Blogs & Opinion


Ray Wilkins:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Shortlist of three

Ray Wilkins - Ray Wilkins Posted 18th June 2013 view comments

Ray Wilkins believes Phil Neville, Glenn Hoddle or Gareth Southgate should be the next manager of England's Under-21 side.

The FA are set to start the search for Stuart Pearce's successor after it was announced that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the month.

Former Middlesbrough manager Southgate was installed as the early favourite with the bookmakers after previously working for the FA in a role as head of elite development and Sky Sports pundit Wilkins says he would be a sound appointment.

Neville: could he be the next England U21 boss?

Neville: could he be the next England U21 boss?

But he also sang the praises of recently retired Everton defender Neville and former England boss Hoddle, who was named as the second favourite in the early markets.

Wilkins told Sky Sports News HD: "When you look at Glenn Hoddle's win ratio for the national side, it was something like 61%.

"He had a good crop of guys coming through and he utilised them in the best possible fashion. I think Glenn would be a great choice.

If you're selected to play for your country, that's the ultimate you can be no matter what level you play at. I think our problem is some of our lads think when they get in the full squad the Under-21's is almost below them.

Ray Wilkins
Quotes of the week

"Gareth Southgate would be a fabulous choice as well because he's closely associated with the FA.

"I think Phil Neville would be a good choice because he's worked under a lot of fantastic coaches so should have a terrific knowledge of our game.

"He's a young man and understands a little bit more the psyche of the younger player coming through.

"I certainly think the top two in the betting and Phil Neville would probably be my choices."

Be there

Wilkins says that whoever gets the job must seek assurances from the FA that the best players will be made available to the Under-21 squad.

High-profile players such as Jack Wilshere and Phil Jones did not travel to Israel for England's disastrous European Championship campaign and Wilkins says that may have cost Pearce his job.

He added: "The only thing the FA should dictate to clubs is the fact that if the next manager chooses and selects a player then he will be there, no two ways about it.

"We've got the same situation with the first team. They have to be there to say that they're injured.

"I feel sorry for Stuart because I don't think in any finals he's ever taken part in has he had his best group of players. I feel sorry for him because the rest of the top nations will put their top players forward and they will play.

"If you're selected to play for your country, that's the ultimate, no matter what level you play at. I think our problem is some of our lads think when they get in the full squad the Under-21's is almost below them.

"That's not the score. I'm sorry, but if you're selected to play then go and play and do the best that you possibly can because I think Stuart's hands have been tied behind his back."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea in good shape for PSG

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to have a strong squad to select from for their Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain.

'Let's throw some punches'

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says he is planning to install a more attacking approach at the club.

LVG: We must sign a midfielder

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Manchester United will attempt to sign a creative midfield player this summer.

Live transfer updates

Live transfer news as Louis van Gaal makes the signing a creative midfielder his top priority this summer.

Bony trains with new team-mates

Wilfried Bony has trained with Man City for the first time after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

Features

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

As Tim Sherwood settles into his first day at work as Aston Villa manager, the challenge of keeping the Premier League perennials in the top flight begins.

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Only a fortnight after the transfer window closed, Louis van Gaal has set tongues wagging again by admitting that Manchester United need to sign a creative midfielder.

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Adam Bate looks at Xabi Alonso's fine form with Bayern Munich and why he can make history this season.