Gary Neville: England can't copy Germany philosophy of developing players

The England assistant manager says a 'magic wand' would be needed to follow the German system

Mark Bryans
Monday 14 July 2014 16:45 BST
Gary Neville with England manager Roy Hodgson
Gary Neville with England manager Roy Hodgson (Getty Images)

Gary Neville insists England must find their own way to win major tournaments after a clamour to copy the successful German blueprint.

Mario Gotze's extra-time winner in Sunday's World Cup final gave Germany their first world title since 1990 and was seen as the culmination of years of planning and investment in young talent.

Joachim Low's squad in Brazil had an average age of 26 and the victory marked the progress made since Germany failed to make it out of the group stages at both the 2000 and 2004 European Championships.

The 7-1 semi-final hammering of the hosts was Germany's fourth straight appearance in the last four of a World Cup but this time they went all the way to collect their fourth trophy.

England, meanwhile, were sent home with their tails between their legs with Roy Hodgson's side having finished bottom of their group with only a point from a goalless draw with Costa Rica to show for their efforts.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke's review has already suggested several ways in which the governing body hopes to alter the fortunes of the national side and now many are touting for England to develop slowly and methodically like their German counterparts.

But England coach Neville took to Twitter to claim he does not feel it is possible to do so, although the former Manchester United defender stopped short of offering his reasons why.

"People who write - "England should follow the German route" are either oblivious to the obstacle or believe in magic wands!", he wrote.

When taken up on his use of magic wands and that Germany had not simply waved them, Neville replied: "No but a Holistic approach! Won't happen here."

Neville, who played when England won 5-1 in Munich in 2001 - a result many link to the German's change of attitude - went further by suggesting a copycat approach to Germany's path could not currently be implemented in England.

"Course it would be great to follow that route but you may as well at present say " England needs weather like Spain'." he added.

"We are going to have to find our way of doing it because the system we have doesn't allow us to adopt the German route in its entirety.

"I'm confident the mountain is starting to move. But it is a slow shift and results will take time but I see things happening behind the scenes."


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