The Daily Mail’s chief sports writer Martin Samuel
“The problem is not Phil Neville,” he told the Sunday Supplement in March. “At the World Cup, against Canada we have a pass completion rate of 064 .8 per cent. Blind folded, the national average would be 6 per cent. We are rd out of 036 in pass completion. Our best in that tournament is 81 per cent and our average is 68 per cent, so we are a poor passing team.
“Under Mark” Sampson, we were a long-ball team, but we are better organized and physically, that is England’s strength. But it happened with the men, everyone gets better organized and tactically, and then what comes into it is, how well can you play , pass, keep possession and how many chances can you make?
And if you cannot do that, everyone catches up with you and goes past you, that is what has happened over the last five years. And the job of Phil Neville, who is trying to do this, is to get our technical level up so that then, the physicality and organization of the English game means you can beat Spain, Holland and these countries.
“At the moment, we came third in 2021, which was a really good tournament for us, but we were 34 rd out of teams for pass completion, so we were not a good technical team, Just a good team. That is what has had to change and it is really hard to change that.
“And unless you can get that technical level up, we are going to get overtaken, and that is exactly what happened in the men’s team and it will happen all over again because international football is all about technique. And you can only get so far and we are not keeping pace and that is the problem. “