'Force of nature' Gary Neville will be a success with England predicts Ryan Giggs


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The Independent Football

Ryan Giggs thinks Gary Neville is an outstanding addition to the England coaching staff and has backed his former Manchester United team-mate to go on and become a top-class manager.

England manager Roy Hodgson sprung a surprise yesterday when he handed Neville a four-year contract as England coach.

Neville was often the victim of abuse during his playing career, but the former Manchester United full-back has been a big hit as a Sky Sports pundit since announcing his retirement from football in February 2011.

The 37-year-old's tactical acumen and passion was widely praised during his spell on television, but he has no experience of coaching at club, yet alone international level.

Giggs is sure that Hodgson has made a wise decision in appointing the 85-cap former defender, however, and is confident that Neville will one day manage at the highest level.

"I'm sure he'll be a success with England," Giggs said.

"He's obviously done well on the TV with his views and his outlook on football and he's got fresh ideas.

"He's played at the top himself, he's got so many positives and so many things he can bring to the table.

"I think management will be the next step for him. He knows what the modern day footballer wants and needs, which is important.

"No matter what he would have done he would have been a success because he's that sort of person. He's a force of nature.

"He's driven, very ambitious and he's very good at what he does.

"I did my coaching badges with him and he was very alert. He's very switched on and intelligent. And together with that he's been there and done it."

Hodgson will name his 23-man squad for the European Championship in Ukraine and Poland today.

One of the main talking points in recent weeks has been whether Hodgson will attempt to coax Paul Scholes out of international retirement after the veteran midfielder went on to have a successful half season since returning to action in January.

Giggs thinks Scholes, who yesterday extended his contract at United until next summer, is unlikely to want to play for England again, but claims he will go on to star at the tournament if Hodgson manages to change his mind.

"I wouldn't hold your breath (about Scholes going to Euro 2012) but if he does decide to play and Roy Hodgson does decide to try and bring him out of retirement he'd be a great addition to the squad," added Giggs, who was speaking at the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards in London.

"In any team in any tournament he would shine.

"He and Xavi are the same sort of players. They just control the tempo of great teams. To do that you need to be a special player and that's what he does."

Scholes hung up his boots last summer but answered an SOS from Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson in January and was largely excellent in the 21 appearances he made thereafter.

With Scholes now guaranteed to be at Old Trafford for at least another season, Giggs is confident that the midfielder can play a big part in helping the club wrest the Premier League title from Manchester City's grasp.

"It's massively important that we can keep that sort of quality at the club," Giggs said.

"I think actually it's probably been the best he's ever played since he's come back. He just doesn't give the ball away, he controls the tempo of games.

"In training and in games you find yourself laughing because he makes it look so easy.

"He's easily the best player I've played because he makes it looks so easy."