Wildschut and Vladimir Weiss. Neville also showed his business nous, securing 3 players on free transfers; these could prove to be a shroud piece of business.

Fulham also went through quite a transition over the summer, being sold to new owners. Despite the takeover the new owners did not provide the cash injection many fans had hoped for.

However, Neville did manage to strengthen his squad, as seen, and the England boss is confident and optimistic about the new season.
Good Luck with Fulham and England!! :D

Neville’s first England squad included the shock inclusions of Frank Lampard, Will Hughes and Wilfried Zaha. It had been thought that Lampard’s International days were over but Neville clearly sees life in his old legs; recalling him to add experience and a wise head to his early England tenure. Steven Gerrard missed out through injury.

Neville’s debut match as England manager was against an old enemy: Portugal. The game was held in Lisbon, Portugal’s home advantage gave them the edge as far as the bookies’ went and Neville was well aware of the test his team faced.

Neville’s boys operated in a familiar tactic that Gary used often at Fulham. Andy Carroll was given the role of leading the line for England with Gary Hooper sent out with the sole aim of bagging goals.

Neville kept Everton full back Leighton Baines as his captain, as Hodgson had before him. He had always agreed with his selection and wanted to provide continuity from the Hodgson reign.

The match was hotly contested, Portugal perhaps having the better of the game but lacking the cutting edge. Neville’s maiden game ended in a draw, Jack Wilshere picked up the Player of the Match Award for his 2 goals, he was the architect of everything England did, conducting the team like an orchestra.

A draw is not a win, but nor is it a loss; Neville may have hoped for a win but against a side like Portugal, away, is a good enough result to satisfy the nation. Gary can be contempt with the start of his reign.

The season came quicker than Jeremy Clarkson in a supercar, Fulham’s squad was prepared and well aware of what was expected of them and in confident mood following a strong pre season.

Fulham hit the ground running, securing 3 wins in their opening3 Premier league fixtures, both home and away and ensured safe passage through to the Capital One Cup 4th Round with wins over Charlton and Tranmere. Have the finally conquered their inconsistency woes? The Cottagers have lost just 2 games and victory has only evaded them thrice, it may be early on but with such results this season is shaping up to be an exciting one for Fulham fans.

These good results have seen Fulham stake claim to 5th spot in the table, a vast improvement on their 9th placed finish last term. Fulham fans will be wishing the season could end now.

With 3 PotM awards to his name thus far in the season, Brede Hangeland once again is proving himself to be a key part of Neville’s team and a true born leader. At 33 many people may expect Hangeland to be slowing up, clearly he thinks otherwise.

”Of course I am delighted with my form, but it is nothing more than I expect of myself. I’m just concentrating on my football and on doing my best for Fulham, let’s wait and see where that will take me and the team.” Hangeland told reporters after Fulham’s match against Tottenham.

Neville will surely be pleased with this start, but can it be sustained?
Great results in the league mate :) Keep up the good work I will be following.

After a steady start, Gary was looking for the side to kick on into competitive matches. He had to get the playing his style, a difficult task when he only got to train with them a few times every few months.

England faced Peru at home in their final warm up friendly before the Euro. Championship Qualifiers, with 90,000 fans shouting the names of their heroes, England slammed 3 past Bulgaria and won the game with relative ease; despite conceding 2 to their South American opponents.

Gary Hooper was delighted at picking up his first goal for England, the Stoke forward paid tribute to the man who gave him the opportunity: Gary Neville.

Next up England faced Bulgaria, away. This was Neville’s first away trip with England and he was pleased to see the squad bonding on their travels to Eastern Europe; but what pleased him more was a solid 2-0 victory to kick off their qualifying campaign.

Next up, another home game. Romania the opposition, another game that England were expected to win, and win with ease. Gary’s boys did not disappoint.

Another 2 goals from Fulham’s Andy Carroll pleased Mr Neville, whilst a goal from national hero Steven Gerrard pleased the crowd.

England’s next fixture was another away trip, this time not so far for next up England faced an old enemy: Ireland.

The rivalry between the 2 teams made it a feisty, scrappy game; however despite the scrappy nature of the game England’s superior class prevailed as they ran out 3-0 victors.

“The game was very feisty and bitty but that is only to be expected in a match such as this. However I believe our superiority shone through on the pitch and in the result. I am very pleased with our start to this qualification campaign, 9 points out of 9 and not a goal conceded. From me, it’s just more of the same please lads.”

Following these results England have expressed their dominance over the group early on, rising to the top of the table and setting themselves up nicely for the rest of the qualification period. England’s 5 point cushion means they can afford to relax somewhat, not that Neville will let the team know that. He knows that with the qualification period just beginning, anything could happen.
Great style and results :)
thsnks to both of you, it's going well :)

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