By Peter Glynn
Gary Neville has urged more football pundits to attend FA coaching qualifications and believes the English game would see a greater level of analysis and discussion both on the training field and in the TV studio.
The former Manchester United defender has received high praise for his illuminating tactical analysis as a Sky Sports pundit and says others working in the media would benefit from the knowledge he’s accumulated along The FA’s coaching pathway.
“When you work in broadcasting, particularly as an ex-player, you should come on these courses. Why wouldn’t you come on these courses?,” asked Neville, who last week attended the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey as part of his studies for the UEFA Pro Licence coaching qualification - the highest award attainable in the football industry.
“Even if you don’t believe in getting the certificate because you know everything yourself, or you believe your knowledge is great, [on the course] you’re going to be listening to 22 very good people.”
“You can’t fail to be impressed, or to learn more from the people you’re surrounded with when you’re completing this course.”
The 38 year-old England Coach, joined other candidates including former Old Trafford teammates Ryan Giggs and Paul Ince, Charlton Athletic manager Chris Powell and former Liverpool defender Stehpane Henchoz in Istanbul.
He reckons fans of football would learn more about the game with informed analysis and technical insight on televison.
“It’s a critical part of football now. The fans want more, they demand more from a broadcasting point of view.
“They don’t want just telling that the ball’s ended up in the back of the net, they want to know why the ball ended up in the back of the net, who made the mistake, how did they make the mistake, why did they make the mistake.”
The Pro Licence group analysed eight live games at the tournament using coding software on their iPads before delivering a series of team-talk style presentations highlighting team strengths and weaknesses.
Feedback on effective body language, tone of voice and how to make presentations personal and memorable followed.
Asked what he wants to achieve in coaching, Neville joked that he'd like to emulate both Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Alf Ramsey, before stating the reality of the precarious management business.
“It’s naïve of me to turn round and make any bold suggestions of what I will do, or what I should do, or what I want to achieve. I’ve just got to take it day by day, and get through this course first.”
We’ll have more from the UEFA Pro Licence candidates throughout the week.
For more reaction from the UEFA Pro Licence course follow St. George's Park's Peter Glynn on Twitter @_peterglynn
The full list of UEFA Pro-Licence candidates is:
Richard Barker, Keith Bertschin, Wayne Burnett, Keith Downing, Alex Dyer, Lois Fidler, Ryan Giggs, Stephane Henchoz, Paul Ince, Nathan Jones, Graham Kavanagh, Ian Kerr, Runar Kristinsson, Mike Marsh, Nick Marshall, Micky Mellon, Dennis Mortimer, Gary Neville, Shaun North, Chris Powell, Mark Yates.