Gary Neville cites Arsenal and Man Utd philosophies as vital to England's future
By Nicholas Veevers
Gary Neville says a strong club ethic amongst footballers is the way to create a successful international team.
The England coach told Club Wembley members in London on Friday that the philosophy at Arsenal and Manchester United is ideal to help cultivate a successful England set-up.
And after seeing the performance of German side Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final this week, Neville is convinced that continuity and long-term thinking for clubs is crucial.
Neville explained: “When you look at Dortmund on Wednesday night, they changed their policy six years ago and said they weren’t going to pay huge wages or transfer fees anymore and they were going to develop their own.
“And what you saw on Wednesday against Real Madrid was the fruit of that decision in terms of what it’s achieved for them.
“That team cost £29m. There are teams in the Championship that cost more than £29m.
“So you’re talking about what I believe is the right way to do it.”
The former Manchester United captain also saw his old club lift the Premier League title this week.
But it’s one of their rivals, and Sunday’s opponents at the Emirates Stadium, who he picks out as having the most suitable recent approach.
He added: “If I wanted to pick a club at the moment who I think are doing it the right way, it would be Arsenal.
“They’ve got the right philosophy, they’re making a profit, at a new stadium, are signing young English players and they have a core.
“You need to have a group of players who believe in the club, who want to be there for the long term and believe that it’s their home for the next ten years.
“Arsenal are going back to bringing through young talent and you look at players like Gibbs, Chamberlain, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere and they have talented players.”
With United winning their 13th league title under the charge of Sir Alex Ferguson, Neville still believes his old club are up there for a reason.
Having come through the Old Trafford ranks as a youngster to win multiple honours with the Reds himself, the 38-year-old says it’s no co-incidence that they're still fighting for titles.
He added: “I know I have a soft spot for them, but Manchester United won the Championship this week with Cleverley, Carrick, Jones, Welbeck, Rooney, Smalling, Giggs, Evans, players who have been there for years and brought through.
“They’ve been brought up the Manchester United way and understand the club.
“They’re not going anywhere, so there’s got to be a way forward for England.
“If you look at Germany, Bayern Munich have five or six local lads, Barcelona have seven or eight from their youth team and AC Milan back in the 90s, they all have a core of players who believe in that club and believe in that way.
“A strong Barcelona means a strong Spain or a strong Bayern Munich means a strong Germany. It’s got to be the way forward.”
Neville was speaking with former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan at an event held exclusively for members of Club Wembley in the Gherkin at 10 St Mary Axe.
Club Wembley is a great way to gain access to the events all year round at the stadium including England matches, The FA Cup Final and a host of concerts this summer such as Bruce Springsteen and the Killers.
Photos of the event courtesy of Thomas Alexander, Red Photographic.