Neville: Fear factor frustrating England
Former England defender Gary Neville said today that fear was inhibiting the national side's chances of success. England have not won a major trophy since lifting the FIFA World Cup™ on home soil in 1966.
Recently, Paul Scholes, who like Neville retired from Manchester United as a player last season, said England players turned up for international duty full of fear and more concerned with their own form than the team's success.
And the 36-year-old Neville, capped 85 times between 1995 and 2007, told Sky Sports: "I would agree with him and, if you spoke to any player who has been around England for the last 15 years, I don't think you'd find one who disagreed with him."
"I think every single player who has played for England, even during my time, I would say they feel passionately about their country and want to play for England. But I think there is a mixture of people who are that nervous and have the fear about them when they go to play for England that they can't perform."
Neville added England lacked the team spirit of world and European champions Spain. "I think you have the factor that you are bringing players together who don't know each other and you are changing the team every month, and that is difficult.
"And then you have this protection-type mentality of people who do worry about what the next headline is going to say and whether it is going to affect their status. You look at the likes of the French, the Argentinians, the Brazilians, the Spanish now, and we have seen it for 10-15 years -- they are all hugging each other in the tunnels. They love each other, like there is a team and a camaraderie. We've never really been able to capture that with England."