The Neville family dynasty in the world sport has increased over the past week. With the somewhat surprise news that Phil has been appointed as the manager of the England Women’s team, considering he did not even apply for the position is something of a masterstroke.
The appointment has created something of a furore in the circles of the female game and with good reason. Phil, who most definitely still sleeps with a Manchester United duvet cover on his bed has had to downplay criticism that he was only given the job due to his name, a name that his father somehow has two of. I think Phil’s grandparents must have been at the back of the queue at the registry office, I mean why on earth would you call someone Neville Neville?
Anyway I digress, whether Phil with his coaching experience which has seen him flop at Old Trafford and the Mestalla is the right man for the job will be argued long into the night – that is if you really care enough about Women’s football to argue about his appointment. Regardless of your stance at least we can all agree that the former Everton player got his managerial stint off to the perfect start…
You can imagine the scene can’t you, Mr P. Neville wakes up and says to himself “well it is the first day in the job, just need to make sure I get through this one unscathed without any scandal, also when I get home I must remember to get rid of those slightly embarrassing tweets from five or so years ago. I mean if anyone was to find them then I could be in a lot of hot water”.
The problem is someone did find them and then soon enough everyone found them and the lesser intelligent of the Neville brothers could not hit the delete button on his twitter account. That or he got a PR agency do the job for him at a lightning fast rate and at eye watering cost to boot.
The kind of cost that could well have seen him lose his job before it has even begun, however luckily for him just tweeting about beating up the missus does not breach the F.A.’s disciplinary threshold. No it seems as if that is only the preserve for homophobic tweets such as that of former Burnley forward Andre Gray.
Now trial by social media is a very dangerous precedent, on the one hand you can say that people should never be tweeting stuff like this but at the same time you cannot use something that has been written a long time ago as a stick to beat them with in the present day. It’s a murky world that you enter and one that Phil Neville has just about got away with unscathed.
Unscathed because he gets to keep his job but highly embarrassed due to the unwanted headlines it has created for both he and the F.A. in the past few days. To be honest the F.A. were damned if they do and damned if they didn’t, if they sacked him it would have the made the appointment farcical and by sticking with the status quo it is a farcical appointment.
Until next week.