Phil Neville

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Phil Neville plays down USWNT reports

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A report from the UK had suggested that Phil Neville was in the running to become the next USWNT head coach, but the England women’s boss has poured cold water on the links.

Speaking after England lost 2-1 at Norway in a friendly on Tuesday, Neville said he was happy being in charge of the Lionesses as he is also due to take charge of Team GB at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer.

“There’s been no approach,” Neville said. “My focus is on winning us a gold medal in the Olympics. It’s flattering because it means you’re doing a good job. My focus is England. I love this job.”

The former Manchester United and England defender then went on to reaffirm his commitment to England and the Football Association, as he was named as one of the three finalists for the coach of the year in the women’s game by FIFA last week.

“I’ve been linked with a number of jobs since becoming England manager and that’s because my players have been so good,” Neville said. “I’ve said before, I love the job I am doing, it’s a tremendous challenge. The players are heading in the right direction and I get backed unbelievably by the FA. So I am 100 per cent happy.”

With 18 months under his belt as head coach of England, he led his squad to the World Cup semifinal where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions the U.S. but the jury is still out as the Lionesses were expected to at least reach the final four in France this summer.

It isn’t clear how serious of a contender Neville ever was for the USWNT job.

With Jill Ellis stepping down as head coach in October after delivering back-to-back World Cup victories, the USWNT are searching for their next manager with NWSL coaches Paul Riley, Laura Harvey and Vlatko Andonovski all leading candidates.

New USWNT GM Kate Markgraf will be narrowing down the search in the next few weeks and given Neville’s relative inexperience as a coach, it would be incredibly surprising to see him interviewed for this position.

The initial report stated that Ellis is a big fan of Neville and she would have a big say in appointing her successor, but it would still be a huge shock if Neville landed the biggest job in the women’s game.

Stanway scores stunner but England women fall to Norway

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The England women’s national team took an early lead on an absolutely fabulous strike from Manchester City forward Georgia Stanway, but capitulated as Norway came from behind to beat Phil Neville‘s squad 2-1 in the team’s second international friendly since the World Cup.

The result comes just days after the squad coughed up a 2-0 lead to Belgium in an eventual 3-3 draw.

Stanway will still receive headlines for her stunning effort from well outside the penalty area struck with power and pace that found the top corner off the underside of the bar. Norwegian goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth gave the effort a go but had no chance at stopping the strike as it curled away from her dive.

Norway’s comeback started just after halftime as Frida Maanum headed home off a corner in the 53rd minute, and Barcelona winger Caroline Graham Hansen scored a fantastic solo goal through a Steph Houghton challenge in the 89th minute for a dramatic winner.

Neville has work to do after the two straight collapses as he gets his squad together in the aftermath of a fourth-place finish at the World Cup this past summer. England topped Norway 3-0 in the quarterfinal of that run, leaving an even more sour taste in the Lionesses mouths after today’s defeat.

The loss comes a day after reports in England claimed Neville was a candidate for the vacant U.S. women’s coaching job, but those reports were very quickly shot down by the U.S. media.

USWNT, England set for World Cup semi showdown

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Planning ahead or arrogance? That’s the question being overblown asked of the United States women’s national team following England coach Phil Neville‘s revelation that USWNT operations people were given a tour of England’s team hotel.

As the “home team,” England has the better of the lodging for the semifinal, and the USWNT hopes to be taking its place for Sunday’s Final against either the Netherlands or Sweden.

[ MORE: Will Ellis change XI? ]

So is showing up early presumptuous or just proper preparation?

“I just thought, ‘What are they doing?'” Neville said of the Americans. “It’s not etiquette, really. It’s not something I would allow from our organization.”

What he will allow is what both teams provide, and that’s excellent team soccer. Tuesday’s match has the chance to be a wide-open entertaining match as two tough back lines hope to defy some of the best attackers in the world.

England has only allowed one goal in the tournament, a late concession in its 2-1 tournament-opening defeat of Scotland. That means the Lionesses count shutouts of Norway and Japan on their resume, and that’s pretty impressive.

Meanwhile the U.S. is coming off some tepid offensive performances, at least by their standards. The Yanks passed at just 64 percent in the 2-1 defeat of France, and their 2-1 defeat of Spain came courtesy of a pair of penalty kicks.

Fortunately for Jill Ellis’ crew, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was much better in the latter of the 2-1 wins. The 31-year-old was mostly untested and shaky in the run-up to France, but outstanding in holding onto the lead.

England has become a force on the international scene, and is in its second-straight World Cup semifinal. They won the SheBelievesCup, and finished in the semifinals at EURO 2017.

Ellen White has been a handful for teams, scoring five times in four matches. She also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of the USMNT at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.

There’s every reason to believe it’ll be a beauty at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday. You’ll be able to stream it live on Telemundo Deportes.

Ellis, Neville at odds over USWNT scoping out England hotel

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LYON, France (AP) Preparing for the Women’s World Cup semifinal against the United States, coach Phil Neville was irritated to discover the Americans scoping out England’s hotel.

[ HIGHLIGHTS: USWNT holds off France in riveting quarterfinal ]

U.S. coach Jill Ellis insisted it was a sign of good preparation rather than arrogance, but Neville suggested it could be a disciplinary matter for the staff dispatched to the hotel and bad etiquette.

As the designated home team, England had first choice of hotels and so will the winner of Tuesday’s semifinal as they prepare for the final, which is also being played in Lyon.

A pair of U.S. staffers visited the Fourviere Hotel, which is close to the old town, while England was out at a practice session Sunday.

“I think that’s important to do your job,” Ellis said. “So in terms of arrogance I think that’s got nothing to do with us. That’s planning and preparation for our staff. So I think that’s pretty normal.”

Not so, according to Neville. He thinks Ellis should have been far tougher.

“We were training, I hope they enjoyed the hotel but it’s not something we would do — sending someone round to another team’s hotel,” Neville said. “But it’s their problem. I am sure that Jill probably wouldn’t have been happy with that arrangement. I wouldn’t have been if that was my team ops person going round.

“I am sure they will be dealing with their own infrastructure within their own discipline problem.”

[ MORE: Netherlands outlasts Italy to reach semis | Sweden upsets Germany ]

Based on information provided by FIFA to the media, the Americans are currently staying at the less luxurious Residence Lyon Metropole, which is in the north of Lyon.

The Fourviere Hotel is west of the city close to an ancient Roman amphitheater, on the site of a 19th century convent, with the reception in the old chapel under gold-trimmed artwork.

“I just thought, ‘What are they doing?'” Neville said of the Americans. “It’s not etiquette, really. It’s not something I would allow from our organization.”

The planning for the final hotel is the latest indication of self-assuredness from a team that saw U.S. defender Ali Krieger say it is the world’s best team as well as the world’s “second-best.”

“It’s important that our team has confidence,” Ellis said. “I don’t think in any way this is an arrogant team. I think this team knows that they’ve got to earn everything, that we’ve got tough opponents … still ahead of us and we have to earn every right to advance in this tournament.”

Phil Neville on Cameroon VAR mess: ‘It didn’t feel like football’

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An awkward, emotional, and occasionally cringe-worthy 90 minutes was played in Valenciennes. It was hard to watch at times as decision after decision went against Cameroon and their players grew increasingly emotional.

Cameroon saw VAR overturn an offside flag to allow England’s second goal by Ellen White just before halftime and VAR disallowed Cameroon’s potential first goal just after the break. The African nation reacted emotionally to both decisions in moments that were painful to view.

With halftime looming, the Cameroon players huddled for a long period of time, causing some to wonder if they were refusing to kick off after the decision to allow White’s goal. At the height of the emotions following the cancellation of the 48th minute Nchout goal, Cameroon players were seen crying, jumping up and down in anger, and gesturing wildly on the sidelines. Head coach Alain Djeumfa was required to console multiple players who lost control of emotions. Nchout in particular was inconsolable as Seedorf tried to calm her down forcibly.

After the match, England head coach Phil Neville had harsh words for the Cameroon players who he felt should conduct themselves in a more professional manner despite their perceived adversity.

“It didn’t feel like football, I’ve got to be honest,” Neville said in his immediate post-match interview on the field. “I know we get these briefs about coming on TV and just saying it was a good win…it was a good win, we played ok, we passed the ball well, we were ruthless in attack, we’re ready to play in a quarterfinal, but I’ve got to say that that wasn’t football for me.”

Neville continued, clearly targeting the actions of the Cameroon players who were set off by the refereeing decisions. He said it put his players in an awkward position as they just looked to complete a solid 90 minutes of play, praising his players for handling the situation as best they could and wishing the Cameroon players took their responsibility as role models on a world stage with more professionalism.

“That wasn’t a World Cup last 16 in terms of the behavior that I want to see from football,” Neville said. “As you know this is going out worldwide, and I can’t stand here and say that I particularly enjoyed it, my players didn’t enjoy it. At halftime they were confused about the actions, about what they should do. They kept their concentration fantastically, they did their job, but the images going out worldwide about how to act…there are young girls that are playing all over the world seeing that behavior, for me it’s not right, and I can’t stand here and say ‘it’s fantastic, it’s brilliant, we’re into the quarterfinal’ there’s a bigger picture here. There’s a certain standard of behavior that you’ve got to do…my players did that, and I’m proud.”

Neville continued to elaborate when he did his post-match press conference. “If that was any of my players they would never play for England again with that kind of behavior. I feel sorry for the referee, I think she was trying to protect football by not giving the penalty and the sending off at the end.”

With the loss Cameroon drops out of the World Cup while England advances to the quarterfinals to take on Norway.