Neville's Tactical History
Whenever a team changes to a new manager there is a motive for the new hire, whether that be looking for a change in direction from the predecessor, looking to boost the reputation of the club, or due to the excitement of a manager's qualities. The FO's hire of Phil Neville looks to fulfill all of these checkboxes, from his history as a player under one of the most highly respected managers in the history of the game, to taking the club into a new direction after the failed debut campaign for the club under Diego Alonso. Neville's history through the English Women's National team provides an excellent sample size to understand how he sets up his side.
From the off Neville has looked to promote a positive attacking passing style of play. He likes to see football played in the correct way and his success with the FA is due to this belief. Neville came into a side with mixed success and led them to a second placed finish in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, Englands highest finish in the tournament. Prior to the 2019 World Cup Neville managed one better and won the SheBelieves Cup, defefating Brazil and Japan, drawing with the United States.
Neville started out his managerial career with England in a 4-3-3 looking to take advantage of his skill players at right back in Lucy Bronze and up top with Fran Kirby. This team was set up to press and looked to use the natural skill and technical ability of the team to play their way to big results against the top sides in international football.
This formation stayed at a 4-3-3 and looking at the biggest match to date of Neville's managerial career in the 2019 World Cup semifinal against the eventual champions, the USWNT. Neville wished to implement a style with his fullbacks high, and having his center backs wide. Playing with three center midfielders allowed for the team to create central overloads allowing for England to play on the front foot in possesion. Neville used his center backs as the main distributors for the team and then pushed slightly higher to expose the overload in midfield. The story of the game unfolds as USA taking an early lead and England working their way back into the game and ending the game at a 2-1 loss. This reuslt was a gutshot for the English team as that had a goal disallowed due to VAR, and a missed penalty.
After dropping the third place match to Sweden 2-1, the squad was demoralized. One of Nevile's highest rated traits was his ability to unite a locker room and create a positive atmosphere. This apperead to fall apart after this tournament leading Neville to leave his post prematurely to begin the tantalizing project in Miami.
Fitting this to Miami
Coming from Chris Henderson and Neville's press conference I expect the highly technical passing play to continue. From Phil Neville https://youtu.be/2QEBvTkIXHs?t=1266
In this clip Neville discusses the ethos of the club that he wishes to build and he wants to do this through hard work and putting something on the field that the fans want to come back to. To satisy the Southern Legion we will need to see some serious goalscoring output and an improvement on the teams playoff play-in exit last season. It is not exactly hard work for Neville as he inherits a roster with a World Cup winner, a World Cup Finalist. This roster should lead to an improvement in club fortunes and I look forward to covering the club throughout the season.